It’s common to hear people say Christians are biased, not objective.  How can we respond to this charge?  J.P. Moreland makes a distinction that I find helpful.  He notes that there are two ways to be objective: (1) psychological objectivity: the absence of bias (2) rational objectivity: the ability to tell the difference between good and bad reasons for a belief, whether or not you accept that belief.[1]

Humans are psychologically objective (50/50) only in areas we know nothing, or care nothing about.  Once we come to know something about a topic we typically go from being psychologically objective to psychologically biased, even if the degree of our bias is minimal.  Such bias is to be expected, and is good.  After all, what would be the use of studying out an issue/topic if after having studied it you could not draw a conclusion?  We should expect informed people to be psychologically biased.

But does the presence of psychological bias eliminate the possibility of being rationally objective?  Are we locked into our own culturally relevant way of viewing the world?  Is reason and argumentation useless for the person who is no longer psychologically objective?  No.  We all know this to be true because we have all had experiences in which we changed our beliefs on an issue because they were challenged by good arguments.  It should be clear, then, that our psychological bias (lack of psychological objectivity) does not eliminate our ability to be rationally objective.  Postmodernists understand this.  That’s why they try to reason with the modernists to change their worldview, while at the same time denying the validity of reason and argumentation!

[1]J.P. Moreland, “Truth, Contemporary Philosophy, and the Postmodern Turn,” a paper presented at the November 2004 Evangelical Theological Society meeting in San Antonio, TX.