First of all, let me say that I know very little about postmodernism or postmodern theory. One could argue that not many people know a great deal about post modernism or postmodern theory, since it by definition rejects absolutes. It says that there is no right or wrong, only grey. And some postmodern theorists go into linguistics and how linguistics shape our thinking. I’m grossly simplifying this. I highly recommend any readers who want to know more about this study on their own. It’s a study of how we know what we know.
Bob Mccue’s essay on intelligence, mormonism and some postmodern theory.
It’s a conundrum. Because if we take a postmodernist look at some historical events, one can no longer prove that something happened or that it was “right” or justifable. Events don’t necessarily happen independently, and we can no longer even agree that an event was good, right or necessary. Postmodernism partially rejects this idea that everything in history was leading up to this moment – that we are the culmination of all the generations before us.
For example, one view of the American westward movement “Manifest Destiny” would be that it was a good thing – Americans/European immigrants had god-given justification to expand to the Pacific Ocean. A postmodernist view of that would be to point out that there were people who already lived in those areas of the country, who had their own societies and religions. The American pioneers were not necessarily better than those inhabitants, and in fact that colonization actually harmed those existing communities. I think the postmodern view would also not necessarily completely condemn those pioneers either – as they were just reacting to their own environment and industrial concerns. (Basically back to that whole notion that there is no right or wrong). And also the notion that societal “spin” is ever present and how things are framed or defined makes the argument.
Exmoron wrote a little about postmodernism in the comments of his last post about DNA.
Which leads me back to trying to comprehend an LDS apologist defense of LDS beliefs through postmodernism.
Can someone explain to me just how one can defend mormonism with postmodern theory? Is it that we don’t necessarily know that JS married other women or other men’s wives? Or that we don’t have the right to judge and say that was wrong? Or that it’s okay to edit out the history because it’s not really useful to our overall narrative and understanding of mormonism?
Again – the very nature of postmodernism rejects adhering to a belief system or religion. Mormonism is a belief system. Mormonism suggests that there is a right way to live, determined by God. It’s like speaking out of both sides of one’s mouth to say – there is no right or wrong (you can’t prove that Joseph Smith married other women because all knowledge is relative) and then say mormonism is true.