Postmodernism

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The acknowledgement of the death of God is the beginning of Postmodern wisdom. It is also the end of Postmodern wisdom, for in the final analysis it is not “post” anything. It is simply the last dying gasp of the modern.

 

Our age, which more and more is coming to be called Postmodern, finds itself afloat in a pluralism of perspectives, a plethora of philosophies, but with no dominant notion of where to go or how to get there. A near future of cultural anarchy seems inevitable.

 

Postmodernism can be defined as “distrust of metanarratives.” No longer is there a single story that holds culture together. With Postmodernism no story can have any more credibility than any other. We cannot determine the “truthfulness” of language, we can only assess the “usefulness” of language.

 

Truth is whatever we can get people to agree to. Language is power. This is the realm of politicians and journalists.

 

Paraphrase: Sire, J. (2009) The Universe Next Door. 5th ed. (pp. 215-223) IVP Academic

 

Survey Questions:

 

- What is Prime Reality? What is really real? – The first important question is not what is real, or how we know what is real, but how language functions to construct meaning.

 

- What is the Nature of the World? - Nothing we think we know can be checked against reality as such. There is no reality outside of language.

 

- What is a Human Being? - Stories give communities their cohesive character. There is no substantial self. Human beings make themselves who they are by the languages they construct about themselves.

 

- What Happens at Death? - What if the activity of thinking does not require an agent but produces only the illusion of an agent? What if there is only thinking?

 

- Why is it possible to know anything? - The truth about the reality itself is forever hidden from us all. All we can do is tell stories.

 

- How do Postmodernists know Right from Wrong? - Ethics, like knowledge, is a linguistic construct. Social good is whatever society takes it to be.

 

- What is the Meaning of Human History? - The significance of human history, including my own history, is in flux.

 

- What personal, core commitments are consistent with your worldview? – Postmodernists couch their words in highly obscure language; scientific truth is just a literary technique used to get whatever they want.

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