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6.07.2015

From an email, postmodernism

[At least read the last paragraph below, interesting historical note...]

First, a definition of postmodernism is necessary:

"Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland notes that Postmodernism refers to a
philosophical approach primarily in the area of epistemology, or what
counts as knowledge or truth. Broadly speaking, Moreland says
"Postmodernism represents a form of cultural relativism about such
things as truth, reality, reason, values, linguistic meaning, the 'self' and other notions."[xxiii]
Though Postmodernism comes in many forms, there are three unifying values: (1) a commitment to relativism; (2) an opposition to metanarratives, or
totalizing explanations of reality that are true for all people of all
cultures; and (3) the idea of culturally created realities. Each of
these commitments are designed to deny that there is a worldview or
belief system that can be considered absolute Truth.
Postmodernism's most effective methodological tool, one used extensively in university
modern language departments, is known as Deconstruction, which means (1) that words do not represent reality, and (2) that concepts expressed in sentences in any language are arbitrary."

http://old.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/print.php?&ArticleID=5324

Basically it asserts that truth can't be known, or, there is no absolute truth, and they try to make you stop believing that language can carry any objective meaning.

George Steiner had a good passage describing them in their attacks on great literature in the preface to his book on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky:

"The Narcissist arrogance (the semiotic anatomist is axiomatically more intelligent, more knowing, more important than the text on which he operates), the espousal of a pseudo -scientific jargon, the covert thrill of violence implicit in current interpretative methods, raise larger issues."

Ultimately (and you'll see this in Pearcey's Finding Truth) postmodernist theory commits suicide by using language to assert language can't carry any truth. People with these unbiblical worldviews always have to make themselves an exception to their false idol assertions.


But to get more into the weeds, these post modernist theorists deny any "transcendental signified" (a metaphysical reality that grounds true meaning in language, what that John chapter 1 passage is about, grounding the Logos, the Word in the Triune God Himself) but only a gaggle of "transcendental signifiers" (humans and groups of humans making up 'truth' and what's true for one person or group is not true for another, etc.).


Into this void, or vacuum, steps the Devil and his anything goes evil.

Interesting historical point on this: the prisoners (everyday people, citizens) living in the Soviet Union vast police state were subjected to this kind of ideology because collectivist regimes like that want to make reality upside down. Nothing has meaning. Everything is arbitrary, laws, goals, rules, one's station in life, etc., etc. So historians have noted that Soviet citizens used the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to maintain their grasp of what is real. Stalin is on historical record saying that he regretted not banning the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. They became a lifeline to reality for the inmates of the Soviet police state. - C.

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