Archive for the ‘postmodernism’ Category

We need to make a distinction between the claim that the world is out there and the claim that the truth is out there

November 14, 2009

We need to make a distinction between the claim that the world is out there and the claim that the truth is out there. To say that the world is out there, that it is not our creation, is to say, with common sense, that most things in space and time are the effects of causes which do not include human mental states. To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations. Truth cannot be out there–cannot exist independently of the human mind–because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there. The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. Only descriptions of the world can be true or false. The world on its own–unaided by the describing activities of human beings–cannot.

Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, Solidarity, CUP, 1989, p.5

But Rorty has assumed that language and thought can only exist in the human mind, and thus ‘truth’ only comes into being with human thinking. But God created and described the world before man existed (Genesis 1.3f. ‘And God said it was good’) and human language is a subset of God’s language (the image of God, Gen.1.26), the speaking God who spoke all things into existence Gen.1.

Advertisements

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order

November 10, 2009

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order. Were the British wrong to stop the forcible burning alive of a widow on her late husband’s funeral pyre?

Michael Green

To develop tolerance is to develop a story about stories, a perspective on all our values and beliefs

November 10, 2009

You can only be truly tolerant of other people’s realities by having found some new way to inhabit your own…To develop tolerance is to develop a story about stories, a perspective on all our values and beliefs.

Anderson, W.T. (1990). Reality isn’t what it used to be: Theatrical politics, ready to wear religion, global myths, primitive chic, and other wonders of the post-modern world. San Francisco: Harper & Row. p.267f.

In other words, Anderson prescribes that ‘real’ tolerance (to ‘be truly tolerant’, like him) you must (no room for tolerance there, you must) have a constructivist view of ‘the nature of human truth’ and ensure that you say you hold your beliefs provisionally and not as the last word. You must, in short, change your beliefs (albeit allowing local colouring) to be like Anderson’s. Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerated of course. Got that?!

The Most Important Person in the whole wide world is YOU

October 13, 2009

The Most Important Person in the whole wide world
is YOU and you hardly even know you. The most important person in the whole wide world is YOU c’mon we’ll show you. . .

Captain Kangaroo (Children’s TV) aired on CBS

This is what the kids are taught. Then once the lesson is learned, you get this:

Do what feels good for you. “The most important person in the whole world is YOU.” I heard that ditty on some Saturday morning cartoon thing when i was a kid and it’s stuck in my head.

I have had to learn hard lessons about looking out for No. 1 in my own life and so now, to help me stay focused on not worrying about everyone else so much, i keep these words on my cell phone when i open it up: “Be Good To You.”

Advice given on a blog

We can be what we want to be.

Billy Bragg, Sexuality

This is our narcissistic day and age

If our self-identity is rooted in anything we possess, whether it be our racial or cultural heritage, educational ability, theological scholarship, wealth, social prestige, religious devotion, ‘meritorious works’, political power, moral achievments, or whatever, that identity will always divide us from others who lack that particular possession

October 13, 2009

If our self-identity is rooted in anything we possess, whether it be our racial or cultural heritage, educational ability, theological scholarship, wealth, social prestige, religious devotion, ‘meritorious works’, political power, moral achievments, or whatever, that identity will always divide us from others who lack that particular possession. Language, Culture, Religion, Education, Science…all these, while either neutral or good in themselves, become causes of human division whenever they are sources of human identity. And they become sources of human identity when we reject the identity God confers on us. The attempt to ‘make ourselves’ through what we do, in whatever area of human action, stands in contradiction to divine grace.

Vinoth Ramachandra, The Recovery of Mission pp.266-7

The inconsistency of Rosemary Radford Ruether

October 8, 2009

Let us hear one of Rosemary Radford Ruether’s Olympian pronouncements on the relation of the religions. She…delivers her verdict that ‘”The idea that Christianity, or even the biblical faiths, have a monopoly on religious truth is an outrageous and absurd religious chauvinism.’ yet the assumption that underlies the thinking of most of the contributors to the Myth of Christian Uniqueness is that a liberal pluralism does, in effect, have a monopoly on religious truth by allowing religions to be seen in their proper context. It alone provides the vantage point from which the true relation of the religions can be seen. Is this not also an ‘outrageous and absurd’ imperialism? ruether effectively treats her own religious position as privileged, detached, objective and correct, whereas that of Christianity…is treated with little more than scorn and sneer.

Alastair McGrath, The Christian Church’s Response to Pluralism, JETS 35 (1992) 494

I want Brooklyn christened but I don’t know into what religion yet

October 6, 2009

I have a sense of spirituality. I want Brooklyn christened but I don’t know into what religion yet.

David Beckham

How postmodernism kills science

October 4, 2009

In his review of Higher Superstition, Arthur R. Kantrowitz wrote in Physics Today (January 1995): “The pigeonholing of science as a white, European, bourgeois, male, etc. view of the world is taken seriously by many members of the humanities and social science faculties of our leading universities and by literary intellectuals generally. To such demystifiers, the knowledge produced by science is no more reliable than that produced by Rother ways of knowing.

As Gross and Levitt put it, “Once it has been affirmed that one discursive community is as good as another, that the narrative of science holds no privileges over the narratives of superstition, the newly minted cultural critic can actually revel in his ignorance of deep scientific ideas.

The left’s flirtation with irrationalism, its reactionary rejection of the scientific worldview, is deplorable and contradicts its own deepest traditions. …The literary intellectuals control most of the undergraduate years of people who go on to become teachers, lawyers and journalists. To an alarming degree they have broadcast the proposition that science is too dangerous, and they have given prominence to ‘other ways of knowing,’ which they have put forward as more politically correct.

source

Postmodern hypocrisy

September 16, 2009

Postmoderns denounce the pretence of those who claim to view the world from a transcendent vantage point from which we are able to speak imperiously to and on behalf of all humankind. Postmoderns have replaced this Enlightenment ideal with the belief that all claims to truth — and ultimately even truth itself — are socially conditioned.

Stanley Grenz, A Primer On Postmodernism, p. 38

Postmoderns are right on to decry the hubris of Rationalism. But postmoderns hypocritically won’t apply this to themselves and allow a ‘special case’ for their ‘transcendent vantage point’ from which they claim all truth claims are ‘socially conditioned’ – an implicit claim to omniscience.

Three baseball umpires are sitting around over a beer

September 16, 2009

Three baseball umpires are sitting around over a beer, and one says “There’s balls and there’s strikes and I call them the way they are“. Another says, “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and I call ’em the way I see ’em.” The third says, “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and they ain’t nothin’ until I call ’em.”

Anderson, W.T. (1990). Reality isn’t what it used to be: Theatrical politics, ready to wear religion, global myths, primitive chic, and other wonders of the post-modern world. San Francisco: Harper & Row. p. 75

Anderson exaplins that the first umpire is the Modernist, the second a sceptic and the third a postmodernist – reality is defined by the individual and so there are as many ‘realities’ as there are observers.