Every now and then I get on a tear and step away from the Travel Blog theme . Instead, I revert back to the meaning behind my screen name: amicus veritae. For those who took Latin 101, it means “Friend of the truth.” This morning, I watched Christian comedian Brad Stine’s first DVD “Put a Helmet on!” and his Youtube clip refuting a professor’s slanted view of “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. Hence this entry:
Recently, I heard about this Christian professor at Oxford University, UK, who had lunch with a colleague. The colleague, a noted post-modernist, just wrote a book stating “There is no such thing as authorial intent.” In other words, the author of a book cannot give meaning; it is the readers who derive meaning. The Christian professor suggested that there is no point in reading the book then, since if the author claims there is no authorial intent, then the reader can claim there can be authorial intent and the reader would thus be right! How can a person declare authors give no meaning and yet expect everyone to take him seriously? And yet these guys have tenure in Oxford University, one of the world ‘s leading learning institutions?! Of course, you can’t fire these men for speaking out of both sides of their mouths.
Post modernists declare that there is no absolute truth; only experience matters. In the same broad umbrella of thought, they reject any modernist derivation of truth through reason. While Modernism has its own flaws, the concept that truths can be discovered and known and disseminated freely has been enshrined in many, if not all, higher learning institutions. Post modernism, however, ends up borrowing and having to borrow vocabulary from other philosophies. “Truth” is a Judeo-Christian, monotheist concept. “Reason” is often associated with the Enlightenment. The very concepts of tolerance and acceptance that post-modernists so like to taut is often in sharp conflict with the rejection of imposition of any standards. There has to be a “meta-logic” for deciding which sets of behavior is “acceptance” and thus defining “tolerance.”
Post modernists declare that there is no absolute truth; only experience matters. Guess what? That is an absolute statement.
Post modernists declare that any time a person declares something as truth, he or she is really trying to impose his or her truth everyone else. No one has the right to impose any truth on anyone else, they say. Guess what? Truths exist whether we like them or not. Example: the law of consequences (and its corollary, the law of retaliation). In order for something to be true, it must be correct 100% all the time. Its internal logic has 0% inconsistencies. In fact, we often unknowingly appeal to truths when we see injustice. A man strikes another person without cause; we appeal to the law of fairness and punishment that for every wrongdoing, there must be punishment. A man saves a woman who is caught in flood waters and we demand that man be recognized for his heroism. For him to be unrecognized, we would consider it an injustice. So yes, there are standards which exist beyond any construct a post modernist would argue.
As for the concept of moral or social constructs, there is a concept that sometime at the dawn of man we agreed that certain codes of conduct were acceptable and some were not. If we apply this theory, what is to stop us from meeting at a convention center tomorrow and reverse that decision? In a sense, we did that. The US Supreme Court did just that. They could not define obscenity so they let everything in. They decided private conduct, no matter how shameful, should not be regulated; not long after, by removing such taboos in private, such shameful private behavior became public behavior. Unfortunately, the concept of “constructs” still begs the question: by what standard have we decided to accept one construct over another? Why did we criminalize bigamy and polygamy for so long? Why is monogamy better? Is there something inherently better? Or did humans at the dawn of time just arbitrarily decide that? After all, isn’t there a song that goes: “One is the loneliest number?”
What’s next then? What comes after post-modernism? After all, post modernists reject reason, so going back to Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau is out of the question. They definitely reject pre modernist, revelatory truth. What people don’t always realize is that truth is always revelatory. If someone does not know the truth, one word describes that person: ignorant. The cure for ignorance? Revelation. Consider:
1. “Hey, the back of the line is that way.” I didn’t know; now I do.
2. “Hey, the speed limit is only 25mph.” I didn’t know, now I do.
3. “Hey, that girl already has a boyfriend.” You get the idea…
Sooner or later (but hopefully sooner), the core of post-modernism will crumble in the face of reality. Let’s hope it doesn’t take everyone down in the wreckage.
2 thoughts on “Why Post-modern will implode because of its inherent absurdity”
I have heard discussion that we are already post-post modernism. This recent article reflected with some of the things that I have seen in the youth, a lean more toward empiricism. To simplify it, I think that in a world bombarded with information, they are becoming more discerning in how they filter truth.
This presents its own challenges to the faith, maybe similar to what we saw in modernity, but with a different twist.
You raise a good point and thanks for sharing the article. However, whatever you call it – empiricism or cynicism, one must first examine WHY something ought to be rejected or accepted. Whether the words come from a politician or a professor, our worldview leads to standards which leads to decisions to accept or reject them. You also bring up faith. Faith too can be examined, but if you act blase or biased and accept the conclusions before the analysis, then it reveals hypocrisy and lack of intellectual integrity.