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Validity of a subjective argument

Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was a great scientific mind. In one of his letters dated 3rd January, 1954, to philosopher Eric B Gutkind, Einstein wrote about his concept of God. These are his words: “The word ‘God’ is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses.”

This statement is undoubtedly an unscientific statement by a scientific mind. This statement can be easily converted into another statement, that is ‘Belief in God is a natural urge of a man. Instead of being a human weakness, it is truly a rational finding of man.’

Einstein, as a scientist, was a believer of the notion that only an objective argument is a valid argument; a subjective statement may reflect one’s belief, but it has no credibility as a rational argument. In this sense, Einstein’s statement was against his own stand. If we take Einstein’s statement as a scientific statement, then it means that it was a valid statement. It validates the veracity of subjective thinking.

One can say that in principle, an objective statement and a subjective statement can both be valid statements. The real criterion is whether they stand rational scrutiny or not.


Here we have only two options: either reject Einstein’s statement as invalid, or if we accept it as a valid statement then we have no right to reject those subjective statements given by religious people. If one subjective statement is right, then all the subjective statements are right, provided they stand rational scrutiny.

When Einstein made this statement, perhaps he was not aware that by this he was demolishing the edifice of objective science. He was equating subjective argument with objective argument. The above example shows that this kind of contradiction in thought is widespread amongst scholars, not only among artists but also among scientists.

One can say that in principle, an objective statement and a subjective statement can both be valid statements. The real criterion is whether they stand rational scrutiny or not. If it stands rational scrutiny, the subjective statement is as valid as the objective statement.

This analysis will lead you to believe that the statement of the person was quite rational; consequently, a valid statement. Although in logical categorisation it was a subjective statement—that is, it was not demonstrable objectively.

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