Subjectivist Fallacy

A fallacy occurs when we use incorrect logic to advocate a claim. Someone argues in a relativist fallacy that truth is relative. A point applies to one person but not to another. This is a personal opinion. The subjectivist fallacy occurs when someone opposes an argument’s conclusion not by challenging whether the premises support the conclusion, but by considering the conclusion as subjective when it is in reality objective. Typically, characterizing the arguer’s conclusion as simply an “opinion,” a “perspective,” a “point of view,” or something like that.

Fallacies are classified into two types: objective and subjective.

  • Everyone has the same truth value when it comes to objective fallacy.
  • Subjective fallacy might have varying degrees of reality for different persons.

The relativist fallacy takes a totally subjective view of reality. Claiming that only what someone believes to be true can be claimed to be true and that it is impossible to show otherwise.

What is the Subjectivist Fallacy?

The relativist fallacy, also known as the subjectivist fallacy, is a type of reasoning mistake in which a person makes an assumption about the objective universe based on some personal characteristic of oneself.

In other words, the relativist fallacy occurs when someone supports or rejects a claim based on their relationship to the claim (or the relationship of their group to the claim).

Relativist fallacies are the statements like “true for you,” “true for me,” “wrong for you,” “wrong for me,” and so on.

Another sign that someone is engaging in the relativist fallacy is when they divert the discourse away from the reality of the issue and instead focus on group membership or personal identity.


The Relativist Fallacy and Objective Truths

The relativist fallacy exists only when the problem under consideration is objective, meaning that it is true regardless of what individuals think or feel about it. For example, one individual may believe that a certain arithmetic problem is simple, whilst another believes that it is tough. The issue of complexity is proportional to their talents, therefore “the math equation” is simple and may be true for one person but false for another.

Nonetheless, the subjectivist fallacy remains a mistake in thinking for every subject that is ultimately anchored in facts and for any issue where individuals aim for objectivity.

This is due to the relativist fallacy’s rejection of providing objective or impartial evidence or arguments for believing or rejecting a proposition. Rather, it accepts or rejects a claim depending on the speaker rather than the topic.

It is worth noting that someone adopting the relativist fallacy may state that a claim is true or incorrect “for them,” implying that the problem is not objective. However, whether or not an issue is objective is determined by the topic, not the speaker.

It might be difficult to distinguish between objective and relative concerns. For example, someone may seek to establish moral claims based on their faith. If the topic is objective, the speaker should be able to present broad evidence to back up their views. 

However, if they are just expressing their religious views, the issue is relative. If the speaker claims that their assertion is (objectively) true for them. Yet they base their claim on their religious preferences rather than impartial facts. They have committed the subjectivist fallacy. To determine whether the speaker is using the relativist fallacy, question them about their objective and the scope of their remarks.

Examples of Subjectivist Fallacy:

  • “Eating salads more regularly might be excellent for you,” you tell a friend. “Salads are healthy, but not for me,” he explains.
  • Although smoking is dangerous, Chad claims that he has been smoking for years and is as healthy as a horse.
  • A pupil is told by the teacher that he is contradicting himself. “Contradictions may not be okay in your linear, authoritarian universe, but they are okay in mine,” the student responds.
  • Vehicles indeed pollute the environment, but my car doesn’t.
  • The form of the Earth is an objective reality based on observations that apply to everyone, not a question of belief or opinion. Earth can’t be both spherical and flat at the same moment, regardless of our preferences or belief.

How To Avoid Subjectivist Fallacy?

To avoid this error, one must base arguments on statements that are objective or universal. When the assertions on which an argument is objectively verifiable or universally applicable to a group of people. The logical necessity of the argument’s conclusion may be verified.

Remember that simply believing something does not make it true or beneficial. Even if everyone believed it, it would still not be true or good.

Remember, we study logic, science, math, ethics, and a variety of other subjects because we believe there are better and worse solutions, true and incorrect views, and valid and invalid arguments. There would be no purpose in studying these topics if simple relativism were true because every perspective would be equally true and excellent. Even relativistic thinkers do not subscribe to this rudimentary version of relativism.

The Ending Note 

Do not mix ambiguity with relativism. The fact that there are several conceptions of God (i.e. ambiguity) does not imply that all conceptions are relative. Once two individuals agree on a particular notion of God, they can explore the arguments for and against this God’s existence.

Understanding the overall framework of an argument may help you grasp the fallacy better. Arguments consist of a conclusion, which is a claim that the speaker is attempting to establish, and one or more premises. The statements, arguments, and evidence that support the conclusion refer to as premises. 

To be compelling, premises must be commonly accepted as true by everyone in the discourse. If the premises are controversial, they must be in favor of their argument until the premises are, at the very least, plausibly true. In summary, the conclusion is the claim that is supported, and the premises are the assertions that are being supported. The premises of the subjectivist fallacy are basically about the speaker rather than the issue in the conclusion.

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