Humans tend to acknowledge the existence of an objective reality but are unable to experience anything without some degree of subjectivity. Experiences cannot be verified or invalidated, but they can be understood further in light of new information. Unfortunately for science, experiences are innately subjective and the same exact experience cannot be shared or duplicated, even when two people experience the same event. People naturally form beliefs about reality based on the sum of their experiences. The way a person perceives the objective reality is the essence of a person’s worldview: their subjective reality, as experienced by their consciousness. Subjective/alternate realities are not perfect representations of the objective reality, they are approximations with varying degrees of accuracy. These alternate realities are anything but honest when the beliefs that support them conflict with facts about the objective reality. An intellectually honest person uses all information, experiences, and observations to unify their subjective reality as closely as possible with their understanding of the objective reality.
The nature of the objective reality was once defined by superstitions until the era of the scientific method, after which cause-effect relationships were discovered to be mechanisms of physical events. Science has chased the objective reality, or “truth”, beyond naked human awareness to the furthest corners of existence where Newtonian physics no longer apply. Experts do not understand the mechanisms behind quantum mechanics, but observations have shown undeniably Newtonian Laws of physics break at a certain level of physical magnification. There has yet to be discovered a complete equation to uniformly describe quantum and Newtonian physics, but the harmonious nature of reality suggest it does exist. For now, the mystery perseveres.
The concept of experience exists objectively. One cannot exist consciously without experience. Experience is not a physical object but a piece of consciousness, which is itself subjective and prone to manipulation upon memory recall. Regardless, to claim experience does not exist is a fallacious argument. However, criteria for existence is a confusing target. How can one prove something exists? Generally, existence implies awareness from an observer in the sense that becoming aware of something brings something, formerly unknown, into consciousness. It may have existed before discovery, but a singular observation cannot determine this.
An observation is a form of measurement, yielding a binary result at the most basic observational level. Something either is or is not; there is no in between. Obviously more complicated observations exist, but at its core an observation can only be made of something that exists. Something that previously existed may leave a hole in reality that might be discovered, but this is not guaranteed. Awareness is a measurement tool humans intrinsically possess as conscious beings and this awareness is utilized via the senses. Awareness is essential to observations, for if there is no awareness there is no capacity to make observations.
Observations and experiences automatically create beliefs in consciousness, though these beliefs certainly can be resisted. After touching a hot stove, a person will believe that some level of heat has the ability to damage their body, or at least cause it pain. If a person has doubts about this belief, it is easily retested. The person can choose to believe heat does not harm and will suffer the consequences of their purposeful ignorance.
Belief and Trust
The objective reality is the sharpening stone on which the majority of people’s beliefs are shaped. People are free to believe what they want about their subjective reality until that belief contradicts known characteristics of the objective world. These beliefs are in no way worthy of respect for the very fact they are baseless. One can believe he was born on the planet Mars, but however strongly this belief is held a small part of the person will know it to be untrue (psychologically-impairing conditions notwithstanding). This location of birth, however false, may be a cherished and important idea to this person but it is has no foundation in facts. His birth certificate may say “Mars, Pennsylvania”, but this is merely a trick of words. The truth is no human has been known to visit the planet Mars and anyone honestly claiming to have originated there is either a liar or insane. But why should intellectual honest beliefs be valued? Is there any detriment to holding fallacious beliefs?