What's Really Wrong with PoMo?


What's Really Wrong with PoMo?

Kairos, ever the idealist and optimist opines:

The danger in it, of course, lies in the famous Chesterton line that a man who believes in nothing will believe in anything. But that's also the opportunity. An honest postmodernist can only forestall the inevitable, not prevent it. At some point he must come to examine his philosophy that says "there is no truth but I will it so" and declare that truth, too, null and void. And when he does, he will hopefully find a Christian or a Jew standing nearby to rush into the vaccuum in his heart.

And, with all good intentions falls into PoMo's most insidious trap. For you see, in true PoMo fashion, it may be more desirable not to be honest, as a thrust against the hegemonic oppression of the pale patriarchy. In fact, as a lineal descendant of atheistic existentialism, the point of PoMo is that reality is an infinitely mutable series of texts with no real meaning anyway, so why try to conform to something that suggests structure-- you write your own script, define your own reality. As with existentialism, it is as valid to define yourself by negation as by positive choices, and "Hell is other people;" those looking in and redefining you. (Given all this I cringe whenever I hear someone talk about a significant other, because philosophically they don't know what they are bound into. There can be only One Significant Other--ultimately only His Opinion is of any substance whatsoever. Digression mode off) The universe is chaotic, so too is PoMo philosophy, without apologies.

Remember, you are talking the philosophy of Paul de Man, a known Nazi sympathizer, who had no difficulty with the removal of a few Jews in order to "tidy up the story," and of Michel Foucault, who, knowing he was infected with AIDS had unprotected sex with estimated hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand partners before his death--an act he defended as a radical rebellion against the hegemonic and oppressive script that sought to define him from outside his own "text."

These are the people who give us feminist studies with the enormously unlikely concantenations such as the "Lesbian Phallus." (I kid you not, use Google, and look up Judith Butler and Lesbian Phallus, and you'll see all sorts of accolades for this physical impossibility.) Talk about divorcing reason from even a vestige of reality!

No, PoMo is insidious, dangerous, and evil (a fact that Kairos readily acknowledges), but to think that one can argue a committed PoMo beyond his blinkered thinking is to think a great deal of oneself. On the other hand, as is hinted and suggested by Kairos, "With God, all things are possible." With God, even the defeat of the PoMo defense against reality is a possibility. But this doesn't come from reasoned discussion on their grounds or defined territory, it comes through prayer and evangelism of lifestyle.

Most PoMo know there is something seriously wrong. The philosophy is rooted in nihilism and they realize that there is no center and if you look too closely everything will fall apart. Not exactly a philosophy that makes one warm and cozy. By seeing a luminous life, a life in complete union with Jesus Christ, a life of prayer and serenity in the midst of the admitted chaos of the modern world, there is concrete evidence that something exists beyond the enclosing (we should say entombing) walls of the abyss that stretches out to claim them.

Our first apologetics lesson is hospitality--to engage a PoMo not on the field of intellectual battle, nor necessarily even semi-intellectual discussion, but rather over a cup of coffee (or a bottle of beer for those so inclined) in the kitchen or living room (whatever room of your house is most warm and inviting). It is offering to bring back lunch if you are going out anyway, or picking up a soda, or any other of a number of small kindnesses that may be shown (one must be very careful if this is a PoMo feminist, as all such gestures are merely extensions of patriarchal control mechanisms and objectively "rape" in the workplace (gack! it feels like a hairball in my gullet to even think these banal phrases into being).

No, Kairos, my friend, do not be too hopeful about any of the approaches reason offers. As Jesus said of a different case, "Such as these are driven out only with much fasting and praying." Don't get too close (intellectually), or when driven out, you may find them entering you! PoMo is powerful poison, deadlier than tetrodotoxin. Nevertheless, all that said--Kairos is absolutely 100% correct about the last thing he says. If a PoMo adherent does eventually realize the logical trap he/she is in, we need to be standing by, ready to haul that person out of the mire--just take care not to get pulled in yourself--let Jesus do the hauling.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 23, 2002 4:55 PM.

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