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How To Debate a Postmodernist

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posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 01:56 PM
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We should always employ the term “postmodernist” in a pejorative sense—the dogmatic adherence to the counter-enlightenment can turn otherwise meaningful conversation into meaningless blather.

Defined as an “incredulity towards metanarratives” (Lyotard), postmodernism is at the start self-refuting. It is itself a metanarrative to which its adherents are extremely credulous. Postmodernist-type thinking and its offshoots have provided countless metanarratives for our perusal—identity politics, intersectionality, critical race theory—and in a fit of irony have elevated them to the status of orthodoxy. And in an attempt to give an appearance of solidity to mishmash, all of it is buttressed by a nearly unassailable barrier of meaningless and violent prattle. Look at the word "metanarrative" for instance.

But besides the constant gibberish, the irresponsible relativism, and the fickle need for self aggrandizement, postmodernism has advocated mistrust in the very methods with which we understand and change the world for the better.

As with anything postmodernist in thought and method, a conversation or debate is never a sharing of thoughts, a scientific endeavour, or even common enterprise, but a game or power struggle with which there is always a winner and loser. They want to win, of course, but at any cost. Their ill-mannered means always justify their silly ends, which never seem to come to fruition.

It is in that aspect that they are not unlike the Sophists of ancient Greece. They employ fallacy as rhetorical strategies in order to give the appearance of winning the debate. This serves perfectly well for a species of human being that craves power. But unlike the sophists, they are often too ignorant of rhetoric to realize that they are doing so. What was once an act of cunning is now an act of abject ignorance and habit.

For example, a common postmodernist technique is to respond to an argument by stating “that’s just your opinion”. In other words, any arguments you’ve made and any conclusion you might suggest are simply dismissed without consideration. There is a vast difference between an argument and opinion, but explaining that difference to a post modernist would be to succumb to his strategy, which was to dismiss or deflect from the initial argument in the first place. It isn't long before you're attempting to explain basic grammar to an adult, and the original argument is long forgotten.

Another is to state “you’re just playing semantics”, as if meaning had zero bearing on conversation. This criticism is more an admission that they are confused. Meaning is conducive to truth and knowledge and the sharing of ideas, but again, to the postmodernist none of that matters unless it is in the service of self-aggrandizement.

As intimated, mistrust in the methods with which we discern truth and how to operate in the world was once the going rate among postmodernism, but at least the postmodernist philosophers knew what those were. Ask the students and heirs of postmodernist thought about enlightenment ideals and watch their eyes gloss over.

But finally, to the question of “how to debate a postmodernist”, the answer is simple.

Don’t bother.

- LesMis

edit on 15-12-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I agree, there is no debating them. They are right and have all the answers. Why would anyone be so stupid as to debate them.

You have to trap them in their own thought processes if you do. You have to have them actually disagree with something they have said in the past and get them in agreement with it first, before pulling the rug out from underneath .

Even in defeat they just leave the argument.

Wankers.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:19 PM
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i'm just curious, is your name like Les Misanthrope, like les is short for leslie or something? because if you're trying to be french about it, les is the article for plural nouns and you would actually want to be LeMisanthrope, i think.

sign me not necessarily postmodern, just pedantic



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: fiverx313
i'm just curious, is your name like Les Misanthrope, like les is short for leslie or something? because if you're trying to be french about it, les is the article for plural nouns and you would actually want to be LeMisanthrope, i think.

sign me not necessarily postmodern, just pedantic


It's supposed to be a play on words. Le Misanthrope and Les Miserables are my favourite plays. Over the head and below the knees I suppose.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:28 PM
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I'm curious, since you keep up with media etc. is post-modernist a specific reference, such as SJW (with a stereotype)

Or going by the true definition someone who's thoughts must be related to future ways (after modern)
Same with SJW, social justice warrior, without the stereotype and just pure definition, is someone who wants what is best for social situations. But I think you are basing it off of popular stereotypes, in which case it is hard to find an argument for me

If you are basing it off of negative stereotypes, then your article is about those people.
If it was about SJW's, your argument is against the people who take things too far,
and it's not against Obama who asked philipino president Duterte to soften on killings,
It's about the negative connotation of SJW, the one's saying you aren't allowed to in a group setting give black's brown cups and white's white cups just for fun.

In that case you already picked your argument.

You picked a negative stereotype, and as society already done for you, called them the negative things people feel about their already known negative ways.
edit on 15-12-2017 by makalit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: makalit




I'm curious, since you keep up with media etc. is post-modernist a specific reference, such as SJW (with a stereotype)

Or going by the true definition someone who's thoughts must be related to future ways (after modern)
Same with SJW, social justice warrior, without the stereotype and just pure definition, is someone who wants what is best for social situations. But I think you are basing it off of popular stereotypes, in which case it is hard to find an argument for me


Postmodernism in its strictest sense is a philosophical movement. I don't like the term "social justice warrior", or any namecalling for that matter, so I'm trying my best to accurately criticize the philosophical underpinnings without resorting to labelling. But yes, a typical SJW would harbour postmodernist ideas, ie relativism, rhetoric as a means of liberation, the eschewing of principles, etc.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

The large majority of post-modernists that I've encountered have been students and therefore tend to be young, inexperienced, idealistic, impressionable, ego-centric, and just plain stupid. As they age, grow, learn, and mature I believe they will let these ideas fall to the side, as many people develop more mature ideas as they age.

What is somewhat shocking to me is the number of PhD level professors at the so-called higher centers of learning that actually adhere to this philosophy. You really need to live in an ivory tower to be able to hold these ideals as an adult. It's just not a workable theory on a day-to-day basis in the real world. My sense is that most of these people are intellectually lazy and use this philosophy as an excuse for not actually studying classical theories.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 02:50 PM
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I'm finding out what post modernism is. Apparently it's criticizing modern values, one example is that our reality is an objective one that exists independently of any person, and is really actually real.

Post-modernists may argue that that is an assumption based off our eyes and it is a concept.

I think I know what post modernism is now, people who think mandella effect is real.

I'm on board with you then bro



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
It's supposed to be a play on words. Le Misanthrope and Les Miserables are my favourite plays. Over the head and below the knees I suppose.


ah, very cool. i'm more of a tartuffe girl, myself... but misanthrope is good. hard to go wrong with moliere.

/end derail



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 04:06 PM
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a reply to: makalit




I'm finding out what post modernism is. Apparently it's criticizing modern values, one example is that our reality is an objective one that exists independently of any person, and is really actually real.

Post-modernists may argue that that is an assumption based off our eyes and it is a concept.

I think I know what post modernism is now, people who think mandella effect is real.

I'm on board with you then bro


Yes, as Lyotard wrote in his "Postmodern Condition" it's about "incredulity towards metanarratives". A metanarrative is a narrative of narratives (don't bother trying to figure it out). So things like "truth" or "science" and the like are ripe for postmodernist skepticism.



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 04:07 PM
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a reply to: fiverx313




ah, very cool. i'm more of a tartuffe girl, myself... but misanthrope is good. hard to go wrong with moliere.


A Moliere fan! Be careful...



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I agree with that sentiment. This may sound a bit simplistic, but regardless it's my take:

The reason postmodernists are so skeptical and have so much uncertainty towards embracing any sort of truth is because we live in a society that uses subversive tactics and outright disinformation. The paradox being that society is designed this way DELIBERATELY by TPTB or whomever designs the fabric of social constructs in order to hide the greatest truths.

The ancients provided us with so many tools that will remain unrecognized by skeptics as a defense mechanism built out of a general distrust for modern rhetoric.

One man's opinion.
edit on 15-12-2017 by AgarthaSeed because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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Watching posters struggle with this thread should be amusing. Or, now that I think about it, maybe a bit sad...



posted on Dec, 15 2017 @ 06:59 PM
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Postmodernism is meaningless. It's just a term halfassed academics throw around to try and impress their students.

And people that describe themselves a postmodernist are pathetic dorks, that worship "effete intellectual snobs"....thanks spiro agnew!!

edit on 15-12-2017 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 05:47 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
But besides the constant gibberish, the irresponsible relativism, and the fickle need for self aggrandizement, postmodernism has advocated mistrust in the very methods with which we understand and change the world for the better.


I think there is more to why the philosophy of postmodernism exists than your excessive simplifications.



More recently, Walter Truett Anderson described postmodernism as belonging to one of four typological world views, which he identifies as either (a) Postmodern-ironist, which sees truth as socially constructed, (b) Scientific-rational, in which truth is found through methodical, disciplined inquiry, (c) Social-traditional, in which truth is found in the heritage of American and Western civilization, or (d) Neo-Romantic, in which truth is found through attaining harmony with nature and/or spiritual exploration of the inner self.[12]


You cannot ignore the observers role in having bias with regards to truth. The language we use and how we use it creates a huge bias in how we see and experience the World.

Your solution not to debate with a postmodernist just confirms what postmodernists are saying. I think your conclusion works in both directions. How can you debate with people who think their own opinions are facts no matter what even in the presence of clear facts to the contrary. And how can you debate with people who think "facts" in support of their "rationale" argument turn out not to be facts at all but just baseless assumptions not supported by any evidence that is anything more than opinion based. It's only "rationale" if you accept the opinions it is built on as being true.


edit on 16-12-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 05:51 AM
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a reply to: AgarthaSeed

Best post of the thread in my opinion.



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Copper conducts electricity. Is that a true statement?



posted on Dec, 16 2017 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I learnt at a relatively young age that you're just as well as slamming your head into a brick wall repeatedly as you are in trying to explain something to or argue with most people. The vast majority don't want to hear anything contrary to their individual ideology. That's just a simple fact.

In short, I agree with your analysis. You stated it rather succinctly.
edit on 16-12-2017 by SpeakerofTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 05:18 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
Copper conducts electricity. Is that a true statement?


I've read that somewhere before


What we refer to as copper appears to what we refer to as conduct what we refer to as electricity.

Does copper conduct electricity if there is no observer or conduit? The answer is NO.

(It's good to see you still contributing to this website old friend.)


edit on 17-12-2017 by Incandescent because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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More or less agree.

Postmodernists are more or less mentally ill.

Don't get me wrong: society is mentally ill; but not everyone is equally 'screwed up'.

I like diagrams because I think they best express - and satisfy - what I mean:



All of us are more or less 'infected' by the viruses communicated at the bodily-affective level. It is primary process; and "enactive", in the sense of being reflexive action, affectively infectious, logically necessary, and at a moral level, inevitable.

People who believe the bull$hit of postmodernism evidently aren't self-aware, and so, are messed up at two levels: the bodily (as most people are) as well as the socio-linguistic. They tell lies - to themselves and others, and pretend that there aren't consequences down the road to be faced by the self which weaves and believes in confused and contradictory things.

In Peircean terms, such people very much are superimposing the logic of Firstness (primary feeling) on actual reality - Continuity and Generality - which is fundamentally Thirdness.

CS Peirce understood reality deeply - and this is perhaps his deepest insight - that reality, or evolution, is fundamentally based in his logic of semiotic processes, which is always triadic. This insight, in turn, derives from Hegel's work; and perhaps Hegel was influenced by the kabbalistic logic of the 10 sephiroth, which appeared around the 12th century, but was more systematically developed by Isaac Luria in the 16th century. In any case, Peirce makes it absolutely clear that reality needs to be categorized in terms of the concept of "three", and Peirce has three sciences which correlate to the metaphysical principles of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness: Phenomenology, as the science of phenomena as they appear. The second is "normative science", by which he means the scientific method as applied to physical phenomena. And the third, corresponding to Thirdness, is "the science of metaphysics".

“To be a nominalist consists in the undeveloped state in one’s mind of the apprehension of Thirdness as Thirdness. The remedy for it consists in allowing ideas of human life to play a greater part in ones philosophy. Metaphysics is the science of Reality. Reality consists in regularity. Real regularity is active law. Active law is efficient reasonableness, or in other words is truly reasonable reasonableness. Reasonable reasonableness is Thirdness as Thirdness.” – C.S. Peirce, The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, Vol 2 (1893-1913), pg. 197, Indiana, 1998

And so metaphysics is that which accounts for how reality in its widest conception operates, that is, how one state moves or transforms into another state. One object, the transformation, and the final object. Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. Metaphysics is thus an expression of thirdness: or how reality operates at the 'meta' level.

But just as thirdness derives from the interaction between secondness and firstness, metaphysics derives from science, which in turn is an extension of the facts of phenomenology. All of this is just abstract, of course, as phenomenology and science bidirectionally communicate, so that induction (which derives from factual observations of external processes) leads to a sense of the cause-effect mechanisms behind a phenomena, which becomes represented in terms of a prediction - or hypothesis - via the mulling through of deduction. Every scientific insight is borne through a non-stop interaction between the phenomena to be explained and the deductive hypothesis that is generated.

“Generality, Thirdness, pours in upon us in our very perceptual judgements, and all reasoning, so far as it depends on necessary reasoning, that is to say, mathematical reasoning, turns upon the perception of generality and continuity at every step.” – C.S. Peirce, The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, Vol 2 (1893-1913), pg. 197, Indiana, 1998

This argument attempts to show how deduction, or inferring from the general, derives from the implicit presence of thirdness, or generality, or continuity – or the ideal – in everything we do. This insight is more profound than most people appreciate, in that it says that the ideal is already present within and constantly forming the logical basis of everything we do.

And yet people say, there is nothing sacred.

To me, knowledge of self is sacred, as it literally transforms the substance of what it means to be.




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