What is subjectivism?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Subjectivism is the philosophy that teaches that all knowledge is restricted to a person’s own experience or reality and that there is no external or objective truth. This is a Metaphysical point of view that advocates that reality is what man perceives it to be real, and that there is no underlying true reality that exists independently of perception. In this school of thought, ethically, what is right and wrong depend on one’s knowledge, attitude or feelings. Subjectivism is closely related to relativism.

Subjectivism is the antithesis of objectivism, which teaches that truth exists outside of one’s experience and even though man may not know it, it still exists and is absolute. In this line of thought, ethically, what is right and wrong are not dependent on one’s knowledge, attitude or perception. But rather, there are objective moral standards that exist regardless of one perceiving them or not.

Subjectivism and the Bible

The Christian world today is split between those who believe in the objective truth of the Word of God and liberals, who appeal to modern culture. This last group believes that truth is relative and that there is no absolute standard by which a person may judge what is truth. They hold that objective truth is not as important as a person’s personal experience, which they perceive as authoritative above the truths of the Bible.

Subjectivism and Christianity are incompatible. It is true that people have subjective experiences but that has no bearing on the fact that truth is absolute (John 14:6; 1 John 5:20). To ignore the universal truths and rely on a person’s finite knowledge, experience, or perception is absurd.

The Bible declares that the Creator is the source of all truth (John 1:14; 16:13). By His very nature, He is the source of everything. And His truth has been revealed in the Scriptures (John 17:17; 8:32; Psalm 119:160). Believers become new creatures by making the truths of God’s word the basis for their lives (James 1:18).

In addition to the scriptures, the invisible truths of God can be clearly perceived by the mind with the help of God’s created works of creation. Even though darkened by sin, the “things that are made” witness that One of infinite power created them (Romans 1:20). And in mercy, God has also revealed His truths of what is right and wrong in the conscious of every man (Romans 2:14-15). Even though non-Christians do not know God’s moral written law (Exodus 20:3-17), they have an idea about it in their hearts.

Therefore, those that reject God’s truths are without excuse (Romans 1:20, 32). While “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (verse 22). Any philosophy (ex. subjectivism) that sets the creature’s doctrines above the Creator’s, leads people away from the source of truth. When people turn away from God’s truths and shut Him out of their minds and hearts, He has no choice but respect their choices and to leave them to their own destructive ways (Psalms 81:12; Acts 7:42; 14:16).

While Jesus prayed earnestly for unity among the believers (John 17:20–23), He added that such unity should be based on His truth (John 17:17). Jesus’ prayer was for His follower’s sanctification through His Father’s Word. To lower this standard for the sake of unity and popularity would be to compromise with evil. The inspired word teaches, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Therefore, any philosophy that doesn’t uphold the absolute Biblical truths must be rejected.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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