Posted by: Randall Niles | May 26, 2010

The Postmodern Wiggle Dance

Do we all share a moral baseline? Do we all possess an inherent standard that declares murder, rape, theft, and cheating as universal wrongs? Why? Where does that come from?

When we see images of genocidal atrocities in Rwanda and Sudan, do our stomachs turn? When we read details about the twisted minds of serial killers and sexual predators, do we shirk in disgust? When we read about graft, corruption, and payoffs in our own government, do we… oh wait, I’m not supposed to go there…

Although it seems that humanity shares an ethical plumb line on the “big things,” it also seems that many have gone totally numb on the so-called “smaller things.” The inner conscience is broken, the inherent checks and balances are gone. Have you really digested the impact of postmodern relativism on our collective morality?

Hey — “Whatever”…

“What kind of freak is man? What a novelty he is, how absurd he is, how chaotic and what a mass of contradictions, and yet what a prodigy! He is judge of all things, yet a feeble worm. He is repository of truth, and yet sinks into such doubt and error. He is the glory and the scum of the universe!” (Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662)

I think everyone has a God-given conscience. Not everyone acknowledges it, and many have squashed it, but everyone has a one. The human tendency to justify and rationalize is the best evidence of such a conscience. Have you noticed all the crazy squirming and illogical dodging lately on TV? Politicians, journalists, preachers, oil executives, union bosses…What better evidence for a moral baseline inherent in rational people! We all know that wrong is bad, so we watch people wiggle and squirm to somehow twist things into being “somewhat right” and “somehow good.”

Maybe we’ve participated in such a wiggle dance ourselves lately. In the end, who are we kidding?

Think about it… If there was no such thing as right and wrong, we wouldn’t have the capacity to weigh actions on the scales of justice. When we watch these “squirmers” on TV (or when we squirm ourselves), we see it — we all weigh those actions through a rational lens of right and wrong. Isn’t this the universal basis for all law? What is justice without shared notions of right and wrong? How can we have an insanity defense, if we don’t have sanity as a collective standard?

Please Keep Thinking,

Randall Niles

Here’s one of my latest videos on Postmodernism – Enjoy!

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Responses

  1. I agree, we should all have a common standard for morality, and also for truth, which people nowadays seem to twist for their own caprice. Our sense of right and wrong is being destroyed, and anyone who dares to speak about what is really correct is easily labeled as judgmental.


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