The attraction of postmodernism

Postmodernism is popular among many people even with the obvious problems postmodernism presents. But what is the underlying reason that such a philosophical perspective would be appealing to people? There is, no doubt, more than one aspect to postmodernism’s appeal—but here we will only deal with possibly the most deeply rooted cause.

Maybe the best way to explain this appeal is to understand that people have within them a deeply rooted desire to do what they wish to do and believe what they wish to believe without any restrictions upon their beliefs or actions. To put it bluntly, postmodernism provides an articulated foundational to believe whatever an individual wishes to believe and do whatever an individual wishes to do (within the restrictions of law). Take the following quote as a macrocosm for the appeal of postmodernism for many people.

“Modernism is about space. Postmodernism is about communication. You should do what turns you on.”--Robert Venturi

The quote makes the point that the two opposing views of moderity and postmodernity are at their core based upon a difference premise: Moderninity based upon the philosophical jargon as "space" and postmodernity that of "communication." And, seeing that they oppose each other, simply conclude that you should not concern yourself with either of the views but with doing “what turns you on.” Therefore, doing what turns you on should take preeminence and should be the focus. I realize Venturi's quote can be easily taken too far to make the point, but it does represent a mind set that postmodernism provides.

One of the reasons postmodernism appeals is the belief that an individual finds truth in want he believes is true. After all, if there is no external truth then there can be no external accountability. If there is no truth or standard regarding moral living, then no boundaries exists (relative to the laws of the land and mores of the group). This view is widely promulgated throughout western society, and has become a philosophical truth in America.

If there is no truth, there is no accountability. A very appealing prospect to some.

Let's conclude our discussion on postmodernism with a biblical response.

To next section    Homepage