More on Atheism and Postmodernism

Previously, I commented on an essay by Helen Pluckrose in a blog entry entitled, Why the Left Will Lose to the Regressive Left.  Pluckrose must have noticed my blog entry and commented on it on her FB page:

I never argued, or even implied, that religion was the only thing that would stop postmodernism from destroying science.  As I noted, the title of that blog entry was why the Left will lose to the Regressive Left (and I explain this clearly in the last few paragraphs of that blog entry).  If I were to use a medical analogy, what I offered was a diagnosis, not a treatment plan.

Look, I don’t think religion can stop postmodernism because theism no longer plays a significant role in academic thinking.  Which is precisely why academic thinking spawned and nurtured postmodernism.  Today, the secular Left is merely reaping what it has sown.   As it stands, we are in a transition stage.  The universal principles of liberalism that both Pluckrose and I share are fading from academic existence since they currently exist in such settings as nothing more than a fading echo of the theistic worldview.  Most academics who defend such universal principles are people (white men?) who will be retiring in five, ten, maybe fifteen years.  The new generation behind them has been marinated in postmodernism and their atheism (or paganism) will help them take postmodernism even further.  Resistance is futile.  After all, we need Social Justice in the Here and Now.

The relevance to us Christians is that it represents a tiny and subtle piece of evidence for the truth of our world view.  Christians (and their humanist and deist offshoots) have sustained and propagated the universal principles of freedom, equality, justice, consistency, reason, and humility for centuries. Of course, we have not been perfect.  Far from it.  There have been plenty of dissenting voices and tons of hypocrisy.  Nevertheless, the principles have been upheld and idealized and passed on.  Yet here we are, a mere few decades into the post-Christian era and those principles should already be put on an endangered species list.  Freedom and reason are under attack, while equality and justice are grossly distorted through some Orwellian prism.  The people hunting them to extinction either reside in secular academia or have been indoctrinated by secular academia.  And all the while smugly thinking their atheistic, secular outlook on reality is so “woke.”

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4 Responses to More on Atheism and Postmodernism

  1. Ilíon says:

    Obviously, God-denial is more important than opposing the logical next-step in her own worldview/metaphysics.

  2. unclesporkums says:

    Of course.

  3. TFBW says:

    I think Pluckrose leapt to the conclusion that you were prescribing religion as the cure because you were identifying abandonment of theism as the cause. Her sarcastic quip about religion being a “wonderful idea” suggests that she subscribes to the Warfare Thesis, and will therefore be predisposed to see any mention of religion as enemy encroachment.

    But, as you more or less observe, theism is in no position to help the academy at this late stage. It was the unacknowledged anchor which moored the ship within the shores of Reason, but they cut it off as superfluous and outmoded. We’ve now drifted an alarmingly long way from shore, and the waters are too deep to drop anchor again.

    Since the academy is now more or less divided between the liberal left and the regressive left, the liberal left will have to bring its own panoply of ideas and ideals to the fight against postmodernism. That’s not going to be an easy task: how do you win over a group of people whose modus operandi is to identify ideological enemies and censor them? How does a staunch, rationalist, evolutionary biologist persuade postmodernists that human sex is, factually speaking, a bimodal distribution of male and female when they are shouting him down as a “privileged, patriarchal, white-supremacist, transphobic piece of shit”, or similar, for saying it?

    Not that it’s happened to Jerry Coyne yet, so far as I know, but the writing is on the wall, clear to see. And, of course, he’s another hard-line Warfare Thesis type, meaning that he has been diligently guarding the fort against incursions from the theistic side, assuming that atheism and reason were so nearly synonymous that no threat would arise from behind. Even Helen Pluckrose seems to think that theism is still the greater threat, given her reaction.

    Interesting times. Where is the academy going to be in another one or two years?

  4. stcordova says:

    Congratulation on getting noticed by a scholar (not that you aren’t one too, I always felt you were).

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