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Thread: Nihilism

  1. #61
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    You all have points in what you are saying, but I think you missed the biggest point. I think that "good" & "bad" are not things we can necessarily define. Good & bad changes for each person. Those are subjective values. Yes, you can say most things/people in life will lean towards "good," but that will all depend on their own perception. Just as nihilists would see reality, the same applies to those subjective values.

    It's not that I don't care about anything per se, just that I realize that there is this MUCH bigger perception that I can't even fathom. I realize I cannot fathom this, and therefore, doubt everything that I CAN fathom. It wouldn't make sense that I could know all that I think I know, while being aware of the infinite number of things that I know I could NEVER know. That is how these thoughts begin, for me anyhow. I am not thinking about humans & what we do wrong & how much we suck (even if we do), I am just taking myself & my own "knowledge" out of the equation.

    This is an extreme relativistic view that I think all thinkers ponder in their life. It is an idea that is unanchored and unanchorable. Most people, I think, end up finding an anchor somewhere, and realize that life, and the best life, exists somewhere in between extremes.


    And this quote by you, "Yes, you can say most things/people in life will lean towards "good," but that will all depend on their own perception...." makes all the difference. If most of human life leans toward Good, then I don't see how nihilism can be a valid concept.
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  2. #62
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    And this quote by you, "Yes, you can say most things/people in life will lean towards "good," but that will all depend on their own perception...." makes all the difference. If most of human life leans toward Good, then I don't see how nihilism can be a valid concept.
    "Good" to a serial killer might be murdering a bunch of people. That is what I mean by "good" not necessarily being universal.
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    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    "Good" to a serial killer might be murdering a bunch of people. That is what I mean by "good" not necessarily being universal.
    But we must look at 'good' as a collective ideal, when discussing worldview. Otherwise, why have a worldview anyway? We would just each have all our own thoughts without a cohesive way to understand each other or unite them.
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  4. #64
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    But we must look at 'good' as a collective ideal, when discussing worldview. Otherwise, why have a worldview anyway? We would just each have all our own thoughts without a cohesive way to understand each other or unite them.
    Hmmm...I see what you are saying. I will have to think about this. Interesting.
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  5. #65
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I think this view is just as strict and narrow minded as any other. It's a little dull too, honestly. Life can be without meaning, sure. Is it natural or healthy for humans to walk around with this point of view? I think it robs us of (whatever) makes us human. Whether you believe that life has inherent meaning or none, don't know or don't care, just the fact that we have the will to survive negates a lot of this stuff.

    Thinking about the meaning of life can be fulfilling enough for some. That in itself is meaning. Having any kind of a belief system or values is morality. Whether or not this comes from the universe or our own fabrication, morality exists, and they are ingrained within us. Nihilism itself is a moral, it's a world view. Humans would be extinct (or may never have existed at all) if it weren't for meaning, beliefs, and morality.

    So the real question is- does the universe have meaning or do we? Or both? And does it matter?

    And as a side note, a belief in Nihilism may make somebody more miserable than those who have a belief in God and purpose, but it certainly doesn't make them any more brilliant or any less ignorant.

    (oh- yes, and agreed, the message we pull out of this as humans can vary greatly, this is very clear.)
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  6. #66
    A_priori
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    I agree with you that survival trumps love, and that if most people, given the ability to live for love, or just to live, they will choose just to live, to survive.

    But that doesn't mean that living is a zero-sum game, which is what nihilists would argue--that nothing is what it's all about.

    It is about something. If it weren't about something, then we would not care how we lived while we were living. The fact (i.e. this is objective) that humans for the most part crave love and crave good feelings shows that things actually do matter. If things didn't matter, then their would be as much value in being bad as being good. And there isn't. We are skewed to goodness and love no matter how you slice it.

    Some people have become bad, yes, and might desire bad. But those are people who have had bad done to them, so they are not a reliable example of nihilism, just an example of how humanism can go terribly wrong.



    Good point. If it leads to a pessimistic outlook, as his post does, then that implies badness, because that individual is saying they expect something bad to happen or to come out of events. Since badness is counter to goodness, and goodness is the basic driver for most humans, then being pessimistic is not nihilistic, it's just the opposite of optimistic. Nihilism is more apathy.

    Pessimism is to positive sum living as hate is to love; it's the same thing, basically.

    Apathy is the opposite of positive sum living, just as apathy is opposite to love.

    To prove his point, he needs to not care at all. And everyone needs to not care for nihilism to be a legitimate worldview. Once you care, or are pessimistic, you are showing that goodness has meaning and value.
    For the most part what your saying is ridiculous. If I wasn't typing this over an iPhone I would answer back in much more detail. Lets just put it this was ok, before you can really truly begin to understand yourself and others you have to get serious. The reality is, we are dependent and greedy. yup, thats right imagine that! I don't see how you can sit there and agree with some of my statements and then completely negate what I say by saying that to prove my point I would have to not care at all. For starters you have no idea the amount of contrabutions I make or the kind of person I am. Sure you can sit there and say that what I am saying is pessimistic, fine. I can see how it would appear that way but the fact is I really don't care.

    We can decorate and fluff ourselves and others in this world to be really good and caring but from what I have seen, people in general are prty dam greedy. I guess to you this is just another statement that implies "badness" lol whatever that supposed to mean? For the most part all you have done is misconstrude what I said, and placed your ideals on a pedestal.

  7. #67
    A_priori
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I think this view is just as strict and narrow minded as any other. It's a little dull too, honestly. Life can be without meaning, sure. Is it natural or healthy for humans to walk around with this point of view? I think it robs us of (whatever) makes us human. Whether you believe that life has inherent meaning or none, don't know or don't care, just the fact that we have the will to survive negates a lot of this stuff.

    Thinking about the meaning of life can be fulfilling enough for some. That in itself is meaning. Having any kind of a belief system or values is morality. Whether or not this comes from the universe or our own fabrication, morality exists, and they are ingrained within us. Nihilism itself is a moral, it's a world view. Humans would be extinct (or may never have existed at all) if it weren't for meaning, beliefs, and morality.

    So the real question is- does the universe have meaning or do we? Or both? And does it matter?

    And as a side note, a belief in Nihilism may make somebody more miserable than those who have a belief in God and purpose, but it certainly doesn't make them any more brilliant or any less ignorant.

    (oh- yes, and agreed, the message we pull out of this as humans can vary greatly, this is very clear.)
    Well said

  8. #68
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_priori View Post
    For the most part what your saying is ridiculous. If I wasn't typing this over an iPhone I would answer back in much more detail. Lets just put it this was ok, before you can really truly begin to understand yourself and others you have to get serious. The reality is, we are dependent and greedy. yup, thats right imagine that! I don't see how you can sit there and agree with some of my statements and then completely negate what I say by saying that to prove my point I would have to not care at all. For starters you have no idea the amount of contrabutions I make or the kind of person I am. Sure you can sit there and say that what I am saying is pessimistic, fine. I can see how it would appear that way but the fact is I really don't care.

    We can decorate and fluff ourselves and others in this world to be really good and caring but from what I have seen, people in general are prty dam greedy. I guess to you this is just another statement that implies "badness" lol whatever that supposed to mean? For the most part all you have done is misconstrude what I said, and placed your ideals on a pedestal.
    I stand by what I say.

    Unless you give me a viable reason not to...
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

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  9. #69
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    At a certain point, you have to stop concerning yourself with what's correct on an objective or universal level, simply for practical reasons. Being a nihilist turns you into a dick. And that eventually makes your local space unmanageable. You could say that playing along with others doesn't matter either, but if that's the case, just kill yourself. You're sparing yourself and everyone else some trouble this way. The other option is to be unapologetic about it all, and secure your right to be a dick by domination.. but more than likely you will lose. Nietzsche's ubermensch is a myth. Someone will kick your ass eventually, be a greater dick than you, and you'll lose whatever rights you thought you had. Rinse, repeat. The smart thing to do (imo) is to break the cycle. To believe that some things are worth preserving. Some general ideals about humanity is a good start. You don't have to be too serious about it. Who gives a fuck if it's not valid on an "objective" level. It works, as far as we are concerned. We can deal with bigger pictures when we meet extraterrestrials.

  10. #70
    Senior Member flameskull95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COLORATURA View Post
    It's not that I don't care about anything per se, just that I realize that there is this MUCH bigger perception that I can't even fathom. I realize I cannot fathom this, and therefore, doubt everything that I CAN fathom. It wouldn't make sense that I could know all that I think I know, while being aware of the infinite number of things that I know I could NEVER know. That is how these thoughts begin, for me anyhow. I am not thinking about humans & what we do wrong & how much we suck (even if we do), I am just taking myself & my own "knowledge" out of the equation.
    Everything that comes out of us is subjective. The only reason we see color in this world, is because that is how our brains internally already have those colors recognized. I don't necessarily know whether it is actually there.

    When you said 'fathom' it reminded me of a quote by the Buddha "In this one fathom body, I posit the world'. (One fathom in the sense of height is how long it is from fingertip to fingertip) .

    I think what you need is the hope that somehow, we can make sense of this reality we live in. And someday you will not have to think or feel that you 'will never know'. As we are part of that reality and came into being through that reality, - there has to be some sense in our creation that we are still not aware of yet. It may not be there, but being ourselves in an unknown universe is the greatest accomplishment for ourselves at least.

    But who am I to say?
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