The War Against Standards and Values

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The War Against Standards and Values

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For several decades many of the academic elite, the world's intellectual leaders, have actively promoted the concept that absolute values do not exist. They have advocated embracing moral relativism. In their published writings and lectures they ridicule the idea that any set of standards for measuring proper human behavior can apply universally to humankind. No wonder that today's entertainment media and popular culture so often belittle and reject traditional values.

Richard Tarnas articulates the latest shift in some academic thought: ". . . Postmodern critical thought has encouraged a vigorous rejection of the entire Western intellectual 'canon' as long defined . . . Received truths concerning 'man,' 'reason,' 'civilization' and 'progress' are indicated as intellectually and morally bankrupt . . . In this radically transformed cultural context, the contemporary academic world has increasingly concerned itself with the critical deconstruction of traditional assumptions . . ." (The Passion of the Western Mind, Ballatine, New York, 1991, p. 400, emphasis added).

Writer Tarnas adds: "Implicitly, the one postmodern absolute is critical consciousness, which, by deconstructing all, seems compelled by its own logic to do so to itself as well" (ibid., p. 402). He concludes that "the postmodern era is an era without consensus on the nature of reality . . ." (ibid., p. 409).

Offering no solid alternatives, some among the intellectual elite have rejected religious and traditional values held for centuries by civilized societies. By encouraging people to experiment by thinking and acting independently—doing what they feel is right—they promote individualism at the expense of responsibility. They reject the old standards but offer no effective guidelines to replace them. They would leave society aimlessly adrift.

Like it or not, and recognize it or not, you are bombarded daily with these concepts and ideas. Your ideals and beliefs—the thoughts of your mind that define who and what you are—are the target of a nihilistic, valueless secular philosophy. GN