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Thread: Nihilism

  1. #1
    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    Default Nihilism

    "Nihilism (pron.: /ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or metaphysical/ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist..."

    I read once that INTP's struggle with this. The older I get, the more I am feeling this way.

    I was raised devoutly religious, but as I got older, I started picking all the fallacies in religion apart. I sometimes wish, however, that I was more ignorant. Ignorance is bliss, right? I know that believing in religion, and thinking that all the pretty stories is probably more pleasant than feeling like nothing matters.

    ...Then, I think, who am I fooling?? I AM IGNORANT!! I am, after all, this little tiny speck floating through space & time. WTF could I actually know?? WTF could ANYONE actually know?? I have even argued & doubted science/scientists. I see science on the same level of religion. Maybe it is more accurate, BUT it's all still based on HUMAN DATA & experiments. Whose to say they were done correctly, and whose to say that just b/c we observe something as one way that is TRULY that way??

    I found this orgasmic website (yes, I said orgasmic) that explains everything in the most simple, logical manner. I LOVE it! However, it makes me feel like it IS true, nothing does matter.
    On Truth & Reality: Philosophy Physics Metaphysics of Space, Wave Structure of Matter. Famous Science Art Quotes.

    Do you struggle with similar questions? Any thoughts??
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    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    If nothing matters, then humans would not be wired to love nor appreciate good.

    The fact that we do, means that we are not, in our essence, dual creatures, even if we live in a dualistic, or trialistic, environ.

    Our 'heart' (soul) leans toward something Good and Pure, even if part of our being--our earthly bodies and minds--is at home in our world, the part of us that isn't makes all the difference, skewing us toward something asymmetrical and otherworldly. We are unique in this as far as we know.

    Therefore Nihilism is a fallacious notion, because humans always strive to betterment, or would if they could.
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    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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    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    If nothing matters, then humans would not be wired to love nor appreciate good.

    The fact that we do, means that we are not, in our essence, dual creatures, even if we live in a dualistic, or trialistic, environ.

    Our 'heart' (soul) leans toward something Good and Pure, even if part of our being--our earthly bodies and minds--is at home in our world, the part of us that isn't makes all the difference, skewing us toward something asymmetrical and otherworldly. We are unique in this as far as we know.

    Therefore Nihilism is a fallacious notion, because humans always strive to betterment, or would if they could.
    That is the intrinsic value nature gives to everything: "the Will to Power". However, that doesn't mean that just because the Will is the most natural thing it should be followed; in fact, I think Schopenhauer was correct in wishing to renounce the Will (however he thought it was the "Will to Life", which is largely similar to "the Will to Power", yet slightly different - I view the Will to Life as a part of the Will to Power, not as something different) as that ultimately sets us free to be our real Self, not just ourselves.

    Now, back to the topic of nihilism. If there is no such thing as meaning, how do we grow an idea of it? I mean, if meaning does not exist, what is this "meaning" we think ought to exist for there to truly be a meaning? C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity likens this to a debate on the existence of straight lines; if there is no such thing as a straight line, how can we possibly develop a concept of such a thing as a straight line to debate on? Or - again from Lewis - if there was no light in the world, how could we possibly say "There is no light" if the only thing we know is darkness?

    Do you get what I'm saying?
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Therefore Nihilism is a fallacious notion, because humans always strive to betterment, or would if they could.
    Except nihilists.

    Nihilism is often misunderstood anyway. It isn't so much that nothing matters as much as it means something that can't be proven has no meaning.

  5. #5
    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    By the way, I've noticed nihilism quite a lot amongst INTPs - not so much because they're partisans of nihilism, but just because that's the way they are: meaning is a thing that seems to be provided by some sort of feeling function (probably Fi the most), but they just don't work with that. As well, I think they don't want to give any meaning to anything until they've given it thought for a while.
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

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    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesthete View Post
    That is the intrinsic value nature gives to everything: "the Will to Power". However, that doesn't mean that just because the Will is the most natural thing it should be followed; in fact, I think Schopenhauer was correct in wishing to renounce the Will (however he thought it was the "Will to Life", which is largely similar to "the Will to Power", yet slightly different - I view the Will to Life as a part of the Will to Power, not as something different) as that ultimately sets us free to be our real Self, not just ourselves.
    I had this discussion with my ENTJ son recently. He was arguing Will to Power was the basic motivator for man, and I was arguing Will to Love was. We ended up with (well, not sure he ever admitted defeat, lol, but we were both defeated) Will to Life as the main motivator. Which is one of the reasons I really like Arthur Schopenhauer over Nietzsche. Most humans' motivations, would in the end, come down to survival instincts, though some would be willing to die for love or power.

    God gives us Free Will because he is a transcendent sovereign Lord and Master. He is immanent as well, I believe, but he always waits for us to allow him in, though he does manipulate our lives at times. If we did not have free will, we would not likely be posting here on this forum, or doing any one of the million things we do in our mundane daily lives.

    Now, back to the topic of nihilism. If there is no such thing as meaning, how do we grow an idea of it?
    There is meaning, which I spoke to in my post already.

    I mean, if meaning does not exist, what is this "meaning" we think ought to exist for there to truly be a meaning? C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity likens this to a debate on the existence of straight lines; if there is no such thing as a straight line, how can we possibly develop a concept of such a thing as a straight line to debate on? Or - again from Lewis - if there was no light in the world, how could we possibly say "There is no light" if the only thing we know is darkness?

    Do you get what I'm saying?
    Maayybee......You have never known goodness, so you cannot believe it exists? But that nihilism, which basically means the study of nothingness, seems like a good fit for your worldview?

    I would say that your perspective is skewed, and is is inaccurate. Skewed because there is meaning and there is goodness in life, exemplified by all men being attracted to love and goodness; and inaccurate because you speak as one who has been made aware of such things, not as one who is still ignorant of them.

    Helen Keller never knew sounds or sights but that did not mean they did not exist. They did not exist for her. That is, until a loving and caring teacher found a way to bridge that huge gap for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by momental View Post
    Except nihilists.

    Nihilism is often misunderstood anyway. It isn't so much that nothing matters as much as it means something that can't be proven has no meaning.
    It just means the study or belief in nothingness. Not even black holes are nothingness. Much less this colorful and vibrant world we live in. If it were nothingness we would not conceive of anything. Because all would be void and naught. Or we would have as many negations as posations (?antonym if anyone knows it plz) which would cancel everything out.

    But we do not. We have a skewing toward wanting good and wanting love. Therefore life does have meaning, whether we feel that or not.
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

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

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  7. #7
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    fuck nihilism. I don't care if it's rational or not, it makes people feel empty and unfulfilled and leads to depression and hopelessness. meaning is not a rational phenomenon and, if you don't allow it to exist, it will slip away from you. remember that knowledge is the servant of self actualization and not the other way around.
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    Member COLORATURA's Avatar
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    I don't believe much CAN be proven. That is my problem. If it can't be, how can you for sure say it exists?
    Things aren't always what they appear to be. How do I not know that everything I THINK I know isn't in fact, not? I question EVERYTHING. Even my own experiences & what I think I know.

    I struggle with questions like this constantly.

    Just because we have a definition of "meaning," does that mean it exists? I can make up a magical fairyland in a story tomorrow and call it Mootermoofeyland. If it were to become popular, everyone would know what Mootermoofeyland was, but it still wouldn't exist. Or would it?
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    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    Watch out, though: Schopenhauer didn't view the Will to Life as a good thing, but rather as a trap for the true Self - a sort of samsara.
    I made a mistake by turning myself into Schopenhauer. I fiddled around with his ideas and came to my own conclusions and beliefs - though not all of my conclusions and beliefs arise from Schopenhauer.

    Hmm...Schopenhauer actually disliked the Will to Life because it brought about too much suffering. Of course, there's more to it to that, but that's the underlying idea.
    Last edited by Aesthete; 12-27-2012 at 09:15 AM.
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  10. #10
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesthete View Post
    Well, of course freedom of will exists: if it didn't, everything we do would just be a matter of natural compulsions and chemicals in our brains, which means that there would be no way of knowing anything, and thus, if you say "There is no such thing as free will and all is physical, so everything comes from a cause", and you're asked for your reasoning, the only sound thing you can say is that the atoms in my brain have moved thus, causing me to reach this conclusion, and not even that has a firm basis in reality.

    Watch out, though: Schopenhauer didn't view the Will to Life as a good thing, but rather as a trap for the true Self - a sort of samsara. Of course, you probably knew that, but I couldn't tell for sure in your post. The same traditions and beliefs exist in Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism (though I'm not 100% sure about the last) - and even Muhammadanism, I think, but I'll have to read more about the teachings of Muhammad.

    However, not everything that we think is done out of free will is in fact; consider - as an example - why people have children, and see if, in the end, it isn't just caused by the Will to Life (or the Will to Power, which I believe the Will to Life is a part of).



    Hmm...I think you misunderstood what I said. I was arguing against nihilism, not for it. I was saying that nihilists say 'There is no such thing as meaning', but they already have a sense of what meaning is, otherwise the whole idea of nihilism would fall apart. So, let's not result to personal attacks, shall we?
    And I was in no way making a personal attack. I think you misunderstand what I said. I was simply responding to you.




    I think......that there is a discrimination going on with Type C that males or NTs can be blunt and debate topics and that is welcomed, but that NFs are 'attacking' or slandering or whatever when I do.

    There is a double standard here and I'm sick of it.


    I will research what Schopenhauer meant further. But it doesn't really matter to me what he meant. I meant what I meant anyway.
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

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

    songofmary.wordpress.com


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