Terminology Tuesday: Objectivity

Objectivity: The quality of a fair-minded inquirer concerned about truth. The nature of this quality is, however, controversial. One ideal of objectivity is that of the completely neutral, detached, emotionless, presuppositionless thinker, who occupies what Thomas Nagel has called “the view from nowhere” or sees the world as Baruch Spinoza described it, from a god-like viewpoint, “under the aspect of eternity.” Objectivity in this sense is widely attacked by postmodern thinkers as an impossible and even undesirable ideal. However objectivity in this sense should be distinguished from the honestly of the person who really cares about the truth and is willing to respect contrary evidence. This kind of objectivity seems compatible with recognizing our human finitude and the ways in which our passions and assumptions can function as aids in the search for truth, rather than simply being distorting filters.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp. 83.

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Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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