Re: Extropic art: symbolism, interpretation & association

Sarah Marr (
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 19:08:14 +0000

Gregory Houston wrote:

>Sarah Marr wrote:
>> You're missing the point here. If a person lives within a culture where
>> no-one has ever even suggested the world to be round, that person is every
>> bit as objective as you in his/her acceptance of the flatness of the world.
>I agree with you on all counts.

We are at one! And I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed this 'debate'. I
would only add the following minor comments, which are intended as
rhetorical and reflexive, unless anyone has strong feelings about them.


>However I do not
>believe that fairy tales, and mythology are objective today, atleast not
>in modern society. In the past perhaps, but today, no.

I would qualify that to say, "at least not in Western society today". By
either of our definitions of objectivism (see below) mythology may be
objective in societies other than our own, which have no history of thought
counter to mythology. (Actually, an individual in a society which does have
a history of thought counter to mythology may be objective in his/her
belief in mythology if he/she doesn't know of that contrary history.
Objectivity cannot require knowledge of everything. Reaching a reasonable
decision, on the other hand...)

>fact that fairy tales and mythology are no longer objective does not
>make them subjective.

Interesting point: I would tend to say that any educated Western person who
placed, say, astrology above statistics was not being objective. Yet can I
validly say that? Is such a person's decision any more or less biased than
my own belief in science (by your definition)? Or is such a person's
decision giving any less priority to statements of others than my would (by
my definition)? Tricky.

>I define subjective statements as value judgements, and objective
>statements as unbiased observations.

I'd use the definitions whereby objectivism is the prioritization of
existing corpuses of knowledge created by others in the reaching of a
decision, whilst subjectivism prioritizes ones own thoughts. These are not
disimilar to your definitions, but reflect my belief that (a) even
objective decisions require at least the value judgement, 'The thoughts of
others are valid to inform my decision,' and (b) there is bound to be bias
in reaching an objective decision, even if only as to which 'others' one
listens to as a priority (this bias allows me to place Western
post-Enlightenment rationalism above Eastern mysticism, for example).

Once again, thanks for the discourse, Gregory.


Sarah Kathryn Marr