Analysis of Baudrillard’s Philosophy

Baudrillard is a postmodern, post-structural philosopher known for his unique contributions to the world. His contextualizing concepts rule many concepts like technology, fuzzy logic, functionality, hyper-functionality, end of the symbolic, hypermarket, simulacra and simulation.

Most notable is Baudrillard’s reading into technology. Technology in the postmodern world is structured on the grand narratives of opposition and contrast. There is a debate going on in the world whether should resort to eco-farming or farming with genetically engineered seeds. The environmentalists and the technologists are on warpath with each other. Does technology invade the privacy of the self? Yes, in a way it does. Cyber firms like Google and Yahoo collect personal information and pass it on to generate advertisements. In a technological society we are not free from surveillance. There are also positive impacts of technology like the spread of social media and its use by individuals. Twitter, Facebook and blogs like WordPress and Blogger help to generate public opinion and they also help to report news that has been ignored by the mainstream media.

For Baudrillard there are three levels of simulation and they are the first, second and the third. The first level of simulation is an obvious copy of reality. This can be exemplified by the reporting of news on current events like for example: the coup d’ etat in Zimbabwe. The second level of simulation blurs the boundary between reality and representation. An example that could be used is a model depicting the structure of the DNA model. The third type of reality is the one that is produced in virtual space. To illustrate with an example: let us take the Blue Whale game, a virtual game that leads teenagers into suicide. Another example: would be the editorial comment in a newspaper. For Baudrillard all these simulations work together to create a hyper-technological society.

Next concept used by Baudrillard is fuzzy logic. This could be explained with an example; for example air-conditioning in cars can be set up to function in an auto-mode. Pilots can set flight patterns into an auto-driven mode. These are examples of fuzzy logic. Another example would be war simulated games operated with a computer.

The next concept used by Baudrillard is hyper-functionality. A classic example of hyper-functionality is hypermarkets. In a hypermarket we get to buy all sorts of consumer goods. Today’s postmodern societies are fond of using gizmos. A gizmo is a technological construct made to provide pleasure and utility to consumers.

The next concept used by Baudrillard is the end of the symbolic. I would like to disagree with Baudrillard. As an example I would like to use language. Language is a symbolic construct of signs and signs are made up of the signifier and the signified. A signified is an abstract idea and a signifier is a concrete sensible thing and belongs to the sensate realm. Editorials of a newspaper are symbolic as they belong to the realm of ideas. All our communication through the process of using language is symbolic.

The next concept used by Baudrillard is the simulacra. A simulacra is defined as an original for which no copies exist. An example would be that of the media giving an opinion on current affairs. Depending on whether the media is right or left opinions as a simulacra would vary.

Philosophy of High Noon

The movie “High Noon” has interesting comparisons to the philosophies and views of Kant. While many will say it can mirror the philosopher’s views, particularly through the actions of the lead character Kane, this paper will analyze the interesting and somewhat contrary view by looking at the actions of Kane’s wife.

It is important to note first that Kane’s wife is an emotional person. She is a religious woman, a Quaker to be precise, and chose this lifestyle after she saw her father and brother killed by guns. Her current viewpoints on guns, violence and personal involvement reflect her emotional side which Kant would clearly say as a weak point and completely differs from Kantian view.

Supporting her anti-Kantian ways is the fact that she focuses much on consequences. She does not see the act of killing simply for its act and the defensive purpose. She worries too much about who could and will die and not enough about why they would risk their lives to perform the act. Kant would say that she does not see the duty in the individual’s action and rather is heavily focused on how and what this may lead to no matter how unpredictable it is.

On the contrary, it is also important to note that Kane’s wife is an analytical person. She does rely on her reason to some degree to establish her own views on life. It is clear that she does not believe in killing because she finds it morally wrong in her religion, but she also analyzes the very human and mortal aspect of killing. She recognizes how worthless killing another man would be and that it would shatter all your moral standards in doing so. One may say she is merely acting in the teachings of God, but she has come to accept this at her own willingness and established these views after personal experience. Kane’s wife is not just another religious fanatic protesting self-justice and mortal/civilized laws. She is a woman that has great self-respect and is able to transfer that respect among all life so that she is clear of one thing: she can honestly and justifiably say that killing is wrong. She does have a strong moral basis.

By the end of the movie though, Kane’s wife takes a drastic turn towards Kant’s philosophy. She is able to set her mind free of worry and future analysis, and by doing so realizes the duty that she has of protecting her husband of him protecting her. She is willing to break her view upon kill to save her husband, though she does not break her moral. What she does is justified and a logical, moral act which Kant would promote for the simple fact that it follows the Ethics of Duty.

It is clear that the character of Kane’s wife is a dynamic one. She stays moral and true to herself through the whole movie, but how she defines this or how her actions define her is what changes. Though she does not lose her emotions to fulfill any actions, she is able to in a way push them aside and let them not interfere. Kane’s wife always had the underlining rules for the Ethics of Duty, but it took a clear, determining act at the end to truly allow her to express what she had and already knew.

The Christian Philosophy of Marriage

Ephesians 5:21-33 deals with marriage. But the entire passage is paralleled with a the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Ephesians 5:31-32 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

From these verses we begin to see that the marriage is much more than we would suspect.

It is important for any married couple, or for that matter anyone who wishes to get married, to have a deep understanding of God’s purpose for marriage. Without an understanding of God’s intent it would be hard for any married couple to fully grasp the nature or the depth of commitment God is looking for in a marriage.

I cannot overstate the important of this. As we progress through life and in marriage, problems and issues will crop up. For the Christian a fundamental acceptance and understanding of God’s intent and purpose for marriage is essential in dealing with these issues.

There is a premise, a starting idea if you like, that a Christian marriage revolves around. If someone has the premise wrong, they will miss the why and often the how of the nature of their marriage. Marriage is meant to be so much more than the physical union of two people. It is a highly spiritual and holy relationship.

Here is the premise:

A marriage is divinely chosen by God to represent, in human terms, our relationship with God in Salvation.

Due to our fallen nature, as well as our human nature, it is impossible to understand the depth of love or commitment that God has for each of us. We read about it in Scripture, we hear about it from behind the pulpit, and we experience it one-sided. Since God will never leave us, nor forsake us, nor let us down, nor cease loving us, we cannot understand God from His perspective…or His side.

This, then, is the purpose or intent of marriage. It is a way for God to allow us to experience things from God’s side of the equation. Since our mates are not perfect, they will hurt us, betray our feelings, scare us, and worry us. In such times you will come to understand God more than is otherwise humanly possible.

It is impossible to love everyone to the degree that we are supposed to love our spouse. God is capable, but we are not. We just don’t have that capacity. However, to understand the depth of love, mercy, and grace that God demonstrates to us, we need to choose someone to try and love like that. That person was meant to be your spouse.

God wanted you to choose one person, just one, to love so unconditionally, so absolutely, that as you experience the joys and pain of that relationship you may begin to understand God’s love for you better. Only then may we understand God’s joy when there is reconciliation, His disappointment when we sin, His jealousy over our time and love, His rejoicing when there is a “marriage” of a sinner that says, “yes!” to his proposal.

This is the main reason God is so against divorce. God will not leave nor forsake us, no matter what we do, and the only way to understand that is to choose someone that you are willing to do the same for. Divorce, therefore, is a rejection also of God’s commitment to us. To choose divorce is saying that you do not understand God’s depth of commitment to you. It is a denial of God’s promises, and His love.

In effect, marriage is a picture of salvation that cannot be experienced any other way on this earth. Only through our marriages can we gain a true measure of God’s love for us. Divorce, on the other hand, makes a mockery of this picture.

Therefore, even during the worst of times, God meant for you to remain married. As God keeps His vows and promises, so He expects the same level of commitment out of you.

But in having such an understanding, you will gain insights into God that will propel your spirituality and relationship with God beyond your wildest imaginations! And obtain a relationship through marriage that is unparalleled in joy, purpose, and fulfillment.