Subjectivity refers to the situation of being a given subject. It used to show the quality of having experiences, beliefs, perspectives, desires, feeling and power. It is used for giving explanations to what affects and influences the judgement of people about reality or truth. Generally, subjectivity is a collection of experiences, perception, cultural or personal understanding, beliefs, and expectations specific to an individual.
In scientific research, subjectivity is a very delicate discipline. In carrying out quantitative research, I would argue that there is a need to maintain subjectivity at the lowest level. This is because most scientific analysis requires keen examination of the experiment or research being done. For example in the lab, when carrying out experiments one needs to concentrate on the progress and results of the experiment. From the results of the experiment or research, scientists can then reason out and make conclusions basing on subjectivity. My general point is that in science, at the early stages of research or experiment one needs to keep subjectivity at a zero levels. In religion, subjectivity has a lot of dominance. This is because it is easy to accept and understand any form of faith without necessarily holding it. In religion, one has to believe not to hold and see for the case of science. We only choose to believe God exists basing on our faith, but we can’t prove the existence of God objectively.
Objectivity is a great value in science. It shows how the science is practised and explains how the truth in science is discovered. In carrying out scientific research, I need facts that would keep me on tract. For example when carrying out a test in the lab, I need accurate measurements, so I do it practically and obtain my results irrespective of what a previous scientist who did the experiment before says about the experiment. The word truth is complicated because in defining it, one has to consider the perspective they are using. Truth is a factual event that can be determined objectively. Most scientific truths are objective whereas most religious truth is subjective. I am subjected to believe in a given religion, and I am subjected to believe the existence of God. Objectivity is minimal when it comes to religion because we can’t question and prove the existence of God. A person one who questions religion makes the risk of being branded as outline with the spirits and intolerant. Objectivity has a closer connection to knowing because it is what is objective that leads us to know the truth. In need to have objective information in my research in order to come up with the right conclusion. For example in carrying out census, I would learn that there are ten thousand people in a given community. This is information is objective because I obtained it from actual counting from each household. In my statistics from the objective knowledge I obtained, I may learn the death rate among adult, infant rate and birth, rate that eventually leads me to knowing.
For a researcher to escape subjectivity, embrace objectivity and prove to know, it depends on the research that is taking place. Consider a scientific research where experiments are involved. As a researcher, I need to embrace objectivity in conducting my research. At the same time, I need to have knowledge on the kind of work I am doing which brings in subjectivity. The fact is that the subjectivity is involved but at a very minimal level. For example in carrying out an experiment in chemistry, in the lab, then I notice there is a drop in temperature aside from what we know from information in books. I need to put up with my value and find out what the reason was for drop in temperature, different from the knowledge we know. This eventually will lead me to know. Therefore in conducting our research work, we should at first put emphasis on objectivity with little subjectivity, these will eventually lead us to knowing.
Pastor Rick Warren believes that our creator’s intention for each one of us to use our influence and talent to do well. This to some extend is true basing our argument on subjectivity. He is sure of himself as he talks. The real issue is how objective his argument is. Do I have any means to prove the intentions of God in any way and how do we approach God to ask him for us to know? All of this makes his argument subjective but not objective. Philosopher Dan Dennett, who advocates for religion to be incorporated in school, argues that human free will and consciousness are the result of physical processes. His argument is true, but it lacks objectivity. What research has he done and what viable information did he have to keenly study the human conscience in order to come up with an objective conclusion. Peshkin argues that, there is the need for subjectivity to be in any form of research and attacks scientists by saying that in as much as they claim that the subjectivity, has some percentage in the research, they are completely unconscious of it. Peshkin’s view is that all researchers should be attentive and abide by their subjectivity.
In any given research, subjectivity, objectivity and knowing should all be considered. My opinion is that at the beginning of any research one should put their subjectivity aside, maintain their focus by obtaining the information that is objective, and then finally relate it to subjectivity. All these will finally lead to knowing.