The Pitfall Of Confusing Taste For Fact
We humans find it all too easy to jump to conclusions and judge other people. Many of us have an unfortunate habit of passing judgment on other people’s inherent worth based on extremely scant evidence. Snobbishness is a mindset that too many of us too easily fall into.
We tend to judge people based on over-simplistic criteria. We see arbitrary features of other people, such as their taste in music, art, or food, as bad indictments on their overall character and quality as human beings.
Mistaking The Subjective For The Objective
We hold our own tastes and opinions to be sacrosanct and right. We mistake our preferences for objective truths, and privately consider them evidence of our noble, refined souls.
When another person’s tastes deviate from our own, we all too often judge the other person to be objectively wrong, foolish, and sometimes even an inferior quality human. This propensity to cast judgement and look down our nose snobbishly is an ugly part of human nature.
We believe that how we happen to see the world is; factually correct, and that other people should see the world in the same way we do. Neither of these beliefs is true. This is the pitfall of confusing taste for fact.
The Pitfall Of Confusing Taste For Fact
In reality, how we see the world is very often not factually correct or objectively accurate. Our view of reality is riddled with biases. We view reality through a dense fog of subjective stories, opinions, notions, and beliefs that have precious little connection to objective reality.
We spend much of our time (perhaps all of it) in a subjective dream state, utterly engrossed in the stories and dramas that exist only inside the pitch black interior of our respective craniums.
Therefore, given how thoroughly subjective the majority of our everyday experience is, there is absolutely no reason to expect other people’s experience of ‘reality’ to be similar to our own. Most people are tremendously unlikely to see the world in the same way that we do!
Everything Is Subjective
Bottom line, the vast majority of our tastes and opinions are merely subjective preferences, and not objective truths in any way, shape or form.
You may believe with all your heart that Sigur Ros makes more meaningful, interesting and BETTER music than Justin Bieber, or that Chopin is superior to Garth Brooks, but that is mere subjective preference. There are millions of people out there that prefer Justin Bieber and Garth Brooks. And they are not wrong. Neither opinion is objectively right or wrong. There is no right or wrong. Subjective preference is all there is here.
Taste is subjective – in art, in food, in the vast majority of human values (although Sam Harris argues effectively in his book The Moral Landscape that certain moral values are, in effect, objectively true).
When we mistake our tastes for objective reality, we necessarily see other people, with different tastes, as objectively wrong. And often we believe that they are so wrong that they are inferior people.
If we fall for this illusion and believe that others are inferior due to their objectively incorrect preferences, we should know that other people are falling for the same illusion and thinking the exact same about us!
Karma comes into play here. And to the extent that we look down our noses at other people, we should expect them to look down their noses at us.
Rise Above Your Baser Instincts
Instead of falling prey to these all too human tendencies; to judge, to jump to conclusions, to infer the universal worth of an individual based on one small aspect of them, to mistake our subjective preferences for objective truths – we should rise above and be better.
Take responsibility. Be the change you want to see in the world. If you would prefer that your inherent value as a human being was not judged based on your taste in music or coffee, then extend that same gift of non-judgemental acceptance to everybody that you encounter.
You are not your taste in movies. And your favourite movie is not actually the best movie, it is simply your subjective preference.
So enjoy your preferences, but don’t expect that others should share them. And be careful not to judge others who do not share your tastes, because they are just as objectively right as you are.