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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 situation.

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

Index to the topic
How this works in practical situations?
How do we view this philosophy in the light of scripture?
How can we turn this philosophy to our advantage?

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