“And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable.”
― Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method
In my article, “Woke” Or Still Dreaming???, I pondered the finer points of being “woke” and how it could be merely an illusion, a dream that one is unaware that they are in fact dreaming! However, there is a related point in a similar train of thought: If dreams vs. wakefulness can be called into doubt, what about the concept of reality???
See, we all mostly take for granted what we think “reality” is. What is reality? Facts? Figures? Opinions? Experiences? etc… The scientist tries to determine reality through the seeking out of facts. Proven and testable hypothesis to create theories for how the world works such as gravity, discovering natural laws, such as Newton’s laws of motion for instance. Things we feel confident enough, have enough evidence to say, “yeah, this is most likely to the extent of our knowledge how things are”… The philosopher can ponder the natures of more intangible things: What is our purpose? What is love? Emotions? (Although neuroscience is getting more and more of a say in that 😉 ) Can we really know if we are in a dream, or if we even “exist”? What does it mean to exist? And so on…
Reality is not just one narrow view, but is comprised of many different angles. The abstract must have a different nature to it than the concrete and tangible, but we both consider abstract concepts like justice, or love to be “real” as well as matter or air! However one cannot say that they can exist in identical ways as each other! Then again, reality isn’t just about whether or not things exist! Reality can also comprise of factual statements, factual knowledge. For example citing a statistic, let’s say, “1 in 5 women are raped”. It’s either true or not true. If the statement is proven to be factual, then we can consider it part of our reality, a truth in our world. However, if that statistic is incorrect, then it is not real….
Look, I apologize for going on a lengthy “meditation” on the many facets of the nature of “reality” but let me just get to the point: The Left purports that reality is subjective, and relative, and we each can have our own reality! Their premise is this; we all have our own experiences, colored by who we are, our socio-economic status, our race, gender, sexuality, etc…etc… And on this basis, therefore, we each have our own individual “reality”, how the world treats us and how we perceive the world. On its face, it’s not a ridiculous idea. It is true we all will perceive the world differently. Many things in this like ARE subjective. A man cannot experience the world as a woman. A person of color will have a different experience than a white person. And so on…
However, the problem starts when this view of a subjective reality takes over completely! For example, many Leftist doctrines say that people of color must always be believed that they were “microaggressed” or that someone was racist towards them not based on concrete facts or statistics, but on their word alone just by virtue of being a person of color! Simply because they’re a minority, their reality must supersede anyone else’s who’s not a minority! The white person’s perspective on what transpired gets zero credence! Well, what if they never meant to be hurtful or racist in that question they asked? What if the statistics don’t show any racial or gender bias against the job candidate who was rejected and the hiring manager clearly stated it was due to something completely unrelated they weren’t chosen? Whose version of the events must be believed?
What about the woman saying her reality is comprised of 1 in 5 women being raped, or women only getting 77% of their paychecks and no one is allowed to question it because it’s “her reality” and men can’t have an opinion, not because these assertions were objectively tested and proven true for everyone! And if she claims she was assaulted, “her reality” must be believed over the guy’s side of the story since she’s now the “victim” in her reality… Or what about the man who says he’s now a woman, so we must take him at his word or be labeled “transphobic”? As they say, every story has two sides, but apparently one side now supersedes the other’s validity if they’re in a special interest group!
Just like Descartes postulated “I think therefore I am”, the left’s new motto should be “I say, therefore I am” since they believe that they can speak their own reality into existence! I say to the world I am a woman now and no longer a guy? Done! I say I was discriminated against without providing concrete evidence? Done! I say he assaulted me that night I can’t even remember the details of? Done! Saying something happened is enough for the Left to take it as gospel truth…
But… Wait a minute! What about the wider shared reality we all have??? Yes, we all have different perceptions of what happened, what we feel we’re experiencing, but that’s not enough! In science, that is called an anecdotal experience. One person’s experience is not the sum total of everyone’s! Just because you feel you were treated in a biased manner, doesn’t mean it actually happened! Just because you feel you were microaggressed against, doesn’t mean that’s what the person on the other end intended in the least! Just because you genuinely did get assaulted, or not given fair pay at a job you had, doesn’t mean every woman in the entire room did along with you! Yes, there are cases of real racism, bias, hatred, prejudice, injustice.
However, if you want to make sweeping statements, that apply to numerous people, hundreds, thousands, millions, you need more than just “I experienced it in my reality” to make it THE reality for the world! No, people, your reality is NOT reality if it’s something that extends beyond just your immediate experience! Yes, in “your reality” pizza can taste bad, and no one can argue otherwise, or you feel sad, no one can tell you, “no you don’t!”, however, “your reality” ends when other people come into the picture… Verifiable assertions that can be proven by an outside party are subject to scrutiny by everyone, not just the court of your personal opinion! That’s where statistics come in… 😉
It’s not just “my reality” that broken homes are detrimental, or women have XX chromosomes, or immigrants/refugees from 3rd world countries being in crime and drain resources. There is actual proof of these things occurring! This is where the earlier seemingly unrelated thoughts come into play from the beginning of my post… “Reality” is indeed not just one thing, that can only be seen from one angle. Proving abstract things are far harder than proving concrete ones. There are some “personal realities” that do exist, such as preferences for one color over another, certain foods, TV shows, hobbies, emotions etc… that no one can actually “prove” wrong!
However, there are plenty that can be determined to be “real” or not to the rest of the world! That’s what forensics, courts, clearly defined laws/rules, protocols, statistics, research studies, scientific experiments, peer review, evidence and such are for! Just because the researchers want the Nobel Prize really badly doesn’t mean they discovered a new element in their reality and it is considered valid for the rest of the scientific community! If the matter extends beyond your own inner mind, sorry kids, you have to share “your reality” with other people, and let them scrutinize it 😉 You can feel like you were discriminated against, or others like you are because of your own experiences, but if tests and studies and statistics say otherwise, then the reality for everyone else says “no”! One person’s reality is NOT 7.7 billion (as of now’s) reality!!!
Look, the jig is up! Provide evidence, or quit whining! If you can’t test it, prove it, verify it, get the numbers to come to your conclusions, the research studies to verify your ideas, experiments to prove your hypothesis, then no, it’s NOT reality! And one last note, what about the other sides’ reality??? That’s right, the reality for the white person, the man, the cisgendered person, etc… The reality in which white people are guilt tripped via white privilege and denied jobs due to their skin color? The reality where a man can be ruined for life on one baseless, unsubstantiated allegation? The reality where women fear for themselves and their children in their own bathrooms and changing rooms? The reality where Asian-Americans are being held to a higher standards and denied in top colleges and universities on a racial stereotype? The reality of all the families whose children were killed by illegals? What about THEIR realities??? Oh, that’s right, the only reality is your reality!
Lefties, the saying goes “I THINK therefore, I am” NOT “I SAY therefore I am!” 😉