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Thread: Nihilism

  1. #31
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    I suffer from the same issues COLORATURA experiences and am myself a nihilist. What is meaning? What is truth? My perception is hideous limited, I can only see a limited wavelength of light and cannot smell or hear like a dog. How do I feel certain in what I perceive and how do I be anything other than sceptical of others who claim to see it all? Is it all just different stages of ignorance where we do not even know whether what we are ignorant of has any meaning at all? Is there any meaning or purpose at all to anything, does "meaning" or "purpose" possess any meaning or purpose either. I do believe that what I see exists however, but only in the context it is presented; a context which I do not believe possesses any point, or value. I believe matter and energy exists and is in the flat bubble we call the universe, never being created, destroyed or escaping and existing that way until it no longer does, pointless the entire time. We could discover everything about the universe, the entire range of its laws, the sums of its particles but will we ever find objective meaning? It's really quite fascinating to think about, it has been five years since stumbling onto existentialism and nihilism and I am very comfortable with the "dark" thoughts it creates.

    I do however lapse into a state of pseudo-existentialism due to personal values presented to me through my Fi. I cannot stay ignorant of them and find myself seeing them as meaningful to me, an unjustified preference over the myriad of other meaningless concepts and constructs that exist in this world. This is a meaning I cannot forsake but it is one I can understand to be limited only to myself and one which is born out of brain chemistry. A conjurer's trick in a way. I see any moral views I hold to be important only to me, to have no worth beyond the abstractions made from what I want and what the universe creates. This is how I see all morality and see myself. Just a clusterfuck gestalt of a million factors coming together, maybe like a series of brain neurons lighting up on a computer screen and being mistaken for a piece of art.

    The only problem is that I (and I believe others) start seeing nihilism as the truth to things, yet how can the positions asserting there are no truths assert this as a truth?
    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    I don't think so. Nihilism asserts there are no truths and thus everything is meaningless. Yet it asserts that itself is truth as an unfortunate side effect. It's a well known dilemma in the theory. Perhaps an issue with my wording is at fault.

    Yes, you sound like you are thinking precisely as I. My problem is, I wasn't always this way. I used to sing & thought I was making the world a better place by creating good music. I left college after battling ALOT of problems & I gave up on singing. That kind-of left me feeling like my life no longer mattered. The more I thought, the more I came to the conclusions of a nihilist.

    I try to talk to my family & friends about these things, and they all think I am going to hell. Haha
    Well, who knows...maybe I am!

    So...this all being said, how does one continue to function & find things to care about again?
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by xennui View Post
    Universally, it doesn't. It doesn't matter how ants function, or what blue makes one feel like, unless one has a need to know, and then it's only a subjective meaning. How we're programmed only matters if you're asking the question.
    Very well; keep what you just said in mind.

    Do you mean on a personal level? I, personally 'care' if you can call it that, though curiosity is more accurate-- because I haven't been very successful with certain aspects of interacting with people and society and, seeing a pattern in it and myself, seek to better understand to better navigate. Why? Because it's all a very complicated outgrowth of the basic need to eat, reproduce and have a safe place to sleep. My mode of accomplishing "suvival and thriving" has always been to take things apart, understand them and improve, it is in me to question.
    The motivation for the, say, INFJ, is because their role is of the social/spiritual protector, that is the pattern of their DNA/personality/social-role and it is their purpose to both define and search for the greater good. I don't envy INFJ's that, nor do they envy me my cold, emotionless, meaningless existence. That's why I actually deleted my post but you replied before I did--too quick for me! I decided I didn't want to get in to a tangle with other peoples' meanings. Also, I went back and re-read the posts especially what AphroditegoneAwry said,

    :: NTs can be blunt and debate topics and that is welcomed, but that NFs are 'attacking' or slandering or whatever when I do.

    ...I see her point and decided to re-think my shit before I went off on an asshole INTJ tirade. <sigh>... good thing you included quote, I guess
    If you want I can call off the entire debate as it seems you don't wish to continue.

    Well, yes, that is correct, but I meant why should how nature made us be a guideline for our actions and way of being as what we've been made by nature, in the end, has no objective value.

    What do you mean by "what nature does to us?"
    It was essentially the same question as the previous one.

    Not matter to whom? It may matter to those who knew you, and your victim, and will cause a ripple of inconvenience to everyone attached to those lives, so in that sense it will matter to those people to varying levels. Within the grand scheme of things, a generation from now, no, it won't matter. Just an insignificant statistic from the past.

    Of course, to you it will matter, you'll;
    1. go to prison for a long time. It will hurt.
    2. Your social position will be forever damaged, and social position is very coded in to our social monkey brains. That's what having a conscience is all about.
    3. After prison our options for good food / safety / breeding will be severely compromised, your life will suck.

    So you don't senselessly murder. Even if you could get away with it, you're not going to unless the sum of your anguish outweighs your control over the situation and yourself. Unless you have a brain disorder or some apparent justification, it's just not in your nature. You may feel like murdering, but if you picture yourself standing over a someone's bullet-shattered face, their breath gurgling up through strips of torn flesh and cartilage, painting the floor red as they spasm about in catonic pain... eh, your brain is wired for empathy, that's the meaning of why you can't go there.
    But here's the problem: you're assigning value to what other people think, how they feel, to suffering, my social position, and to my troubles in general. In reality, those things don't have any objective value - if the nihilistic world view is correct - and if I overcome the subjective factors - as the truth is supposed to set me free, not just exist in an irrelevant manner and I continue my daily existence - then I'll realize it's all senseless to get worked up about those things. The way my brain is wired doesn't really matter: it doesn't matter if I want to be the way I was programmed or not. And if, after the crime, I start suffering due to my conscience or whatnot, I shouldn't avoid it just because of that, because, in the end, I'm only deceiving myself by suffering.

    One more point: some people, due to a mental illness - not that that's how their brain was wired, so "illness" just means "different", which in the end doesn't really mean anything - will kill people with no remorse, and some will even enjoy it. Have you heard of the NY shooter? Here's what he wrote in a note "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best- killing people." That's just the way he's wired, thus there shouldn't be any problem with what he's done. If I follow correctly, you say that people just act in the way they were wired, and most are wired in an empathetic fashion; but, there are also sadists and psychopaths out there who are born so - should we consider their actions to not matter because that's simply the way they are, or do something about them?
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    Hmm? For one, I'm not trying to win anything here, just trying to have a discussion on a topic that interests me Having no value and having no meaning are more or less the same thing. For the nihilist to say "it is all meaningless" or "there is no intrinsic value" would need to say that objective meaning or value does not exist or at best it iself is meaningless. There is cross over with relativism however the nihilist would declare the relatives he works with as meaningless or without value as well, which is what I do whilst the relativist would need only declare that none is the most important and not that they are all without value. Or at least from what I recall.
    Well, by "I give you the victory", I simply meant that you were correct. This seems to be a good description of the difference between the two - nihilists and relativists.
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  4. #34
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesthete View Post

    One more point: some people, due to a mental illness - not that that's how their brain was wired, so "illness" just means "different", which in the end doesn't really mean anything - will kill people with no remorse, and some will even enjoy it. Have you heard of the NY shooter? Here's what he wrote in a note "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best- killing people." That's just the way he's wired, thus there shouldn't be any problem with what he's done. If I follow correctly, you say that people just act in the way they were wired, and most are wired in an empathetic fashion; but, there are also sadists and psychopaths out there who are born so - should we consider their actions to not matter because that's simply the way they are, or do something about them?
    Honestly, this is another thing I have thought alot about. I think it is in our human nature to survive & fight for ourselves. Therefore, people are going to "root out" anything that is "different." Sometimes these mass murderers actually have good reasons for doing what they did. Yeah, I wouldn't do it. I am too "normal." However, is there something wrong w/ those people?

    It isn't exactly the same...but...there is a song by Evanescence called "Lithium." In that song she says
    "I can't hold on to me
    Wonder what's wrong with me?
    Lithium, don't wanna lock me up inside
    Lithium, don't wanna forget how it feels without
    Lithium, I wanna stay in love with my sorrow"

    It has always given me a sort-of insight into the "crazy" person. They are who they are & don't understand why it is "wrong" to be them. Why do they have to take a medication to be "normal?"

    It is interesting to think about.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    Honestly, this is another thing I have thought alot about. I think it is in our human nature to survive & fight for ourselves. Therefore, people are going to "root out" anything that is "different." Sometimes these mass murderers actually have good reasons for doing what they did. Yeah, I wouldn't do it. I am too "normal." However, is there something wrong w/ those people?

    It isn't exactly the same...but...there is a song by Evanescence called "Lithium." In that song she says
    "I can't hold on to me
    Wonder what's wrong with me?
    Lithium, don't wanna lock me up inside
    Lithium, don't wanna forget how it feels without
    Lithium, I wanna stay in love with my sorrow"

    It has always given me a sort-of insight into the "crazy" person. They are who they are & don't understand why it is "wrong" to be them. Why do they have to take a medication to be "normal?"

    It is interesting to think about.
    But I'm not just talking about justified crime - which, quite a few times, is actually justified. I'm talking about killing just because that's how their brain works, which is a problem because it brings unjustified suffering onto others - which, of course, doesn't really matter in the nihilistic world view.

    Being "normal" is overrated. A Mozart, a Beethoven, a Shakespeare, and any other genius would be ridiculed in our society for not being "normal"; of course, that would have also been the case in their times - well, at least until they became famous - but not to the extent that it's done today.
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  6. #36
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesthete View Post
    But I'm not just talking about justified crime - which, quite a few times, is actually justified. I'm talking about killing just because that's how their brain works, which is a problem because it brings unjustified suffering onto others - which, of course, doesn't really matter in the nihilistic world view.

    Being "normal" is overrated. A Mozart, a Beethoven, a Shakespeare, and any other genius would be ridiculed in our society for not being "normal"; of course, that would have also been the case in their times - well, at least until they became famous - but not to the extent that it's done today.
    Yeah, I was talking about the same. Saying they are born that way. Not saying anything about it being justified, just that sometimes I can understand them.
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  7. #37
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    nihilism signifies a destruction of value, not a destruction of truth. But to really practice a rational nihilism you'll also have to practice a criticism of language which will result in no truths being communicable.

    Why values and not truth? Because no matter what nihilism does to value it can't deny being/becoming itself.

    Nihilism doesn't destroy all of your truths, that's just plain old philosophy. Nihilism destroys your CARING for truth.
    wails from the crypt.

  8. #38
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    You know what leads to depression and hopelessness? Identifying yourself so intensely with ideals that when your rational faculties force you to accept them as illusions you feel like you've lost an integral part of yourself and your reason to live.
    wails from the crypt.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkrow View Post
    You know what leads to depression and hopelessness? Identifying yourself so intensely with ideals that when your rational faculties force you to accept them as illusions you feel like you've lost an integral part of yourself and your reason to live.
    ^^^This. It's a process of adjustment.

    I had a nihilistic phase after de-converting from the religion I was raised to believe. But over the years, my beliefs gravitated toward secular humanism. I still believe there's a possibility that the reality we see is not the true reality, or that supernatural powers exist, but I guess it became...irrelevant? The point is that I have been given a human brain, a capacity for empathy and guilt, a responsibility to care for my fellow man, the ability to experience wonder and have fun, and opportunities to turn my pain into wisdom, and I can live a full life without knowing every single answer about everything. Basically, I assigned meaning to my life, instead of having it spoon fed to me from a holy text and its followers.

    Good luck on your journey, OP.
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  10. #40
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    We are meaning creating animals and we prefer any meaning to no meaning.

    This is why we cling to religions or follow astrology or, as we do here, follow mbti.

    However if we apply evidence and reason to a meaning, we can determine whether that meaning is a fact or a fantasy.

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