Postmodern Morality

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I'm becoming more convinced that the vast majority of people need to believe in something bigger than themselves ... something bigger which proposes a deeper meaning to the biological question.  I find myself drawn to the same. 

People desire to be defined by an external meaning -- a higher authority in their lives to define them.  In reality, Victorian Morality is psychologically repudiating for many.  

 

Liberty does not define a person.  Liberty is the ability to express freely in ways which a person is already defined.  If a person has no definition, liberty is meaningless.  Many individuals are living their lives without definition, without meaning, without any need for liberty.  Troubling times for humans.

 

Enter Postmodernism

 

Pre-postmodern era, individuals had been defined by a family, parents, a town, a culture.  These relationships had authority.  Those social structures have much less influence in defining individuals now that the core family structures have been devalued and cultures mixed beyond recognition of their former existence. 

Relationships are now thinly built over electronic networks.  These relationships are as inconsequential as a button-click -- "unfollow", "block", "ignore".  What seems like a welcomed revolution in electronic networking, however people are starving for deeper relationships which they desperately need for meaningful definition.  Many people are living emotionally desolate.

 

. . . and the people begin starving for something to define them.  We have disposed of all previous social structures providing personal identities and moral fencing. 

Enter postmodern morality.  Enter identity politics.

  

I see Postmodern morality rising powerfully today where people have become influenced by massive group thinking--group dynamics.  For people lacking identities, social justice movements satisfy a person's innate need for definition.  Social justice is a relief . . . a cause . . . an identity.  These are Postmodern Morality movements, larger than individuals, with authority, and giving people new meaning from which they had been starved.  It matters far less the logical validity of these movements as it is to satisfy a human need.  We have seen this before in post-WWI Germany.  Stripped of identity, Germans were susceptible to follow anything satisfying an identity crisis.

 

These postmodern Morality movements impose moral stipulations on society.  The problem with Postmodern Morality is that there is no reconciliation for the "guilty".  "You are a racist".  "You are a sexist".  "You are a Nazi".  People are condemned or praised solely for skin tone.  Yet worse still is how these modern social justice movements would continue to degrade personal identities.  Lately, it is the 302 gender definitions in US academic institutions.  In Canada, identification of a person's sex is now unlawful.  Another example is for open borders in an effort to remove cultural identities and cultural bonds.  This trend is so troubling, I have very little hope we can reverse the identity crisis in the west without massive conflict.  Again . . . Germany post-WWI.

 

The emotional battle we see today between the left and right is not just politics.  Anything the right opposes of the left challenges the left's very identity.  The right is not just challenging policies or ideas . . . it is challenging the left's very existence and meaning of living.  Wow!   This is a mortal struggle where people would do just about anything to retain their identity and meaning.   Conversely, it is no hidden point that the right promotes social conservatism recognizing that a close family and culture cohesion is integral to their own identity.  Of course, I side with social conservatism.

 

 In summary, I don't see any good outcome where political ideas and policies are so closely tied to people's identity . . . how a person sees themselves as worthwhile and meaningful.  These are very troubling times and I do think a new cult religion has risen . . . identity politics/social justice.   Although this new religion has given identity to many people, this will drive society to justify politics that can be unjust and violent.

 

I can usually see the good in things, but in this case, I fear the worst.

 

Comments

Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:31pm
I'm becoming more convinced that the vast majority of people need to believe in something bigger than themselves ... something bigger which proposes a deeper meaning to the biological question.
 
I don't mind to belong to the minority :-)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:33pm
...otherwise fully agree with your article. That gender-identity-fake-tolerance thing is a bad joke and seems to border more and more on mental illness.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:34pm
BTW: Maybe we need a return to basic needs like struggles for food and water to get rid of these luxury delusions.
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 9, 2017 - 4:52pm
The article falls apart in the summary, " I don't see any good outcome where political ideas and policies are so closely tied to people's identity . . . how a person sees themselves as worthwhile and meaningful."  I think you mean that people identity is defined by a group.  They are members of a group and the good of the group comes before the individual members of the group.   The person has not identity outside the group." 
 
Islam and Communism are such cultures.  That is how they can sent their children out to be suicide bombers.  That is how they can send waves of solders into battle.  That is how they can use human mine sweepers.  That is how genocide can be committed.   When the ideals of the group superseded the individuals rights then the individuals are expendable.
wsucram15 Added Nov 9, 2017 - 6:57pm
William..we do not agree politically at all.  In fact, you have put me down many times.  I ignore it do you know why?
I dont identify people with their politics...I usually only get upset with apathy or cruelty.  Politic is an ideal, and is not the person. IT is their ideal. 
 
The fact one group of people hates another group because of their "ideals" is superficial and very sad.   IT must be very boring living at the top, being perfect and having absolutely NO room for improvement.
 
This shows how much people  never ever learn and are destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again..
William Stockton Added Nov 9, 2017 - 8:42pm
Stone, Maybe we need a return to basic needs like struggles for food and water to get rid of these luxury delusions.
 
Yep, That is exactly where we are headed if people don't wake the hell up.
William Stockton Added Nov 9, 2017 - 8:49pm
Thomas
 I think you mean that people identity is defined by a group.
Yes.  I said that
 
They are members of a group and the good of the group comes before the individual members of the group.
No.  This is not objective of SJW/identity politics.
 
The person has not identity outside the group.
Not sure what you are saying there.   
 
The rest of your comment I agree with.
William Stockton Added Nov 9, 2017 - 8:56pm
Jeanne, "we do not agree politically at all."
Ok.  Good for us.  We should have lively debates!
 
In fact, you have put me down many times. 
Do you mean your last comment to me, in a different thread, where you said I should stop being an ASS?  LOL.  What's got into you lately?  I can only surmise this is a seasonal thing.  You have not been so terse in the past.
 
I think you are missing the "ideal" in your own political party.  The "ideal" you say is a bigotry of low expectations.  Victimhood intersectionality.  Oppression Olympics. 
I can't fathom how you equate that with any "ideal" on the cult-left.
 
Neil Lock Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:28am
William: I'm no right-winger, but I agree with you about postmodern morality. In such a morality, the individual is nothing, and the group is everything. Another problem postmodernists seem to have is their lack of belief in absolute truth. Thus they cannot be objective, and this means that they are unable to compromise with their opponents, or to agree to live and let live. I think that's the nub of the problem.
Gone Away Added Nov 10, 2017 - 5:47am
Sadly, you make a lot of sense William. Society is becoming an unweildly force of unimaginable consequences should actions become louder than words.
George N Romey Added Nov 10, 2017 - 7:42am
We are becoming a world of “group think” a la social media and the MSM. Individuality is being lost along with good old fashion common sense.
Dino Manalis Added Nov 10, 2017 - 8:45am
Faith gives us hope and endurance, because science and money don't provide us with enough reassurance.  Morality doesn't change with the times, but is based on simple morals and values we have to teach our children for them to behave responsibly in society and respect various kinds of authority.  Modernization has to make us better, not worse!
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 10, 2017 - 9:07am
William.  A mother straps a bomb to her child and send the child out to kill non-Muslims, would you not say the mother was acting for the good of the group, her Islamic sect?  She was not acting for the good of the child for all biological beings, life is a natural force of action.
 
That mother I would say, has not identity outside the group.  For the next day she may be strapping a bomb to herself and go out to kill non-Muslims.  She is violating her own biological force because he is acting for the life of the group, its survival.
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 9:49am
Thomas, I agree with your example.  And yes, I agree that for groups (or religions) which are on war-footing, it is survival of the group first.
 
The same happens in the US military.  In order to get a person to kill or die for their country, they go through a short period of identity stripping . . . boot camp.
Boot camp is not just physical training.  It is a resetting of personal identities such that a man would adopt the identity of the military.
This is why so many vets have problems once released.  Their identity group is no longer supporting them and many end up adopting new identities which are not compatible with society.  In the past, the military has done a great disservice to vets by releasing them back into society without any reintegration strategy.  If a vet had a strong identity group (family) to return to, they usually had a healthy transition back into society.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:35am
Stockton - one of your better efforts!  I think the root cause of this conflict arising in the first place is the expansion of the Federal Government far beyond the limits of the Constitution.  I predict that the vast majority of posters who disagree with this article believe that the government's bloated size and endless expansion beyond its Constitutional limits is just fine.  They view the Federal Government as an agency that enables them to enforce their beliefs and programs on everyone.
 
The Founding Fathers were aware of the dangers of an unlimited government.  That is why they drew up a Constitution with specific, limited powers granted by a self-governing society.  We grant the Federal Government certain LIMITED powers over us - not the other way around! 
 
Our personal freedoms are inalienable and granted to us by our Creator - which is why the manipulators behind most people on the Left are constantly trying to eliminate any such references in our laws, courts, public places, etc.  The moment we accept that our freedoms are "granted" to us by the government is the beginning of the end of America - we will degenerate and decay into another "socialist paradise". 
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:38am
William the western military do not draft teenagers, separate them by veracity.  And use the weaker teens as human mine sweepers.  A movie presents the life experience of a boy that had the icon for one chosen to be a mine sweeper teen.  He parent smuggled him out of Iran.  He became a successful wrestler and I think an Olympic meddle winner.  Forget the name of the movie.  
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:55am
Neil, Another problem postmodernists seem to have is their lack of belief in absolute truth. 
 
Yes, this is a huge, massive problem with academics today.  Without absolute truths, there is no more science.
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:56am
Collette, Society is becoming an unwieldy force of unimaginable consequences should actions become louder than words.
 
That was a beautifully written sentence.  Very nice!
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:57am
I agree George.  Thanks
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 11:02am
Dino, Modernization has to make us better, not worse!
 
For sure.  I would say we are making a transition for the better but I cant see a soft landing in our future.  There is too much irrationality.
I don't have much faith in the West's future.  
 
William Stockton Added Nov 10, 2017 - 11:11am
Mike, I completely agree.  The left's inclination for bigger government is the shortest distance to complete and 100% homogeneous group thought.
I have to wonder if conservative politicians, those in power for a decade or more, have been turned by this identity politics.  Hell, I don't see the Republicans providing a strong identity, strong values either.  They couldn't even vote out the largest intrusion of the government (ACA) while they had majorities.  Fools.
 
Steve Bergeron Added Nov 10, 2017 - 1:43pm
The problem is that modern man is that rather than living his life in the broader context of truth, he lives it by the primacy of the autonomous will.  "My plans, my desires, my goals, my viewpoints, etc."  What this does is create a situation where he is living in such a restricted, minuscule world compared to what is, that he becomes a narcissist.   We have a whole society of narcissists now, encouraged by the media and advertising.  
Wayne McMichael Added Nov 10, 2017 - 2:03pm
I'm becoming more convinced that the vast majority of people need to believe in something bigger than themselves ... something bigger which proposes a deeper meaning to the biological question.  I find myself drawn to the same. 
 
That is the quest that separates us. Some believe that higher power is "Government" and some see it as a never ending Spiritual quest. The underlying issue seems to me, to be, that some people can not resist their insatiable apatite for controlling others, rather than themselves. The ones who need to control others the most are the ones who lack self control. That lack of self control, to control one's feelings, is the root of dysfunctional codependency, which is the root of many social disorders, including general dissatisfaction and unhappiness, which leads to feelings victim-hood. All of our nation's problems stem from that, including the current NFL problem. People making us the reason for their unhappiness is the root of PC, but SJW takes that a step further... they make everyone responsible for everyone's feelings, which is the group think thing. They think they are responsible for making everything "fair" for everyone... which is clearly a mental disorder that the left propagates. The left can not exist without the victims they create and then exploit. BTW, that "need to believe in something bigger than themselves" is a main goal of AA.
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 10, 2017 - 3:26pm
Wayne and Steve well said.
 
William S., I disagree that the 'same happens in the US military.' Boot camp goal is to keep them alive by being a member of the group. 'I was fighting for my fellow solders.' They are a member of a group with boot camp being the first item to bind them together. All armies use this same principle.  War violate the moral code we are taught. Dealing with the facts that one lives with on a battle field, the battle field code with the moral code in civilian life, is a big change.
 
Postmodernism has an absolute truth, it is just not the same as the one in the declaration. There absolute truth is more in line with Thomas More's Leviathan.  "Modernization has to make us better, not worse!" if you believe in that I suggest you come to Chicago and take up residence in the black ghettos on the west and south areas of the city. Do not have a gun and speak frankly to everyone. If your white more the better. Good Luck.
 
Those Chicago communities are the result of modernization started by FDR's housing administration and a massive growth in welfare with programs like Aid To Dependent Children. It includes the modernization of Roe v Wade decision that in practice define a human from the time the state issues a birth certificate.  Fourth term abortion is ignored by employees of government with the responsibility of enforcing the law. The Penn. abortion doctor was stopped not for fourth term abortions and even killing the women but for selling drugs from the same facilities. So you can have this 'modernization.' 
 
Personnel I am against it.  I prefer the laws of nature and of natures God, that include not committing murder. Even in the Roman times life began when a baby move in its mother's belly. Your reading this because your mother believe you were a human and under the law your life was important including in her belly.
 
So Mike and William you both, "completely agree. The left's inclination for bigger government is the shortest distance to complete and 100% homogeneous group thought." That means the group decides if your life has value to the group or not. They choose your fate. Do you become a suicide bomber, a terrorist shooter, a citizen with no means of defence, a human mine sweeper, a solder, etc. Not you.  What CLASS you are a member of for life.
Tamara Wilhite Added Nov 10, 2017 - 6:33pm

Dr. Jordan Peterson On The Evil Of Postmodernism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTxmKc80wUw
wsucram15 Added Nov 10, 2017 - 7:02pm
William..we do have lively spirited debates. I called you an ASS because after everything we have been through to save this site..you promoted more hostility between two other writers, one of them new.  Perhaps I just expect more from you than other writers on this page.  Think about that, because I don't expect much from anyone.
 
Now AGAIN..Im not a democrat..or a republican.  I dont takes sides except the pov I agree with.  Blue or Red means nothing and the only reason I picked one was to vote in the primary in my state.   I would be Independent, I just want the opportunity (since my state is a democratic state) to put my voice into who should represent.   But I have done much more for Republicans in this state.
 
In any event..it s a good article with some points to it.  I cant agree with the idealism behind it, such as "the problem with Postmodern Morality is that there is no reconciliation for the "guilty".  "You are a racist".  "You are a sexist".  "You are a Nazi".  People are condemned or praised solely for skin tone.  Yet worse still is how these modern social justice movements would continue to degrade personal identities." 
If someone is a racist, sexist,  nazi or guilty of these things..how are they penalized for their skin tone?  Why because its a bunch of crazy white men with torches running over a girl?   This again, is the MALE ego bitching about what is now happening.  Women.  Well William..we put up with it for decades... and we are tired now.
 
Its your turn to figure out how to deal with it.   No..Im not going through anything.  The country is..wake up.
Jeff Jackson Added Nov 10, 2017 - 8:45pm
William, social justice means the government intervening so that those who feel cheated can get back at those they think have cheated them. You have to admit, it's a popular theme.
Dave Volek Added Nov 16, 2017 - 11:43am
William
Great article. It is amazing at how people latch on to something outside themselves to define who there are in the inside: "I'm a Republican" "I'm an environmentalist", "I'm a Christian", "I ride a Harley".
 
I bet there's a whole bunch of psychology studies on this.
 
William Stockton Added Nov 17, 2017 - 9:57am
Steve, "We have a whole society of narcissists now, encouraged by the media and advertising. "
 
True that.  I can't imagine the correction coming.  Nature feeds on arrogance . . . easy prey.
William Stockton Added Nov 17, 2017 - 10:00am
Jeanne, "I called you an ASS because after everything we have been through to save this site..you promoted more hostility between two other writers, one of them new."
 
You completely misread my post and intention.  I was mocking the author of that hit piece.  Wasnt promoting the article at all.  It was stupid.
William Stockton Added Nov 17, 2017 - 10:03am
Jeff, "You have to admit, it's a popular theme."
. . . and dangerous.  Especially when a political party which nearly owns all media distribution has been telling people they are victims and not accountable for their own actions.  Scary times indeed.
William Stockton Added Nov 17, 2017 - 10:10am
Thanks, Dave.
Regarding the psychology:   There is a missing stack on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  People actually cannot create their own identity themselves.  People need something exterior, non-intrinsic, to define them. 
 
Identity Depravation is real and should be studied in much greater form.  Good notes Dave.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Nov 18, 2017 - 4:22am
@ Thomas. "Modernization has to make us better, not worse!" if you believe in that I suggest you come to Chicago and take up residence in the black ghettos on the west and south areas of the city. Do not have a gun and speak frankly to everyone. If your white more the better. Good Luck."
 
Thomas, your loving of Blacks comes out again and again. Give it a rest, I am arranging for you to meet a Black siren.
Wayne McMichael Added Nov 18, 2017 - 7:30am
Regarding "People actually cannot create their own identity themselves.  People need something exterior, non-intrinsic, to define them. "      ........I have to expand on that. I remember my 1st birthday party in some detail. One of the things I remember the best is, I was walking through the kitchen of my uncle's house with my mother and 2 aunts behind me. I could not walk well of course. They walked slowly and patiently behind me as I managed to traverse the step down to the den, by sitting down and putting my legs over first:) They were engaged in conversation. At the time I had little to know language and I distinctly remember thinking "I will be glad when I can understand what they are saying". Now I could not think in English because I had no English, but I was thinking complex thoughts in some language. I was exactly the person then that I am now. I had my identity. I was Me. Certainly I am wiser and smarter now, from my experience, but I am exactly the same:) I still have the curious nature as well:)

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