In modern times, the primary objection to Natural Law has come from a collection of parallel world views which — collectively — have come to be known as ‘post-modernism.’ The ‘post modern’ world view grew out of the same philosophical thinking that motivated the Fabian Socialists, the Communists and the Progressives. Post modernism is merely the end result of these early philosophies, but it is not new. In fact, it goes back to before the time of Plato and Aristotle. However, we are not interested in a history lesson — not with this post, anyway. What we are primarily interested in doing is proving, through a practical hypothetical experiment, that all post modern thinking can and should be dismissed as irrational, bordering on the insane.
First, if the reader is not familiar with post modern thinking, I would suggest they follow the link I provided in the introduction to this post. It will provide a solid overview of what post modernism is and what it claims to believe. As for me, however, I am going to clearly state my hostility toward all post modern ideology. I am hostile to it because it asserts clear absurdities, absurdities which can be easily and forcefully demonstrated — as I will soon prove. But first, we must acknowledge one of the central foundations of post modern thought.
One of the common themes running through all post modern thought is that there is no such thing as objective reality. To the post modern thinker, we create our own reality. However, we must understand that the post modernist is also a collectivist. While many of them will argue that every individual creates their own personal reality through their own beliefs and understandings, nearly all post modern thinkers will argue that the most important point is that society creates a collective reality through shared beliefs and understandings. To the post modern thinker, this means that reality changes with the wants, needs and desires of society (i.e. the collective). From here, the post modern thinker then argues that this rules out any possibility of universals such as truth, human nature, morality, justice — and especially — Natural Law.
Now that we have set the table, let’s demonstrate that this entire collection of philosophy known as post modernism is false and, therefore, should be dismissed out of hand (along with any and all who hold to it). We’ll do it in two ways.
First, let’s attack these post modern ‘thinkers’ on philosophical grounds. Ask yourself this simple question: If the post modernist actually believes the things they say, why do they bother to say them at all? If there are no universal laws governing things such as language and reason, then how can they hope to explain their ideas to you? What they perceive to be reality may not be what we perceive to be real, so how can the post modernist honestly believe they could convey their ideas accurately? According to their own ideology, they cannot even be sure that they know if they believe what they claim to believe. Things could have changed since they first thought of it, or worse, their first thought of post modernism may not have actually been real. Maybe they were in a dream about a dream and just think they thought about it? After all, if there are no set laws governing abstract things, then there is no way to even know if you are thinking, or if what you believe you thought yesterday is actually what you thought yesterday? Heck, you can’t even know you were thinking yesterday, so how can you explain any of this to another person when you can’t even know that other person exists. Why even try to do anything?
Are you confused yet? Good! That’s the point: the post modern idea — taken to the end of where it points, degenerates into nothing but chaos and confusion.
Now, I admit, I am bordering on straw man (and possibly reductio) in my treatment of the post modern ideology. However, in this case, I do not believe i am committing a fallacy. This is because I am using absurdity to illustrate the absurdity underlying all post modern thinking. You see, if the individual creates their own reality, then none of us should bother trying to communicate because we would know that we could never convey the same understanding of our thoughts and beliefs to a person living in a different world, with a different understanding of how the world works. If I could do so, this would mean that there is a universal law governing language and reason, which would negate my post modern argument. At the same time, if I do not try to explain my beliefs because I know that there is no possible way to make others understand the way I see the world, then I have admitted that there is a universal law prohibiting me from clearly explaining myself. This would negate my post modern thinking because, as a universal, it contradicts my central argument that there are no universal laws governing things like language and reason. Therefore, either way — whether I try or do not try to explain myself — I have negated my own argument because I have recognized the existence of a universal law.
Now that the logical objection to the post modernist is behind us, let’s tackle their philosophy in a much simpler and much more easily understood manner. I will not claim that post modernist thinkers reject the notion of physical laws. Quite the contrary: many of them argue for ‘science,’ which necessitates the existence of such laws. But they do reject the notion of any universal laws governing abstract things — such as perception of reality! After all: if we can take a group of individuals from vastly different societies and put them into a situation where they will all experience the same perception of an event, we have just proven that there is a universal law governing perception and, therefore, the post modernist argument is false and should be rejected. So, let’s conduct a mental experiment to do just that: let’s determine whether or not there are universal laws governing the perception of reality.
Suppose we take a post modern thinker and a Natural Law thinker from America, and one each from China, and one each from the Middle East, and one each from South America and one each from Africa; we blindfold them; then we put them all into a room together. According to post modern theory, we would have a collection of people who come from very different individual and social realities. If post modern thought is correct, none of them will perceive the world in exactly the same way. Now, let’s line them up on one edge of the room where there is no wall, only a 1,000 foot drop to the ground. We tel them they are facing a drop of 1,000 feet and we even encourage them to either reach out with their foot or bend down and use their hand to verify that there is no floor. We even go so far as to take an old fashion alarm clock, set it so it starts ringing and then drop it so they can hear it fall all 1,000 feet where they then hear it smash against the ground. Finally, we tell them that the drop is not real, they only think they perceive it to be real, and that they must take one giant step forward so they can prove that post modernism is real….
You see, with one step, we just proved that we do all perceive things the same way. Not only will all of our test subjects believe that there is a 1,000 foot drop in front of them, but they will refuse to take that step, as well. This demonstrates that there are universal laws governing how we perceive (they would all know there is no floor and have heard the clock drop). They would all know that the result of taking that step would be death (a perception based on predicting the result of an action based on past observation — something that should not exist in a post modern world). And, if one of the post modern test subjects actually does step forward and fall to their deaths, they will have actually demonstrated an act of will, not disbelief (which would prove the existence of free will, something else post modernists reject). However, in the case of the post modernist test subjects, if they do not step forward, then they concede that they perceived reality in the same way as the Natural Law test subjects, thereby defeating their arguments for post modernism. After all, if they had not perceived the drop in the same way as the Natural Law thinkers, then why didn’t they step off?
This brings us to the real point I wish to make: post modern thinking is actually real. True, I just demonstrated that the philosophy is false, but the existence of people who believe it cannot be denied. So, dear reader, ask yourself these questions:
What do you call someone who knows that objective reality exists, but refuses to acknowledge it and even argues that it doesn’t exist?
And what would be the affect on society if a large enough group of these people were to ever seize control of our government, schools, media and other social institutions?
Finally, what if these people were not only in control of society, but they claimed that those who still believed in the ‘false’ belief of an objective world were insane and needed to be ‘cured?’
In that world, how does one know who is sane and who is not?