Wednesday, April 16, 2008

living in postmodernism

There is a new viral video spreading through the Net called The Story of Stuff. Its topic is the ecological impact of our Western (especially American) consumerist culture. Since I'm teaching ecology right now, I decided to watch it. After fighting the urge to throw my computer, I decided to show the video to my students, and then after they all built up their rage against the machine of the military-industrial complex, I would show them the truth--how the film uses typical propaganda techniques to mislead viewers into thinking that corporate America is secretly trying to poison us all while driving polar bears into extinction.

Some of my students--the most liberal and least studious--actually became upset with me. They said it was not important to them whether every detail was true; they still agreed with the message of the video. And they said it was wrong of me to point out the lies in a video that encouraged people to be more environmental because by pointing out those lies, I might actually discourage environmentalism, which apparently is good enough in itself to justify lies used to justify environmentalism. Finally, they said that even though I had shown lies in the film, it was possible that someone else could maybe show lies in what I was saying, and their conclusion from that possibility is that since they can't trust anyone, they'll just stick with the message they personally like the most.

Postmodernism at work. Truth probably doesn't exist, and it's not worth investigating its existence because even if it does exist, it wouldn't be a significant consideration.

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"Do not give false testimony against your neighbor." Exodus 20:16, CSB
This includes lies about the evils of Wal-Mart.

Father, I am so glad that you are truthful. I am so glad that I can learn your promises and build my life on faith that you never break your promises and that you accomplish everything you desire. I am so glad that I do not have to rely on my own wisdom to control the future; I can rely on your sovereign authority to make all things work for my good.

Father, when people reject truth, they reject you. When they reject truth, they reject your authority. When they reject truth, they reject their own sin. When they reject truth, they reject the validity of Jesus' death as the satisfaction of your righteous judgement and as the tearing of the temple curtains that separated your people from your presence.

Father, may the young people of the world see the lies surrounding them and see the truth of your word. May the young people of the world come to be freed by the truth. May your light shine in the darkness of the relativism, arrogance and apathy.

May your name by glorified and may your people, who you chose from the beginning of time, hear your voice and follow your commands to take your truth throughout the world.

I ask this is the name of Jesus. Amen.

1 comment:

cynthiaclack said...

Hi,
I am wondering if you would share the inconsistencies and untruths you found in The Story of Stuff?

Thanks!