Opinion on nihilism?

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

What's your opinion on nihilism?

Despite his insanity and right-wing ideology, I actually agree with this speech that Rorschach makes in Watchmen. It's something that I've quoted in a couple of threads.

Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach.

So I guess that would make me something of a nihilist, except I still follow a moral code and have goals like most people. That's what I've personally chosen to impose on my life, although obviously, it's more likely than not influenced by the society I've grown up in.

I don't tend to like the type of people that take it to the literal extreme, where they have a completely amoral lifestyle, where they feel as if they can do what they want and let their lives go to the dogs because they don't think that anything matters. To them, I say, "Well, make something matter. There doesn't have to be some single, universal meaning; just make it up. Don't feel as if you're free to kill that innocent guy with a family and friends because they technically don't exist or you don't exist either."

Relish in Chaos:
snip

I don't like the idea of Nihilism because the people that I have met that really believe in Nihilism always seems like people that were bitter, depressed, and had given up on life. Obviously that isn't everybody who like Nihilism, but that is the kind of people that I have run across.

Also Rorschach never seemed like a Nihilism to me, especially after watching scenes like this...

Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Moral nihilism is the only form that I think actually applies. Morality is not objective. The evidence I have seen, and believe, suggests existential nihilism is incorrect (subjectively incorrect.) While you can create your own meaning and purpose of life, I think overall, there is an objective purpose of all life. Survival and ultimately, evolution. That's the foundation of life; therefore, it's hard to say that it's not the case. If your purpose in life is not to self-improve, then I'd suggest you aren't really "alive."

Although, I'm not a big fan of nihilism. While some ideas make sense, it comes off more like a mental disorder (as Volf has mentioned.)

Well what difference does my opinion on nihilism have at the end of the day?

OT: I personally find it a really refreshing way to live life, not having a purpose. Although it can get quite scary at times, and leads to more existential crises, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

After looking up a clearer definition of Nihilism, I can say that apparantly I am both a moral and existential nihilist.

Nice to have a handy definition now.

Volf:
Also Rorschach never seemed like a Nihilism to me

I never said he was, but he was explaining his outlook on the universe in that quote above. But he chose to "scrawl own design on this morally blank world". But Rorschach's quite an inconsistent character anyway.

Seanchaidh:
Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.

That's somewhat offensive, isn't it? There are many philosophical theories that support existential nihilism, and you shouldn't just dismiss them like that.

For example...

Bill Hicks:
Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration-that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather!

Seanchaidh:
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Well, I think there are various different definitions of nihilism. It's quite hard to explain and understand, even for me, but I don't think that morality is something that we as a society invented. I don't think there's a meaning of life, only what we choose to impose. And if there's a design to the universe, it's a pretty fucked-up one. So yeah, it's probably random.

That doesn't mean that I'm just going to give up on life and not care about anything because it doesn't matter because, as I aforementioned, people should just make something matter without worrying about it in the grander scale of things.

While the possible lack of a "interactive" God would discount any set goal or rules for life, I do not think that this would make life without purpose or ethics meaningless. You see, life is what we make of it. If you believe your purpose in life is to make the world better, then you are correct. Purpose is something we can give ourselves, and even our race as a whole. Our purpose could be something as simple as live and be happy, or maybe to conquer the stars; it really doesn't matter for this argument. If you try to basically be the philosophical downer and go the "life has no purpose" route thats on you. Personally though, I think we can do more.

there is a pattern.

what drives humanity is the desire to better itself.

we can use many names for it, some flattering some not so much, but all acts are undertaken to provide an individual or a group with a thing or outcome that they want, that they think will be "better" or will "better" their situation or the likely hood of achieving further goals and in spite of the fact this is the justification for violent and "evil" deeds it can still be seen as a broadly positive attribute.

Seanchaidh:
Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Yeah... That's not what existential nihilism means... Like at all. Existential nihilism is the belief that existence is meaningless and serves no purpose.

Seanchaidh:
Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Yes, clearly I understand all of those words, and agree with your point of view, as it is correct! I am a great phillosophizerer!

Anyway, OT... I don't have much to say...Erm, I think nihilism is kind of stupid, because if everyone was nihilist then society would break down and probably most people would be unhappy. There's no totally rational way to derive our morality, so you just have to try and create a system with the biggest overall happiness. But I don't actually know a proper definition of nihilism so...

asacatman:

Seanchaidh:
Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Yes, clearly I understand all of those words, and agree with your point of view, as it is correct! I am a great phillosophizerer!

Anyway, OT... I don't have much to say...Erm, I think nihilism is kind of stupid, because if everyone was nihilist then society would break down and probably most people would be unhappy. There's no totally rational way to derive our morality, so you just have to try and create a system with the biggest overall happiness. But I don't actually know a proper definition of nihilism so...

Essentially just keep thinking meaningless over and over again. But just because something is meaningless doesn't mean it's sad.

I genuinely find the other side of things far sadder. That this isn't enough for people? Unless life has meaning or we get another, better life after this then they're not satisfied?

nihilism in my opinion is the most realistic and rational form of philosophy to hold. sure its depressing but life is depressing so nihilism works. although my opinion only concerns moral and existential nihilism and not the sillier ones.

A Philosophy that advertises people to do whatever the heck they want and damn the consequences because everything is pointless? Where do I sign? (End Sarcasm Mode)

Nihilism basically advocates Anarchy, and I do not support Anarchy. I know most Nihilists aren't Anarchists, but the other types of Nihilists are usually the "Oh, life is pointless! *Sob*" types that get on my nerves. If life is pointless, you shouldn't give up, you should give it a point! And the few Non-Anarchy Happy Nihilists that try to make life fun regardless of life being pointless, I would not classify them as Nihilists.

Oh, and before anyone says "Nihilism isn't about doing whatever you want because life is pointless!", look up "Ubermensch". The book basically states that the perfect Human would be one to live by his own rules no matter what (At least form what I've studied on the thing).

Mr.Mattress:
A Philosophy that advertises people to do whatever the heck they want and damn the consequences because everything is pointless? Where do I sign? (End Sarcasm Mode)

Nihilism basically advocates Anarchy, and I do not support Anarchy. I know most Nihilists aren't Anarchists, but the other types of Nihilists are usually the "Oh, life is pointless! *Sob*" types that get on my nerves. If life is pointless, you shouldn't give up, you should give it a point! And the few Non-Anarchy Happy Nihilists that try to make life fun regardless of life being pointless, I would not classify them as Nihilists.

Oh, and before anyone says "Nihilism isn't about doing whatever you want because life is pointless!", look up "Ubermensch". The book basically states that the perfect Human would be one to live by his own rules no matter what (At least form what I've studied on the thing).

That's one view of Nihilism though (Ubermensch that is, btw the book is called Thus Spoke Zarathustra). Personally I am one of those happy nihilists that you've decided aren't nihilists. The point I made above is I don't need meaning, life is enough as is. I am certainly not an anarchist because that would just make the world a terribly unpleasant place to live. I'm a bit of a hedonist sure, but I know that when I start disrupting other people's lives then mine will quickly become less enjoyable.

I question any one who claims to be a nihilist as to why he is still alive, as taking the actions which necessitate life demonstrate the pursuit of value, thereby revealing that the individual is not a nihilist.

Dormin111:
I question any one who claims to be a nihilist as to why he is still alive, as taking the actions which necessitate life demonstrate the pursuit of value, thereby revealing that the individual is not a nihilist.

depends, if a person is an existential and/or moral nihilist they are simply capable of living in a world. i would hope atheist are at least existential nihilist or can at least explain to me what objective meaning life has.

keiskay:

Dormin111:
I question any one who claims to be a nihilist as to why he is still alive, as taking the actions which necessitate life demonstrate the pursuit of value, thereby revealing that the individual is not a nihilist.

depends, if a person is an existential and/or moral nihilist they are simply capable of living in a world. i would hope atheist are at least existential nihilist or can at least explain to me what objective meaning life has.

How can they live in the world? They do not believe there is any value of or in life and therefore it should not be preferable to death. Since living requires taking action to keep oneself alive, they should all be dead or dieing.

Dormin111:

keiskay:

Dormin111:
I question any one who claims to be a nihilist as to why he is still alive, as taking the actions which necessitate life demonstrate the pursuit of value, thereby revealing that the individual is not a nihilist.

depends, if a person is an existential and/or moral nihilist they are simply capable of living in a world. i would hope atheist are at least existential nihilist or can at least explain to me what objective meaning life has.

How can they live in the world? They do not believe there is any value of or in life and therefore it should not be preferable to death. Since living requires taking action to keep oneself alive, they should all be dead or dieing.

um no not really, it just states that human lives are insignificant, not thats its preferable to death.

existential nihilism:
Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual as an isolated being "thrown" into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create his or her own subjective "meaning" or "purpose". Of all types of nihilism, existential nihilism gets the most literary and philosophical attention

Donald A. crosby:
There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live. Those who claim to find meaning in their lives are either dishonest or deluded. In either case, they fail to face up to the harsh reality of the human situation

keiskay:

Dormin111:

keiskay:
depends, if a person is an existential and/or moral nihilist they are simply capable of living in a world. i would hope atheist are at least existential nihilist or can at least explain to me what objective meaning life has.

How can they live in the world? They do not believe there is any value of or in life and therefore it should not be preferable to death. Since living requires taking action to keep oneself alive, they should all be dead or dieing.

um no not really, it just states that human lives are insignificant, not thats its preferable to death.

existential nihilism:
Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual as an isolated being "thrown" into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create his or her own subjective "meaning" or "purpose". Of all types of nihilism, existential nihilism gets the most literary and philosophical attention

The quote does not illuminate anything. Everything is meaningless so people arbitrarily create meaning. Why? Why create arbitrary meaning rather than just let yourself die?

Dormin111:

keiskay:

Dormin111:

How can they live in the world? They do not believe there is any value of or in life and therefore it should not be preferable to death. Since living requires taking action to keep oneself alive, they should all be dead or dieing.

um no not really, it just states that human lives are insignificant, not thats its preferable to death.

existential nihilism:
Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual as an isolated being "thrown" into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create his or her own subjective "meaning" or "purpose". Of all types of nihilism, existential nihilism gets the most literary and philosophical attention

The quote does not illuminate anything. Everything is meaningless so people arbitrarily create meaning. Why? Why create arbitrary meaning rather than just let yourself die?

i dont know, it seems i was not able to add in my edit quick enough before you quoted me so here it is again.

Donald A. crosby:
There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live. Those who claim to find meaning in their lives are either dishonest or deluded. In either case, they fail to face up to the harsh reality of the human situation

now can you tell me that there is an objective and true meaning to life?

keiskay:

Dormin111:

keiskay:
um no not really, it just states that human lives are insignificant, not thats its preferable to death.

The quote does not illuminate anything. Everything is meaningless so people arbitrarily create meaning. Why? Why create arbitrary meaning rather than just let yourself die?

i dont know, it seems i was not able to add in my edit quick enough before you quoted me so here it is again.

Donald A. crosby:
There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live. Those who claim to find meaning in their lives are either dishonest or deluded. In either case, they fail to face up to the harsh reality of the human situation

now can you tell me that there is an objective and true meaning to life?

You are dodging my question and throwing it back at me.

As for your question, I do believe that morality is objective though I would not go as far as to use the flowery language of "true meaning to life." Meta-ethically I believe it is axiomatic that I choose to live instead of die. Every fiber of my body wishes to stay alive and I couldn't bring myself to purposeful death even if I wanted to (barring extreme circumstances when life is too painful to continue).

From there I can declare that as a human, my standard of value is the furtherance of my existence. If the total failure of my actions resulted in death, then the total success of my actions would result in me living a happy life. That is, happiness is the successful state of life. I act to attain value, which is defined by the standard of my existence, and the attainment of value makes me happy, as indicated by the state of my mind and physical pleasure. For instance, I can doubtlessly say that eating food makes me happier, and therefore makes my life better than starving to death.

BTW, this is the basis of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.

From what very, VERY little I know of Nihilism, it's essentially believing that nothing's there and the world is absolutely crappy...

Yeah, no... I really don't see the point in Nihilism other then trying to force yourself into clinical depression.

To me, Nihilism is not an ideology so much as it is a condition, because if nothing has value then there is genuinely nothing worth doing. Nihilism is the position of being indifferent to the world and paralysed with doubt. It's not an unfamiliar experience to me.

The problem is that, as a position, Nihilism is useless. It doesn't go anywhere, it's an endpoint from which there is no return. If you can't find value in something, you can't do anything, and by extension if you can find value in something then you've escaped nihilism. Congratulations.

To me, nihilism is something you fight every step of the way, because there is nothing on the other side of it. If you don't create value for yourself, if you don't find something worth caring about and force yourself, however hard it is, to believe that it's worthwhile, then you may as well just be counting down the seconds until you die.

Dormin111:
The quote does not illuminate anything. Everything is meaningless so people arbitrarily create meaning. Why? Why create arbitrary meaning rather than just let yourself die?

Why not?

You treat it like it's something difficult to delude yourself that your life is more important than it is. Who doesn't do that?

evilthecat:

Why not?

You treat it like it's something difficult to delude yourself that your life is more important than it is. Who doesn't do that?

If I am to use rationality to live my life, then I should only take action when their is a logical reason to do so. Assuming a nihilistic individual is logical then to make up an arbitrary reason for living would result in an internal contradiction which would not be logical (as reality does not have contradictions, which really just further demonstrates that nihilists cannot come to their nihilistic conclusions rationally). To ask "why not" is to beg the question "why" which is the true primary. I do not take action in my life on the basis that I cannot figure out a reason "why not" to take action but because there is a reason "why" to take that action.

In the case of the rational nihilist (that is a rational individual who has mistakenly come to a nihilistic conclusion), there is no "why" reason to take any action so no action should be taken. This will inevitably result in death. Even if it is mistakenly reasoned that "why" and "why not" are equally valid, then half of all nihilists should end up dead due to inaction as the choice to act and not act are equally valid and therefore should be chosen randomly.

In the case of the irrational nihilist, he is irrational and therefore there is no reason to discuss his action as such a framework cannot be grasped.

Considering my girlfriend is a nihilist, I believe I can pretty much sum this up. 99% of nihilists are not ultra depressed idiots, rather; they just dont give two craps about the religious debates and issues and think that in all honesty, it is pointless. To a large extent they have an excellent point and they really don't care what you believe unless it hurts others physically. At least, that is my experience with them, so I support the non movement.

drmigit2:
Considering my girlfriend is a nihilist, I believe I can pretty much sum this up. 99% of nihilists are not ultra depressed idiots, rather; they just dont give two craps about the religious debates and issues and think that in all honesty, it is pointless. To a large extent they have an excellent point and they really don't care what you believe unless it hurts others physically.

That is a contradiction. Nihilists do not believe in value, so a nihilist should not believe that there is any more or less value in hurting or not hurting someone.

Dormin111:

drmigit2:
Considering my girlfriend is a nihilist, I believe I can pretty much sum this up. 99% of nihilists are not ultra depressed idiots, rather; they just dont give two craps about the religious debates and issues and think that in all honesty, it is pointless. To a large extent they have an excellent point and they really don't care what you believe unless it hurts others physically.

That is a contradiction. Nihilists do not believe in value, so a nihilist should not believe that there is any more or less value in hurting or not hurting someone.

Most of them are real people i'm sorry to inform you. Just as there are very few true atheists (people who are 100% sure there is no god with no chance of being wrong), there are very few true nihilists and most of them still have human empathy. In general, if someone is apathetic to religion, it's validity or it's horridness they label themselves a nihilist.

Dormin111:

keiskay:

Dormin111:

The quote does not illuminate anything. Everything is meaningless so people arbitrarily create meaning. Why? Why create arbitrary meaning rather than just let yourself die?

i dont know, it seems i was not able to add in my edit quick enough before you quoted me so here it is again.

Donald A. crosby:
There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live. Those who claim to find meaning in their lives are either dishonest or deluded. In either case, they fail to face up to the harsh reality of the human situation

now can you tell me that there is an objective and true meaning to life?

You are dodging my question and throwing it back at me.

As for your question, I do believe that morality is objective though I would not go as far as to use the flowery language of "true meaning to life." Meta-ethically I believe it is axiomatic that I choose to live instead of die. Every fiber of my body wishes to stay alive and I couldn't bring myself to purposeful death even if I wanted to (barring extreme circumstances when life is too painful to continue).

From there I can declare that as a human, my standard of value is the furtherance of my existence. If the total failure of my actions resulted in death, then the total success of my actions would result in me living a happy life. That is, happiness is the successful state of life. I act to attain value, which is defined by the standard of my existence, and the attainment of value makes me happy, as indicated by the state of my mind and physical pleasure. For instance, I can doubtlessly say that eating food makes me happier, and therefore makes my life better than starving to death.

BTW, this is the basis of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.

except morality is purely subjective and non-existent, just because you and your philosophy believe so does not make it true, if so then the beliefs in god/s are objective as well. simply you live because you were born and eventually you will die and everything you did in life will eventually become worthless, even if you cure cancer. why keep living? the human bodies self instinctual need to survive is probably what keeps the nihilist alive and well. the nihilist does not delude himself with ideas of grandeur and "meaning", the nihilist knows that he is just a number living to die.

keiskay:

Dormin111:

keiskay:
i dont know, it seems i was not able to add in my edit quick enough before you quoted me so here it is again.
now can you tell me that there is an objective and true meaning to life?

You are dodging my question and throwing it back at me.

As for your question, I do believe that morality is objective though I would not go as far as to use the flowery language of "true meaning to life." Meta-ethically I believe it is axiomatic that I choose to live instead of die. Every fiber of my body wishes to stay alive and I couldn't bring myself to purposeful death even if I wanted to (barring extreme circumstances when life is too painful to continue).

From there I can declare that as a human, my standard of value is the furtherance of my existence. If the total failure of my actions resulted in death, then the total success of my actions would result in me living a happy life. That is, happiness is the successful state of life. I act to attain value, which is defined by the standard of my existence, and the attainment of value makes me happy, as indicated by the state of my mind and physical pleasure. For instance, I can doubtlessly say that eating food makes me happier, and therefore makes my life better than starving to death.

BTW, this is the basis of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.

except morality is purely subjective and non-existent, just because you and your philosophy believe so does not make it true, if so then the beliefs in god/s are objective as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

"Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. The adjective moral is synonymous with "good" or "right.""

A moral system is a code of ethics which determines what is of value (that is, what one acts to attain) to a being. I and the philosophy of Objectivism maintain that objective morality can be rationally derived from the nature of humanity. I need food to live, and I need to be alive to do anything, therefore eating food is morally good (generally). I think that you are getting caught up in the religious trap of assuming that morality must either be mystical or nonexistent.

"simply you live because you were born and eventually you will die and everything you did in life will eventually become worthless

So? Life is valuable to me while I live, that is all that matters. Value, as it pertains to me, is only in existence as long as I am. The value of my life after I am no longer alive is of no concern to me.

even if you cure cancer. why keep living? the human bodies self instinctual need to survive is probably what keeps the nihilist alive and well.

The difference is that the Objectivist recognizes that my body's natural inclination to life is a component (EDIT) of meta-ethics. That is, it contributes to the axiomatic conclusion that it is better to be alive than dead. The nihilist rejects this premise for no reason.

the nihilist does not delude himself with ideas of grandeur and "meaning", the nihilist knows that he is just a number living to die.

"Meaning" to whom? See above.

I'm not impressed with nihilism.

And ironically, it was what I've learned from science that has most influenced me to reject it. When you look at the astounding improbability of life existing on this planet, then look at the astounding improbability of intelligent life evolving on this planet, then you look at each individual intelligent life form and the astounding improbability that the particular set of experiences they have had leads them to being the person they are... that in and of itself gives our lives tremendous meaning. Each of us is a localized entity more precious than gold, diamonds, oil, or any other resource that people have ever fought over. When one of us dies, a unique thing that has never before existed and never will again is lost. "From the stars we came. From the stars we return. From now, till the end of time."

But then when we look at the preciousness of life, the scant time we get to have our consciousness and awareness and vitality, and see that there are people in the world who risk their lives or give up their lives for the sake of others... how is that not meaningful? Any animal can be programmed by genetics to follow a pheromone trail and unthinkingly serve a hive. We have the choice. We can know all of the selfish pleasures of the world and still reject them for the good of others. And we can do it without promise of reward, just because we know that it is good to serve those who are in need. That is meaning.

Dormin111:
If I am to use rationality to live my life, then I should only take action when their is a logical reason to do so.

Any "rational" system is just a function of language, it's a symbol process and nothing more. It only has value to the extent that we share an investment in it.

Your "rationality" is an arbitrary rule by which you try to make sense of complex phenomena, and it's absolutely not essential. People don't require a comprehensible rationality which you can understand in order to take actions, people produce their own rationality from the symbolic processes they are given.

Don't try to pass off a linguistic process as morally essential. When I say that meaning is arbitrary, it's because words are arbitrary and I see no (convincing) non-linguistic source for absolute meaning.

And before you try to present "living" as a meta-ethical process, don't even bother. I can already do better than that and do routinely in order to keep myself sane. The mere fact that you haven't already done the same, however shows that my ethical process (morality and ethics being very different things) is not essential or external to my particular rationality.

Dormin111:
To ask "why not" is to beg the question "why" which is the true primary. I do not take action in my life on the basis that I cannot figure out a reason "why not" to take action but because there is a reason "why" to take that action.

Well then, maybe you need to rethink your definition of an "action". What is an "inactive" choice except one you've randomly labelled as such? How is doing nothing not in itself acting?

Basic logocentrism. You don't get to escape that easily.

evilthecat:

Any "rational" system is just a function of language, it's a symbol process and nothing more. It only has value to the extent that we share an investment in it.

You are begging the question as to how this "function of language" came up with its structure.

Your "rationality" is an arbitrary rule by which you try to make sense of complex phenomena, and it's absolutely not essential. People don't require a comprehensible rationality which you can understand in order to take actions, people produce their own rationality from the symbolic processes they are given.

Jesus you have ingested a lot of postmodernism. Prove your statement. Show me how people just make up bullshit and run with it. Upon what premises are those statements built? Why don't people claim to they can fly? Why don't they ride unicorns to work?

Don't try to pass off a linguistic process as morally essential. When I say that meaning is arbitrary, it's because words are arbitrary and I see no (convincing) non-linguistic source for absolute meaning.

The words chosen to represent something may be arbitrary, but that does not mean the thing it represents is arbitrary. A rock is a rock is a rock. People can call a rock a rock in different language, but that does not alter the nature of the concrete rock. You want a source for its meaning: look at the damn thing. You have senses, use them.

And before you try to present "living" as a meta-ethical process, don't even bother. I can already do better than that and do routinely in order to keep myself sane. The mere fact that you haven't already done the same, however shows that my ethical process (morality and ethics being very different things) is not essential or external to my particular rationality.

What???

Well then, maybe you need to rethink your definition of an "action". What is an "inactive" choice except one you've randomly labelled as such? How is doing nothing not in itself acting?

Basic logocentrism. You don't get to escape that easily.

Don't you think it is a tad ironic that you just spent the rest of the post saying that logic does not exist or is unknowable?

Volitional action must be taken, but inaction is possible as well. One cannot stop breathing or any other automatic processes through inaction, but one can stop thinking. An individual can always cease to think, ie. start living as an animal on instinct. This will surely result in death.

The funny thing about postmodernists is that they do not realize that they are in the same philosophical boat at the religious spiritualists they despise. Postmodernism is a philosophy of faith. You have your sense, you have reality around you, and there are clearly laws of identity and cause and effect. Yet you arbitrarily reject reality based on a faith in non-reality. If you do not believe in logic, then try walking off a cliff and using your mind to think you will stay afloat.

i think that if you think about it, there cannot be a purpose to life. if you think that you purpose is to reproduce so humanity evolves, well what is the purpose of that? if you keep asking what the purpose of the purpose is, eventually you will be unable to give a purpose.

this does not mean that life is not worth living. you can still enjoy life, and ascribe some sort of subjective meaning to it.

does that make me nihilist?

On this most recent debate I'm with evilthecat, I can't think of a single person I've ever actually met IRL that generated a rational thought process for their every action; even the people that claimed to believe in an objective morality could be observed drinking too much, getting involved in bad relationships that weren't even good to start with and just having bad days where they didn't give a fuck what their most recent personal philosophy was supposed to be about.

Personally I don't believe in any supernatural entities, never really believed that meaning itself was more than something humans attributed to the world around them, and never observed an objective reality that I could see and was assured that everyone else saw the same way. At one point I identified as nihilist but, as some of the posters here can imagine, I stopped using the term so freely as I came to appreciate my own life and the lives around me, even as I acknowledged that eventually everything we ever were would be lost with the passage of time. Ultimately I freely exist as a person that doesn't hold one strict philosophy, much less one I believe could be applied to any person in any life, and even though I could be concerned with only myself if I wished I didn't find that to be a life worth living.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked