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Postmodern Threats to American Freedom

Updated on June 10, 2019

What is Truth?

Pilate questions Jesus.
Pilate questions Jesus. | Source

Two Views of the World

The Historical View: There is Objective Truth and It Can be Known

This view is held by those who practice the hard sciences. It is also held by many people of faith. After all, if there is no objective truth, why bother to seek it out through the scientific method or through prayer and study of sacred texts? In fact, only those who really believe truth is something knowable can even practice science.

People like Galileo invented better ways to look at the stars because they wanted to understand them. It helped that most early scientists believed in a Creator who designed a world with objective laws that could be measured and understood. Even the skeptics began from the observation that things around them appeared to move in an orderly manner that could be explained mathematically.

Some people who claim a religion actually hide behind that religion and resist science, such as the Roman church that clung to Aristotle's geocentric world view even after Galileo presented evidence of God's truth--a heliocentric solar system. This is not the case with people of sincere faith grounded in the Bible. For the true follower of Christ, God is Truth. They don't fear the truth, because any new truths discovered should simply reveal more of God's glory.

The Postmodern View: Truth is Relative and There are No Absolutes

I will first admit that, as a person who believes truth exists, it is difficult for me to imagine how people who do not believe in the existence of truth can think at all. If truth is a moving target or if each individual constructs his/her own truth from nothing, is any logic possible?

In practice, of course, nobody can actually function from day to day in a physical universe with physical laws (such as gravity) while denying the existence of objective truth. Some do try, however. One of the most extreme examples I see is the notion that humans are not simply male or female based on x and Y chromosomes. Certainly men and women may have a range of desires and behaviors, but that did not alter basic biological realities. Now, however, there are young people in colleges insisting that anyone can "identify" as any of a seemingly limitless number of "genders." Pity the person who still clings to biological truth while those around them are inventing their own individual "truths" so quickly one cannot possibly keep up with the "genders" and their invented pronouns as they proliferate.

Note: Having been accused of arrogance, let me point out that I by no means believe I have all truth--I merely believe that the truth does exist and can be found. I live my life expecting to be able to discover truth and apply truth as I grow in understanding. What I reject is the idea that various people can have different truths that are all equally true (as in universalism in theology.)

How Does Philosophy Affect Politics?

What kind of social order results from each belief system?

Progressives (liberal and conservative) believe people can't really be trusted individually to live their lives. They need a government to tell them what "truth" is for the present time. Their ideas of truth may change according to expediency. They will create "truth" to advance their "noble" social engineering goals. They will also insist everyone accept their "truth" even in the face of contrary evidence.

As examples, progressive Republicans continue their "war on drugs" despite evidence it is not working. Ditto progressive Democrats (is there any other kind?) who persist in waging their "war on poverty"--again, with no evidence it is working.

Libertarians (socially liberal and socially conservative) trust individuals rather than government to make decisions about their individual lives and families. They live by a creed that allows people to do as they wish so long as they do not coerce or harm anyone else. The libertarian doesn't care if you are postmodern, so long as you don't force him/her to agree with you or fund you.

How Do Different People Live Together in Peace?

Freedom is the answer. America's founders set up a system of limited, constitutional government that served us well for a while--until progressives decided freedom was not good enough. Libertarians are willing to let people believe what they will, so long as they bear the consequences of their own beliefs and actions and allow others to do the same. Progressives insist everyone accept the same truth, even if that truth is not true, and insist that the prudent and thoughtful pay the penalty for the foolishness they never condoned. Without individual freedom, there can be no long-term, peaceful coexistence.

Currently only the libertarian is willing to let others live in peace. Until the postmodern progressives who claim to be flexible about truth become flexible enough to allow actual truth, there is no resolution possible. The constitution was meant to restrain such people from trampling the freedoms of everyone else, but progressives have undermined the constitution with the tacit consent of a lazy population that took freedom for granted and/or exchanged freedom for the illusion of security.

One Woman's Plea for the Constitution

Your Turn

What do you think of the War on Drugs?

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Your Turn

What do you think of the War on Poverty?

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