The other side of the argument about subjectivity is a critique of “objective reality”. Pointing out inevitability of one’s personal faults is a start and undermining the existence of reality itself should do it.
We aren’t the first ones to bring out this argument, though. Problem with objectivity first came up in ancient Greece as “Plato’s cave” and has been rehashed over and over again, it doesn’t stop atheists and if we use it in the same way they’ll probably overwhelm us simply because of the amount of work modern philosophy put into refuting it. More importantly, it’s PLATO’s cave, not ours, not the Vedic description of reality. We could possibly translate it into our language, it would be fun, but probably not very productive.
To the modern audience that cave argument is basically the same as the matrix from the movies – we are all locked up and prevented from seeing the world as it is, and there’s no way for us to discover our condition without external help. Put this way it does sound Vedic but relativism has been around long enough, since Greek times, too, and we stand no chance of solving this battle once and for all. They have ready made answers for everything.
Relativists say that humans are the ones who set values for everything and there’s no such thing as true objectivity. It’s this position that moved Plato to invent his cave, and the main problem with it is that it’s still an invention, we can only speculate about being in the matrix. Unless you have the blue pill (or was it red in the movie?) you can’t show the reality. In our case – if we can’t show God we can’t prove that He exists, they’ll just call it faith and vivid imagination.
Instead of arguing about the possibility of “real” objective reality we can show that what atheists assume as objective now is not so either. Instead of offering our solution to the Matrix and Plato’s cave, the existence of God and spiritual world. which they reject, we can attack objectivity of modern science on their own terms. What atheists essentially say, is that cave or no cave, science is objective, which isn’t true, and we can try to prove it.
To them objectivity in science means that the same thing measured over and over again by different people will be of the same size, and therefore it’s objectively one meter long.
Okay. How long is one meter? Originally they decided to measure it as a result of division of Earth’s meridian running through Paris by ten million. How do we know Earth’s size is constant? It most likely isn’t and fluctuates daily. Then they replaced that definition, for other reasons, by the one based on a wavelength of Kryptonite, but with Superman being a cartoon character it didn’t make much practical sense, so they went with Krypton gas instead (/s). Currently they define a meter as distance traveled by light in vacuum in 1/299 792 458 of second.
They’ve never actually measured this, of course, they fixed the speed of light in meters first, then reversed the equation to solve meter for this speed and time, so this definition is circular.
What we can point out, however, is that all these definitions are not objective but depend on time and place and the current state of science.
Take the Krypton based definition. Krypton is not a basic unit in the universe, it’s made of protons and electrons, protons are made of quarks, and quarks are made of something else, we don’t know exactly what. So, technically, instead of measuring meter in the wavelengths of Krypton we should be talking of the wavelength of a particular combination of elementary particles, some of which are still only theoretical, we don’t know how many have not been theorized of yet, and they might all turn out to be vibrating strings. Or not, depending on how the string theory progresses.
How’s that objective?
I bet we can ask string theorists to come up with their own definition of a meter, it would probably vary depending on the flavor of a particular variant of string theory, and we can call it a provisional definition, until confirmed experimentally. It might also happen that string theory will never be proven experimentally because of constraints imposedby the size of the Earth itself – we need a much bigger planet to run these experiments.
Forget the meter, without a fundamental theory of everything we can’t define anything, not the time, not the space, not colors. Right now atheists say that red color is the light with wavelength of about 700 nanometers. “About” here is because our eyes can’t tell the difference between 699 nm and 701 nm, but wavelength itself is objectively real. Is it, though?
Wavelength definition depends on the current state of scientific consensus, hundred years from now it could be considered as objective as Newton mechanics – close enough approximation for everyday purposes but fundamentally wrong representation of reality. In quantum theory wavelength depends on photons and photons are at the heart of quantum mysteries – they are both waves and particles and they can’t be measured, because measuring them affects their state. Quantum theory, however, is not the unifying theory of everything, it’s fundamentally incomplete, and therefore we can’t take it as a conclusive description of objective reality.
The Theory of Everything does not yet exists, one of the problem is that General Relativity is incompatible with Quantum Physics and vise versa, so something’s got to give, either photons, or gravity, or both. So how can they call anything defined by modern science as objective?
The very nature of science is that it will never be complete, it will always have unanswered questions, so absolute truth is like infinity in this sense – we can approach it but it is unreachable and, moreover, even if we move from square one to square two we are still infinitely far from the end. This means that current scientific understanding of light is as close to objective reality as “fire atoms” of ancient Greeks. It might even turn out that Greeks were closer to it and all development of science since then is one giant dead end, necessary to traverse but devoid of answers. It could be like astronomy when they thought the Earth was at the center of the universe – great for getting better at math but not much else.
In Vedic nomenclature light is the property of fire, fire emerges after air, which comes after ether, but it’s still a fundamental element in itself, probably best described as “energy”, ether being “space” and air being “movement” (or “force”, not sure). Gravity looks like property of water, which is probably why general relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics – it’s a separate element in its own right, it cannot be described in terms of other elements. Though, since the elements emerge in progression, one from another, there might be gravity in energy in some sort of a seed form, so unification should be possible, but on the basis of “everything comes from ether”.
Back to atheism – their main error here is that they confuse current state of scientific consensus with objective reality. String theory might be closer to being objective but if it’s not a part of scientific consensus it is not accepted. Same with post-Darwinism with its consciousness driven evolution – they are consensus changing developments, and once it happens atheists would have to reinvent their arguments, meaning whatever they say now is bound to change, it’s only a matter of time.
From our perspective they live in a bubble of illusion but we can’t prove that unless we show Kṛṣṇa. In the meantime we can demonstrate that they live in a bubble constrained by time, that their understanding of objective reality is bound to go “pop” sooner or later and therefore is unreliable. Considering the chance that God might exist it would be more prudent to prepare for that possibility instead of playing with bubbles.
It’s an old argument, of course, but my point today is that atheists usually allow for new theories explaining new phenomena, but not for the possibility of overriding everything they accept as objective.