Is Postmodernism An Inherently Atheistic Philosophy?


#61

That’s NOT Genealogical Adam. Under GA humanity was already here when Adam was fashioned by God. And this was not 700,000 years ago, more like 7,000. Adam comes along at the dawn of civilization, not the dawn of humanity.

Well IMHO the question should be how most of Christendom rationalizes the story that Adam was the sole genetic progenitor of the human race because that’s theology which is not actually in the bible.


#62

Ok, I will play out your GA Adam. He was specially made from dust (or was it clay) in an isolated garden somewhere in the Middle East about 7000 years ago. He didn’t have any parents so he didn’t have a navel. He was an adult his first day of existence. He had a genome that didn’t contain all the mutated genes of his non-existent parents. His genome didn’t contain all of the cumulative DNA from eons of natural selection has on all other organisms of life on Earth. His stomach bacteria was non-existent because he hadn’t eaten yet. He didn’t have an immune system primed by his mother to help him along his first few days. His bones would show no signs of growth from childhood as he had no childhood. He didn’t have baby teeth, but had fully erupted wisdom teeth. He didn’t have anybody to teach him words as a child but he had a language as he could understand Eve and the talking snake. He lost a rib but gained an attractive friend. He ate a piece of fruit, and was banished from the isolated garden and thrown into the cruel world of common decent through natural selection with all its bacteria and viruses. But he had something the world has never had before - an immortal soul. So Eve and him made their living in the agrarian society and he managed to live to over 900 years old. He fathered many unnamed daughters and two sons, one which killed the other.

Through geneaology (and not through genomics) his immoral soul propagated through humanity slowly. First in the Middle East, then through Europe, Asia, and Africa. I guess Adam’s genealogy got to the Americas with the Spanish , giving those pagan Meso Americans their immoral souls along with European diseases. Lastly Austrialia came later with the arrival of the Europeans transferring their immortal souls to the Aborigines.

So that is more believable than Adam is just a character in an ancient allegory?


#63

No. But that’s not what I am saying happened either. Hey but you know what, my bad. I knew that you were not in the place where you could or would hear yet I tried to explain to you anyway. Never mind.


#64

Okay, here is the next quote:

Postmodernist philosophies are visible in a great many places for those who are watching for them. For example, in some of National Geographic’s articles discussing religions (such as Islam and Christianity), the fundamental premise is often that the religion is viable, but is valuable mostly (if not only) in its role as a cultural tradition. Even if they vaguely appear to recognize the viability of any given religion, in the end, such organizations are more likely to professionally advocate the view that science is ultimately true over religion, and that religion and science are incompatible. This strongly reflects postmodernist philosophy and is exemplified to some degree in the final paragraph of the above linked National Geographic article on Christianity:

“At this moment I realize that to sincere believers, the scholars’ quest for the historical, non-supernatural Jesus is of little consequence. That quest will be endless, full of shifting theories, unanswerable questions, irreconcilable facts. But for true believers, their faith in the life, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God will be evidence enough.”

This statement alone is heavy with postmodernism (especially in light of the rest of the article). According to postmodernist philosophy, as long as you sincerely believe something, it is no longer the business of anything or anyone else to challenge your belief. With that obligation put in place, tolerance becomes the highest of all virtues.

I’m not sure why you say the quote is heavy with postmodernism. The “quest for a historical, non-supernatural Jesus” is a classic quest of modernism, not post-modernism, and exemplifed by things like he Jesus Seminar.

Interestingly enough, the Jesus Seminar is obviously circular in reasoning, rejecting text about miracles, because they predetermined miracles were impossible, then finding a Jesus that did not do miracles. Such an effort obviously begs the question. Moreover, this effort basically backfired, giving rise to a renaissance of Christian scholarship in this area, as I give a couple highlights here:

The part of the comment you hone in on as postmodern (“But for true believers, their faith in the life, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God will be evidence enough”). This is not a post-modern statement to me. It sounds much more like an insult, setting up faith and evidence as if they are in opposition. He is saying that those with faith do not really care about the evidence, so there is no use trying to change their minds.

@J.E.S, what makes you think this is a postmodern statement? This seems modern through and through.


#65

@swamidass

It would probably be, if you view it as an “insult.” It would be more clearly an insult if the quote was:

"At this moment I realize that to sincere believers, the scholars’ quest for the historical, non-supernatural Jesus is of little consequence. That quest will be endless, full of shifting theories, unanswerable questions, irreconcilable facts. But true believers will always cling to their faith in the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God, no matter how much evidence that exists to the contrary.

The statement is postmodern in the way that it indicates that individual belief is somehow a viable form of evidence for determining truth versus fiction…


#66

It is not suggesting this is viable.

Once again this gets into what you mean by modern vs postmodern. The way you right this it comes off like a modern Christian, but as Ive said, I see major problems with the modern Christain point of view.


#67

Is it saying that it is not viable?

What exactly do you mean by “viable?”


#68

True, the scholar’s quest is modernistic, but the second half of the quote is the more postmodern part, as it implies that personal belief can act as a substitute for evidence…

I appreciate your points, though. :wink:


#69

Also, here is an interesting cartoon which may add to the discussion:

image

What would the “descent of the postmodernists” cartoon look like? :wink:


#70

Yeah, I don’t really like this cartoon. I’ve seen it before, as it was used around the time of the Scopes Trial, if I remember right.

The problem with it is that it treats atheism as a profoundly evil thing. However, many atheists I know are closer to God than some religious people. Often, they have done the brave thing of rejecting man-made religion; and want the real thing or nothing. That is something to be admired, not feared. Many of my atheist colleagues are ethical people too, who are not anti-religious, and who treat us fairly.

Also, given the context of the carton (descent of man -> descent of modernists), it is an unfortunate fact of the time. Modernists at that time did deny the Resurrection. However, this is not inevitable. Some Chrisitans affirm both evolution and the Ressurection, and some modernists became fundamentalists instead of atheists.

Modernism and fundamentalism are tightly linked.


#71

I think that you mean to say that some atheist have morals, ethics, and values that are more closely aligned to what you feel that religious people should have. I very much agree. In society today it is secular humanism or the liberal ideals of the Enlightenment that are being achieved through reasoning and science and not through any religion or faith. And it is religion that is holding this progress back and, in many cases, the root cause of the injustice and intolerance. See


#72

@Patrick

It doesn’t seem like you are here to understand, but to tear down.

@swamidass, BioLogos has a much better quality of “Atheist correspondents” than we seem to.


#73

@J.E.S

How is this different from the Evangelical view of individual belief as a “viable form of evidence”?


#74

Really George , Biologos has better quality of atheists? How so? How do you rate the quality of an atheist? Let me know as I am looking for metrics to rate the quality of universal unitians


#75

@Patrick

The answer is easy. Most of the Atheists at BioLogos accept their task as helping to convince Creationists of the value of Evolution, even God-Guided Evolution.

Here, we have you… and you absolutely rebel at the notion that you would ever defend God-Guided Evolution vis-a-vis the views of Creationists.

You really don’t belong here… because you cause just as much chaotic interpretation of the version of Evolution being pursued here as any Creationist attempts to do.

@swamidass, he still doesn’t get the scope of his purpose here.


#76

@Patrick you are welcome here. Atheists working to build bridges and understand others are certainly welcome.

@gbrooks9 we need to be kind. Lately @Patrick, has been making constructive contributions. Be kind to him.


#77

@swamidass:

Clearly you have a different view from me of what it is to “be productive”. His first reflex is to prove you wrong… not to support how you could be right.