There is No Objectivity (in the way you think there is).

Objective: based on facts rather than feelings or opinions: not influenced by feelings.

(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective)

 

Subjective: based on feelings or opinions rather than facts.

(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subjective)

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just don’t bother reading the words of other people online, you may have noticed the words subjective and objective thrown around in a debate here or there. Usually seeing something along the lines of, “You need to be more objective,” or, “Your opinion is subjective, therefore, invalid.” Do people have dictionaries anymore? Usually, these are “arguments” leveled at views (usually left views) that people don’t like. This is a blatant misuse of the words and a poor excuse for an argument.

 

Objectivity is factual; it is indisputable, truth. Objectivity is saying: Force=Mass x Acceleration, the earth is spherical, there are x number of people currently here, that is a dog. Things not based on facts, such as perception, human feeling, opinion, ideology, philosophy, or any kind of debatable topic are subjective. So, no, just because that person doesn’t like Smash Bros., but a lot of people (including you) like it, doesn’t make that person wrong, or necessarily right. Pointing out that their point is subjective doesn’t automatically make you correct either.

 

In addition to being used against critics and debaters, these arguments have also been used against journalists. The big call for objectivity in journalism is futile though. Journalists are people like you and me, and they have their own political views, beliefs, and opinions. People have biases and are influenced by their upbringing and the world around them. Deliberately obscuring facts and not presenting the truth is a problem, but taking facts and involving one’s opinions in the article is not inherently bad. The same principles apply to articles that are all opinion. Just because it is opinion does not invalidate it or mean that it is irrelevant. It also doesn’t mean it is wrong either, as it is an opinion. Opinions exist in a limbo between right and wrong. It is crucial, though, that journalists are transparent about their stances and biases, rather than concealing them, and possibly obscuring the facts. The notion that journalists are supposed to show an unbiased and correct view on a subject is illogical. Also, if you’re worried about bias in the journalism you read, you shouldn’t be unless it presents information in an obscured manner or is a paid opinion. You shouldn’t have any cause for concern if you can properly separate fact from opinion. You should be able to do this when analyzing any article.

 

When debating, t is hollow to point out a person’s argument is not objective. Criticizing a person’s views for not being objective is like criticizing water for not being gasoline. Despite how big of a consensus it gets or how many people agree with it, philosophy, opinion, ideology, and politics are not based on absolute truths. These things are based on personality, character, biases, preconceived notions, influences, and millions of other factors. You can argue that a person’s argument or view is too unreasonable, over-generalizing, not very critical, hyperbole, their observations aren’t astute, or they misinterpret or used facts incorrectly. But you can’t say that it is not right because it is not objective. That is a subjective opinion and by that logic you would then be incorrect. Just because it is subjective doesn’t make it invalid or not applicable. Your argument can be supported by sound logic, reasoning, and factual evidence. It’s a view… It’s subjective. Having facts doesn’t even make you automatically correct. Facts just make statements of what is, they have no control over how they are perceived and used. It ties back into sound logic and reasoning. It’s about how you use those facts.

Finally, there has been a large call for objectivity in art; of all places. Art is an expression of people’s imagination. Imaginations that are influenced by their experiences, world, perspectives, views, and opinions. So it’s safe to assume that these people have biases, and those biases and views will make it into the work. All works, no matter how big or small, make some sort of statement or have some grand point/message/meaning; be it philosophical, ideological, or even political. All art has some sort of agenda. Does Fallout not have an anti-nuclear message by the nature of its world and gameplay? Does FullMetal Alchemist not make statements about the dangers of unrestricted scientific endeavors after showing the effects it has on Ed, Al, and the people of Ishval? Does Bioshock not make a scathing critique of Ayn Rand’s objectivism philosophy by pointing out its discrepancies through the fall of Rapture?

To bring up recent gaming community history, and socially progressive views, I see where they’re coming from. Video games are means of joy and entertainment and people don’t want politics in their face. Except, this concern is useless, not just because of the reasons mentioned earlier. Political messages in stories, like the ones mentioned previously, are subtle, and don’t blast lectures in your face. Political messages and having them in your work are not inherently bad. If these views did make an impact on the industry and changed future games, then they wouldn’t actually change the games themselves too much, or really be in your face about it. Yes, you may notice them but they wouldn’t have any large-scale changes on the game. As I mentioned before all works have some sort of political message, but no one ever says those works are “forcing their agenda.” Which leads me to believe that the fierce resistance comes from the nature of the agenda, not purely because it is an agenda.

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