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What does Postmodernism mean?

When trying to answer the question, What does postmodernism mean? it is important to remember that postmodernism can only be described, not defined. Attempting to define it violates the postmodernists premise that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist. Thus, postmodernism remains vague. Professor Ihab Hassan was one of the first to write about postmodernism. Hassan says, I know less about postmodernism today than I did thirty years ago [1971], when I began to write about it. . . No consensus obtains on what postmodernism really means. [Hassan, Postmodernism to Postmodernity] reading books which will cause you to grow in grace and in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). Well chosen Christian biographies can have a powerful effect and redirect and inspire your Christian life The term postmodernism is first thought to have arisen in reference to architecture, as architects moved away from unadorned, impersonal boxes of concrete, glass and stele to complex shapes and forms, drawing motifs from the past without regard to their original purpose or function. But when French sociologist Jean-Francois Lyotard used the term postmodern to signal a shift in cultural legitimation, the term became a key word in cultural analysis, explains James W. Sire in his book The Universe Next Door. Postmodernism appears to be a personal mindset more than an organized movement. In general, it tends to disconnect from mainstream society and embraces antinationalism, anti-Christianity, and opposition to traditional moral law. Postmodernism tends to go against or react to the principles and practices of established modernism. Truth is relative. The naturalists have their story, the pantheists theirs, the Christians theirs, ad infinitum. With postmodernism, no story can have any more credibility than any other. All stories are equally valid, being so validated by the community that lives by them, writes Sire.

What are the elements of Postmodernism and Humanism?

The elements of postmodernism and humanism are varied. Here are some of the more popular topics of interest: Postmodernists often profess individualism over God and country, desiring the liberty to establish personal truth and allowing each persons choice to be tolerated. Many postmodernists promote the ideals of globalization, excluding any traditional moral or civil laws, free enterprise, or governed by a traditional political system. Many feel that no single person or group should have dominance, special interest, or wealth over another. The ideals of postmodernism confront and surpass the modern way of thought and lifestyle which relies on science and technology for progress. Postmodernists tend to blame modern capitalism for causing the evil in the modern West. Many postmodernists ultimately reject Christianity.

What are the characteristics of Postmodernism?

When listing the chracteristics of postmodernism, it is important to remember that postmodernists do not place their philosophy in a defined box or category. Their beliefs and practices are personal rather than being identifiable with a particular establishment or special interest group. The following principles appear elemental to postmodernists:

There is no absolute truth - Postmodernists believe that the notion of truth is a contrived illusion, misused by people and special interest groups to gain power over others. Truth and error are synonymous - Facts, postmodernists claim, are too limiting to determine anything. Changing erratically, what is fact today can be false tomorrow. Self-conceptualization and rationalization - Traditional logic and objectivity are spurned by postmodernists. Preferring to rely on opinions rather than embrace facts, postmodernist spurn the scientific method. Traditional authority is false and corrupt - Postmodernists speak out against the constraints of religious morals and secular authority. They wage intellectual revolution to voice their concerns about traditional establishment. Ownership - They claim that collective ownership would most fairly administrate goods and services. Disillusionment with modernism - Postmodernists rue the unfulfilled promises of science, technology, government, and religion. Morality is personal - Believing ethics to be relative, postmodernists subject morality to personal opinion. They define morality as each persons private code of ethics without the need to follow traditional values and rules. Globalization Many postmodernists claim that national boundaries are a hindrance to human communication. Nationalism, they believe, causes wars. Therefore, postmodernists often propose internationalism and uniting separate countries. All religions are valid - Valuing inclusive faiths, postmodernists gravitate towards New Age religion. They denounce the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ as being the only way to God. Liberal ethics - Postmodernists defend the cause of feminists and homosexuals. Pro-environmentalism - Defending Mother Earth, postmodernists blame Western society for its destruction.

Television the medium of Postmodernism

TV has achieved the status of a meta-medium - an institution that directs not only our knowledge of the world, but our knowledge of the ways of knowing as well. TV has become a radical monopoly. John Campbell describes TV as ubiquitous, (it is everywhere) capable of manipulating opinion, reinforcing pluralism and revamping reality in a short time. Appearance replaces reality, charisma replaces content and result (pragmatism) replaces integrity. The entertainment industry spreads postmodernist philosophy into every home through TV. TV is one of the wonders of the age of technology. If the apostle Paul returned today I would want to explain to him Concorde, an Alpha Romeo, a cell phone, Windows 98, and a TV. In the hands of the Reformed Christians TV could be used on a grand scale for benevolence according to the tenets of Philippians 4:8, Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or

praiseworthy - think about such things The power of TV over written material is that it comes in a moving image. It is image driven, image saturated and image controlled. When the image overwhelms and subjugates the written word the ability to think, write and communicate in linear fashion is undermined. Ideas are dislocated. TV images are poured out in the form of impressions, emotions and stimulations. Written propositions and statements are not like that. A written proposition is either true or false. Images in themselves do not have truth value. Muggeridge commented that when the Israelites worshipped the golden calf instead of waiting for the Word from Moses, they attempted to televise (or make visible) God. Biblically speaking, God commands that we not make graven images nor attempt to televise the invisible. In the beginning was the Word, not the image The great imperative in TV is incessant entertainment. Amusement trumps all other values and takes captive every topic. Every subject - whether war, religion, business, law or education - must be presented in a lively, amusing or stimulating manner. If it fails to entertain boredom results. The yawning watcher will turn to another channel if he is not entertained. He craves incessant entertainment. With regard to TV, if you are addicted to it, the answer is to eradicate from your TV menu all trivia and all that is unhealthy and use that media only for the information you really need. The desire to read and the ability to read will suffer under the ruthless regime of TV. One way to deal with this problem is to go on a TV fast. Replace TV watching with truth-enhancing activities especially reading books which will cause you to grow in grace and in knowledge . Well chosen Christian biographies can have a powerful effect and redirect and inspire your Christian life.