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From my simplified understanding postmodernism claims ?:

  • there is no objective truth, only interpretation
  • there is no objective morality, morality usually represent the interest of the powers that be

From what I understand these positions were also held by Nietzsche?

  • When there is no neutral observer in the form of a God there can be no objective truth.
  • When there is no God, moral just represent human interests.

Nietzsche was also an ideological inspiration for fascism? The main philosophical difference between postmodernist "woke" and fascism seems to be the moral guiding principle? In the case of "woke" it is to fight for the "downtrodden" against the "oppressors". In the case of fascism, it is for the "strong" to rule over the "weak".

In my opinion, postmodernism polarizes and hurts the society. The thinking used by "woke" postmodernists could as well be used by fascists (4).

How can one argue against postmodernism for objective truth and moral without assuming a God?

Let me clearify a bit. "Woke" is a wide term. I think it is a good thing to work for social justice. However I also value logic and reason. “Some go so far as to say that science and technology—and even reason and logic—are inherently destructive and oppressive, because they have been used by evil people, especially during the 20th century, to destroy and oppress others.” (1)

This sort of thinking can give some crazy results. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture declared in an infographic that that rational thinking and hard work are white values.(2)

enter image description here

This does not seem rational and in fact racist. However the people at this museum are probably highly educated (in postmodernism). Since logic is evil, it is in their view not racist to say that logic is a white value. By saying so are they critizing white people and it is ok and imperative to critize white people since white people have more power than black people.

As another example of this unreason there is now feminist glaciology: "Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions." (3)

(1) Britannica:postmodernism

(2) Antiracism training

(3) Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research

(4) Seduction of Unreason: Post-Modernism and Fascism

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7 Answers 7

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Short Answer

How can one argue against postmodernism for objective truth and morality without assuming a God?

Post-modernist claims of pure subjectivism are largely hype. It's has been joked that a deconstructionist is someone who claims words are uncertain, but then calls out to their spouse for toilet paper when they've run out. At a bare minimum, all one needs to do is advocate for intersubjectivity, which is implicit in many schools of thinking. Many atheists of the Analytical and Continental traditions believe in some measured notion of objectivity, like Daniel Dennett and his heterophenomenology and Helmuth Plessner within his views on Philosophical Anthropology.

A large focus of philosophical anthropology is also interpersonal relationships, as an attempt to unify disparate ways of understanding the behaviour of humans as both creatures of their social environments and creators of their own values.[citation needed] It analyses also the ontology that is in play in human relationships – of which intersubjectivity is a major theme. Intersubjectivity is the study of how two individuals, subjects, whose experiences and interpretations of the world are radically different understand and relate to each other.[citation needed]

The objection, too, has already been raised that not all post-modernists are extremists in regards to the subjective. Excesses of post-modernism relativity were a favorite target of Noam Chomsky. Also, see the Chomsky-Foucault debate.

Long Answer

There's nothing confusing about your language. Spinoza, Descartes, and others pursued a path of rationalism, which despite their attempts to use it to prove God's existence in a way beyond faith, ultimately led Kant to Das Ding an sich, and the notion that the world cannot be known objectively. Whereas Kant recognized a phenomenon/noumenon dichotomy, radical postmodernist thinking carries it to an extreme when it claims not only can knowledge of the objective never be grasped, but that the objective doesn't exist at all. Whereas early rationalists were accused of nihilism, pantheism, and atheism, even when they were self-avowed Believers, post-Kant, Nietzsche and Marx and a host of others no longer feel the need to Believe.

Yet, truth and morality are not dead, so how can this be? The simple approach is to consider the philosophy of language. By the time of later Ludwig Wittgenstein, the notion of the language-game had become somewhat obvious. There is something inherent when two parties communicate that allows symbols, which are devoid of meaning, to elicit understanding. In the Analytical tradition post-Quinean naturalized epistemology, the emphasis is on linguistics and various theories of semantics. In Europe, more attention seems to be paid to semiotics. Both traditions essentially rest on the basis that humans have inherent, biological similarities that are central to shared meaning. From Plessner's Levels of Organic Life and the Human, pg. 272:

The physical characteristics of human beings thus only have empirical value... The human is tied only to the centralized form of organization, which forms the basis of his excentricity... the human finds himself in a world corresponding to the threefold structure of his position: outer world, inner world, and shared world...

and on the next page:

The integration of the organism into the spatiotemporal whole with its relative directionality includes the integration of the surrounding field in this one emptiness...

Thus, in plain language, when a human being and his internal self share one physical reality, the social relation, that is built on communication, verbal or otherwise, is guaranteed. To do violence to his prose, our empirical being is individuated, but identical in many regards.

So, to make a little clearer, humans have differences, but our commonalities and our ability to share spacetime allow for discourse. Thus, there are both objective AND subjective characteristics of existence, and neither excludes the other, except in radical theories like eliminative materialism, which says the mental is an illusion (whatever that means) or subjective idealism or flavors of solipsism which favors the mental. Now you can see why Cartesian duality might have become so popular. It accommodated theists by providing the pineal gland and way for an efficacious God, it didn't deny the material, and didn't deny the mental, and argued for the rational basis of knowledge, all in one theory!

In the Analytical tradition where science and language predominate discussion, there are theories of semantics that show how existence exists as somewhat scientifically real and somewhat instrumentalist. Here's a response where I try to characterize this dual nature of being to a PhilSE question I put together to outline a general argument that some, like distinguished linguist George Lakoff and his coauthor has made in his Philosophy in the Flesh. As a computer scientist and a believer in embodied cognition, I see large parallels between cognitive semantics and computer architecture. I won't bore you with the details, but I will provide a quick example to appeal to your intuitions.

Imagine two modems between computers, that are connected and interoperable. Now, each modem is capable of generating differing signals, so the signals might be seen as subjective. Modem A might use one code, and modem B must use another. If they do, they cannot communicate, and yet, if they do use the same code, they can interoperate and influence each other through spacetime. Now, when A sends a signal to B to transmit, B behaves because they share a physical and abstract architecture. They needn't be the same modem, but if they can function in the same way, then there's no problem, because they speak the same language. The hardware is objective. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. The software is subjective. You can program the driver to do whatever you want with signals, but it is the INTERSUBJECTIVE agreement between two modems that allows for the communication.

Now, in this extended metaphor radical deconstructionist claims that there's no objectivity whatsoever. But that's bunk, because both modems and people, despite having private mental states, can and do communicate. And those who argue for pure objectivity deny that the modems can be programmed, that there is one real way computers communicate and that it cannot change, except by the hardware designer or intelligent designer, if you prefer. The reasonable thinker takes the middle path, and simply recognizes the dichotomy. Don't deny the objective or the subjective, but just acknowledge there's a better model called intersubjective which accommodates both. The moment you replace hardware designer with natural selection that leads to altruism, communication, and morality, the analogy is rather defensible.

Summary

In the history of philosophy, there have been strong movements to eliminate obscurantism. There have been strong attacks on metaphysics, like those of the logical positivists and the ordinary language philosophers to get rid of the woo in philosophical debate. In the Continental tradition, where there is more focus on holistic theory placing man's mental life at a premium, the language is often repurposed instead of analyzed, but the pursuit is still the same. And in both major branches of philosophy after Kant, there is much in common (despite the lack of communication and much misunderstanding) in the advocacy of intersubjectivity as the philosophical theory to explain the basis of morality and meaning. But if you look, you can find philosophers who are quite at ease with morality based in biology as opposed to being imposed by a higher power. (See a response here for a general consensus among humanists in science on the origins of morality (PhilSE)).

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    Nice, detailed answer. Is this an excerpt from your phd? I couldnt have come up with such an answer and that many quotes, terms and links within 6 hours even if I had studied this material for 10 yrs before... Dec 10, 2021 at 14:05
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    @Csstudent1418 This is the by product of broad technical and philosophical reading almost thirty years. I only claim editorial prerogative.
    – J D
    Dec 10, 2021 at 15:42
  • Thank you. I understand it that you argue that humans have evolved trough natural selection to have similar observation of things and similar moral values? So, one person may think the sky is light blue and another one that it is dark blue. Rarely would someone think that the sky is green. The sky may not have any colour at all. It may not even exist. But the shared observation of a blue sky is sufficient for humans to interact with the physical world and each other.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 16:56
  • Likewise, would most people not think it would be moral to kill someone for sneezing. So civil society is not the result of God-given moral but natural selection. Anyways the above sounds like a great way to understand the world.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 16:57
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    @Andy Great thought! In fact, your example of colors is a literal example out of the linguistic canon of thought. The Ancient Greeks did not have a word for blue, and yet, when they talk about sky, such as in the Illiad, we are hardly confused. This notion as frequently discussed in the context of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis which delves into how human realities might be affected by language.
    – J D
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:43
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To summarize an answer that became lengthier than I first intended:

The woke and the fascists are both trying to bring about societal change away from the status quo as they see it. In that regard, their argumentation takes the same shape because they are trying to fix the same thing (they just want to apply different fixes).

However, this argumentation by itself is not moral or immoral. It is a tool. The label of morality is decided by the intention of the person/party wielding that tool.


The logic used by "woke" postmodernists could as well be used by fascists.

The scalpel used by a surgeon to save a patient could as well be used by murderers to kill their victim. That doesn't disprove the value of a knife (or any kind of sharp edge), nor does it prove that knives only cause suffering.

Nietzsche was also an ideological inspiration for fascism?

I'm not saying you outright claimed it, but beware of the difference between "X inspired Y" and "X was pro-Y". Nietzsche never claimed that his point was impossible to twist, abuse, misinterpret, or use for nefarious ends.

At its heart, when you look at knowledge (and truth, which is nothing more than knowledge that claims itself to be correct) as a data transfer between humans, what Nietzsche's point comes down to is that:

  • There is no universal test to see if the knowledge you received is 100% correct.
  • Whenever anyone passes you knowledge, they may have altered it (knowingly or not).

If you oversimplify this, at its very core it sums to "things might not always be what they seem, even though you can't always prove it".

The main philosophical difference between postmodernist "woke" and fascism seems to be the moral guiding principle? In the case of "woke" it is to fight for the "downtrodden" against the "oppressors". In the case of fascism, it is for the "strong" to win over the "weak".

In both cases, the main argument is that the status quo is not okay, and changes need to be made. The two examples take those changes in different directions, but they both "agree" that the current situation is not okay.

When the core of your argument is that changes need to be made, and you're trying to convince people who are less eager to make changes; the first order of business is to prove that the current state of affairs is not good, and that it can be improved by making changes.

"Things might not always be what they seem, and you can't always prove it" is very relevant here. Or, in more concrete words: "What you are being told is not the real truth, they are lying to you".

This rhetoric is a very efficient way to get this message across, specifically because it cannot be disproven without reigniting itself. Anyone who counters that statement and claims that things are exactly what they are would immediately be countered by arguing that they have (at best) drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid or (at worst) are the one supplying the proverbial Kool-Aid.

Using a more blatant and silly example, consider conspiracy theories. Even if you manage to disprove a specific theory, it's always open to the recursive thought pattern of "unless that's what they wanted us to think", sparking a new theory that overshadows the previous one. This is a recursive thought pattern and is turtles all the way down.

The same thing is happening here. If someone claims that "X is not true even though you are told it is", and you manage to debunk that notion, you immediately open yourself up to being labeled as someone who is part of "the ones" that try to tell you that X is true.

The most efficient way to win an argument in the public view is to discredit your opponent, and using this rhetoric, any opponent immediately opens themselves up to being discredited.

Back to your examples of the woke and the fascists.

  • Fascists undermine the status quo (i.e. their opponents) via propaganda that says that the status quo is a lie. Anyone who disagrees with them is immediately painted as being an accomplice in the lie.
  • The woke undermine the status quo by focusing on immoral things that happen and are commonly accepted or not addressed. Anyone who disagrees with them is immediately painted as being pro the immoral thing.

The same thing is happening on principle. But none of this definitively labels either of them as immoral.

The immorality begins when:

  • Claims are knowingly fabricated
  • Public intentions are intentionally different from private intentions
  • Actively uses ad hominems to win arguments that they would otherwise lose

Fascists, or at least those we commonly agree to label fascists, tend to cross the line of immorality. We tend to only call them fascists once they cross that line of morality.

"Woke" is a bit more liberal in its application. There are cases on the woke side of people fabricating claims as well, and this is equally immoral. Those who use "woke" derisively tend to specifically use "woke" towards those who are immorally woke, not people who are trying to bring a genuine issue to light; but the term is too modern to have been agreed upon by common consensus.

This all brings us back to the scalpel. It can be used for things that are commonly considered moral, it can be used for things that are commonly considered immoral. What you do with the knife and whether your actions are immoral, do not reflect on the knife itself.

Analogously, the philosophy/rhetoric in question here can be used for things that are commonly considered moral, or for things that are commonly considered to be immoral. Whoever uses this rhetoric, and whether their intentions are immoral or not; does that really reflect on the value of the rhetoric itself?

I'm leaving that question open as I suspect there won't be a common consensus on the answer.

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  • Thank you. You emphasize that both fascists and "woke" want change. I agree that this is a similarity, but I do not think it is a defining one. They are radical. However islamists are also radical. You say that it is immoral to fabricate claims, and I agree. However this is highly subjective. Another person may think it is perfectly fine for a female assistant professor to falsely accuse a male professor of sexual harassment. After all in the bigger picture this promotes equality (if it succeeds in getting the professor fired), so means to an end, right?
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 15:45
  • Also thank you for your list of immoral arguing. I will reuse it.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:31
  • @Andy: I labeled things based on common consensus, not unanimous consensus. Though I'd counter that those who think it's moral to do so would find it immoral if they were on the receiving end of the fabrications, which is arguably a fabricated morality on its own (or at least morality on a specifically and subjectively chosen scope).
    – Flater
    Dec 11, 2021 at 11:22
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Acting as though you do not believe in facts about the world would require that if you move your body, it is to no purpose (while, of course, not believing you have a body.) The merest action to some end would be a counterexample to the claim that you have no such belief. Speaking to others with the aim of influencing their opinion is such an act. So, those who genuinely do not believe in facts about the world are always silent. One thing Wittgenstein got almost right.

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How can one argue against postmodernism for objective truth and moral and equal rights without assuming a God?

Almost every word of this deserves careful analysis and deconstruction. But it strikes me as a reactionary antiphilosophy attempting to 'stand athwart history', pathetically screaming "stop" as a titanic catastrophe engulfs every stable foundation you had imagined would stand for eternity.

No, there is nothing like an objective truth that would validate your moral feelings.

Objectivity is a phenomenological feature of reality, a matter of transcendental structure -- and can be studied by formal sciences like mathematics.

The only truly objective features of reality, which are "unobjectionable" in this sense, are perhaps tautologies. We could say, "ah, well -- nothing useful there!" but nevertheless a lot of insights can be gained from proof techniques relying mainly on tautological manipulation of symbols. Proof by contradiction is a critical mechanism for the evolution of mathematical understanding -- which itself is not a stable, universal analytic field but rather a transcendental dynamism constantly unfolding and transforming (rewriting itself in a more powerful language).

Science as well does not offer anything like an absolute reckoning with reality that would substantiate a Truth beyond all reason; but science does offer us a means to understand the world; it is the structured investigation of the world by empirical experiment and armed with all the resources of our species’ cognitive armamentarium.

At the mathematical level, every constant is a variable in a more general equation, every equation a structure in a more powerful framework; there is always more investigation, and what begins in tautology quickly turns non-obvious. In physical terms every theorem participates in an ecosystem of empirical knowledges operating at different scales; the scientist wields their disciplines and theorems and techniques like weapons, speculating and inventing the new by hypothesizing and slicing into the world to discover its structure. That physical scientists in the last century have revealed the apparent existence of an unobservable undulatory Reality inaccessible to any experiment (the so-called phase of a quantum process) is very curious; and we should try to find philosophemes that are worthy of this new method and generalize it — perhaps the nonphilosophy of Laruelle answers most directly to this — but nevertheless, suffice to say science is subject to massive transformations in the wake of new discoveries, which in turn aid and inspire philosophy and art.

equal rights without assuming a God

All people are different -- and all thoughts are equal. What is the relationship between intellectuals and power? Is it perhaps the case that human rights are trotted out precisely when someone needs to bless Capitalism?

The value of the individual is linked inevitably (in majoritarian discourses) to rationalizations of inequality; when the great economic forces of the corporation need to be portrayed in their epic aspect. Human rights exist (in majoritarian discourses) as a protective language to serve capitalism.

Now I don't mean to critique the concept of human rights as such here, but rather the injurious and manipulative way they are used to encourage the deification of the market. Insofar as the language of human rights also critiques certain kinds of power -- and aids the establishment of alternative political bodies whose legislative and temporal scope are closer to equalling to the scale of the social and environmental problems we face as human beings... -- they are plainly virtuous! However it vital to remember to stay grounded. When a representative of the established order comes around to present Marketing and Design as great agents of Reform, or miraculous moralizing forces (and even metaphysical principles in their own way perhaps...) we ought to ask a few important questions and seek to recognize the manipulative role that the language of human rights is serving in these cases.

Addendum

In What is Philosophy?, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that computer science and marketing are the contemporary "rivals" to philosophy, each laying claim to 'the concept' in their own way. More recent generations of philosophers (cf Intelligence and Spirit, Reza Negarestani) propose convergence between transcendental philosophy of Kant and Hegel and the technical development of artificial communities of conscious beings.

On the more prosaic side perhaps a series of structured engagements between psychoanalysts and software engineers resulted in the publication of a volume of essays on so-called Neuropsychoanalysis which seeks to utilize psychoanalysis experimentally for AI -- that is, to construct in silica various models of the unconscious and subjectivity that depth psychology has produced over the last century.

Suffice to say there are lots of points of convergence that are often overlooked between art, science and philosophy -- and that discoveries for any of these can push the others towards new horizons. There is an important feedback loop between philosophical research and technical/creative practice; to integrate multi-scaled models it is important to be able to create concepts -- which is philosophy.

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  • Puh, a lot of difficult languange here. Could you please explain this in simpler terms? Modern society is largely based on modern technology. There is no interpretation there. The gravity of earth is ca. 9.81 m/s2. This is an approximation. 9.8 m/s2 would also be a valid, but less precise approximation. But no one can claim that it is 2.3 m/s^2 and say that this is their interpretation. Yes at quantum level two observers can observe different things, but not at macro level.
    – Andy
    Dec 9, 2021 at 21:41
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    @Andy I mentioned science very briefly at the end of that graf but I can try to unpack a little further! And I hear you. I will think about how to boil this down into simpler language to make this easier to digest. Wanted to capture some quick thoughts while I was still energized by the question!
    – Joseph Weissman
    Dec 9, 2021 at 21:43
  • So you claim that sciences like maths provide tools to describe objectivity but isn't mathematics in and of itself NOT objective, as it stands and falls with a certain set of basic axioms that have yet to be shown to be objective? Dec 10, 2021 at 14:18
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    However, there may be more extreme versions of postmodernism thought. I could for instance argue that global warming is just a language construct. I could then redefine global to mean local and warming to mean cooling. Redefining words to change perception does after all seem popular nowadays.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:25
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    This answer (and most of the others, for that matter) also notably fail to address the fact that the question appears to be a "push question" intended to inaccurately equate modern social justice movements (disparagingly described as "woke") with fascism, instead focusing on more abstruse philosophical objections.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 10, 2021 at 19:28
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Postmodernism is not just a fashion. It describes the way western societies have evolved historically in many different areas of philosophy by shedding centuries of narrow-minded religious thinking, thus creating new freedoms (with all the risk that freedom grants). Give a child more freedom to play with matches, and they might burn down the house.

The idea of objective in morality and truth however is still active in (non-religious) countries of the Sowjet Block, there the ruling party claims to be the guardian of objective morality and truth, imprisoning journalists reporting something else than official truth, and persecuting unwanted "immoral" people like homosexuals.

The reasoning is simple: Whereas Kant saw each human as a response and independent thinker who needs to trust their own rationality, in such states the people are regarded as an untrustworthy flock who need strong guidance, lest they stray from the path of objective truth and morality, to the detriment of society.

Those countries argue without involving any gods.

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    From my understanding Russia is behaving like this with their “Gay Propaganda” law. I am very much against this. In my opinion it is just capitalizing on hatred to help conserve a cleptocracy. But on the other hand could not postmodernist logic be used to defend paedophilia? If there is no right or wrong, who is to say that it is wrong to have sex with children? And indeed Focault himself seems to have been a pedophile: thetimes.co.uk/article/… This I am very much against.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 7:33
  • Paedophilia is a violation of the inalienable rights of the child. It seems that many postmodernists are opposed to inalienable rights, such as human rights, because they only serve to uphold capitalism? Further imprisoning journalist, arresting political opposition etc. goes against such rights.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 7:33
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    Postmodernists are not in general opposed to universal and inalienable rights. Some might argue that those rights are desirable even if not philosophical absolutes. Others may argue that those rights are a consequence of the human condition and can thus not be "argued against". Take the simple golden rule "Do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated" which is compatible with postmodernism. Can you see how paedophilia could never be defended based on this simple rule, whereas sex among adults is fine?
    – tkruse
    Dec 10, 2021 at 8:32
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    From what I understand Kant represents a Critique of Pure Reason. To which I intuitively can agree. We cannot know everything and should in addition to reason use empathy to guide us. Postmodernism may have begun with Kant, but it is my impression that it has changed a lot since then. For instance, Robin DiAngelo claims that all white people are racist. If one is white and do not think one is racist that is just proof of how racist one is. I think this goes against the scientific method and is circular reasoning.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 16:34
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    It would be hard to find a philosophical direction in which you would agree to every single writing by every single member. What's your point? You trail off.
    – tkruse
    Dec 11, 2021 at 1:30
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You're wrong - being "woke" is not purely postmodernist

You say "In the case of "woke" it is to fight for the "downtrodden" against the "oppressors"" and you're correct in that. But supporting the "downtrodden" does not mean that you don't believe in God, nor does it mean that you think morality is so completely objective that the same logic could support fascism.

Your primary mistake is choosing the wrong philosophical framework. "Woke" corresponds most closely with humanism. The point of humanism is that whilst morality is objective in the sense of not being set by an external authority, it hinges on that morality being derived from whether your actions directly have a positive or negative effect on other people. Humanism does not countenance the strong abusing the weak through a Nietzschean argument that it's best for everyone that the strong rule.

Humanism does not "refute" postmodernism, because it builds on postmodernism with significant additions.

Humanism is currently the dominant philosophical stance in the world, as introduced by the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Both those were direct reactions to the strong (the Catholic church and the monarchies linked with it) abusing the weak. Modern governments and legal systems explicitly reject religious dogma as the source of morality, being based instead on the humanist principle of equal rights for all. This has not been refuted, and probably will never be, because democracy is based on equal rights for all.

It is also possible to be a humanist and still follow a religion, by the way. It requires the person to examine their religious texts from the point of view of those texts being written by humans (or at the very least curated by humans), to analyse which parts are morally supported under a humanist viewpoint and which parts are not.

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    The best proponents of government with non-religion based morality being national socialists and communist Russia.
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:05
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    “Woke” is a broad term. I have no quarrel with humanist “woke” people. However, postmodernists are opposed to Enlightenment. “Some go so far as to say that science and technology—and even reason and logic—are inherently destructive and oppressive, because they have been used by evil people, especially during the 20th century, to destroy and oppress others.” britannica.com/topic/postmodernism-philosophy It used to be considered racist to say that white people think more rational than black people. But that was before postmodernism, back when rational thinking was a good thing.
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:50
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    “The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture recently unveiled guidelines for talking about race. A graphic displayed in the guidelines, entitled Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness in the United States, declares that rational thinking and hard work, among others, are white values.” newsweek.com/… Those evil white people with their rational thinking and hard work!
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 17:50
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    @Andy Erm, that's kind of the point of the Newsweek article, that the Smithsonian screwed up by saying those are somehow "white values". :)
    – Graham
    Dec 10, 2021 at 20:52
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    But why did they say that these are somehow "white values"? Because they were racists? No, because they were anti-racist (which turns out to be practically the same thing). The ideas in the critized chart comes from another chart made by by Judith Katz a white diversity consultant in 1990: nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/07/… I found this funny: facebook.com/watch/?v=1273606843023392
    – Andy
    Dec 10, 2021 at 21:43
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Since Christmas is just around the corner, I feel that I must set the record straight for postmodernism. You think that postmodernism is the death of objective truth and therefore it hurts society. That is a common idea. I have a different take. Nietzsche wrote, "God is dead, we have killed him. Is not this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods to be worthy of it?" (paraphrased). The death of God is not the death of objective truth. It is the transfer of the basis of objective truth to us. We as a people enlightened have replaced God. It makes sense actually. Formerly we would say "murder is objectively wrong" because God doesn't like it. So objective truth was based on the (subjective!) opinion of one being, God. In a postmodern world, murder is still wrong, because collectively we don't like it. Our opinions are just as real and just as valid as God's were, maybe more so. From our new postmodern perspective we look back on some of those primitive mythologies and we might find they are surprisingly prophetic! Like the "created in the image of God" concept that is part of pretty much every creation myth. And in the Christmas myth when God becomes a baby. God did not take the form of a baby, God became the baby, and the baby became God. The tradition is quite clear that this is a paradox and it must not be resolved. Similarly the crucifixion myth, in which God dies in order that all humanity, both collectively and individually, can become the incarnation of God, i.e. the body of Christ, just like the little baby did. The entire myth is quite compatible with a postmodernism. The fundamentalist elements of Christianity don't like this postmodern interpretation of the myth, perhaps because it threatens their position of privilege as the keepers of truth. But that will be the topic of another post :)

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