Subjectivity of Truth

For me, the fact remains that what is right for one person may not be right for everyone.

I really hate this argument in most instances in which it crops up. It is essentially the admission of the individual that they do not believe in absolute truth, not surprising considering the postmodern philosophy of the vast majority of our culture. But I generally dislike this argument, despite the fact that it does at times have legitimate applicability. It reminds me of schoolyard children taunting each other with, “I know you are, but what am I?” It has always held for me, perhaps unfairly, that tone and that attitude of superiority and condescension toward the opinions of others. It is not even so simple as the individual who says this implying that they disagree with another opinion and are just too polite to say so; often, the individual really believes that what is right for you may not be right for me.

For personal preferences, this argument makes sense. For instance, chocolate ice cream may be my favorite, but because vanilla might be your favorite, then chocolate is not right for you. And because there are no laws or moral or ethical rules that dictate that chocolate must be everyone’s favorite, it is completely legitimate in this case to say that what is right for you may not be right for me.

Where it comes to laws and morals, however, there are absolutes, so what is right for me must also, necessarily, be right for you. I cannot commit murder. It is immoral and illegal. There are laws against such behavior, and justice is meted out for such crimes. All people are governed by laws against murder, and so there is an absolute measure for what is right and what is wrong in murder.

The waters have been muddied where it comes to abortion, though. Somehow, a fetus is not considered human until it is born. Legally, it has no rights, not even the right to live. It is completely up to the whims of the mother to determine whether or not the child — excuse me, the fetus, the _parasite_ — is brought to term. Traditional emphases on the value of all human life are tossed aside. It became convenient to think of the unborn as less than human because then there is no conflict, no guilt involved with terminating a tiny life. What was once straightforward thinking has now become shaded in gray — what is right for you may not be right for me. You may choose to have your baby, but that may not be the right thing for _me_ to do. The emphasis is on the self, with little thought given to life growing inside the womb.

It is all very convenient when truth becomes subjective. The only person I have to answer to, then, is myself.

7 thoughts on “Subjectivity of Truth”

  1. Interesting response. One I quite agree with….but my question is always – how is it that it takes a man and woman to make a baby, but only a woman to destroy it? Yet it she keeps it, he will pay through the nose? Unfortunately, making women more responsible is not a popular theme today. We are more concerned in making men pay.

  2. I quite agree. I’ve always that a strange and unbalanced juxtaposition. The feminist movement has done their job a little too well — women no longer carry any sort of responsibility. They have been ‘liberated’ entirely. Apparently, personal responsibility is a forgotten concept — except where it applies to someone else.

  3. I agree that “what is right for me is not right for everyone” does not apply to laws – Laws are absolute. It does however apply to morals, as morals are subjective. Everyone’s morals differ – Some people have stronger morals than others. Some people have no morals at all. For instance, how is it morally acceptable in some regions for a man to have multiple wives, but it is morally wrong in other areas for that same occurence. Vegans think it is morally wrong for you to eat meat, but that doesn’t strike me as being a bad thing. I also don’t find it morally wrong for two men to have sex, but there is a large population of people who do find it wrong.

    So the fact remains that as long as abortion IS legal in certain areas, it is a moral issue and not a law. When it is a moral issue, the morality of it is personal to each person who thinks on it. So, in your opinion, abortion is morally wrong. I however live in an area where abortion is legal, and although I do not agree with the reasons why a lot of women have abortions, I do not think that I am one to judge someone for their decision to have one, as their morals are obviously different than my own.

  4. And since when is the father the victim? You’ve created a no-win situation for any woman who gets pregnant by accident. She’s either a murderer if she has an abortion, or she is a sponge “making the man pay through the nose” for the unwanted child.

    Personal responsibility is not forgotten in “liberated” women. Personal responsibility is lost in women and men who don’t claim the responsibility for their actions. It is not the same thing. There are plenty women out there who are “liberated” who are capable of taking responsibility for their actions. This is not a feminist issue – This is a “maturity” issue.

    We need to remember that there aren’t only 2 outcomes resulting in unwanted pregnancy. There is more than abortion, or child support. There are liberated single women everywhere being the sole provider for their unwanted (yet loved) child. There are women out there who have the baby, but give it up for adoption. Not all liberated women are evil.

    And we are so concerned with abortion on the home-front, we forget that in Asia, if a little girl isn’t wanted the MAN decides the abort it, or murder it after it has been born. Now, isn’t it a good thing that if a western woman has a little girl, she has the right and the ability to keep her baby? Isn’t it good that western women can answer to themselves, instead of being dictated to and controlled by a man?

Have anything to add to the conversation?