nihilism

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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 02, 2022 8:28 pm

Lyssa Maybe is gone.

This time forever?

On the other hand, for those who just can't get enough of his "it's so deep, it's meaningless" pedantry, let me remind you that there is still an outlet you can turn to. His very own Know Myself clique/claque.

There, if you are interested in understanding things like nihilism, he explains it to you...

satyr wrote:Binary = 1/0
Either one or nil.

The opposite or exiting this nihilistic paradigm is multiplicity.
Either 1, or 2, or nil.
Multiplicity deals with probabilities.
It is the in-between the 1/0 - infinitely regressing to represent fluidity.

When 1/0 are taken literally, this is nihilism and its language base.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:15 pm

Books
All Things are Nothing To Me by Jacob Blumenfeld
Douglas Groothuis thinks nothing of Max Stirner’s nihilism.

First, the title of Stirner’s magnum (and only) opus, Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1844), is difficult to translate. It has been rendered as The Ego and Its Own, but others have translated it as The Unique One and Its Property.


Here of course [for me] the "ego" and the "unique one" revolve largely around how close to or far away from dasein we go. "I" in the is/ought world in other words. At least regarding the Self in the either/or world, it's "own properties" are objectively true. Or are to the extent that this can be demonstrated to be the case. The Ego and the Unique One either embody certain demographic components or they don't. Their lives unfold empirically as they do or as they do not. Nothing those like Stirner can write in an opus is going to change that.

Its thesis is that each individual is unique and cannot be subsumed under any broader category – even the category of ‘human’. In other words, we define ourselves for ourselves, and should not let ourselves be defined by God, the Good, the state, the culture, or anything else.


Of course, in so many ways we are intertwined demographically, historically, culturally and the like in sets of circumstances where our sense of self is clearly going to be derived from this. You can obviously take the "unique individual" frame of mind to the point where the "we" part disappears altogether. And in "defining ourselves for ourselves" when does that become intertwined in a la la land description of yourself? And the part where I bring dasein into the discussion. When does that disappear altogether?

The Stirnerian self is neither a creature of God nor a member of a social class, such as ‘citizen’ or ‘worker’, nor a mere member of a biological species. To be defined or identified by anything alien to oneself is both to be limited, and to be made into the property of someone or something else. To submit to any ideology, religion, or philosophy outside of oneself is to become enslaved to spooks or specters that do not exist.


In other words, the "Stirnerian self" is basically this intellectual contraption he thought up as a way to take all of the factors that actually do go into how we come to think of ourselves and make that the default instead. In fact, historically and culturally, most of us are a citizen of one or another polity; we are a member of the human biological species; we do occupy particular social niches as workers or owners or artists or athletes. We have a skin color and a gender and a sexual orientation. And in interacting with others there is no getting around, among other things, the stereotypes and political prejudices we'll have to deal with...in whatever manner in which we choose to think of ourselves as Stirner might.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:28 pm

iambiguous wrote:Books
All Things are Nothing To Me by Jacob Blumenfeld
Douglas Groothuis thinks nothing of Max Stirner’s nihilism.

First, the title of Stirner’s magnum (and only) opus, Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1844), is difficult to translate. It has been rendered as The Ego and Its Own, but others have translated it as The Unique One and Its Property.


Here of course [for me] the "ego" and the "unique one" revolve largely around how close to or far away from dasein we go. "I" in the is/ought world in other words. At least regarding the Self in the either/or world, it's "own properties" are objectively true. Or are to the extent that this can be demonstrated to be the case. The Ego and the Unique One either embody certain demographic components or they don't. Their lives unfold empirically as they do or as they do not. Nothing those like Stirner can write in an opus is going to change that.

Its thesis is that each individual is unique and cannot be subsumed under any broader category – even the category of ‘human’. In other words, we define ourselves for ourselves, and should not let ourselves be defined by God, the Good, the state, the culture, or anything else.


Of course, in so many ways we are intertwined demographically, historically, culturally and the like in sets of circumstances where our sense of self is clearly going to be derived from this. You can obviously take the "unique individual" frame of mind to the point where the "we" part disappears altogether. And in "defining ourselves for ourselves" when does that become intertwined in a la la land description of yourself? And the part where I bring dasein into the discussion. When does that disappear altogether?

The Stirnerian self is neither a creature of God nor a member of a social class, such as ‘citizen’ or ‘worker’, nor a mere member of a biological species. To be defined or identified by anything alien to oneself is both to be limited, and to be made into the property of someone or something else. To submit to any ideology, religion, or philosophy outside of oneself is to become enslaved to spooks or specters that do not exist.


In other words, the "Stirnerian self" is basically this intellectual contraption he thought up as a way to take all of the factors that actually do go into how we come to think of ourselves and make that the default instead. In fact, historically and culturally, most of us are a citizen of one or another polity; we are a member of the human biological species; we do occupy particular social niches as workers or owners or artists or athletes. We have a skin color and a gender and a sexual orientation. And in interacting with others there is no getting around, among other things, the stereotypes and political prejudices we'll have to deal with...in whatever manner in which we choose to think of ourselves as Stirner might.




Get you, but such a self as the one described above, may be a necessary pre-conception , for lack of this would create some kind of domino effect, where lack of the minutest end ingredient will collapse the entire following continua.

How to get to that appearently invisible , being the focus of most of what ontology has been all abut, may not necessarily sew it up, as those adversely oriented toward Kant would have categorically been inclined to do so.

At best it's a 50-50 proposition.
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 06, 2022 7:45 pm

Me No Make Sense_ wrote:At best it's a 50-50 proposition.


Actually, if you were a nihilist, you would know it is a 49/51 proposition. Not to mention the other way around.

Though not necessarily in that order.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:27 pm

Books
All Things are Nothing To Me by Jacob Blumenfeld
Douglas Groothuis thinks nothing of Max Stirner’s nihilism.

Perhaps ‘the unique one’ in the title’s translation is better than ‘ego’ for Stirner’s use of the German word einzige. This is because Stirner has a particular idea of the individual in mind, as a evaluating entity who subjects all of his experience to his own expropriation and exploitation. In this sense, the unique one takes ownership of its property by its sheer assertion. One thinks here of Nietzsche’s idea that the strong – those who most consistently exercise ‘the will to power’ – create values for themselves. But Blumenfeld notes that Stirner goes further than Nietzsche, since the will to power is for Stirner but another spook – another false idealization of what’s not there, and ‘the unique one’ would be subsumed and alienated from its creative energies by employing the idea.


Again, unless someone were to take what they think is being conveyed here and make it applicable to their own life...describing behaviors that they themselves choose by way of embodying the point being made...it is hard to pin down what in fact is being conveyed here in regard to the creation of values. Moral and political values in particular. To me the "will to power" is no less subsumed in particular worlds historically, culturally and experientially.

In particular, this part:

"... will to power is for Stirner but another spook – another false idealization of what’s not there, and ‘the unique one’ would be subsumed and alienated from its creative energies by employing the idea."

You tell me how this is reflected in the life that you live, the behaviors that you choose. It's a "spook" given my own understanding of dasein in that it is still no less something that you "thought up 'in your head'" So it is "out there" only to the extent that you believe it is. As a "philosophical contraption".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:43 pm

Books
All Things are Nothing To Me by Jacob Blumenfeld
Douglas Groothuis thinks nothing of Max Stirner’s nihilism.

So what of the title of this book on Stirner, All Things are Nothing to Me? Blumenfeld takes this phrase as the master concept for Stirner.


Come on, how ridiculous is that? Depending of course on how any particular intellectual defines "nothing"?

For all of us, many things are something...mean something. But some things mean the same thing because they revolve around interactions that are the same for all of us. Unless, of course, we are afflicted with a clinical condition that makes even the either/or world our own personal domain.

Instead, the part where all things are nothing to me -- and Stirner? -- revolves around the assumption that in a No God world, our lives are essentially meaningless and purposeless. And, therefore, all things come to be/mean essentially nothing when we ourselves die and tumble over into the nothingness that is oblivion.

This part:

The unique one grants whatever value there is to anything outside of itself. But all things are no thing in themselves; or, nothing has value power over me, the unique one. So, all things mean nothing to me. Even the unique one is a ‘nothing’, since it cannot be categorized abstractly or labeled essentially. Stirner claims it cannot even be named; and thus, like the Buddha, Stirner advocates ineffabilism at the core of his philosophy.


Yes, but how then is this not the sort of "philosophical assessment" that, even if true, does not make the world that we live and act in with others go away. We have no choice but to take out own existential leap of faith to "something". Even in the is/ought world. And that is because as long as we choose to behave in certain ways around others, we are opening ourselves up to being challenged. Others will demand the reasons we do what we do. And how effective do you suppose it will be to go down the "all things are nothing to me" path?

This ‘something I know not what’ (to steal a phrase from John Locke), called for convenience ‘the unique one’, is ravenous, rapacious, and utterly singular. And somehow, contrary to the dictum ex nihilo nihil fit (‘Out of nothing comes nothing’), it manages to create meaning out of its own nothingness.


Got that? Okay, then, in regard to the life that you live with and around others from day to day what "for all practical purposes" does it entail?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:48 pm

Books
All Things are Nothing To Me by Jacob Blumenfeld
Douglas Groothuis thinks nothing of Max Stirner’s nihilism.

...Stirner’s quest for absolute autonomy alienates him from any moral truths outside of his own subjective property-making. Yet to deny objective moral truths is both counterintuitive and counterfactual. It is morally wrong to torture the innocent for pleasure, full stop. Female genital mutilation is an offense against women wherever and whenever it occurs, full stop. Human trafficking is wrong, full stop.


On the other hand, in the absence of God, as has been noted by some, "all things are permitted". And, for the sociopath, who starts with the presumption that right and wrong revolves solely around that which sustains his or her own self-gratification, any behavior can be rationalized.

And where is the philosophical argument that refutes this?

Also, there are those who argue that clitorectomies are inherently immoral while sanctioning the right of women to abort the unborn. Half of which will be female.

Full stop? How exactly would that be demonstrated...deontologically? Again, its not for nothing that those like Kant eventually came around to God as a necessary component for objective morality.

That most are repulsed by certain behaviors does not establish that these behaviors are necessarily immoral. Or, in fact, can this be established?

Humans have certain ‘inalienable rights’, as The American Declaration of Independence puts it. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (1948) agrees when it affirms “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” These ideas are not ‘spooks’, they are truths.


Okay, take particular examples of moral conflagrations that have rent the species down through the ages...abortion, capital punishment, animal rights, homosexuality, gun ownership, social justice, economic equality, the role of government, conscription, just wars...and on and on and on.

"Inalienable rights" from whose point of view? Based on what set of political prejudices that evolve over time historically and culturally.

Stirner’s paltry – if big-talking – ego is helpless to falsify or relativize them. There is such a thing as intrinsic moral meaning. The best I can say about Stirner here, is that at least he recognized that if there is no God and no objective moral values, then the unique one had to be ‘self-referentially confined’ – have no external reference point for its judgements – and thus have no recourse to anything beyond its arbitrary positing of value. If this is not nihilism, then nihilism does not exist. But nihilism does exist, and nihilism is false, given the objective existence of the moral truths just mentioned, and many more.


It's not completely arbitrary of course. It's not like in the absence of God and objective moral values, an individual just plucks a moral narrative or political agenda out of thin air. Instead, he or she is "thrown" at birth into a particular historical and cultural context, is indoctrinated as a child to believe certain things and then has a series of uniquely personal experiences that predispose them to believe this and not that.

And, again, to the extent that someone insist that there is "the objective existence of the moral truths", I'd be interested in how they actually go about demonstrating that in a No God world.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 04, 2022 5:01 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT

“Nihilism stands at the door,” wrote Nietzsche. “Whence comes this uncanniest of all guests?” The year was 1885 or 1886, and Nietzsche was writing in a notebook whose contents were not intended for publication. The discussion of nihilism ─ the sense that it is no longer obvious what our most fundamental commitments are, or what matters in a life of distinction and worth, the sense that the world is an abyss of meaning rather than its God-given preserve ─ finds no sustained treatment in the works that Nietzsche prepared for publication during his lifetime.


Perhaps because there is no treatment at all -- no fundamental treatment anyway -- published or unpublished, sustained or not. On the other hand, Nietzsche did get around to "thinking up" the next best thing to God among mere mortals...the Übermensch.

No, there may not be an actual fate for "I" on "the other side", and, no, there isn't access to objective morality on this side, but one can still choose to be a master rather than a slave. And with any luck at all [Woody Allen notwithstanding] an "eternal recurrence" will still keep us around for all of eternity. Thus all the more reason to be a master rather than a slave.

But a few years earlier, in 1882, the German philosopher had already published a possible answer to the question of nihilism’s ultimate source. “God is dead,” Nietzsche wrote in a famous passage from “The Gay Science.” “God remains dead. And we have killed him.”


This has always been my own starting point. No God, no one to turn to for the Final Answers. To either the Big Questions or in regard to the moral conflagrations that have rent the species now for thousands and thousands of years. And only we could have killed Him because we are the ones who invented Him.

No God and as Nietzsche speculated, "any aim is lacking, any answer to the question 'why' is lacking."

Lacking insofar as one is able to configure existential meaning and purpose into essential meaning and purpose.

No God, and, as Michael Novak speculated in The Experience of Nothingness, mere mortals, "recognize that [they] put structure into my world....There is no 'real' world out there, given, intact, full of significance. Consciousness is constituted by random, virtually infinite barrages of experience; these experiences are indistinguishably 'inner' and 'outer'.....Structure is put into experience by culture and self, and may also be pulled out again....The experience of nothingness is an experience beyond the limits of reason...it is terrifying. It makes all attempts at speaking of purpose, goals, aims, meaning, importance, conformity, harmony, unity----it makes all such attempts seem doubtful and spurious."

Of course, Novak took a leap of faith to Catholicism. For the nihilists of my ilk, however, that is no longer an option. At least not "here and now".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:34 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT
Kelly is chair of the department of philosophy at Harvard University

“God is dead,” Nietzsche wrote in a famous passage from “The Gay Science.” “God remains dead. And we have killed him.”

There is much debate about the meaning of Nietzsche’s famous claim, and I will not attempt to settle that scholarly dispute here.


Scholarly dispute. Scholarly debate. I'll pass on that myself. Instead, I am far more interested in exploring how mere mortals go about finding meaning and purpose in their life once [for whatever personal reason] they reject God and religion.

In particular, the part where, once you accept that death almost certainly equals oblivion, you come to accept in turn that anything you think, feel, say and do will ultimately become subsumed in this oblivion.

Camus is famous for posing the question of suicide. But we need not go that far. Still, how far will each of us go in living a life that revolves around what Milan Kundera encompassed in "the unbearable lightness of being"?

Everything ultimately comes to naught. So, in light of that, how then to live? Why then to live?

But at least one of the things that Nietzsche could have meant is that the social role that the Judeo-Christian God plays in our culture is radically different from the one he has traditionally played in prior epochs of the West. For it used to be the case in the European Middle Ages for example ─ that the mainstream of society was grounded so firmly in its Christian beliefs that someone who did not share those beliefs could therefore not be taken seriously as living an even potentially admirable life. Indeed, a life outside the Church was not only execrable but condemnable, and in certain periods of European history it invited a close encounter with a burning pyre.


That's how it works. A God, the God, your God. But ever and always situated out in a particular world historically and culturally. Indeed, just imagine Nietzsche being around today pondering the meaning of the "death of God". Or, for that matter, the Übermensch.

Or the Last Man?

In regard to meaning and purpose in our lives, things change "radically" for individuals as well. What I call the Song Be Syndrome but for others it might revolve around any number of very different contexts. For the nihilist, however, it can reach the point where change itself is subsumed in an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence. Why not choose, say, hedonism over one or another rendition of the master class. The Übermensch himself is eventually swallowed whole by the brute facticity embedded in the staggering vastness of "all there is".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 18, 2022 7:06 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT
Kelly is chair of the department of philosophy at Harvard University

Whatever role religion plays in our society today, it is not this one. For today’s religious believers feel strong social pressure to admit that someone who doesn’t share their religious belief might nevertheless be living a life worthy of their admiration. That is not to say that every religious believer accepts this constraint. But to the extent that they do not, then society now rightly condemns them as dangerous religious fanatics rather than sanctioning them as scions of the Church or mosque.


This "tolerance" mentality has never made much sense to me. With objective morality at stake on this side of the grave and immortality and salvation at stake on the other side, how can someone of a particular religious persuasion not insist that there is but one true path to God? Their own.

Treating religious belief as a cafeteria where you pick and choose the beliefs and the behaviors that are most suitable to you seems far, far removed from a reasonable assessment of the sort of thing a God, the God would advocate Himself.

Social pressure? With the fate of your very soul for all of eternity on the line?

No, that to me -- an "ecumenical" frame of mind -- is something in this day and age that was "thought up" as a way to make God a "one size fits all" "progressive" entity that will tolerate behaviors that, depending on the denomination, may be completely in conflict.

God obviates moral nihilism but in its place each denomination gets to tweak the moral commandments such that human interactions can be all over the board.

God is dead, therefore, in a very particular sense. He no longer plays his traditional social role of organizing us around a commitment to a single right way to live. Nihilism is one state a culture may reach when it no longer has a unique and agreed upon social ground.


Yes, in a No God world, nihilists can as individuals come up with their own renditions of the "right way to live". And that might revolve around almost anything. But, from my frame of mind, that doesn't make my own arguments go away. What each individual nihilist does "come up with" will be no less rooted existentially in dasein. Will be no less subject to contingency, chance and change. Will be no less embodied in an essentially meaningless and purposeless life that eventually tumbles over into the abyss that is oblivion.

Then those moral nihilists who for all practical purposes become "global capitalists". Who construe the "human condition" as revolving around "show me the money".

Or, perhaps, the most ominous of moral nihilists. Those who for all practical purposes become sociopaths. Nihilism at its most profoundly problematic. At its most dangerous. Bump into one of them and you can be toast. And there is no "reasoning" with them, is there?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 25, 2022 6:49 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT
Kelly is chair of the department of philosophy at Harvard University

The 20th century saw an onslaught of literary depictions of the nihilistic state. The story had both positive and negative sides. On the positive end, when it is no longer clear in a culture what its most basic commitments are, when the structure of a worthwhile and well-lived life is no longer agreed upon and taken for granted, then a new sense of freedom may open up.


Then, of course, how far you take it. If the "well-lived" life basically revolves around your own narrow self-interest, and you are making it work for you, then nihilism is as good a philosophy as any in a No God world. But how far will you go if others get in between you and this well-lived life? Each of those who accept moral nihilism as a reasonable "way of life" will take it in a different direction. Some will stop at nothing to get what they want, others will be more inclined toward their own "personal code". Think, for example, someone like Dexter. A serial killer with principles.

In the end though, in any community, the tug of war between "I" and "we" will necessitate "rules of behavior" that shift back and forth between rewards and punishments. For the moral nihilists, however, freedom to choose is greatly expanded. Your behaviors are not "locked into" one or another God or ideology or deontology. But this enhanced freedom can create the loss of "comfort and consolation" that comes with believing that the behaviors you choose are "the right ones".

And then the part where you begin to examine more closely what it actually is that motivates you to choose what you do. That vertiginous sense that I often feel in being "fractured and fragmented".

Ways of living life that had earlier been marginalized or demonized may now achieve recognition or even be held up and celebrated. Social mobility ─ for African Americans, gays, women, workers, people with disabilities or others who had been held down by the traditional culture ─ may finally become a possibility. The exploration and articulation of these new possibilities for living a life was found in such great 20th-century figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., Simone de Beauvoir, Studs Terkel, and many others.


Of course, all of this becomes entangled in politics. In what Marx called "political economy". You may come to a frame of mind in regard to your behaviors that revolve around your own subjective sense of "well-being", the "well-lived" life. But without the actual option to act that out...what then?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 04, 2022 5:41 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT
Kelly is chair of the department of philosophy at Harvard University

But there is a downside to the freedom of nihilism as well, and the people living in the culture may experience this in a variety of ways. Without any clear and agreed upon sense for what to be aiming at in a life, people may experience the paralyzing type of indecision depicted by T.S. Eliot in his famously vacillating character Prufrock...


Or Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener who ever and always "preferred not to". Fortunately, there are any number of "aims" in life that can be quite satisfying once attained that don't require an overarching justification that ties everything together. After all, you don't need an essential meaning and purpose to enjoy good food, or music or art. Or to pursue a satisfying career or to accumulate accomplishments in the world of athletics. Friendships and romantic relationships can revolve around any number of shared interests that don't necessitate the existence of one or another God or ideology or spiritual path.

...or they may feel, like the characters in a Samuel Beckett play, as though they are continuously waiting for something to become clear in their lives before they can get on with living them...


Yes, some do need a transcending font that does eventually tie everything together...especially one that connects the dots between here and now and there and then. Life, then death, then what comes next. Obviously, this becomes all the more likely if your life is in the toilet, or you are getting closer and closer to death. It's all entirely existential though. Experienced differently by different people. Experiences they may or may not be able to effectively communicate to others.

Nihilists here are much like everyone else. Ultimately, what it comes down to is how fulfilling and satisfying their day-to-day existence is. That and their access to options.

...or they may feel the kind of “stomach level sadness” that David Foster Wallace described, a sadness that drives them to distract themselves by any number of entertainments, addictions, competitions, or arbitrary goals, each of which leaves them feeling emptier than the last.


Sure, this might be the case. But why it strikes some and not others is always going to be profoundly rooted in the mysteries of human psychology. Someone like David Foster Wallace or Curt Cobain or Robin Williams takes their own life and we just don't "get it". What we wouldn't do to have their success and accomplishments. But something is "missing", and off they go.

Or it has nothing at all to do with meaning and "aims" in their life. Perhaps it is a "clinical" depression as described by William Styron in Darkness Visible. The brain devouring itself.

The threat of nihilism is the threat that freedom from the constraint of agreed upon norms opens up new possibilities in the culture only through its fundamentally destabilizing force.


Tell that to, among others, the sociopaths.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 11, 2022 6:28 pm

THE STONE
Navigating Past Nihilism
BY SEAN D. KELLY at the NYT
Kelly is chair of the department of philosophy at Harvard University

The Times’s David Brooks argued recently...in a column discussing Jonathan Franzen’s novel “Freedom,” that Franzen’s depiction of America as a society of lost and fumbling souls tells us “more about America’s literary culture than about America itself.” The suburban life full of “quiet desperation,” according to Brooks, is a literary trope that has taken on a life of its own. It fails to recognize the happiness, and even fulfillment, that is found in the everyday engagements with religion, work, ethnic heritage, military service and any of the other pursuits in life that are “potentially lofty and ennobling”.


So, how do we go about pinning down which rendition reflects the most accurate portrayal of American culture these days? Is it more in sync generally with quiet desperation or with a fulfilling happiness?

My guess is that here we will see others more or less as we see ourselves. But tap me on the shoulder when the definitive study comes out that finally settles it once and for all. Let alone the argument able persuade me of which frame of mind all rational men and women ought to embrace.

Then the part where this is measured more in terms having or not have found an overall meaning in your life, or the extent to which you have acquired a lifestyle that allows you to simply enjoy yourself. A good job, money in the bank, family and friends, good health etc.

Things like philosophy and religion [or even politics] may not play any really significant part at all in it. Nihilism? What's that?

There is something right about Brooks’s observation, but he leaves the crucial question unasked. Has Brooks’s happy, suburban life revealed a new kind of contentment, a happiness that is possible even after the death of God? Or is the happy suburban world Brooks describes simply self-deceived in its happiness, failing to face up to the effects of the destabilizing force that Franzen and his literary compatriots feel? I won’t pretend to claim which of these options actually prevails in the suburbs today, but let me try at least to lay them out.


Here, it is important to note that this article was written way back in 2010. Before all of the events that unfolded to make it the world we live in today. A world perhaps closer to the quiet desperation end of the scale?

But that's how speculations of this sort work for me. There is what we think "here and now". Then something [or many things] happen and we no longer think that way at all. How is this not rooted subjectively, existentially in dasein. Indeed, today we may well be on the cusp of a nuclear exchange with Putin and Russia. How much contentment and happiness will still be around given the "death of God" if that happens?

Consider the options in reverse order. To begin with, perhaps the writers and poets whom Brooks questions have actually noticed something that the rest of us are ignoring or covering up. This is what Nietzsche himself thought. “I have come too early,” he wrote. “God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown.”


No doubt about that, of course. Some will take God and religion -- which gives their own life essential meaning and purpose -- all the way with them to the grave. Nothing that happens will persuade them otherwise. And, in part, because God and religion will always be the "best bet" around.

I'd go there if I could.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby felix dakat » Wed Mar 16, 2022 4:10 am

Given your predilections nad interest in the thought of Sean Kelly you may find this video interesting (I did.) :

[youtube]https://youtu.be/cC1HszE5Hcw[/youtube]

Sean Kelly: Existentialism, Nihilism, and the Search for Meaning | Lex Fridman Podcast #227

Sean Kelly is a philosopher at Harvard specializing in existentialism and the philosophy of mind. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors:


EPISODE LINKS:
Sean's Twitter: https://twitter.com/sean_d_kelly
Sean's Website: https://scholar.harvard.edu/sdkelly
Sean's Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Do...


OUTLINE:
0:00 - Introduction
0:19 - Existentialism
20:27 - Nietzsche and nihilism
38:03 - Dostoevsky
53:30 - Camus and suicide
1:12:00 - The Big Lebowski
1:19:49 - Ayn Rand
1:29:57 - Evil
1:40:31 - Heidegger
1:52:11 - Hubert Dreyfus
1:58:04 - Moby Dick
2:09:19 - David Foster Wallace
2:29:31 - Can AI make art?
2:49:15 - Meaning of life
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 17, 2022 4:43 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

If a second year of shutdowns, social restrictions, health risks, and existential dread has eroded your sense of life's ultimate meaning and purpose, a new report by philosophers in Britain and Australia may offer a double whammy of encouragement.

First, you're absolutely right, they say. Life is meaningless.


Well, since they are philosophers, the first thing one [like me] might assume is that by "meaningless" they [ironically enough] mean philosophically. The key words of course being "ultimate meaning and purpose".

After all, in regard to virtually every aspect of your life -- relationships, work, the arts, social pursuits, politics -- meaning and purpose are everywhere. Indeed, trying to intertwine all of the at times contradictory meaning and purpose here can for some become nothing short of overwhelming.

With respect to the covid pandemic, what is meaningful and purposeful to you? Here alone we have had endless debates [some rather caustic] because the objectivists among us insist that only the manner in which it is meaningful and purposeful to them reflects the most rational point of view.

Second, this fact poses no significant problems or threats.

"In fact, there are good things that might come out of it," said Tracy Llanera, research fellow at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney and assistant research professor at the University of Connecticut.

"I think that shift in perspective will just open a lot more philosophical and practical possibilities for people."


Well, there can be a huge difference between noting that "good things can come out of it" and suggesting it "poses no significant problems or threats". Clearly, when the discussions come around to what it means to be a moral or immoral person given a specific set of circumstances, the consequences can be devastating when an agreement can't be found.

Especially given the fact that for the objectivists among us there is no real distinction made between existential meaning and purpose and essential meaning and purpose. For them the meaning they accept must be the meaning that you and I must accept too.

The potential for problems and threats are everywhere here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 23, 2022 3:16 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

Llanera co-authored the 70-page study, entitled A Defence of Nihilism, with the British philosopher James Tartaglia, a professor at Keele University. His earlier books include Philosophy in a Meaningless Life.

"I'm passionate about nihilism," said Tartaglia. "It's so badly misunderstood."


Me too. Only, given my own frame of mind, nihilism is no less rooted subjectively/existentially in dasein. And not only are very different people living very different lives likely to understand it in very different ways, there is no way in a No God world for those like philosophers either to encompass it in the most rational manner or to conclude whether all rational men and men ought or ought not to be a nihilist.

Nihilism and dasein.

Nihilist viewpoints begin with a refusal to believe that human life draws meaning from a greater context, such as the will or purpose of a divine being, or another external force such as fate or moral goodness, or any measure of the worth and quality of human life. In some interpretations, a purely nihilistic outlook disdains any attempt to attribute value or meaning to anything at all.


On the other hand, how far does that refusal go? Me, I'm considerably less adamant about it myself. I don't argue that human life has no greater or essential meaning...period, end of story. After all, how exactly would I go about demonstrating that? Instead, I merely suggest that my life up to now has led me to believe that this is the case. Then like all the rest of you I'm confronted with "the gap" and "Rummy's Rule". And there is absolutely no getting around the fact that there is no realistic human interaction at all without tons and tons of existential meaning.

After all, that's what begets all the conflict.

Such views traditionally receive bad press and blunt condemnation from thought leaders across the world. During the pandemic, critics on the political left and right have targeted "nihilism" as a root cause for what they perceive as widespread cultural and moral malaise.


Here of course -- existentially -- "nihilism" means all those who don't think like we do. Joe Biden, the nihilist to the fulminating fanatics in the Trump camp, Trump the nihilist to the fulminating fanatics in the Biden camp.

In other words, derived from dasein, whatever that means to you.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 29, 2022 4:35 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

Fighting back for nihilism

And The Guardian reported this winter on the "lonely repetition and growing nihilism" characterizing the lives of Australia's young adults after months of wildfires and pandemic-related news and restrictions. The nihilism in this case entails a sense of apathy with a loss of psychological ability to face the future and take actions aimed at achieving happiness.


In fact, this is the nihilism that is more readily understood. You lose all hope for a purposeful and meaningful existence because the circumstances in your life have overwhelmed you. You're convinced that you have run out of options and the anguish precipitating despair is [from your frame of mind] clearly appropriate. It is entirely reasonable to think and to feel nihilistic.

Here the only hope seems to be a leap of faith to God or the No God equivalent. Or suicide.

But the nihilism that I root my own "fractured and fragmented" vantage point in is more...philosophical? It seems entirely reasonable to me that given a No God world there is no foundation that "I" am able to ground my Self in. There is no font around which allows me to think up or to discover objective morality. Life is construed to be essentially meaningless and purposeless. And, in the end, there is only oblivion.

But here's the thing...

In being a nihilist philosophically, one can, circumstantially, still have a day to day existence that is awash with fulfillment and satisfaction. You can have a truly great life even if convinced it has no necessary meaning and purpose. You simply accumulate the necssary distractions to keep all that "philosophical" stuff at bay.

As a consequence, the worst of all possible worlds is one in which you feel that your life has no overarching purpose and meaning...and your day to day existence is a misery.

Llanera told IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed that a constant barrage of anti-nihilist sentiment from acquaintances and the media helped prompt her to fight back on nihilism's behalf.

"Defending it really makes me feel like the madman in Friedrich Nietzsche's The Gay Science," said Llanera. "You know, 'You've come too early! It's not yet time! Don't rock the boat!' But we think that it's about time and that's why we're making the case."


This both makes sense and does not make sense to me. Too early or not the time given what set of circumstances? This will obviously mean different things to different people. In other words, given the balance in their life between their philosophy and their circumstances.

What I attempt here myself is to defend nihilism as a philosophy of life given a No God world. It seems entirely rational to believe that, sans God, meaning and purpose in one's life will be rooted existentially in dasein. Then it comes down to how each of us choose to embody nihilism in our everyday interactions with others. At one end are those who champion moderation, negotiation and compromise and at the other the out and out sociopaths intent only on sustaining "what's in it for me?".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:17 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

"Defending it really makes me feel like the madman in Friedrich Nietzsche's The Gay Science," said Llanera. "You know, 'You've come too early! It's not yet time! Don't rock the boat!' But we think that it's about time and that's why we're making the case."


When is it ever the right time to suggest that in a No God world one's existence is both essentially meaningless and on route to oblivion?

The problem with defending moral nihilism is that you have nothing to put in its place other than the further suggestion that at least you are now afforded considerably more options in your interactions with others.

Of course, the problem with noting that is this: others can then point out this frame of mind can be employed by, among others, sociopaths to justify any and all behaviors. Ghastly, brutal, horrific behaviors.

And, really, what can the moral nihilist come back with then?

Thus...

The philosophers' case depends on separating the premise that life has no cosmic meaning from the many negative conclusions people tend to draw as a consequence. Tartaglia points to a common fear that a person who considers life ultimately meaningless will embark on a destructive rejection of life itself, potentially endangering others or at least falling into despair.


That's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make, isn't it? For example, who is to say what set of experiences one has as a child won't precipitate any number of monsters among us?

Sure, those like me can argue instead for "moderation, negotiation and compromise" in human affairs...but that's just one possible path to take in a No God world. One can examine the life of Vladimir Putin in order to explain his butchery in Ukraine. One might have come into contact with him years ago and been successful in creating a whole other kind of person. But where's the argument able to convince him that the path he did choose is necessarily irrational and immoral.

That's the part I'm unable myself to make go away.

"That's the one major misunderstanding," Tartaglia said. "The other one is that you concern yourself with trivia because you failed to see the important things in life." He often sees the latter fear expressed in relation to the time people spend online or purchasing consumer goods instead of participating in some activity deemed essential to a meaningful life by whoever is making the criticism.


Right, the important things in life. As though in a No God world there are arguments able to be made that make this part clear. After all, there are any number of men and women who eschew social media and mindless consumerism but then come to believe that the important things in life revolve around dividing up the world between "one of us" [the good guys] and "one of them" [the bad guys].

Ask a moral nihilist about the consequences of that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:04 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

The most monstrous nihilists in popular culture include Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in the 2008 Batman film, The Dark Knight. He ridicules moral codes and rules as groundless, and sees order itself as an illusion created in a desperate bid for an arbitrary happiness. To the movie's audience, these beliefs seem tied to the Joker's penchant for chaos, crime and sociopathy.


Yes, when taken all the way out to the very end of philosophical/moral limb, there's just no getting around the dire consequences of living in a world where, increasingly, more and more people adopt this frame of mind. The law of the jungle rationalized as a perfectly reasonable set of assumptions in a No God world.

And, indeed, when, over the years, some asked, "okay, what about this, Mr. Moral Nihilist?", what could I say? That's one possible scenario for the future. The dreaded dystopia owned and operated by those who practiced the survival of the wickedest. Only without the capacity [philosophical or otherwise] to confirm [in a No God world] that the behavior of the Joker is at least essentially evil.

Tartaglia said that figures such as the Joker might correctly be described as nihilists to the extent that they reject the idea of an overall meaning for their actions coming from some non-human source.


Though, sure, that may not encompass the manner in which you define the meaning of "a nihilist". Still, the bottom line is always the actual consequences that result from those who choose to behave as the Joker did. It's like debating whether Vladimir Putin is a nihilist. The part where means and ends get all tangled together in any one particular mind.

And then there is also Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker in the 2019 movie: https://medium.com/@surabhiii/joker-how ... ef59ec955a
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:39 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

'A particularly evil nihilist'

"But I don't see any reason why that view would push you to go around destroying people and holding knives to their throats," said Tartaglia. "He [the Joker] is a particularly evil nihilist."


Indeed, there are any number of people that I have come upon over the years [on and offline] who make this immediate connection between nihilism and mayhem. Often, however, that revolves more around means employed rather than ends defended. Anyone who is into "ultraviolence" -- think Alex DeLarge and his droogs, Georgie, Dim and Pete in Clockwork Orange -- are automatically presumed to be nihilists. Even though they themselves may have never thought their behaviors through "intellectually" or "philosophically" at all. They may well just be run-of-the-mill sociopaths. Or, clinically, psychopaths. Or more sophisticated like anarchists.

Then this part...

Historically, German philosopher and soldier Ernst Jünger blamed rampant nihilism after the First World War for his country's descent into Nazism.

Although such associations continue to influence perceptions of those willing to call life ultimately meaningless, the merely trivial nihilist is perhaps the more common caricature now.


Does that make sense? Well, here we would need to entertain arguments posed regarding what one construes nihilism to be and which behaviors are linked to it given the events of the day.

The war in Ukraine and nihilism?

As for the "merely trivial nihilist" that would be those like Seinfeld's crew and their "shows about nothing". Exposing our everyday lives as grist for the nihilist mill. Practically nothing is not ultimately absurd.

And then of course...

An especially well-known example is the squad of cartoonish German-accented antagonists to Jeff Bridges' character, the Dude, in the film, The Big Lebowski. These self-announced nihilists seem to embody both major ingredients of the philosophy's poor image: violence and foolishness.


The nihilist turned into a fatuous cartoon character who goes stumbling and bumbling about the world as dumb as an ox. Unless, of course, you get the joke.

Though here even the Dude has a script to fall back on.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:24 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

Llanera finds no compelling logical connection between nihilism and antisocial behaviour or a choice to waste one's life on trivial, unrewarding obsessions.


When, logically, does human behavior become antisocial? When, logically, is one wasting one's life on trivial, unrewarding behaviors?

Anyone care to list those behaviors? A "top ten" perhaps?

We can note particular contexts and offer our own personal opinions regarding any number of behaviors here. But the whole point of nihilism is to suggest that sans God there is no essential, objective, logical font around to settle any and all conflicts that pop up over and again regarding those behaviors some insist we should reward and others insist we should punish.

And while a lack of ultimate sources for the meaning of one's life cannot directly justify good behaviour either, it can release people from harmful mistaken beliefs and damaging mindsets.


The part where I suggest that nihilism at least provides us with considerably more options in our lives. Once we abandon God, ideology, deontology, etc., we are not restricted to behaviors said to be either necessarily scripted or unscripted. We can do whatever we please. Or, rather, whatever we can get away with.

But that is no less the embodiment of dasein. And there is always the possibility of creating a dystopian community of sociopaths. Might makes right. A world dominated by those like...Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump?

Llanera hears often from students that they consider themselves "not religious, but spiritual," a description she finds potentially concerning.

"It strikes me that people are always looking for something to hold onto — tarot cards, the luck of the stars. I think [that's] being used to fight against this threat that life will become meaningless," Llanera said.


Exactly. Religious and spiritual paths are, in my view, first and foremost, anchors for I. Thus the actual path you happen to be on -- Christian, Pagan, Buddhist etc. -- is not nearly as important is that you are on it. And being on it you have access to a moral Scripture "here and now" and immortality and salvation "there and then".

Which in my view is why so few will take their own paths here:

1] a demonstrable proof of the existence of your God or religious/spiritual path
2] addressing the fact that down through the ages hundreds of Gods and religious/spiritual paths to immortality and salvation were/are championed...but only one of which [if any] can be the true path. So why yours?
3] addressing the profoundly problematic role that dasein plays in any particular individual's belief in Gods and religious/spiritual faiths
4] the questions that revolve around theodicy and your own particular God or religious/spiritual path


They simply have too much invested psychologically in being on a path. They're not about to let someone like me jeopardize that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 02, 2022 7:13 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

'The problem is egotism'

[Llanera] criticizes some non-nihilist philosophers for spreading the message that the best way to respond to a sense of meaninglessness is to tap into non-human sources, such as a sacred entity or magical realm. In her view, this amounts to misdiagnosing the problem.


Look, if the problem is coming up with an essential meaning and purpose and objective morality on this side of the grave, as well as immortality and salvation on the other side of it, nothing -- nothing -- is ever going to top a leap of faith to the "sacred entity" most call God.

Right?

Unless, of course, you've got one. Either as a "nihilist philosopher" or as a "non-nihilist philosopher". It's not for nothing that God still rules the roost here around the globe when it comes to what is ultimately at stake for "mere mortals".

"The problem is egotism," Llanera said, "our attitudes of wanting to have an authority controlling and giving us answers, rather than being responsible for our own lives."


Of course here I muddy up the waters as well in suggesting that even if we do reject the "sacred entity" and make it all about the "ego", how is the ego itself not just a profoundly problematic manifestation of dasein.

That's when I tap others on the shoulder and ask them for advice as to how, given the manner in which they construe the manner in which "I" construe the meaning of dasein here...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...they are not themselves "fractured and fragmented" out in the is/ought world.

Given particular sets of circumstance.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 09, 2022 8:18 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

Despite her passion for defending nihilism, Llanera considers the central point about life's meaninglessness to be neutral, rather than good news or bad news for humankind. She hopes that more people will simply outgrow their sense that the cosmic meaninglessness of their lives poses a threat. In her view, life does not need a larger context of meaning to add weight to a private or social sense of morality or joie de vivre.


Over and again: by meaning a distinction must be made between existential meaning and essential -- cosmic -- meaning. There is no getting around the absolute necessity that mere mortals in a No God world must create and then sustain meaning in their day to day interactions with others. And that includes the far more problematic meaning in the "is/ought world".

Really, try to even imagine a world of social, political and economic interactions where that is not the case. Only if you choose to utterly isolate yourself from all others does meaning revolve solely around you in the either/or world. Or, for some, around "I and Thou".

And while "philosophically" it can be argued that human interactions sans a "cosmic meaning" need not pose a threat, just take a gander at human history to date. That threat is everywhere. Both in terms of those nihilists who own and operate the global economy, those sociopaths who rationalize anything and everything, and those objectivists hell bent on insisting that not only is there a "larger context" in which to subsume the "human condition" but others damn well better accept that it is their own.

"Those things could be understood in a familiar, ordinary sense, like you need to take responsibility for your dog, you need to not cheat on your partner or you need to protest horrendous acts of genocide or ethnic cleansing. All of those things are part of the human condition," said Llanera.


See! Simple enough!!

"They matter and they mean something to our individual lives and to human society. But this kind of meaning doesn't extend beyond our human context. And we think that those who defend the meaning of life, they're just very uncomfortable with that idea."


Okay, let's take that argument to the Supremes in Washington. Allow them to grasp its relevance in regard to abortion. Or to Moscow. Note it for the benefit of Vladimir Putin. See if that ends his invasion of Ukraine.

Those "human-all-too-human contexts".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 18, 2022 2:15 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

The philosophers' attempt to distance nihilism's core claims from the undesirable behaviours associated with the word itself has drawn protest from some colleagues in the field. The University of Edinburgh's Guy Bennett-Hunter disputes that self-professed nihilists can enjoy a social meaning to their lives while also calling life itself ultimately meaningless.


Here "I" am hopelessly ambivalent. I agree that to the extent moral nihilism results in you becoming "fractured and fragmented", any social meaning you ascribe to your interactions with others is profoundly problematic to say the least. It bespeaks the gap between my "I" and the manner in which those like karpel tunnel and Gib here [at ILP] can accept part of my argument in regards to dasein but still not reach the point where they feel hopelessly drawn and quartered in regard to their own value judgments. They are able to accumulate enough meaning so that they can stand firmly behind their own political agenda. Well, if I am understanding them correctly.

If you believe that in a No God world life is ultimately -- essentially -- meaningless than what font is available to you in order to establish your existential meaning as objective? How is it not but the manifestation of subjective meaning rooted instead in dasein.

That's basically the argument I am looking for.

"I'd stress that the social meanings, which James Tartaglia accepts, logically as well as psychologically require a transcendent context of meaning for life — which he rejects," Bennett-Hunter said. He also argues that Tartaglia's nihilism fails to account for the possibility that an 'ultimate meaning of life' may not be factual in a prosaic sense, but nevertheless exist and be poetically true, as with creation myths.


That's more or less my own argument here. No God [or His secular equivalent sans immortality and salvation] and you can convince yourself that your own moral and political value judgments are rock solid...but what happens when you bump into others who insist the same thing, only it's their Truth and not yours?

For me, those like Gib "somehow" manage to convince themselves re "general description intellectual contraptions" that their own point of view prevails. But the other side is doing exactly the same thing. And they still have no font available to finally resolve it all once and for all.

Instead, from my frame of mind, those like him [and certainly the objectivists] embrace an objective existential meaning, because psychologically it comforts and consoles them. The thought of viewing the world around them as "I" do is simply, well, unthinkable. Too much is invested in their "one of us" vs. "one of them" mentality.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
User avatar
iambiguous
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
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Re: nihilism

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 24, 2022 4:43 pm

Good news for nihilists? Life is meaningless after all, say philosophers
Tom Howell
at the CBC website

Tartaglia argues that his interpretation of nihilism relates to its history and the intellectual battles surrounding claims to know a factual reality, especially in European thought.


As for the thoughts we tend to focus in on over here in America, well, you tell me. Factual reality by and large still seems to revolve more around pop culture, mindless consumption and celebrity. Especially [of late] the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial.

Take European nihilism there and get back to us.

He points out that the widespread use of the word "nihilism" and the phrase "meaning of life" originates in a single decade at the end of the 1700s, when religious certainties broke down among scholars while scientific beliefs gained power. Tartaglia sees most modern anti-nihilist fears as a continuation of the intellectual panic that ensued back then.


Again and again: that's my point. Whenever it commenced, with or without Nietzsche, once science reached that tipping point where more and more things attributable first to "the Gods" and then to a God, the God, our God, were able to be explained as manifestations of nature understood through its laws, religion had less and less "mystery" to cling to in order to attribute them to the Gods or to a God, the God.

Then the birth of capitalism [along with the "Enlightenment"] sealed the deal.

Though, of course, not really. There's still the part about objective morality, immortality and salvation. All the science and enlightenment in the world don't make the hankering for them go away. And here God is still the only show in town.

Thus...

During that period, French religious conservatives railed against almost any form of reasoning and learning. To them, such pursuits risked a descent into nihilism as a result of extinguishing all divine mysteries. The supposedly threatening concept of nihilism often seemed inextricable from atheism or free thinking.


And what's the concept of nihilism next to the actual manifestation of it in our modern world? The global economy owned and operated by legions of "show me the money" amoral nihilists. Then the explosion of sociopaths who in a No God world root "morality" in "what's in it for me?"

How can we not be doomed?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
User avatar
iambiguous
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Posts: 46411
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
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