You will get more than one definition which already proves that treating the idea as objective imposes its limitations on ourselves, on others, on the world, on growth and development of what I refer to as the ‘human project’. We are never human, we are merely learning what it means to be something near ‘human’. When we think we know what it is to be human, well, events like Charlie Hebdo emerge. This is the problem with the assumption that anything objective at all exists. What if it was just the opposite of what we have been taught to think, moreso, that only subjective things exist? Meaning that the category of something as an object only exists because we created the category for it to exist. If you think about this in terms of ethics, some form of moral agency or law and etc.
What we then are met with is the reality that the law does not exist outside of us or separate from us, but it is derived from us, we helped construct it by agreeing to its very existence. So, what does this do for people who break the law? All this proves, is that we have created a dichotomy that we have corporately agree upon as correct. The very phrase, “the wrong side of the law” presupposes a right side of the law. But, from whence do these emerge? From us. If we cant blame God for doing this, then all we have is to blame ourselves, we are implicated in the very prisons we create, real or metaphorical.
This is also the same with truth. There is nor ever was truth with a capital T. It only emerged as a project of the state. This is why no one person or religious figure has ever found it. We have been taught to search for it. The City of Gold. THe Fountain of Youth. Heaven. Valhalla. Elysium Fields. The places are placeholders for our desire for wholeness or completeness, which is itself a myth placed upon ourselves by ourselves. We create the very narratives we come to believe in. This is what the story of Job is about.
We have a man who manufactures his own life, has extreme wealth (another socially agreed upon idea) who loses it all and becomes depressed (why? because he lost what was socially agreed upon as success; oh, and he had boils). He lost the illusion that objective things exist, this is both liberation and a borderline suicidal position to be in, hence why he wants to end his life. This is not some philosophical position against everything objective, because if the objective does not exist, then one cannot actually exist, what this is, is a defense of the subjective experience of life. If God is not an object, but the very creation of an objective God only allows others to justifies either violent or close-minded beliefs, then we must rigorously root out the desire for the object to exist, whatever that object might be. Which also means, if beauty is subjective, then we have to learn, like a new language to appreciate the many views of others, lest we become so extreme in our own ideology that we willingly destroy difference. This isn’t some sloppy postmodern claim to relativism, not at all, that’s a wrong way to read this. This isn’t some trite naive ‘In my humble opinion’, just the opposite, it is a claim that we all need to wake up. We all need to unplug from the visceral cancer that is religious beliefism that can happen in and out of religion, where we just go with the flow of society and our programmed education. Religions that commit to metaphysics, fables about objects rather than subjects, are misanthropic one’s, one’s that would rather us focus on idealist happy endings, rather than fighting for our own. In the end, God doesn’t rescue Job, he leaves him to pick up the pieces. That’s the point of Job, God can’t save us, God isn’t meant to, we are meant to save ourselves. That act is itself an invocation of God, a divine act.
Jesus makes a claim that he embodies truth, one of the most overused and abused verses by conservative extremists, but then he also says that two or more are gathered he is. Let’s not get hung up on the Jesus as truth bit, thats not the point. Its the fact that he is saying this is true of every human. We all embody truth, (not capital T), and that through discourse (i.e., where two or more….) we encounter an iota of this truth, it isn’t promised, but it is a possibility.
Notice Jesus never says who these two people are, so it could be a Buddhist and an Atheist, a murderer and a police man and etc. Now, some might want to argue that I am making objective claims about ethics, reality, and religion, however, if that’s the argument then all that is demonstrated is not that objective claims exist, but only that the intersubjective claims themselves of truth being objective hold more social currency because we have learned to treat history as that which has the last word in human progress.
If only subjective things exist, what this then means is that we have to fight for each other, beyond our categories, labels and identities which all hold the place of an objective status (because we have been taught to believe they should). It means we have more responsibility to use our skills, desires, tools, and new discoveries to build into the future of the human project. If nothing objective exists then we have to work through our differences not exacerbate them. Religion can have a place in this or create even more labels and unnecessary distances that should not exist.
The whole narrative arc of the New Testament is that God’s representative, Jesus, leaves. Leaves us to live life. Leaves us to seek out new ways of investing in the human project. God abandons us, not because in a sudden moment, God had something better to do, or that God chose heaven or humanity, not at all, rather its because God learned something…the human story is best learned without limitations.