Postmodernism - Philosophy for the Dishonest
Postmodernism, the idea that Meta-narratives (Big picture stories of how things are ) are used to control people and exercise power as opposed to trying to accurately reflect reality, is fairly unpopular with philosophy professors today. Where it is popular is with many, many other people.
Consider Dan Rather's use of fraudulantly constructed memo's in order to try and influence the U.S. elections against George Bush. His defense? The memo's were fake but accurate. It wasn't objective reality that was important, but the meta-narrative that Bush was essentially AWOL that mattered.
Or perhaps the preponderance on reporters who still claim that George Bush delivered a plastic turkey to troops in Iraq at thanksgiving, even though the major newspapers offered corrections to make it clear the turkey was real.
Evatt Foundation president Christopher Sheil recently mused online about matters turkular: "Actually, it is easy to make a mistake about whether a turkey is fake or not . . . We cannot know for ourselves, for we merely have an image, and the suggestion that it was fake has been repeatedly published as such by countless sources all over the world. Very few know whether the turkey was fake or not . . ."What is he saying? It isn't important whether the turkey was fake or not....because we can't really know. Why then do many reporters claim it was plastic if they can't know it was plastic? Because it suits the meta-narrative about Bush not being a good president. Once again, reality or objective truth doesn't matter, but the story.
Or consider the picture of polar bears in a news.com article on global warming. The pictures tagline reads "Stranded ... this pair of polar bears - captured on film by Canadian environmentalists - reflect the tragedy of global warming." Pity the picture was not taken by Canadian Environmentalists. From Spiked
Amanda Byrd, an Australian graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), says she took the picture around three years ago - in the summer. The photograph was not ‘taken by environmentalists’ but as part of a field trip with the university.Once again, it isn't whether the picture and it's caption match objective reality, but that it can be used to support the meta-narrative of global warming.
The 'truth' doesn't matter as long as people believe in global warming.
Of course, this isn't the only instance of global warming fake but accurate claims. Consider Al Gore's exaggeration of the scientific consensus of what is a realistic expectation of sea levels rising due to global warming. The amount of exaggeration? Somewhere between 400% and 2000% (depending on which reports you listen to). What is Al's defense? That his more is accurate on 'the most important and salient points'. What points would they be? That human caused global warming needs to be addressed. That "Unless we act boldly, our world will undergo a string of terrible catastrophes." Considering his exaggerated claims of sea level rising, you have to wonder what catastrophe he is talking about? Once again...truth is discarded for the big story....
Or how about Professor Stephen Schneider, who feels scientists should exaggerate claims and levels of certainty in order to get people behind the movement to stop global warming.
These are just a few examples that spring to mind...I am sure there are many more.
Some people like postmodernism...it lets them have a great excuse for dishonesty.