Gord writes a wide-ranging meditation that begins with Min Byeong-cheol's facile-but-classic Ugly Koreans, Ugly Americans, then balloons into... well, you should go read it. I learned new, trendy vocabulary from his post: heterosocial and homosocial. What's most interesting, though, is Gord's ambivalence toward the concept of ahistoricality: like any good PoMo thinker, Gord (at least initially) views ahistoricality as a dirty word, because postmodernists love to couch everything in historical and social context and avoid talk of eternal or history-transcending truths and universals. Those grand concepts are like garlic to a PoMo vampire. But later in his post, Gord (wisely, in my opinion) speculates on the commonalities that all humans share, starting with basic biological sameness and noting that the variety of possible human social structures is limited. In speculating this way, Gord tiptoes toward PoMo heresy by implying there may indeed be universals-- the same move that caused Steven Pinker to catch flak with his ironically titled The Blank Slate, a book that also argues for the existence of human universals.
Oh, what's a good liberal postmodernist to do? By declaring that there are no universals, the PoMo-ist is positing a universal! My thoughts from 2004 are here.
Meanwhile, in a different part of cyberspace, Lee continues his doomed defense of Saint Anselm's ontological proof for the existence of God by invoking process theologian Charles Hartshorne. Hartshorne confirms Lee's belief that Anselm's argument in the Proslogion gets stronger as it progresses, for Anselm is, perhaps without knowing it, making an argument from modal logic (the four basic modes: possible, impossible, contingent, necessary), to wit: the impossibility of conceiving of God's nonexistence stems from the fact that God, truly to be God, must be a necessary being.
Anselm's argument didn't impress me even back when I was a young Hoya in my The Problem of God course. His argument struck (and still strikes) me as an attempt to "logic" God into existence. At best, Anselm scores points by defining God in such a way that God must be conceived of as existing, but Hartshorne fails to persuade me that Anselm's positing of God's ontological necessity is somehow a powerful argument that God actually exists. There's a crucial "if" that constitutes an impossible hurdle. As Lee puts it in his post:
What Hartshorne is saying, I think, is that, for Anselm, if it is possible that God exists, then it is necessary that God exists. That is, necessary-existence is an essential part of the concept “God,” and so if that concept is internally consistent or coherent, then it must be instantiated in reality.
So has Anselm successfully proven that it is possible for God to exist? That's a big "if."