By David J. Garrard
Postmodernism is a relatively new philosophy of life, which
is based upon a combination of teachings that have been around for many
centuries. Basically postmodernism is a reaction against the dogmatic claims of
modernism, which placed total faith in the scientific method.
The latter was born out of the so called 'Age of
Enlightenment' and rationalism; postmodernism maintains that this world view is
not sufficient for today. It claims that absolute positions are untenable
because it is no longer possible to believe in unchanging laws and principles
in a world where multiculturalism and pluralism have become the accepted norm.
It also makes a very strong case in favour of the
metaphysical and abstract aspects of life where only the individual is able to
interact with what we call the existential factors; these areas are beyond the
measure of the scientific method.
Postmodernism maintains that every one and everything is
valid in its own way because truth depends on the individual or the 'Me'. It is
therefore, now, no longer possible to talk about immovable unchanging laws,
whether they be laws of society or laws of religion. What is right for one
person is not necessarily right for another. What may be true for one may not
be true for another.
In terms of how such thought and behaviour were understood
formerly, this kind of philosophy was described in terms of relativism.
Relativism and postmodernism have much in common. What is relative to you and
your circumstances have to be considered in any decision; in the same way
whatever is relative to another has to be understood according to their
Each person becomes 'the measure' in any judgement. In
addition, postmodernists view mankind as essentially moral and good. As a
result, whatever needs to be done will be done properly for that individual
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