Skip to comments.Homophobia, Racism, Sexism, Bigotry, Greed And So On: Arbitrary Social Constructs?
Posted on 05/08/2008 7:40:03 AM PDT by Laissez-faire capitalist
"Either relativism is a genuine theory in which a real assertion is made, or else it isn't. But any attempt to assert relativism without relying on just-plain truth [absolute] would inevitably fail, because it would generate an infinite regress. And, of course, any assertion of relativism that does not rely on just-plain truth would be-self defeating. So it looks like any apparent assertion of relativism is either self-defeating or else is not a real assertion, but something more like an empty slogan."
(Jubien, Michael. Contemporary Metaphysics. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1997)
"The only way the relativist can avoid the painful dilemma of relativism is to admit that there are at least some abolute truths... Most relativists believe that relativism is absolutely true and that everyone should be a relativist. Therein lies the self-destructive nature of relativism. The relativist stands on the pinnacle of an absolute truth and wants to relativize everything else."
(Geisler, Norman L. & William D. Watkins. Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views, 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989)
"Universal subjectivism [relativism] is refutable quite quickly, in the same way that universal skepticism is. If truth is only subjective, only true for me but not for you, then the truth too - the "truth" of subjectivism -- is not true, but only "true for me" (i.e. true for the subjectivist). So the subjectivist is not saying that subjectivism is really true and objectivism really false, or that the objectivist is mistaken at all. He is not challenging his opponent, not arguing, not debating, only "sharing his feelings." "I feel well" does not contradict or refute your statement "but I feel sick." Subjectivism is not an "ism," not a philosophy. It does not rise to the level of deserving our attention or refutation. Its claim is like "I itch," not "I know."
(Kreeft, Peter. Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervaristy, 1994)
Postmodernists believe that truth does not exist objectively, that it is a 'social construct', that no universal truth exists which transcends culture(s), that progress is an oppressive Western concept, and that no superior culture exists.
"From the Postmodern view, Postmodernism itself can only be seen as another 'arbitrary social construction' like all other ideologies. As such, we have no compelling reason to accept the theory. If Postmodernism can be shown to be true, a world-view with objective truth, then Postmodernism's main thesis (rejection of objective truth) is wrong. It ends up teaching that there is some objective truth - that Postmodernism is right. In either case, Postmodernism's rejection of rational objectivity is self-defeating. It either denies the plausability of its own position, or it presumes the reliability of truth."
(McCallum, Dennis J. The Death of Truth. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1996)
If truth does not exist objectively, no universal truth exists which transcends culture(s), ideologies are 'arbitary social constructs,' and societies themeslves are 'arbitrary social constructs,' that in turn produce value systems or ideologies that are 'arbitrary social constructs,' then it stands to reason - relativistically speaking - that an American society which rejects certain acts as definitely being manifestations of homophobia, racism, sexism, bigotry, greed and so on would be no more or less legitimate than an American society that perceives certain acts as definitely being manifestations of homophobia, racism, sexism, bigotry, greed and so on.
If objectivity is rejected by the relativist, be it within a moral, cultural or Postmodern context, then the relativist essentially relativizes all value systems and ideologies, thereby placing them on an equal plane, and thus making either aforementioned vision of an American society an equally 'arbitrary social construction'.
According to relativism, an American society which states that certain acts are definitely manifestations of homophobia, racism, sexism, bigotry, greed and so on would not be superior to an American society which rejects certain acts as definitely being homophobic, racist, sexist, bigotted, greedy and so on.
What will you choose - objectivism or relativism?
Academic freedom and diversity of opinion died a couple of decades ago. Here is how the game is played: They will first try to convince you that you are a racist, a sexist, and an enemy of social justice. Then they will argue that the victims of racism, sexism, and cultural elitism have a privileged view of these issues. It is as if the victim of the crime were to be given the first, last, and only word in a trial, with no cross-examination and no other witnesses called. Your job as a student in the multicultural classroom is to grant unquestioned authority to those who come from underprivileged or marginalized backgrounds. You have to do this because, you will learn, because Western culture has exploited every other culture, and your experiences are so shaped by Western culture that you cannot question those who criticize you. And thus you will become a good cultural leftist (which is the shape liberalism takes in the academy), or, if you are not convinced by these arguments, you will learn how to fake it for the sake of getting a good grade.
All of this is profoundly anti-Christian, which is why Christian students are typically the most radical questioners of higher education. Because Christians believe in a universal human nature, they also believe they can make universal truth claims about human nature. That does not mean that every statement about human nature is true. Of course not! A central part of education is learning how to argue by testing your own ideas about human nature against the ideas found in great books and the ideas espoused by your teachers and fellow students. Christians believe, for example, that because we are created in the image of God, every single person is of infinite worth, but Christians also believe that humans are fallen creatures, in need of grace and forgiveness. Christians are thus able to appreciate both the majesty and the misery of human actions. That is a powerful framework for questioning what you read and hear. What Christians do not believe is that every culture has its own truths and that the only way to learn about another culture is to refrain from seeking the universal truth.
Christianity inspired and informed the highest achievements of Western culture in order to challenge people to think about the eternal things, like heaven and hell, God, grace, forgiveness, and death. A college education should immerse you in the highest achievements of Western culture in order to give you the tools to enrich your experiences and refine you moral judgments. Education in this sense is about coming to know yourself, not because you construct your own reality, but because your nature is the same as everyone elses. When a multiculturalist professor tells you that all truth is relative, ask him how he knows that, and when he tells you that Western culture is wicked and wrong, ask him what cultural criteria he is using to make that comparison. Better yet, do not ask your professors these questions, because multiculturalism is killing higher education as sure as the Romans killed Jesus. Share your questions with your friends, find a professor friendly to your faith, and keep higher education in your prayers.
Stephen H. Webb, 83, is professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College.
Can it be proven or disproven, that none of this is relative to what one believes?
If one subscribes to relativism, an American society that says that certain acts are homophobis, racist, sexist, bigotted, and so on would not be superior to an American society which says that those same acts aren’t homophobic, racist, sexist, bigotted, etc.
If the relativist wants to say that ceratin things aren’t relative, then they must abandon relativism in favor of objectivism.
Based on the headline I thought it was an outline of the DNC platform.
Does that really answer my question?
I SEEM, therefore I AM.
Actually racism, sexism and homophobia have become a cottage industry for people (professional victims and pimps) who want to become rich without having to work....
I teaching my kids the value of absolute truth, the truth about absolute truth, and the nature of absolute truth (that it exists outside of anyone’s perception of it).
Also, I’m teaching them to not trust anyone who tries to teach them relativism, because those who don’t believe in an absolute truth will be more likely to deceive you.
This includes family members.
One thing you all must understand when dealing with someone that is inculcated with postmodernist/relativist thinking is that they are
“comfortable with contradication”.
In other words, see my tagline.
So your tagline is relative to what you believe to be true? Or can you prove that it is the absolute truth?
I used to be indecisive about this but now I'm not so sure..
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No, I assert that my tagline is absolutely true when dealing with a postmodernist thinker.
I do not believe that what is true for me might not be true for you.
It’s either true or not. If it’s not, prove it and I’ll modify my truth statement or abandon it altogether as not true.
Now I see where you are coming from.
If there are no absolutes or no moral absolutes, who then - relativistically speaking - decides what is morally right or wrong?
If there are no absolutes, and no absolutes can be proven, then a society that says that certain acts are homophobic, racist, sexist, bigotted, greedy, etc, would be superior to a society that says that those same certain acts aren’t.
It would all be relative.
Some might say that this is an extreme view.
But the word ‘extreme’ would - based upon relativism - be a societal construct, produced by a society that was a social construct.
Again, all relative.
Society? Societies - relativistically speaking - are social constructs that produce social constructs.
Without absolutes - and based upon social construction -neither society would be superior to the other.
If some want to produce societies that say that certain things are homophobic, then some in society can also produce a society that says that those same things aren’t homophobic.
Based upon relativism - it would all be relative to POV
In the fourth line down, after etc, it should say wouldn’t, not would.
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