(To apologists: This Post highlights inherent inconsistencies within post-modernism.)
It’s a good idea to try and think a little bit each day. During one such mind exercise a new proposition was formed. It was a complete, post-modern argument for God’s existence that seemed to come out of nowhere. For someone that’s argued against post-modernism, where did it come from?
While mulling this over, the proposition itself gave rise to an answer. It illustrates and exposes a flaw in post-modernism. If one believes in a rational Universe this post-modern argument isn’t substantive; it’s without merit. But it would appear to be irrefutable to a postmodernist.
A syllogism using premises with a conclusion is a good way to present this new argument supporting God’s existence, which proclaims mankind’s existence as well. It is extremely important to be non-critical at this juncture; determining inconsistencies will come later. So with that pronouncement let’s proceed: Premise 1: God is or is not. Premise 2: You do or you do not Therefore: God is or you do not.
Note the repeated use of the word ‘is.’ This word denotes a “state of being.” Remember when Ex-president Clinton made the now famous post-modern claim, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.” His impeachment informed him of the reality behind the word ‘is’.
Notice too, the importance given to the word ‘do.’ Interpreted properly the word ‘do’ can be viewed as an active or completed action. Be forewarned a post-modern thinker can use either form interchangeably. Just as Clinton tried to do with the word ‘is.’ A postmodernist will resist limiting their definitions of terms. This interchangeable use of terms is a key to understanding the interaction between the premises and conclusion in this new argument. In fact one must count on it.To digest this syllogism properly one must look at its constituent elements. One must hope a post-modern thinker could identify the formulation as: Premise 1: All A is not B Premise 2: All C is not D Therefore: All A is not D.
There are several laws of logic one must be aware of when making a formal argument. This is true for a post-modernist as well. They include:
- The Law of Identity – (IS) A is A Everything is the same as itself
- The law of Non-Contradiction – (NOT) A and not A Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect; or no statement is both true and false.
- The Law of the Excluded middle – (EITHER) A or not A Something either exists or does not exist; every statement is either true or false
However, a postmodernist would not see any conflict with the law of non-contradiction because premise one and premise two are not related in subject/object matter. It is obvious to a postmodernist that there aren’t any contradictions between writing about whether on not God exists and whether or not you exist.
Another important law is the law of an excluded middle. A post-modern conclusion would say the argument has an excluded middle because the second premise, isn’t excluding the first premise in relation to the conclusion. It is merely stating that everything exists or it doesn’t.
First up, law of non-contradiction has not been adhered to. Within this proposition there remains the possibility for the conclusion to be false when viewed in context to the assertions. Each individual premise may not be contradictory, but there isn’t any relationship between the premises to say if there is or isn’t anything contradictory to the conclusion either.
This brings us to the law of the excluded middle. The proposition claims that; All A is Not D. It’s nice to hear that God is. It also makes sense that if God doesn’t exist then we don’t either. The problem is that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. Premise one All A is not B stands alone and is fine; premise two states that all C is not D is consistent also. However there is no connector between the two distinct stand alone premises, the middle element is excluded. There is no argument to be found. The conclusion isn’t a really a conclusion; it’s just another stand alone statement. To say that, “God exists because if He doesn’t exist, nothing else can exist” is a valid statement. But it’s not this argument’s conclusion, unless you are a post-modern thinker.
Remember a postmodernist can use the word ‘do’ interchangeably if it fits the circumstances or a need. Well in this instance the word ‘do’ plays an essential role as the connecting element in order for the three independent statements to become an argument at all. With ‘do’ being an active and completed action it magically connects element A=’God’, of premise one; with element D=’you’, of premise two. This provides one with a conclusion, loosely trans-formulated as; God do-es exist or else you do-n’t exist.Post-modernism it seems has found a unique way to reach the conclusion that God must exist. It does so by first recognizing that “you” have existence and then includes the assumed concept; if God doesn’t exist then ‘you’ don’t exist either. Therefore, since ‘you’ exist, God must exist also. Nice flip/flop, huh? Ultimately, the conclusion, “God is or you do not” is an irrefutable position to be embraced by post-modern thinkers everywhere.
While this is no “Magnum Opus” and even with the tongue in cheek, it represents some of the thought processes and it identifies some of the absurdities postmodernists embrace. Post-modernism is a position that can only be accepted; not proven. If you believe anything at all about John Donne’s quote, “No man is an island,” post-modernism cannot be defended in any way shape or form.
Therefore, as Christian apologists, the next time you bump into a postmodernist; pull out this new argument and see what their reaction is. It will either show them the absurdity of their post-modern positions or it will prove to them, on their own terms, that God exists and that my friend is a win, win proposition.