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1 comments | Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ethics is like toothpaste, you never think about it until your squeezing the last bit out. Headline after headline, we see ethical decay in the corporate world: Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia…, the list goes on and on. Who would have thought that Wall Street, a corporate arena of dreams, would become a playground for scandal? Most likely, nobody would have envisaged such a state of moral decay. But its here, and we must ask ourselves--WHY?

More talk has been wasted on what new laws, regulations, or penalties can be imposed to defuse corporate fraud. However, we are completely neglecting the underlining factors of the subject. The issue at hand is the fundamental backbone of ethics in which all application follows. This essential issue of ethics rests on ones philosophical standpoint on “right” and “wrong” and will ultimately persuade the moral and ethical behavior of an individual.

Unfortunately, the infiltration of a new “Postmodern” philosophy has corrupted our understanding of what is right and wrong, thus leading to society’s ethical erosion and current predicament. What is this postmodern phenomenon that infects our culture? This encroaching ideal of postmodernism is not easy to define. This term has been used interchangeably, such as a catch all phrase for its vast effects on today’s culture.

J.P. Moorland, a Professor of Philosophy at Biola University, best defines the “postmodern” phenomena as follows:

As a philosophical standpoint, postmodernism is primarily a reinterpretation of what knowledge is and what counts as knowledge. More broadly, it represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as reality, truth, reason, value, linguistic meaning, the self and other notions. On a postmodernist view, there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason and so forth. All these are social constructions, creations of linguistic practices and, as such, are relative to individuals, and social groups that share a narrative

The above quotation by Moorland gives us a glimpse of postmodernism and more than enough to battle with. It is this very movement of postmodern ideology that is infectious. Postmodernism undermines the very foundation of ethical judgment and values. It has, and continues to infiltrate into the corporate and business atmosphere.

A primary factor to consider when addressing the character of postmodernism is “Truth”. Before discussion can encompass meaning, truth must first be established. Norman Geisler, in “The Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics” says that “according to the absolutist view, what is true for one person is true for all persons, times and places”. Geisler leaves no room for subjective or “opinioned” truth.

With postmodernism, truth is naïve. Truth is a matter of opinion and is relative to the individual and/or social norms. Something is “true for me”, and has nothing to do with others. For the postmodern mind, truth with a capital “T” is dead. But this belief entails so many fundamental flaws that it leads me to think that you have to be indoctrinated to believe that there is no truth.

First, it should be brought out that the postmodern view of truth is self contradictory. To say that truth is relative, or to claim there is no truth--is an affirmation of truth. Postmodernists believe that their view of “truth” is actually true for everyone. Thus, they make an absolute statement of truth. In other words, if it’s true, it’s false, and if it’s false, it’s false. But even if it’s true that there is no truth; then it’s also must be false, because that becomes a true statement, which nullifies it. See my quick thought on truth.

When applying this concept of truth to “right” and “wrong” the postmodern will say “who is to say?” But this is the wrong question to ask. In fact, this question by the postmodern relativist is never meant to be answered when stated. What the postmodernist is trying to avoid, is moral judgment. With no absolute nature of truth, there can be no objective moral standard in which to judge by.

Following this thought of moral standards, people who attract to this postmodern philosophy of truth find it is safer, more convenient and less intrusive on ones conscious. When truth is diminished, all its related counterparts crumble with it. Ethics and morals become illogical and not applicable to any circumstance. It is simply safer to label truth as relative. But, “if there is no truth, then it is not the case that there is truth”.

Right and wrong are sometimes simple to establish and on other occasions difficult. It is the ambiguous decisions that we make that bring question to whether it can be known that actions are morally right or wrong in an absolute and universal sense. But just how much of this questioning has affected people’s basic understanding of right and wrong?
To be continued…

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Blogger Andrew C. said...

How true! ;)

"When applying this concept of truth to “right” and “wrong” the postmodern will say “who is to say?” But this is the wrong question to ask."
What is the right question to ask? I don't think you said what the right question is.

Anyway great blog! Keep up your awesome work!

What university did you attend? I notice you quoted a professor from Biola...

10/18/2005 10:35 PM


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