We are witnessing the death of Western civilization. Rather than truth being the guide, now emotion and “possibility” are. Such attachment to the denial of objective truth lures those always looking for self-assertion. Deconstructing everything has become a way to gain a voice, even if only momentarily. Even science has become another text to deconstruct in favor of ideologies of “possibility” and the tired mantra of “imagine…”

Language is at the service of opinion and alibi. As language has nothing to do with essence it is malleable at will. A necessary corollary of such idea is that the world of the mind is more important than the physical world. Of course, most people do not argue this way but they implicitly affirm that absolute truth is unknowable,as it is instead personal and private. Just remember these words the next time people answer a direct and important question by saying, “Well, I feel…” So powerful is the attachment to deconstructing Western thought and its foundational commitment to objective truth that one of the most common arguments used against natural law thinking in public life is that it is “too complicated” thus not usable to establish “public consensus.” As these theories are complicated the best is to let everyone create his own n moral universe of truth. Therefore, the truthfulness of a statement is not what matters but whether or not there is a “consensus” for it.

And who establishes the consensus? If what matters is consciousness and the world of gnosis, there must be a kind of knowledge not accessible to all. This knowledge is not narrowly possessed because it is “complicated” but because one needs to have a higher level of “enlightenment” (or as Thomas Sowell says, “anointed”) If one is enlightened one can be trusted. The enlightened ones are morally superior and capable of imposing a given understanding in the public square. The enlightened consensus of our culture rejects the overarching consensus that gave birth to our civilization and attended the creation of our country. It is clear in its double (albeit contradictory) support for collectivism in the economic sphere and libertinism in the moral sphere.

The free and autonomous self must be perceived as completely autonomous in establishing his moral universe according to whatever conception of the good it creates, his moral autonomy is absolute. Everyone deserves equal regard and respect and must be free from any moral categorization regardless of the content of his moral universe and the choices he makes. As long as he does not hurt others (and the hurting of others has to be very explicit) he can hurt himself if he chooses to. To respect him means to treat his lifestyle without any moral condemnation.

Tolerance, putting up with others is truly the only common denominator that can possibly be expected under such expansive understanding of moral autonomy. Tolerance of vice, in our new ethos, is a virtue.

“Who are you to judge” is now the great slogan of modernity. As nothing can be judged, nothing is worth fighting for and protecting from competing visions of the good. Ergo, there goes the traditional family and marriage and many time-tested institutions. “Choice” is the new sacrament as long as the individual choice does not pertain of economics. But my choice determines my gender, my morality, and what I do with “my body.”

Will Western Civilization and the idea of objective truth survive the onslaught from postmodern gnosticism?

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