Truth and Measurement in Postmodernism – Why can't people communicate with each other?
What is real? Do we all exist within the same world? Do experiences define reality?
What is truth? Is truth subject to reality? Can we understand truth if we cannot understand reality?
If you have a Facebook account you will see where I am coming from. People have their own set of facts and studies; their own talking points for every topic. Despite using enough words to write a novel, they get no closer to uncovering the truth in a discussion. They put more effort into protecting their worldview, than understanding the conversation. Please join me on my journey to understand what is happening, and how we can start communicating again.
Let's run through these two sets of questions and see how they relate to our current political stage. These are my thoughts and definitions. I encourage you to think about these questions and compare your definitions with mine.
Reality is the sum of our perceptions and experiences in life, and Truth is universal measurement. It is important for us to seek truth in our lives. Our measurement helps us to understand the world around us and refine our definition of reality. This means asking and answering two easy questions: What are you measuring? How are you measuring it? Let's think through an example.
I’m sure we can all remember a time we have disagreed with another person. Conversations become debates; debates become heated arguments; eventually people sing the song of defeat when they say “let’s agree to disagree”.
The phrase seems to be a helpful admission of compromise; but it is not. The phrase, when taken at the words used in literal context, can never be true. If two people can only agree that they disagree on a topic; they have more work to do, not less. This apathetic phrase simply means 'We cannot communicate on a high enough level to discover what is true'. It is an admission of failure in the conversation.
In my experience, when two people disagree to this extent, they are focusing on different contexts of the idea. They are either measuring different things, or they are not measuring with the same methods.
This is why it feels that ‘both sides have merit’ but still cannot agree. This is why it feels that we cannot make progress towards compromise.
Progressives will argue that we should chase what is real, and not what is true. Since the engine powering Progressivism is Postmodernism; Progressives believe in subjective reality. Postmodernists believe that, reality is created for you when your experiences are interpreted. These interpretations can differ from person to person, since we all have our own life experiences to draw from when relating to a topic.
If we all experience life through our perceptions and experiences; and if our perceptions differ from each other, we live in different realities. Measuring with subjectivity in mind means - we can all come to different conclusions because we perceive the world differently. One person cannot say their reality is any more real than another person’s reality.
Do we all live in our own realities? Do we create realities with our interpretations? If postmodernism states there is no universal truth that affects everyone; the argument defeats itself. Postmodernism is either true for everyone, or not.
If reality is subjective, there is no universal measurement. If there is no universal measurement, you can never find common ground.
Under a system of postmodernism, it is not possible to deconstruct a person's argument. Since you can't tell someone that 'your reality' is more real than theirs. Universal truth doesn’t exist. Without truth, we cannot hold competing arguments to the same standard. For this reason; a postmodernist will focus on a person's character, instead of their argument.
Since reality is the product of a person's perspective; a 'person's truth' is created from their character.
Virtue Signaling is the debate mechanic for post modernism. Since we cannot find truth in arguments, we instead look for the better character. If 'my truth' is more virtuous than 'your truth' ; my truth is preferred. Debates on validity of arguments are gone, and in their place, we have debates on which truth feels best.
To measure reality this way, is to measure who is the better person. Your reality is bad, because you are bad.
Let's say a person has a competing view on immigration, and supplies statistics with their argument. We can assume, even with the data gathered, they arrived at their conclusion because of their bias. If we can label the person holding this view as an unfavorable person, their view becomes an unfavorable view. The information and statistics are not needed. Labeling a person as evil, taints 'their truth'. If we only judge arguments on character instead of merit; we can never believe the truth of an evil person.
I reject the concept of subjective reality entirely. If you cannot measure a universal truth, you cannot define any concepts. There is no human advancement without universal truth. Can we advance science without a measurement we can recreate in experiments? Can we advance philosophy without truth to guide our morals? If all we pursue is our individual realities; we find ourselves justifying our existing behavior instead of improving ourselves, and our understanding of the world.
Defining and measuring the world around us is necessary to move forward as a species. We can define together what is universally correct, and universally moral. If we continue to treat each other like opponents to be defeated, we will not come to understand truth.
Progressives will treat you as hostile if you advocate for an objective truth. They will act as if you are imposing ‘your reality’ onto them. This reaction is normal when challenging anyone's worldview. I would even call it healthy to resist someone challenging your view of the world. However, we must be open to the idea. Seeking a 'safe space' to protect yourself from the mental pain of conflicting worlds is unhealthy.