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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Why Postmoderns are The Most Dangerous People

G.K. Chesterton had an amazing way of putting his finger on the state of modern society. Even in his fictional novel The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare he succinctly exposes the dangers of those in our society who seek to redefine traditional values. Pointing to the individuals who try to justify the tearing down of the traditional understanding of morality, truth, and meaning in the name of progress or changing with the times, (Chesterton calls these deconstructionists the "modern philosophers"), he notes that such people are the biggest threat to a lawful and civilized world:
We say that the most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heart goes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as property; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamists respect marriage, or they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. But philosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect human life; they merely wish to attain a greater fullness of human life in themselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesser lives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much as other people's … The common criminal is a bad man, but at least he is, as it were, a conditional good man. He says that if only a certain obstacle be removed—say a wealthy uncle—he is then prepared to accept the universe and to praise God. He is a reformer, but not an anarchist. He wishes to cleanse the edifice, but not to destroy it. But the evil philosopher is not trying to alter things, but to annihilate them.1
Chesterton, G. K. The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare. Reproduced in The Essential Gilbert K. Chesterton. Radford, VA: Wilder Publications, 2007. N. pag. Print.


  1. "Even" in his fictional novel? So you think they're ordinarily *less* able to change hearts and minds? Odd. (Though the idea that some novels aren't fictional is interesting ... )

  2. The "even" points to the idea of "succinctly exposes the dangers," not to the capability of changing beliefs. I used the phrase fictional novel is an example of epizeuxis.


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