[percy-l] gay marriage

James Piat piat1 at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 14 09:39:44 EDT 2003

>> Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here (a testament to the quality of this list that so many views are expressed more intelligently >>than my humble means alow), but I think the arch of this discussion is that words (marriage, homophobe, or any other) have >>meanings.  Part of the postmodern agenda seems to be to "liberate" words (the current target being "marriage") from fixed or >>agreed meanings that they may be arbitrarily appropriated for political goals (right or left, or whatever).   If you judge me to be a >>reactionary or a bigot, that is your right.  I won't be offended as long as you're clear on what is signified by the label.


>>PS - FDR said we had nothing to fear but fear itself.  Does that make us phobiaphobes?

Dear John,

I don't think the postmodern agenda is so much to liberate words from fixed meanings as it is to liberate "us" from the prejudice that either words or their referents have fixed meanings   -- all is flux.  Establishing the meaning of words (as we see from our discussion) is not so simple, self evident, settled or fixed a matter as either being clear (whatever that means) or providing some sort of pragmatic, operational or behavioral definition.   It just might be that man the symbol mongerer and apple of God's eye is condemned to be free as the parable of the garden of Eden suggests.   Knowledge is freedom  -- but freedom isn't free.  That's the meaning of the post modern quest as I conceive it  -- to liberate modern man from his scientistic, absolutist agenda and get him back to his sacred and ever mysterious roots.  In the beginning was indeed the word and God-only-knows what it means.  Or maybe just everything old is new again  -- or,  or  

PS  -- depends what you mean  -- not just what you say or do . . .

Best to you as well,  
Jim Piat

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