We live in a society that has forgotten something essential to life: there is such a thing as objective truth. If you read the RNL regularly, you have heard Utah railing against what he calls post modernism. I agree with Utah. So, before we go any farther, let’s examine what post modernism means:
A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.
Postmodernism is “post” because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody – a characterisitic of the so-called “modern” mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philospher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism “cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself.”
Post modernism is the source of our modern belief that what is true for you may not be true for me, or that what you think is moral may not be moral for me. There is a simple problem with the notion of post modernism: IT IS WRONG! We can prove it is wrong. And this means everything that has been built on it is wrong because it was built on a fundamental fallacy.
Now, if you are a subscriber to post modernism, your first reaction to my assertion that your most basic beliefs are wrong would be to tell me “You can’t know that,” or “That’s your truth, but not mine.” OK, let’s prove that there is objective reality and truth in this world, and that it applies to everyone – and not just as a product of how we perceive this world.
This will actually be easier than you might think, and much shorter, too. All of logic is based on one simple statement that cannot be refuted or denied:
“Something either is, or it is not.”
OK, so the post modernist would immediately tell me that I can’t know anything is because it could all be imagined. I would counter with this well-known statement:
“I think, therefore I am.”
Our post modernist has no reply to this because, even if I have perceived reality incorrectly, I have still perceived it and that proves I am. It also proves the universe is. Whether or not we can say with certainty that we know the true nature of the universe or even of ourselves is irrelevant. We have proven that we are and the universe is by the very fact that we think, and this negates the fundamental principle upon which post modernism is built.
From this simple claim that something either is or is not, the rest of logic is built. Learning those rules and how to use them correctly is known as “right reasoning” (not right in the political sense, but right as in the correct way).
The same principle applies to morality. There are universal truths that are imbedded in all individuals not suffering from some sort of mental disease or defect (i.e. sociopaths). We all have an innate sense that some things are wrong. We are born with a sense of ownership. From the very start, even if we try to teach them otherwise, children have a sense of ownership of their things, and they know the difference between their things and their parents’ property. We all have the internal sense that our life belongs to us, and that it is somehow wrong to take another person’s life. Whether or not we conform to these moral imperatives, or if we manage to learn how to suppress or ignore them is irrelevant. What matters is they exist, and they are universally the same. This reveals the existence of a universal sense of morality. Once again, the post modernist has no answer to this.
Now, what will typically happen is the post modernist will twist the arguments to suit their purposes. The problem is, there is no rational reason to accept their arguments. In fact, their arguments are self-defeating. Just for the moment, pretend the post modernist argument is correct: there is nothing we can really “know” because we can’t be certain anything exists as we think it does. Now, ask yourself this, if they are correct, how can the post modernist even know what they are saying has any validity? How can they know their ideas are true and they are not perceiving them wrong? How can they even know the words they are using mean what they think they mean? But the post modernist would likely answer with something like “Exactly! Now you get it, we can’t “know” any of that.” To which we should reply, if you can’t “know” a stove is hot and you touch it and feel heat, how can you “know” you are feeling heat, or that the heat is coming from the stove? So please, Mr./Ms. post modernist, place your head on this stove and leave it there until you can tell me for sure whether or not it is hot or not and how we can “know” it is really heat you feel and that the heat is coming from the stove and not something made up in your mind. Then tell him/her you’ll be back as soon as he/she figures that out using post modern reasoning only.
You see, this “post modernism” is not new. In fact, it is ancient. These ideas were first postulated by a group of philosophers who called themselves “the skeptics.” Fortunately for Western society, these people actually tried to live their beliefs and, as a result, they died off rather quickly.
Whether or not we perceive the universe as it actually is doesn’t matter. How we perceive it is still real, even if it were an illusion. Ask yourself how long you would leave your head on that stove and why? This is a reality that applies to almost every aspect of how we interact with the world around us. If we perceive gravity to work as it does 100% of the time, what sense does it make to listen to someone who is arguing we can’t “know” gravity even exists, let alone that it works the way we think. It is sufficient to know that, if we step off a cliff, we are going to fall. The major flaw in the reasoning of the ancient skeptics and post modernists is that they have intelligence but lack all wisdom (or what some might call common sense).
It is not enough to know how to use logic or to do science; one must understand how to use them. Unfortunately, too many people in our society today have no understanding of this problem and have accepted that “science” and “reason” can explain everything about the universe and even our very existence. Unfortunately for these people, they believe this because they lack the wisdom and understanding to use logic and science correctly. Logic and science are just tools, and like any other tool, they can be used correctly to do good or they can be used the wrong way to do harm. For example: at one time, science and reason had “proven” that non-whites were inferior beings, but mankind understands this is not true because of our awareness of our innate sense of universal morality. We have a wisdom that comes from our understanding of the things that science and logic cannot “prove,” and that let’s us “know” that the things science has “proven” in the past were never true to begin with.
This is the danger of people who have been educated beyond their wisdom and education, yet have been allowed to assume positions of leadership and power. In the past, these people usually removed themselves from the equation due to their own ignorance. The problem today is that too many of the people in charge of our society and our social institutions have convinced themselves that there is validity in these failed ideas, and now they are forcing their failed ideas on the rest of society. This is why we are forced to continue with Keynesian economic policies; green energy programs and the notion that you can eliminate poverty by simply giving someone money they did not earn. Unfortunately for society, none of these ideas are true, but they all stem from the reasoning that has grown out of the post modern movement. If this insanity is not stopped and stopped soon, this time the skeptics/post modernists won’t destroy themselves, they will destroy us all.
But don’t worry, there’s a silver lining. If they do destroy society, you’ll never realize it because you won’t “know” it’s been destroyed because there is no objective truth to know.