I have been having this conversation on another board and it was brought to me that postmodernism is a useful and much needed criticism of science and is very beneficial to buddhism, being a door to Buddhism. This made me remember B.Sujato book about problems with study of early buddhist texts. As a Romanian, these problems in buddhism studies look 5 times more stupid than they probably look to Sujato because this thing doesn’t exist here, we are not familiar with it. It looks much more stupid when you are not familiar with it. Here was my response:
On the contrary, it has brought nothing but stupidity to Buddhism. B. Sujato considers postmodernism is responsible for setting early buddhist texts study back by a generation. He has even wrote a book against the idea that “we can never know anything for sure, therefore study of early buddhist texts is useless”, showing you can actually know a lot about early buddhist text by using the scientific method: http://ocbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/authenticity.pdf
Postmodernism, as Buddha has noticed too, is “a product of sheer stupidity”. It questions everything and does so in a stupid manner, not an intelligent one. It never argues based on scientific or logical arguments, it just says “we can never know anything for sure about early buddhist texts” and presents no arguments. It just makes this claim and that’s it, that’s the end of it. It’s such a simple and stupid tactic that the smoking industry had used it for a long time. They said “we have no idea if smoking is bad for your health, there is just not enough evidence” and no matter how much evidence one might bring, the postmodernist will just say “nope, it’s not enough, I’m not convinced, I will never be convinced because the scientific method and logic itself is flawed so all evidence is useless, the whole debate is useless”.
This practice has set study of early buddhist texts back a generation. And it is such a stupid, useless position to take. As many others have complained, postmodernism brings nothing to the conversation. “You say smoking is bad for health and provide this ton of evidence ? Well, I don’t believe you, I’ll never believe you”. It’s doesn’t try to argue you based on arguments, it’s like a little kid saying “nope, I don’t believe you, I’ll never believe you no matter what evidence you bring”. And it uses this childish “I don’t believe you, I don’t believe anything” type of thinking on anything except on the postmodernist beliefs themselves.
It is completely anti-science and anti-intellectual. It’s a return to the stone age in terms of intellectualism. That’s why postmodernist philosophers have been sometimes called IYIs (intellectual yet idiot) or “82 IQ philosophers”. Even in the stone age people tried to have some sense, even though their use of logic was not the best. But with postmodernism, there is no logic, it’s stupidity in its purest form.
This is why out of 62 schools of philosophy, postmodernism was singled out by the Buddha as being “a product of sheer stupidity”.
“I don’t believe this, no matter how much evidence you might present me cause all that evidence is flawed because logic is flawed to begin with. But… I do believe all these postmodernist ideas. Why do I believe in them ? Well, it never occurred to us this question because, as Buddha said, we’re not the brightest of the 62 schools of philosophy around.”
PS: If one really wants to question science, he should do so in a smart way, not like an idiot.
It’s amusing how even Lenin called them “the useful idiots”. Even if their use of rationality was mostly flawed, communist countries were the biggest lovers rationalism in the world. Education was focused entirely on scientific fields while art, philosophy or other such fields were considered useless. Communist could not be more against such ridiculous ideas held by postmodernist. Yet, postmodernist in the US somehow ended up being marxist and supporting the USSR. This is because those who initially made popular this school of philosophy were rebel marxist, disappointed that communist could not care less about them. They started the Frankfurt school and then moved to US after the war.
That is why Lenin called them “the useful idiots”. They were idiots for him just like they were for the Buddha, but at least they were useful.
This is how normal people see this school of philosophy. Even Buddha said it is “a product of sheer stupidity”. Not all ideas in this world are equal in terms of level of intelligence. Some ideas might be intelligent while others might be simply “a product of sheer stupidity”.