Arguments supporting Non-Objective Reality (NOR) do not seek to prove it correct. They are better understood as proving objectivity to be flawed.
The concept of correctness is most at home in mathematics where conventional symbology has pre-agreed significance, and values can be stated or calculated correctly with an exactness beyond all but philosophical doubt. For example, we understand 3 + 11 = 14 to be absolutely correct in mathematical terms, albeit it is ultimately mere convention that makes the symbols intelligible at all.
But it is notable that mathematics has no tangible subject matter – it is just a logically arranged set of conventions, procedures and abstract ideas. By way of contrast, the material and psychological worlds always contain room for dispute. As illustrated below, the crudest possible examples of supposedly correct statements make this obvious.
Steel is heavy.
Heavy is a comparative quality; steel is of course light in comparison to certain substances.
Copper is an element.
Copper, like all so-called elements, is in fact composed of sub-atomic particles – at least as far as current understanding goes. Therefore, it is not truly elementary. The idea that it is an element is mere linguistic and conceptual convention.
The Earth has a moon.
Without arguing for an Earth devoid of a moon, this statement can be reasoned to be misleadingly simple. The two supposedly separate bodies we think of as Earth and moon cannot be properly separated beyond dispute. On a journey from the one to the other there would be no position at which we unequivocally exited one or entered the other. Moreover, there is no place on either where the influence of the other’s gravity, is not present. Hence the idea that the two are separate entities is misleading – even if we need to entertain that idea to prove the point. The situation is not that the Earth has no moon; it is that conceiving of matters simply as a relationship between two things is so crude that it becomes deceptive.
Water is wet.
Steam and ice are not thought of as wet, and yet both are considered as forms of water. But even if the statement is altered to Liquid water is wet, there is a problem in that glass and certain other apparently solid materials are, correctly or otherwise, considered liquids according to some theories – and would therefore need to be considered wet if the issue is that liquids are wet. But this contradicts all common ideas of wetness. It seems wetness ultimately resolves to nothing more than whatever any mind considers it to be. And although someone can always claim some correct definition of what wetness or any other concept really is, others can easily contest any such definition.
Apples are apples.
Although this is logically correct in the sense 5 = 5 is, it tells us nothing at all about what is to be considered an apple. So, given the inescapably loose character of language, the statement can be disputed on the basis that whoever utters it may change their intended meaning midway through the statement. For example, a coherent real-world comment about a rotten apple may run along the lines of That apple is no apple. But if such outright linguistic contradictions can prove every bit as meaningful as any other statements, it is only because language is contextually sensitive, as opposed to composing some grand description of an objective reality.
With absolute correctness proving inapplicable to ideas and statements regarding the physical world, it can be assumed that the woolly world of psychology fails even more significantly in this respect. I am not really me or I’ve become myself again are both comprehensible statements that logically render the apparently more correct statement of I am me every bit as dubious as it is pointless.
Given the liquid nature of the mind’s linguistic, cognitive and abstract tool-sets, as well as of reality in general, NOR sees all absolutist ideas as illusory – or potentially deceptive at best – rather than as true reflections of reality.
Not only are NOR arguments not concerned with being correct, but it can be shown that correctness within objectivity – the view of reality on which modern science is founded – is also illusory. However, the illusion is thoroughly obscured by human consensus, including the widespread notion that science uncovers what it considers to be objectively true. It is this absolutist quality within human ideas that NOR challenges – together with the consequences of not looking beyond its constraining nature.
Pro-NOR argumentation centered on the physical world generally illustrates how at the extremes of scientific understanding, objective thinking runs into intractable problems. There is no denying the objective view of reality has done much for mankind’s understanding, but the paradigm is seen as ultimately defective – much as classical physics has been revealed as ultimately defective.
As regards human affairs, NOR argumentation illustrates how our long human evolution to where we are today is the story of a species effectively empowered mentally beyond anything its intelligence has yet learned to manage responsibly. Being rather obsessed with our ability to dominate both our environment and one another, we have become alienated by our increasingly technological lifestyles, and now constitute a positive danger to both ourselves and other life on the planet.
So although NOR commentary inevitably sounds philosophical, it also forms a pragmatic critique of objective thinking’s tangible results within the physical world. NOR seeks to elucidate and then transcend the limitations and faults of objectivity. It nonetheless encompasses the objective perspective – albeit within an expanded view that better understands why our supposedly wonderful human intelligence has in fact saddled us with serious existential problems.
Such an understanding is not prescriptive. There are neither instructions for how the individual should conduct himself, nor any social-engineering manifestos. The very idea that this endlessly changing reality might be understood in such depth that the human mind could reliably conceive how to improve matters on some grand scale is in any case considered rather ridiculous – especially in light of the many historical disasters already caused by social-engineering ideologues. NOR is not presented as an ideology or any form of political advocacy.
However, progressively ridding received ideas of errors inherent to objective thinking can increasingly reveal dynamic and more immediate ways of understanding the mind’s actions, plus the true nature of that mind in relation to the overall human condition. Simply regaining a natural and direct awareness of one’s immediate situation – as opposed to being lost in endless learned forms of cognitive abstraction – returns the mind to a more restful, more prepared, and less distracted state. This creates a more responsible individual who looks less to others and their set ideas to organize and navigate his unique life.
The reader who seizes NOR as a bastion against the current cultural blanket faith in objectivity – plus all the demands and expectations of today’s hierarchically structured societies – is already loosening indoctrinated constraints on their mind. So, although there is no doctrine to be learned, there is plenty to be unlearned, challenged, undermined, debunked or just ignored.