Simplified Core Issue of Question:
Do matters of opinion always fall under the umbrella of "subjective" by default?

Original Question:
If everyone in the world were an identical clone,
then would opinions be considered objective?

(assume they share all thoughts + opinions about all subjects)
(assume this will not change)
(focus on the meaning of "objective", rather than the philosophy of the hypothetical)

Rephrased: does "subjective" still encompass opinions when an opinion is universal.
(regarding when to use "objective" vs "subjective")

Background: I ask this because I have always seen the word subjective used to mean the subject referenced "is a matter of opinion", or "up for debate".

But if there is no disagreement, never has been disagreement, and there will continue to be no disagreement, it's not "up for debate". I don't know how to incorporate this nuance into my present understanding of what "subjective" means.

Basically, can matters of opinion (contrast with verifiable, or measurable matters of fact) ever cross over to "objective"? or do they remain "subjective" even when you have a situation where every individual agrees.


"Everyone agrees that causing pain, for its own sake, is morally bad."

In a (hypothetical) world where everyone has always, currently, and in the future will agree to something, do you still call this matter subjective or does it become objective when it is universally agreed upon?

@ put on hold as unclear what you're asking:

I thought this was straightforward, but I have clarified and added more information
to explain

  1. why I asked this (not in jest)
  2. the nuance (/distinction) I was unsure about
  3. an application that shows how this question is important

  • 3
    An opinion is not objective because it is universally held.
    – TRomano
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:36
  • 2
    An "opinion" is "subjective" if it depends on the judgment and/perception of the individual. Since essentially everything that a human thinks is dependent on perception, one can argue that it's all "subjective".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2016 at 0:29
  • 2
    (I'm guessing this question has been tossed around extensively by philosophers. It's really a question of philosophy, not English.)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2016 at 0:34
  • 2
    In case you're wondering, from a purely technical standpoint there can never be a human observation which is "objective" -- there is always a "subjective" component. (And that's my objective opinion on the matter.)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 30, 2016 at 2:40
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's so deep and philosophical and not simply about English language.
    – NVZ
    Apr 30, 2016 at 6:12

2 Answers 2


An opinion is still subjective if everyone has always, currently, and will always have it.

Consider the definitions of subjective:

  1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought

  2. pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual (here)

Now consider whether or not everyone having an opinion would make that opinion any less mental, or any less characteristic of an individual. It would not. It would still be mental and it would still be of an individual.

We can simplify your thought experiment to pump this intuition. Consider a world where there is only one individual and this individual has a single unchanging belief. His belief is that chocolate ice cream is tasty. In this scenario, we're still inclined to say that this belief is subjective, even though (by hypothesis) it's unchanging and shared by everyone.


If everyone had the same opinions, those opinions could still be opined as subjective, but the state could not last long since the people would be subject to different experiences henceforth (since people are spatially distinct).

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