In my article, "Critical Thinking About Critical Thinking," I gave some examples of anti-reason anti-mind ideas that are being foisted on every aspect of culture and society by the cultural Marxists and postmodernists. Some of those ideas are so evil, it is easy to dismiss them as mistakes, or unintentional. I assure you they are quite intentional, and every bit is dangerous as they seem. Here is the postmodernist side of this assault on knowledge and reason, in all it's glory.|
The following is from The article, "The Postmodern Paradigm," by Brent G. Wilson, professor of Information and Learning Technologies at the University of Colorado Denver. These professors are "teaching" those who will develop the curriculums for your children's schools, and those who will be teaching your children.
[NOTE: I chose this example of postmodernist drivel, because it is a little more cogent than most such "explanations." There are endless examples of this..., well I hardly know what to call it, but it permeates every university and all public schools today. Here are some examples: one is Semiotics and the Deconstruction of Conceptual Learning, another is Approaches to Po-Mo, and another
Postmodernism and Its Critics.]
The following is from the section, "An Introduction to Postmodern Thinking."
[My comments follow the quotes.]
I have decided that the best way to provide a conceptual overview
is to tell a simple story. This story is not true, but it has
some truth in it. It is meant to serve as a scaffold for making
sense out of the word 'postmodern.'
This paragraph is typical postmodernism, which essentially denies that anything is "true."
The ancient worldview. In many ways, the ancients of Greece
and Rome were a lot like us. They faced some of the same questions
we face now-namely-How is it that we know things? How can we get
at the truth? How is the world made up? The ancients recognized
that appearances can be deceiving-that what looks reliable and
stable on the surface may actually be in flux and changing. How
can we get at the way things really are? To address this
problem, the ancients differentiated between the world that we
see with our eyes and the "real" world, which was perfect,
whole, and divine.
That the "real world" is not the world we "see with our eyes," is an idea thrust into philosophy by the sophists, especially the chief sophist, Plato. This wrong-headed piece of "rationalism" has plagued philosophy ever since. Though nearly corrected by Aristotle, it has nevertheless dominated, in some form, every bad (that is most) philosophies throughout history.
The divine, in fact, was what made it possible
for us to catch glimpses of the "real," idealized world.
Left to our own inclinations, we see imperfection, weakness, and
lots of jagged edges. With the help of divine logic and mathematics, the jagged edges become smooth, and the perfect thing-behind-the-thing is made manifest to us. Concepts are divine revelations of the way the world really is-our everyday usage of "ideas" stems from the ideal forms sought by the ancients.
More Plato. The so called "ideal" forms of Plato existed in some "ideal" place and it was only these ideal forms that were "real," according to Plato, and all the things we "see" are just the impression of the ideal forms. How Plato knew this no one asked, except for a handful of later philosophers who knew it was all a pipe-dream, a pipe-dream that almost every philosopher since has simply accepted.
There is another obfuscation here: the suggestion that "logic" and "mathematics" were related to the mystical, i.e. "Divine." That false idea of the nature of mathematics and logic is retained to this day in many wrong philosophies.
The modern worldview. The ancient view of things dominated
our thinking for many years, in fact through the Medieval Era.
Beginning with the Renaissance, however, we gradually shifted
our focus. Taught to look to God for truth-and for God in the
Church and in received texts-many bright thinkers instead started
to believe their own eyes and faculties.
The only part of this that is correct is that the Aristotelian view of reality being exactly what one saw, began to dominate, once Aquinas reintroduced Aristotle to Western intellectual thought. That was hardly the false dichotomy this postmodernist makes it--it was not revelation vs. one's own eyes. Most of the scientists and Aristotelian philosophers, like Newton and Locke, also believed in God, though not all did. The rest of the philosophers, following Locke, beginning with Berkley and Hume, immediately abandoned Aristotle, destroying the little progress made in philosophy during this period.
Rather than God assuming the central role in the universe, man himself became the standard for judging the truth of things. Man's intellect was capable of discerning truth from error. Certain defined methods for discovering truth and evaluating evidence came to be considered reliable and sufficient for gaining access to the "truth." Superstition and tradition were replaced by rationality and the scientific method. Technology and the progress of science would signal a corresponding progress in society, until man perfected himself and controlled nature through his knowledge and tools.
There was a conflict, but it was not between man's intellect and God's revelation, but the individual mind versus religious authority, and of course it was much more complex than that. The real difference of course was that all those who made progress in the sciences and philosophy knew the world they saw was the real world--as Da Vinci said, "to see, is to know." What has been smuggled in here is a view that only came at the very end of the enlightenment, after the philosophers had completely canceled any progress that had been made in the field by the likes of Bacon and Locke. That smuggled in concept is the tacit assumption that science and technology were about "progress in society," and, "man perfecting himself." This is a complete reversal of the objective view, that the purpose of intellectual inquiry was to discover the principles by which the nature of man and world could be understood. The new view, introduced by the likes of Comte, the father of "positivism" and inventor of "sociology" turned philosophhy into the subjective pursuit of some presumed social prefection.
Still, philosophers troubled themselves over the same questions
of how do we know the truth? Kant realized that we will never
really get at the way things really are, but that we can
get pretty close-we create schemas in our mind that roughly match
up with how things are. The word 'phenomenon' comes from Kant,
and means essentially "close to the real thing.|
Over the years, however, it became clear to philosophers that
there remained an insurmountable gulf between ourselves and the
truth. We live in a specific time and place, conditioned by a
particular culture and set of experiences. Without God to connect
us to the truth, how can we get there? How can we transcend
our limitations and reach beyond ourselves to the way things really
are? These are tough questions that have not gone away through
The truth is, the "tough questions" have gone away many times. They went away with Aristotle, Abelard, Bacon, Locke, and most recently Rand, for example. But reality haters and sophists keep dragging these ancient falsehoods back in, each time couched in new rhetorical language. And it's always the same refrain, "we can't ever really know the truth." It was not Kant that reintroduced these lies, but Hume, and every philosopher influenced by him has embraced those lies. Kant's version of the lies is more subtle than some others, but it is still the same fib--the world we see is not the real world. None of these liars ever feels constrained to tell us how they know about that so-called "real world" that we can never know.
But here is also introduced the postmodern bunkum that not even Kant dreamed of. What keeps us from knowing the truth? It's because "we live in a specific time and place, conditioned by a particular culture and set of experiences." How does where one live change the truth? Is the law of gravity different if one lives in China rather than San Francisco; do pregnancies have different causes in India than they do Paris? Hang on, it gets worse.
The postmodern worldview. 'Postmodernism', as the term
implies, is largely a response to modernity. Whereas modernity
trusted science to lead us down the road of progress, postmodernism
questioned whether science alone could really get us there. Whereas
modernity happily created inventions and technologies to improve
our lives, postmodernism took a second look and wondered whether
our lives were really better for all the gadgets and toys.
Nobody ever thought the purposes of science and technology were to, "lead us down the road to progress," but in fact they have. They have provided everything that makes life both enjoyable and worth living, and the average person in the advanced Western societies enjoys a level of prosperity, comfort, health, and longevity never even dreamed of before the eighteenth century.
It's not the, "gadgets and toys," that represent the benefits of science and technology, it's antibiotics, electric lights, indoor plumbing, food production and availability of affordable heated and cooled homes, communication and transportation and inexpensive clothing, and every other benefit that makes human life possible, and worth living. To identify the benefits of the industrial revolution with "gadgets and toys," is the typical trick of these sophists to identify things in terms of non-essential trivialities, while ignoring the essential and true values.
Postmodernism looked at the culmination of modernity in the 20th century-the results of forces such as nationalism, totalitarianism, technocracy, consumerism, and modern warfare-and said, we can see the efficiency and the improvements, but we can also see the dehumanizing, mechanizing effects in our lives. The Holocaust was efficient, technical, coldly rational. There must be a better way to think about things.
"Guns kill people," is the mantra of those who despise gun rights. Of course "guns" do not kill people, people kill people, and they sometimes use guns to do it, but have also use knives, and spears and bows and arrows. Are the post modernists really so stupid they do not know that science, technology, and machines, even "gadgets and toys," do not cause nationalism, totalitarianism, technocracy, consumerism, warfare, ancient or modern, and do not dehumanize anyone. All of those evils are works and choices of men, men who accepted the absurd and evil philosophies spawned by Hume and Kant, the same philosophies that ultimately produced postmodernism, which is having the same destructive result in mordern society.
What kind of evil mind could describe the Holocaust as "efficient, technical, and coldly rational." Since when is the wanton destruction and waste of human life "efficient." How is the misuse of technology for mass murder of people "technical?" How is the embracing of a vile anti-human ideology like Nazism "rational." This is exactly what postmodernism is. It is the systematic reversal of every value and principle by which men understand the world and make their choices. It gets worse.
So what about the age-old questions about truth and knowledge?
A postmodernist might say, "Truth is what people agree on,"
or "Truth is what works," or "Hey, there is no
Truth, only lots of little 'truths' running around out there!"
Postmodernists tend to reject the idealized view of Truth inherited
from the ancients and replace it with a dynamic, changing truth
bounded by time, space, and perspective.
It is difficult to know whether anything a person whose mind has been corrupted by postmodernism says or writes really means anything. At the risk of analyzing the rantings of a lunatic for meaning, I'll try. Everything is wrong with this of course. "Truth is what people agree on," is called consensus, and no truth is established by consensus. It was once the consensus that the world was flat, that heavier than air human flight was impossible, and that microbes spontaneously appeared from dust or dampness. "Truth is what works," is called pragmatism; but truth is not about how anything does or does not work, but what is or is not a correct description or explanation of things. It has been pointed out that many things, "work," which are neither true or right. Totalitarianism works, at least for the rulers. Look at China. "There is no truth, only lots of little truths," doesn't mean anything at all.
You will notice that postmodernism never explains what is meant by the word truth. Truth, if they ever use it, is always described by example. The reason for this is complex and has to do with the fact that postmodernists have generally swallowed the absurd epistemology of the logical positivists, who ultimately regard every word as vague and with no exact definable meaning.
So briefly, I will define truth. Truth is an attribute, and it pertains to only one class of things, propositions. A proposition is a statement that asserts something such as an attribute, a state, a relationship, or fact about something else. If what a proposition asserts is correct, that is, if what is asserted is actually the case, the proposition is true; that is, the statement is a truth. If what a proposition asserts is incorrect, that is, if what is asserted is not actually the case, the proposition is false, that is, the statement is not a truth.
Reality is all there is, the way it is. Reality is what it is independent of anyone's awareness or knowledge of it. Every statement about any aspect of reality that is correct is true, and any statement about any aspect of it that is incorrect is false. There really never has been a concept of "the truth" in some ultimate mystic sense (outside of religion, of course), but since reality is all there is, the way it is, and since everything that exists has some nature and some relationship to everything else, and those natures and relationships are what they are, even if no one knows what they are, if all of that could be reduced to statements that correctly described it, that would be, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," to coin a phrase.
Rather than seeking for the unchanging ideal, postmodernists tend to celebrate the dynamic diversity of life.
If you think this last sentence means anything, it does not. It is not intended to have a meaning, it is intended to produce an effect. It is intended to drive an emotional wedge between two aspects of a young persons developing mind, between his thirst for knowledge and objective truth, and his natural sense of interest and pleasure in others, especially others who are interesting because of their diverse knowledge, experience, and abilities. It is intended to obscure the fact that there is no dichotomy, no fundamental conflict between inviolable principles and appreciation of human differences.
While every human being is unique, and no two human beings will ever be the same in every way, their nature as human beings is the same for them all—it is what makes them all human beings.
Physiologically, all human beings have an animal nature that requires certain things of them. They all need water and food, they all need shelter from the elements in most environments, and they all need clothing in most environments. The most important thing all humans share is their psychological nature. All human being must live by conscious choice. That means every conscious act of a human being must be consciously chosen. In order to make choices about anything, knowledge is required—at a minimum what choices are available, what the consequences of possible choices will be, and which consequences are the best for us must all be known. The need for knowledge is universal, it is an absolute, and inviolable principle about the nature of human beings.
Since knowledge itself is about reality, all true knowledge about the same aspects of reality will be the same for all human beings. If something is a deadly poison, like abrin, it is a poison, no matter what country you live in, what culture you grew up in, what color you are, what your sexual orientation is; if you ingest abrin, you'll die.
Knowing these absolute truths has no limit on anyone's relationship with anyone else, and in fact it makes all relationships more meaningful and purposeful.
The postmodernist view is, "we can't know anything for certain. Those
rosary peas look pretty. Let's chew on some, and celebrate diversity. Let the party begin."]
[NOTE: Most of this article is an update of the 2010 article, "Postmodernism, A Psychosis."]