Subjective Attack (idea)
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A strategy employed in an argument to sound smart and turn the conversation into a powerplay, Subjective Attack in the sense of:
“Who are you to say this/that….” Or “That’s subjective” Implying a limited and distorted view of the world: Subjectivity. This is the intellectual equivalent of “I know you are but what am I”, a juvenile attempt to invalidate, and dissociate the target from their conversational ground. The conversation partner concludes that because they don’t know everything, subjectivity is the truth which doesn’t logically hold because it’s a paradox:(1) Everything anyone opines on a subject, is therefore not universally (absolutely) true due to limited frames of reference.
(2) I believe the above to be true.
It’s like saying “language cannot say anything”. A paradox.
So, if someone really believed in subjectivity then they would know they cannot believe it to be the whole truth, if true at all. It doesn’t work logically (like induction). It’s a quirk of our systemizing of reality, which proves it’s incomplete, which doesn’t prove it’s right. As an incomplete theorem, about incompleteness, it doesn’t prove itself because it’s tautological. It’s a refuge for the smart-arse. So our system of logic is a tad flawed, but that doesn’t render it useless. It is enormously useful in very practical ways.
So if the logic behind “that’s subjective” doesn’t take us anywhere, so what is the point of it. In my experience it is for people who spend their time tying being clever so use it as (A) a synonym for “I don’t believe that”, but instead of stating this or explaining their position (if they even can) they demand qualification from everyone else (a basic power play) – which is dumb because qualification can be demanded from them for how they know it to be not the case. (B) A defensive mechanism, to remove and absolve themselves from their words, actions, and influence (because saying you are subjective implies, among other things, that it’s all you're interpretation, and nothing they've done). They try to deny their provocation.
The subjectivity attack, is similar to the “brain in the vat” attack in that there is no foolproof way of negotiating your way out of the accusation because you've been put into a paradox argument. It turns into a battle of wills. It’s a conversation killer. It’s offensive (attacking) and it ignores that while we do have frames of reference, we are not separate from our environment. We don’t observe reality through a TV set, we are in the program, and as such we are both subject and object. In an effort to keep sounding smart some people hold this frame of subject vs object over the conversation.
AND another objection is that it in no way can be used to gauge and test the truth of a situation, which, as a device it is employed to negate. And besides, It states the obvious, like saying “But you are human ?!?!”.
Post Note: The brain in the vat is a good gerdunken, but rubbish when trying to spin someone out or off-center during a heated 'chat'. Simple flaw: the reality you're fed exists within another reality. It's turtles all the way down.