Tuesday, April 18, 2017

quid est veritas?

I love this headline (seen here):

Pomona College Students Say There’s No Such Thing as Truth, 'Truth' Is a Tool of White Supremacy

We will note, first, that to claim that there is no such thing as truth, it must be true that there is no such thing as truth. The proposition undermines itself. We will note, second, that the proposition "'Truth' is a tool of white supremacy" is a truth-claim coming hard on the heels of an attempt to say truth doesn't exist. And we will, third, do our best politely to ignore the egregious comma splice in the headline.

"Sad!" as Donald Trump might tweet regarding the faux-death of truth. Postmodernist morons have long had trouble understanding that objective facts exist and are not merely "constructions" (ask any engineer). I've heard versions of this sort of PoMo nonsense before: "Rationality facilitates Western colonialism and oppression," for example. The idiocy is infinitely stacked like cosmic turtles in an unending pillar of stupid.

What really chaps my ass is the way in which PoMo thinkers have co-opted a rich and wonderful concept like narrative, which they've folded into their pseudo-Darwinian paradigm of how people interact with each other and the world. For those of us who view narrative as a powerful, symbol-rich wellspring pointing to deeper truths that cannot be verbalized straightforwardly, the PoMo retooling of narrative as some sort of hegemonic, subjugating weapon is deeply, grievously offensive. Sure, granted: narratives can serve the purpose of social cohesion, which can imply a measure of domination and control. But narratives are also our faulty way of reckoning with the unspeakable, the ineffable—and in them can be found much that is beautiful...and much that is true.

Don't give up on truth, Pomona. If you do, you are lost.

ADDENDUM: another take on truthiness here.