18 April 2009

A Global World: Reality Is Real

In my signature style, I am going to finish a series I began over a month ago and have since put aside. We were talking about the nature of today's global world and postmodernism, particularly as it relates to communication. Out of that arose the issue of relativism, a distinguishing mark of postmodernism. This issue is critically relevant because we know each other, and most importantly we know God, through communication.

On this topic last time I 'rote:
I have a concept of something in my mind. I wish to establish that same concept in your mind. I am trying to do so with these words. This is basic communication. But to a postmodern reader, even if my words are 100% effective, the concept received by that reader can be whatever he wants it to be. He doesn't need to try to find the objective meaning to my words, since he has decided there is no objective meaning.

See the problem here? The obvious question becomes: What's the point of communication? This is where I'll start next time when I put the nail in the coffin on postmodern relativism.

And so I will now address this. My basic point is this: The existence of communication makes the existence of absolute truth self-evident. If there is no absolute truth to be known, there would be no reason to communicate--but since there is communication, there must be an absolute truth.

Someone once tried to convince me that everything is relative. Catch this: for him to make such a statement is to make a claim about reality. He tried to tell me how things really are. If you do that, obviously you imply that there is a certain way things really are. That's absolute truth, folks. So anytime a claim about reality is made absolute truth is necessary. To claim there really is no reality is just stupid.

When someone says, "The Bible has no absolute meaning--it can mean whatever I think it means," he is using words to communicate a concept, a concept he believes is true. So he is making a truth claim using words. That's exactly the Bible! The proper response in such a debate is, "So you mean the Bible has absolute meaning?"or "What did you say about my mother?!" If this person believes words don't necessarily communicate absolute meaning, then we don't need to take that person's words seriously either--we can take them to mean whatever we want.

Pretty silly, huh?

Relating this back to our global world, we must remember that the people we readily interact with may have very different experiences and perspectives than our own. Truth, however, is singular and absolute. Communication must be done with great care. Even as I 'rite this I don't know who you are reading it, yet I need to consider how you might receive these words. So I really hope you are with me.

Really.

1 comment:

Caleb said...

The nail in proverbial coffin.