-2

Sorry for the long text, but I need to explain my thoughts well.

When it is said that postmodernism gives equal space to all forms of thought, many people think it means they are giving space to non-religious thought. I don't agree. See this sentence, from other post:

"Western religions usually assert a single source of truth and so are increasingly required [by postmoderns] to take a back seat in many forms of public expression."

Actually, western religions were discredited by modern science and philosophy, for instance Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, Marx. This movement was so strong that it attacked capitalism with the help of a non-abrahamic faith (the faith that the capital should not be given more value than the people).

I see postmodernism as a counter-attack: "modern science is just as valid as any other source of knowledge". Many authors use localized evidence, citing examples of bad scientists that thought they knew everything better than local peoples, but ignoring the many scientists that worked to get knowledge exactly from local peoples. This authors also say that "modern science is deterministic", when any scientist (of the "hard sciences" fields) knows that modern science is probabilistic, not deterministic - it gives us more or less confidence in this or that hypothesis, it never gives us certainty. This is even more evident in biology, where biodiversity implies exceptions to almost all known "rules".

Some of the tactics of these authors is to hide their usual lack of meaning behind a tall wall of dense prose, senseless phrases and illegible paragraphs. When applied to undergraduate students around the world, their effect is: 1) the density of the text makes the student think that a) the author is really ingenious, and b) that the student itself is a stupid; and 2) the lack of scientific training (maths, statistics) makes the student accept without doubt those scarce clear passages where modern science is attacked ("I've finally understand something!").

Finally, putting the scientific/logic work in doubt, the power is not given to "the peoples", but for those that already have the infrastructure, the foundations, the mechanisms, the journals, newspapers, radio and tv stations, the book publishers, the buildings, the network of high capilarity of workers preaching in every small or big city in almost every country. I think it's because of postmodernism that we're watching this XXI century recrudescence of religion, and I think it was their "hidden agenda" that abrahamic religion regain the power to do what they have ever done: indoctrinated and enslaved the masses.

So I want to ask the philosophers here: does this "metanarrative" make sense to you? Is postmodernism pro abrahamic religions (in a disguised way)?

  • 2
    Strange question. Postmodernism is not a doctrine or a body of coherent knowledge, so I am not sure how it can be pro or against anything. But even if we agree that some postmodern thought regards reason with suspicion, this does not mean that it automatically favors the "opposite" - unreason or faith. – Dzmitry Tsapkou Mar 28 '14 at 9:34
  • Not a cohese doctrine, but it has some common presumptions. Perhaps it doesn't favor the "opposite" directly, @Dzmitry, but as an indirect consequence. Not sure if it was intentional, though. – Rodrigo Mar 28 '14 at 13:46
  • 4
    You assume that modern science discredits religion, specifically citing Darwin. Darwin never discredited religion. In fact when asked if what he thought about God, Darwin responded "A dog may as well contemplate the workings of the mind of Newton. Let each man believe what he can." You should read some of the philosophical musings of Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Bohr, Eddington, to name a few before you say that modern science discredits religion. I also don't think that Derrida's writings on logocentrism and negative theology are pro-abrahamic. – Swami Vishwananda Aug 31 '14 at 4:43
2

Since you didn't provide a specific author, I'll try to summarize then defend postmodernism as a whole, which is impossible since postmodernism is not one belief and critically any attempt to do so will fall short because of the often-conflicting beliefs of the different postmodernists.

I see postmodernism as a counter-attack: "modern science is just as valid as any other source of knowledge".

In general, postmodernism pisses off people that are committed to objective truth, but it does so indiscriminately. Postmodernism is not one specific belief, but a short and mostly incorrect summary of it would be that it says some objective truths aren't as objective as we think and also says that objective truth can lead to evil. Maybe you're referring to a specific author which we could provide more useful answers to?

This authors also say that "modern science is deterministic"

Again, I don't know who you are talking about, but it's likely that their saying science has bias (this is the other thing much of postmodernism says: we have no clue how much bias we have (yep, that's how bias works) (and postmodernism has examples of this, even if they are complex)).

modern science ... never gives us certainty

Sure, but we still make decisions based on that uncertainty (and bias).

Some of the tactics of these authors is to hide their usual lack of meaning behind a tall wall of dense prose, senseless phrases and illegible paragraphs.

Briefly, mostly wrong, but probably the only thing that applies to a significant portion of postmodernists: They do that to confuse you and that is good because confusion causes us to question our beliefs (and therefore biases). Obviously specific authors have their own reasons.

their effect is: ... 2) the lack of scientific training (maths, statistics)

????

makes the student accept without doubt those scarce clear passages where modern science is attacked

and that is good, because the passage challenges us to look at the biases in modern science

Finally, putting the scientific/logic work in doubt, the power is not given to "the peoples", but for those that already have the infrastructure

Science is infrastructure just as much as anything else.

I think it's because of postmodernism that we're watching this XXI century recrudescence of religion

Nah. Postmodernism hates religion just as much as science that claims it has objective truth. And it likes science that continuously reevaluates it's foundations.

It does however attack the way in which society interprets some science, but only in specific cases that are identifiably bad. It's likely that you author is also generalizing this: society uses science to justify it's biases and science itself is affected by those biases, so be critical of people that claim "science" as a reason because they probably have biases that they are doing so because of and also by doing so reinforce those biases.

Also correlation is not causation.

So I want to ask the philosophers here: does this "metanarrative" make sense to you? Is postmodernism pro abrahamic religions (in a disguised way)?

Not at all. You'll find plenty of Marxist postmodernists, for example. It's true that some postmodernists (or most) don't see anything objectively wrong with religion, but that's easily explained by the fact that many don't believe in the moral value of objective truth (so what if it's true? it's bad (usually something like causing people to kill others, but postmodernists differ on their value systems) (in fact I'd say political correctness is postmodern)), so even if religion is objectively false, that doesn't make it objectively bad.

  • "They do that to confuse you and that is good because confusion causes us to question our beliefs": I've noticed that the opposite is often true - it irritates and annoys people enough that they attack post-modernist prose. – Mozibur Ullah Aug 31 '14 at 8:57
0

Modernity could be characterised as beginning with Descartes doubt; Post-modernism is doubt essentialised; Post-Modernity may simply be a transitional moment; a moment that is nay-sayer to all philosophies.

Personally, I prefer the doctrine of anekantevada in Jain Philosophy that allows all (serious) perspectives both truth & falsity.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.