This post is a result of considering the comments from my previous post.
Perhaps with the aid of some thoughtful comments by my readers I’ll be more able to quickly clean this draft up into something coherent.
If there is any philosophy that can eventually be scientifically proven, existentialism appears to be it. One of the primary tenets of existentialism is that human experience and all things meaningful are inherently subjective. The limits of human knowledge can easily be demonstrated. So at least in a general sense, subjectivity can be shown as part of the human condition by that observation.
One’s understanding of truth and meaning can likewise be shown as subjective assuming neuroscientists eventually pinpoint how these ideas are constructed in the brain. This is not to assert that truth and meaning cannot transcend subjective experience, but that the intrinsic subjectivity of humanity necessitates equally subjective ideas. Thus, any absolute or transcendental truths are outside the scope of human understanding and verifiability. Even scientific objectivity is ultimately subjective in the sense that it’s always relative to human experience.
Science depends on the validity of the observer. Studying the observer has the power to validate science itself by showing that observable reality is superior to other possible realities because it is the only reality we experience. It is ‘superior’ in a subjective sense as that’s the only sense we have. Perhaps to an absolute being, absolute reality is superior. However, we are not absolute beings.
Scientists can verify a fact with rigorous, peer-reviewed experiments. Philosophers can question the nature and scope of that fact, but my argument is that such questioning is pointless. The only reality we experience is the reality we observe. It follows that the only truth we experience is the truth we observe. What purpose do truths outside our experience serve? And if we cannot observe them, how can we possibly know or understand them?
In a sense, existentialism is like a philosophical version of Einstein’s relativity. The only truth we can know is relative truth. We are our own frame of reference. And although we can imagine what it’s like to see things from another point of view, we must always compare and contrast with our own perceptions in the end.
Agreement with others does not make a perception more likely to be absolute. It only shows a likeness in observational capacity with members of our kind. We could all be dreaming the same dream, and in absolute terms, all truth would be illusion. But that’s irrelevant. What we experience is real because it’s what we experience. Reality’s nature is beyond observation and is consequently beyond human knowledge and significance.