Religion In A Postmodern Age – Part 3

Subjective Experience of Religious Texts
As for Religious Texts, no holy book is accepted as absolute but simply viewed as the subjectivity expressed by its authors. For what really happened is unknowable, and if it is knowable, it is unimportant.

The postmodernists tell us that religious texts are neither to be taken literally nor dogmatically. They are simply an avenue whereby we come to our own subjective “experience” in the religion we have created for ourselves. You have the right to draw from the Upanishads, the writings of the Hindus; the Sutra, the writings of the Buddhists; the writings of the Koran; or any other religion. All texts are permissible in order to gain your own “inner” perspective of reality.

It could even be through an assortment of all these writings that this reality for yourself is found. There is no “truth”; there are only truths, and those truths may be for “the moment” and only for that individual at that time.

Ironic isn’t it, that a philosophy opposed to absolutes and dogmatism would be so absolutely and dogmatically opposed to anyone holding to objective religious beliefs. Go figure.

Religion In A Postmodern Age – Part 2

The Denial of Dogmatism
Postmodernism strongly denies the use of creeds, articles of faith, and any form of dogmatism that is demanded of others. In fact, religion should be whatever an individual makes it to be, like an elixir of instant, feel-good, subjective syncretism.

Even Christianity should permit individuals to take a number of beliefs and collectively bring them together to form a buffet of subjective beliefs; whatever suits your taste at any given moment is your new truth. Such beliefs may change from week to week, for another aspect may be found of greater pleasure for the life and added to the buffet; this all can be freely mixed to make one’s own reality of religion.

Moral Values Are Relative
How would this concept define morality? Postmodernism declares that all moral values are relative. This necessitates that each person develops their own moral values without a concept of God or an objective revelation. An objective revelation would be any form of a religious text that influences a religion.

Man is not to be looking for what is right or wrong. Thus, evangelizing others would be a detriment. Condemning others for what they do would be absurd, in manner and respect for their subjective ways and beliefs. The natives do what they do because they were shaped by their culture, and who are we to tell them it is wrong? They have no responsibility or accountability for being right or wrong.

This is a major tenet of postmodernism, making tolerance one of the pillars of philosophy. Yes, according to postmodernism we must tolerate all manner of living, of beliefs, and of lifestyles. Nothing is to be said in opposition; all are to be accepted, commended, and encouraged.

[Of course, this tolerance is not to be given to those who believe in absolutes and are dogmatic in their beliefs of right and wrong. Yes, such individuals will not be tolerated in a postmodern society.]

Postmodernism is exclusively based on individualism. It is one thing to live in a pluralistic society, but now we are being demanded to accept all religions as equally true and to believe that there is no right or wrong religion and no one road leading to God.

Even the courts are now declaring that it is up to each individual to determine the concept of meaning, of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. No one religion has a right to declare the exactness of these concepts of God. Any negative statement given against another religion will be viewed as hate speech.

In the third post on postmodernism, we’ll explore the issue of the Subjective Experience of Religious Texts

Religion In A Postmodern Age – Part 1

If you don’t know what postmodernism is, you can most certainly recognize its influence in our world today. From Common Core to Transgender, the philosophy of postmodernism has permeated modern thinking.

To define postmodernism, we first look at what came before it. Every new philosophy is a reaction to a previous philosophy and postmodernism is no different. Postmodernism is a reaction to Modernism, the philosophy that comes Post (After) Modernism.

The “hay-day” for Modernism was the period at the end of the 19th century, going on into the early 20th century. It was a philosophy that declared Reason as the absolute of thinking. Reason and Logic were the only things man needed for the basis of what he believed to be the truth.

“I think therefore I am.” — René Descartes, Father of Western Philosophy

Postmodernism was a reaction against Modernism because it believed reason had failed mankind. Reason was to solve the world’s problems. However, at the end of 100 years of Modernism, we still had no remedy for poverty, corruption, wars, disease, etc.

The conclusion was that reason was so corrupted by man it could no longer be the answer to man’s problems. Since reason has failed, the only thing to do with it was to throw it out. That included the discarding of anything associated with reason, such as logic and absolutes.

Truth became relative and its definition could now change to whatever you wanted it to be, regardless of its accuracy or foundation of belief. For example, 2+2 does not have to equal 4. Under postmodernism, 2+2 can equal whatever you want it to equal: 5, 6, 18, or 54. Common Core was a system of learning based upon the absence of reason. It is postmodern thinking.

Truth became relative, based 100% upon an individual’s opinion or personal desire. Were you born a male, but desire to be a female? Then simply believe it, and under postmodernism, it is true…to you. Then if it is true to you, society must also accept your truth about you. Transgender is another result of postmodern thinking.

Postmodernism and Religion
For postmodernism to even accept religion is a surprise. After all, most religions promote a creed of absolutes that must be believed by its followers. We must remember that Modernism, based purely on reason, denounced religion, believing that it should not exist.

With this belief, the early atheists consistently attacked religion’s purpose of existence. But postmodernism permits an individual’s religion, as long as it is kept within the confinement of the individual’s self. It is adamantly opposed to the propagation of religion to others or the concept of Evangelizing the world. You may believe what you want about God, but religion must be purely individualistic and never collective. There should be no churches, assemblies, classes, etc.

Let everybody believe what they want; whatever makes them feel good, and that should be their religion. Personal religion must never be based upon doctrine, any concept of absolutes, or a consistent belief.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at postmodernism’s denial of dogmatism