Postmodern Humanism - A Rough Guide ti Belief in the 21st Century. Home Page link.
A Rough Guide to Belief in the 21st Century.

Introduction

With the collapse in religious and political conviction on one hand and the horrors delivered by religious fundamentalists and political ideologies on the other, there is a crisis of confidence at the heart of Western liberal society. The sense of crisis has been focused and deepened by the expression of postmodernism and relativism. To paraphrase Dostoevsky's words, can we, without a God, believe and do anything?

Contemporary ideas in philosophy, science and politics have undermined confidence in all belief systems and led to confusion regarding ethics and moral values - and a collapse of confidence in the 'Truth'. It would seem that we can, in a sense, believe anything - or, what amounts to the same thing, believe nothing. The ensuing confusion has led to a debilitating uncertainty in the liberal communities of the Left and, paradoxically, to a suicidal certainty in the political and religious communities of the Right. It is argued in this book that Humanism has a central role in confronting this confusion.

The terms 'postmodernism' and 'relativism' are used here to mean the recognition of the subjective nature of all our concepts; the denial of an objective universal Truth; a rejection of all transcendent beliefs and ideologies. For the purpose of this book the terms 'postmodernism' and 'relativism' are regarded as synonymous. This book seeks to identify a distinctive Humanist position from this perspective.

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