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  1. #31
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    ... for absolutely no reason.
    The clinically depressed are full of reasons to kill themselves.

    Their emotions are out of touch with reality and they rationalise their psychotic emotions.

    They are so full of reasons. My friend Alan wrote a sixteen page suicide note, utterly rational, simply rationalising his emotions which were utterly out of touch with reality.

    But he had no idea his emotions were out of touch with reality.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    What does it mean that one's emotions are out of touch with reality? Are they not real?

  3. #33
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    What does it mean that one's emotions are out of touch with reality? Are they not real?
    Our emotions are in touch with reality when they relate to reality, when they limn reality and when they arise from and with reality and when they can be shared with others.

    So as you suggest, emotions are real but they can be completely out of touch with reality.

    The thoughts of schizophrenics are out of touch with reality and the emotions of the clinically depressed are out of touch with reality.

    Of course, 'what is reality', is an interesting philosophical question, but it is another question for another time.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    I daresay it is more or less irrelevant to the subject whether ot not their emotions are in touch with reality. There is a chance that they come in touch with reality again; but there is the chance that they lose it again also. The latter, by the way, is true for those already in touch with reality as well.

    Here is what our friend, Mitchell Heisman, has to say about it:
    They generally believe that meaning is to be found in the material, biochemical processes that humans experience as emotions. They generally believe that it actually means something when these old biological mechanisms produce the familiar emotional routines. While one may feel compassion, does this mean that one lacks the capacity to discipline one’s self from being mastered by that impulse. That people are mastered by such impulses is only another confirmation of Darwin’s insight that humans are animals. Most humans are driven overwhelmingly by instinct and emotion. The “secular” belief in emotions is the last degenerate remains of romanticism and religion. The modernistic project did not destroy romanticism, it only reduced to a common level. Modernity and postmodernity retain romanticism by reducing the belief in emotion to the most common experiences, i.e. hunger, fear of death, and lust. The emotional joy of cynical laughter could be considered characteristic of the new romanticism. Emotions are at the root of myths. To engage in human relationships is to dwell within a mythological world. Outside that is, as far as I can see, a material, physical world indifferent to the existence or non-existence of humans and not discernable partial to the senseless will to live.

  5. #35
    Let Go Of Your Team Zarathustra's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    Sounds like a guy who's out of touch with his emotions.

    I'm almost certain he's INTJ; we see people like him on this forum.

    Seems as if, during the time when which he was supposed to be developing his Fi, he instead chose to actively reject it, leading to an unbalanced mental universe.

    Rather ironic that he complains about liberal democracy's active suppression of certain inconvenient truths, when he seems to have been doing much the same throughout his entire life.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I'm almost certain he's INTJ; we see people like him on this forum.
    I agree with the assessment, mostly because much of it feels as if I had written it.

  7. #37
    Let Go Of Your Team Zarathustra's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I agree with the assessment, mostly because much of it feels as if I had written it.
    Do you feel depressed and/or out of touch with your emotions?

  8. #38
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Where does your self-value come from now?
    It's not so much a question of origin as existence. The difference between now and then is now I have self-value.

    If you are wondering where I got it? Lots of introspection with the goal of finding and fixing weaknesses (lollygagging around in your psyche never accomplished anything IMO), taking responsibility for poor choices and forgiving yourself for them. Rinse and repeat.

    What does it mean that one's emotions are out of touch with reality? Are they not real?
    At the time of my attempt I believed that it would take my mother "about two weeks to get over my death and then she would be fine." and that "maybe one or two people would be at my funeral." I believed that as strongly as I believed the sun rises in the East. It was a "fact" in my mind. You could not tell me otherwise. I realize now it would have destroyed my mother for the rest of her life.

    Indeed, people who commit suicide do think of the people they leave behind but those thoughts and rationalizations are out of touch with reality.

    Suicide is a quick fix that is the product of a breakdown in a person's decision making process years, months, days in the making. It is a tunnel vision decision with the end goal being escape of crushing despair, pain, rage, that exists on a minute by minute basis.

    There was a poet who described walking through snow lined streets and seeing the glow of a warm fire in the window of a business and it only reminded him of the cold nipping at his extremities. If he sat down inside by the fire he would only have a view of the cold outside and it would only be more painful to know that is what awaited him when he left. Better to continue on without stopping.

    Life radiates pain and it becomes a hated comfort. I would not wish that mindset on my worst enemy.

    That's why I wouldn't put too much credibility in this guy's manifesto. While he is a brilliant thinker there is no way that manifesto had an answer to any problem in our culture that was positive. NO WAY. If I were to take a guess I would say it's a series of opinionated rants that gives no answers at all.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Do you feel depressed and/or out of touch with your emotions?
    Not particularly.

  10. #40
    Let Go Of Your Team Zarathustra's Avatar
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    Oct 2009

    Exclamation Part Two of the Suicide Note Reading Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Heisman
    An Experiment in

    How much truth does a spirit endure, how much
    truth does it dare?2


    What the hell happened to

    The following is an experiment in nihilism. Already I
    have contradicted myself! How can one believe in disbelief?
    I might be a nihilist except that I don’t believe in anything.
    If there is no extant God and no extant gods, no good and
    no evil, no right and no wrong, no meaning and no purpose;
    if there are no values that are inherently valuable; no justice
    that is ultimately justifiable; no reasoning that is
    fundamentally rational, then there is no sane way to choose
    between science, religion, racism, philosophy, nationalism, art,
    conservatism, nihilism, liberalism, surrealism, fascism, asceticism,
    egalitarianism, subjectivism, elitism, ismism.

    If reason is incapable of deducing ultimate, nonarbitrary
    human ends, and nothing can be judged as ultimately more
    important than anything else, then freedom is equal to
    slavery; cruelty is equal to kindness; love is equal to hate;
    war is equal to peace; dignity is equal to contempt;
    destruction is equal to creation; life is equal to death and
    death is equal to life.

    “For why has the advent of nihilism become necessary?”,
    asked Friedrich Nietzsche: Because the values we have had
    hitherto thus draw their final consequence; because nihilism
    represents the ultimate logical conclusion of our great values
    and ideals—because we must experience nihilism before we
    can find out what value these “values” really had.

    Was Nietzsche right? An absurd question that constitutes
    the crisis of an internally collapsed Western civilization.

    In the words of Leo Strauss:
    The crisis of modernity reveals itself in the fact, or consists
    in the fact, that modern western man no longer knows what
    he wants—that he no longer believes that he can know what
    is good and bad, what is right and wrong. Until a few
    generations ago, it was generally taken for granted that man
    can know what is right and wrong, what is the just or the
    good or the best order of society—in a word that political
    philosophy is possible and necessary. In our time this faith
    has lost its power….Above all, as is generally admitted,
    modern culture is emphatically rationalistic, believing in the
    power of reason; surely if such a culture loses its faith in
    reason’s ability to validate its highest aims, it is in a crisis.

    Uncertain of uncertainty, skeptical of skepticism, it seems
    that the most important question is whether there is an
    important question. The only serious question is whether
    there is anything to take seriously. What has previously been
    considered of value or importance appears as only an
    expression of myth, bias…error.

    Open Your Mind to Death

    There is a very popular opinion that choosing life is
    inherently superior to choosing death. This belief that life is
    inherently preferable to death is one of the most widespread
    superstitions. This bias constitutes one of the most obstinate
    mythologies of the human species.

    This prejudice against death, however, is a kind of
    xenophobia. Discrimination against death is simply assumed
    good and right. Absolutist faith in life is commonly a result
    of the unthinking conviction that existence or survival, along
    with an irrational fear of death, is “good”. This unreasoned
    conviction in the rightness of life over death is like a god or a
    mass delusion. Life is the “noble lie”; the common secular religion
    of the West.

    For the conventional Westerner, the obvious leap of faith
    to make here is that one’s “self” and its preservation
    constitute the first measure of rationality. Yet if one begins
    reasoning with the unquestioned premise that life is good, or
    that one’s own life or any life is justified, this is very
    different from bringing that premise itself to be questioned
    rationally. Anyone who has ever contemplated his or her
    own mortality might question the ultimate sanity of the
    premise of self-preservation. Even if it is possible to live
    forever, moreover, this makes not an iota of difference as to
    the question of the value of existence.

    Most people are so prejudiced on this issue that they
    simply refuse to even consider the possibilities of death.
    Humans tend to be so irrationally prejudiced towards the
    premise of life that rational treatment of death seldom sees
    the light of day. Most people will likely fall back on their
    most thoughtless convictions, intuitions, and instincts,
    instead of attempting to actually think through their biases
    (much less overcome them).

    Yet is choosing death “irrational”? For what reason? For
    most people, “irrationality” apparently refers to a
    subjectivity experience in which their fear of death masters
    them — as opposed the discipline of mastering one’s fear of
    death. By “irrational”, they mean that they feel compelled to
    bow down before this master. An individual is “free”,
    apparently, when he or she is too scared to question
    obedience to the authority of the fear of death. This
    unquestioned slavery to the most common and unreasonable
    instincts is what, in practice, liberal-individualists call

    Most common moral positions justify and cloak this fear
    of death. And like any traditional authority, time has
    gathered a whole system of rituals, conventions, and
    customs to maintain its authority and power as
    unquestionable, inevitable, and fated; fear of death as the
    true, the good, and the beautiful. For most people, fear of
    death is the unquestionable master that establishes all other
    hierarchies — both social hierarchies, and the hierarchies
    within one’s own mind. Most are humbly grateful for the
    very privilege of obedience and do not want to be free.

    I propose opening your mind towards the liberation of
    death; towards exposing this blind faith in life as a myth, a
    bias, and an error. To overcome this delusion, the “magic
    spell” of pious reverence for life over death must be broken.

    To do so is to examine the faith in life that has been left
    unexamined; the naïve secular and non-secular faith in life
    over death.

    Opening one’s mind to death emerges from the attempt to
    unshackle one’s mind from the limitations of all borders. It
    leads to overcoming all biological boundaries, including
    borders between the “self” and the larger world. It reaches
    towards the elimination of biologically based prejudices
    altogether, including prejudice towards biological selfpreservation.

    The attempt to go beyond ethnocentrism and
    anthropomorphism leads towards overcoming the
    prejudices of what I call viviocentrism, or, life-centeredness.
    Just as overcoming ethnocentrism requires recognition of the
    provincialism of ethnic values, overcoming viviocentrism
    emerges from the recognition of the provincialism of life
    values. Viviocentric provincialism is exposed through an
    enlarged view from our planet, our solar system, our galaxy,
    and the limits of our knowledge of the larger cosmos we live

    Overcoming the prejudice against death, then, is only an
    extension and continuation of the Western project of
    eliminating bias, especially biologically based biases (i.e.
    race or sex based biases). The liberation of death is only the
    next step in the political logic that has hitherto sought to
    overcome prejudices based on old assumptions of a fixed
    biological human nature. Its opposite is an Aristotelian,
    teleological conception of nature; a nature of natural slaves,
    natural aristocracy, natural patriarchy, natural inferiority of
    women, natural racial kinds, natural heterosexuality and,
    finally, natural self-preservation. This older, teleological
    view suggests that individual self-preservation is an
    expression of a fixed biologically based nature that culture
    and/or reason is incapable of changing, altering, or

    Just as it was considered unnatural or even insane that
    men be loosed from “natural” subordination to their king, or
    that women be unchained from “natural” subordination to
    their fathers and husbands, today it is considered unnatural
    that death be liberated from its “natural” subordination to
    the tyranny of life. From this point of view, one can
    recognize that the pro-choice stance on abortion and the
    right to die stance on euthanasia have already opened paths
    over conventional pro-life superstitions. These
    developments towards the liberation of biological death may
    lead to what may be the highest fulfillment of egalitarian
    progress: the equality of life and death. Further liberations of
    death should challenge one’s convictions in the same way
    that egalitarianisms of the past have challenged common
    assumptions and convictions: the equality of all men, the
    equality of the races, the equality of the sexes, the equality of
    sexual orientations, the equality of the biological and
    physical, and the equality of life and death.

    Overcoming the “will to live”, then, represents one of the
    final steps in overcoming the provincial and “primitive” life
    instincts probably inherited from our evolutionary past, i.e.
    inclinations towards patriarchy, authoritarianism, sexism,
    kinism, and racism. It is not only a contribution to
    civilization but a culmination of the progress of civilization,
    that is, the application of reason to human existence. Only
    when the will to live itself is civilized, can one be free to
    acknowledge that reason itself does not dictate a bias
    towards life.

    Having come so far, the unquestioned viviocentrism of
    the West can no longer hold. As George Steiner foresaw in
    his tentative prospectus for the “post-cultural” West:
    We open the successive doors in Bluebeard’s castle because
    “they are there,” because each leads to the next by a logic of
    intensification which is that of the mind’s own awareness of
    being. To leave one door closed would be not only
    cowardice but a betrayal—radical, self-mutilating—of the
    inquisitive, probing, forward-tensed stance of our species.
    We are hunters after reality, wherever it may lead. The risk,
    the disasters incurred are flagrant. But so is, or has been
    until very recently, the axiomatic assumption and a priori of
    our civilization, which holds that man and truth are
    companions, that their roads lie forward and are
    dialectically cognate….We cannot turn back. We cannot
    choose the dreams of unknowing. We shall, I expect, open
    the last door in the castle even if it leads, perhaps because it
    leads, onto realities which are beyond the reach of human
    comprehension and control. We shall do so with that
    desolate clairvoyance, so marvelously rendered in Bartók’s
    music, because opening doors is the tragic merit of our

    Evil, Base, and Insane

    In a polemic against the value relativism implicit in the
    work of sociologist Max Weber, Leo Strauss wrote:
    I contend that Weber’s thesis necessarily leads to nihilism or
    to the view that every preference, however evil, base, or
    insane, has to be judged before the tribunal of reason to be
    as legitimate as any other preference.6
    Most liberal democrats have not appreciated Leo Strauss’s
    serious search for the good, the best, and the sane. But
    perhaps some will when faced with certain alternatives.

    Should the truth be openly pursued, no matter what, even if
    it kills us?

    The problem of philosophy is that the paradoxes of
    nihilism may constitute the most universal condition or
    “highest principle” that rational thought has “progressed”.

    At the very pinnacle of rational Western thought lays the
    proposition that life is meaningless. Is this the most
    comprehensive insight that human reason is capable? Is this
    the fundamental conclusion that every experience, all
    knowledge, and every moment of living existence must
    come to terms with?

    If the rational life leads to the nihilistic life, what are the
    consequences of a living intelligence whose highest
    organizing “principle” is this hypothetical nothingness?
    What would it mean, in concrete terms, to live a rational life
    according the insight of the nihilistic? What would be the
    ultimate consequence of applying the hypothesis of unmeaning
    to every belief, every thought, every action, every
    emotion, every purpose, and every goal? To nausea, to fear,
    to love, to terror?

    Can one live a philosophy of the nihilistic, reconciling
    meaninglessness with every thought and emotion at every
    moment? If active unbelief were the highest organizing
    principle of a life, would the consequence be rational self destruction?
    Could suicide represent the pinnacle of the
    rational life realized?

    How far I can draw the implications of nihilism to life? To
    actively answer this question would constitute an
    experiment in nihilism: nihilism as a foundational premise
    for life. Nihilism as the highest organizing principle of a life.
    Such an experiment in nihilism would be an experiment in
    Western rational-empiricism for nihilism appears to be the
    cumulative consequence of the scientific approach to life.

    Nihilism is where science and philosophy meet.

    Is the proposition that life is meaningless a meaningful
    statement? Underlying the utterance “I don’t believe” are
    innumerable assumptions, unconscious impulses, and
    chance happenings. The disbeliever contradicts himself or
    herself in the very living impulses that make possible that
    assertion of disbelief. This contradiction cannot be
    eradicated within the framework of an examined life
    because it is the condition of that life.

    Nihilism could be interpreted as the inherent paradox of
    living a belief in disbelief. So called “nihilism”, however, is
    more unbelief than belief in disbelief. Unbelief is a condition
    reached through negation. It is not a positive expression of
    belief in disbelief, but rather, the negative cumulative result
    of refuting and recognizing the groundlessness of any and
    every instance of belief encountered thus far: lack of
    justification for belief in the authority of the state, lack of
    justification for belief in the authority of one’s instincts and
    emotions, and, lack of justification for belief that God exists.
    From a rationalistic view, belief in disbelief is selfcontradictory.

    Yet I have yet to find a reason to think that
    there exits any sufficiently well developed system of thought
    that is not fundamentally self-contradictory. From purely
    rationalistic view, nihilism is self-contradictory; the nihilistic
    self-destructs. This is another way of looking at the
    postmodern self-destruction of reason. If rationalism leads to
    nihilism, and nihilism leads to disbelief in reason, then
    rationalism leads to the self-destruction of reason. If the
    philosopher maintains a life according to reason or as an
    embodiment of reason, then does reason lead the
    philosopher to self-destruct?

    Unbelieving in nihilism, I confront unbelief without
    believing in it. Because unbelief, so defined, is a not an
    abstract position, but the result of discerning a lack of
    ground for the various instances of belief I encounter, an
    experiment in nihilism so conceived amounts, not to the
    paradoxes of rational argument, but an empirical
    demonstration of the lack of ground for instances of belief.
    So instead of a purely rational argument, I will design and
    conduct an experiment to test the proposition of the
    meaninglessness of life.

    How far I can develop a nihilistic worldview or a nihilistic
    life? I can posit death to empirically test the implications of
    the nihilistic proposition. Actualizing a hypothetical death
    could experimentally test the consequences of a hypothetical
    nihilism. Willing death is, then, an attempt to live a nihilistic

    The nihilistic is increasingly present, but who values that
    life has no value? What if nobody happens to value “truths”
    such as this? Almost every non-believer slips comfortably
    into the unreflective prejudices towards life, using nihilism
    to justify glossing over nihilism.

    Yet if there is literally no basis for choosing one value
    over another value, can one posit literally any value
    whatsoever? If life is truly without purpose, then no choice
    can have ultimate grounds that are more justifiable than any
    other. If so, then there are no grounds for the claim that
    willing life is superior to the choice of willing death. If
    fundamental values or goals are wholly arbitrary, is it
    possible to choose rational self-destruction over rational self preservation?

    If no values are inherently valuable, then life has no
    inherent value. If life has no inherent purpose, then its end
    could be directed towards its negation or death. Death could
    be posited as the highest value. Since the other secular
    values are premised upon life, death is the test of all the
    others. To test life with death tests the most important
    question I can conceive of: whether there is an important
    question. It tests importance itself: whether there is anything
    at all that can be judged important. Willing death is taking
    unbelief seriously by taking seriously the possibility that
    there is truly nothing to take seriously. Only by ruthlessly
    exposing the comfortable biases towards existence can one
    reckon with the implications of the valuelessness of
    existence. Challenging every living value by willing death is
    how I will test this question and how I will test this question
    is the experiment in nihilism.

    The implications of life’s meaninglessness have not been
    elicited with sufficient ruthlessness. My methodology is
    honesty to the point of absurdity; honesty without mercy;
    honesty unprejudiced by morals, aesthetics, faith, or hope.
    When all illusions have been dispelled, at the end of
    overcoming subjectivities, biases, and prejudices towards
    life, one encounters the possibility of rational negation of
    self-interest; rational self-annihilation; rational selfdestruction.

    The experiment in nihilism is to seek out
    precisely those truths that are most deadly and destructive
    to me. To will death through truth and truth through death.
    2 p. 218
    3 Nietzsche, The Will to Power, 4.
    4 From “The Three Waves of Modernity” in Strauss, An
    Introduction to Political Philosophy, 81-82.
    5 Steiner, In Bluebeard’s Castle, 136, 140.
    6 Strauss, Natural Right and History, 42; see also Behnegar,
    Leo Strauss, Max Weber, and the Scientific Study of Politics, 76.
    Last edited by Zarathustra; 10-03-2010 at 11:34 PM.

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