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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Nihilism
    #1313459 - 02/17/03 08:55 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Partial article - go here to read the full article. Surf around - there is lots of other food for thought on this website. Sclorch would love it!

The plain fact is that the scientific examination of human existence strips away every claim for a special status of humanity that would put us above the rest of nature. We discover that we are just one more animal and every human attribute is nothing but the sum total of a chaotic, purposeless evolution. There is no scientific proof of god, no evidence of special meaning for human existence, no set of eternal moral and ethical values, nothing in nature that can be described as good nor as evil.

Most humans find this a frightening conclusion, so frightening it's been given a dirty name, nihilism. Having made the inevitable result of a scientific, rational examination of the human condition an obscenity, the conclusion is dismissed as something too dangerous to even consider and even the philosophers retreat back into the last level of myths. If they are honest enough to admit they are doing so, they justify the retreat with claims that civilization couldn't survive without belief systems where words like justice, rights, fairness, ethics, morals, good and evil are concepts that require no scientific justification.

With the exception of a few tough minded philosophers, philosophy since the enlightenment, and especially since Darwin, has cut itself loose from any serious claim to adherence to scientific empiricism, especially when attempting to address the issues of moral behavior. Some philosophers who do dare to recognized the inevitable nihilistic truths of existence, still choose to avoid examining such truths by claiming that the human mind is incapable of dealing with them.

One such author, John F. Schumaker, in his book Wings of Illusion, proposes that paranormal myths are an evolutionary solution the allows human beings to cope with life by avoiding the dismal reality of our own inevitable death and the lack of a transcendental meaning in our lives. Schumaker argues that reality is so distressing that the human propensity for paranormal beliefs is a form of evolved insanity that allows humans to ignore the dismal truths while getting on with the business of living and propagating.

Adopting an intellectual elitism, Schumaker admits the truth of the nihilistic conclusions and seems to have no trouble with his own sanity as a result, but then suggests that the vast majority of humanity is incapable of surviving the same shock of understanding.




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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinerecalcitrant
My Own God

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 2,927
Loc: Canada West
Last seen: 6 months, 29 days
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1313516 - 02/17/03 09:20 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

everyone always says things like "there is no proof of god". well, there is no proof of anything.

nothing can be proven true, only true with the facts that we have, and since we dont have all the facts about the universe or god, or even ourselves, there is no absolute truth.

but my reasons are made up of words and grammar and explanations the human mind rationalizes, so be your own truth.


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We have to answer our own prayers


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1313683 - 02/17/03 10:44 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Damn was that a good essay.  So intense, I think it made me sweat. :tongue:

Everyone should read it (9+ pages)... it's kind of thick, but to rephrase it would make it like 30 pages.

Two thumbs up for Mack Tanner.   


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflineScarfmeister
Thrill Seeker
Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 8,127
Loc: The will to power
Last seen: 3 years, 25 days
Re: Nihilism [Re: Sclorch]
    #1313726 - 02/17/03 11:02 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

WOW! Just what i have been looking for. Thanks.


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We're the lowest of the low, the scum of the fucking earth!


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Nihilism [Re: Sclorch]
    #1313929 - 02/17/03 12:22 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I "knew" you would get your "rocks off" on it. LOL!



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The proof is in the pudding.


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Anonymous

Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1313937 - 02/17/03 12:24 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Nice article, it really brought together a lot of things that have been floating around in my head. I truly believe in the nihilistic approach to governing our lives and how we should interact with eachother, we should not base reality on "myths". On the other hand, myths do give individuals hope and reason to go on living, but as long as they are kept to the individual the dangers of them aren't seen. But, the world we live in calls for unified ideologies, and that spells trouble for any rational thought through nihilism.


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Invisiblebert
bodhi

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2,819
Loc: state
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1313968 - 02/17/03 12:32 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Does anyone here have a nihilist point of view? I used to spend a lot of time mulling it over, and it was depressing as hell. I'm one of the few people I know who doesn't believe in God or inherent moral laws or any type of spirituality. I think religion is probably needed to 'keep people in line' otherwise society would fall apart. I still live a happy life even without hope for heaven or fear of hell, though. Anyone else with me on this?


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


Edited by bert (02/17/03 12:33 PM)


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Nihilism [Re: bert]
    #1313990 - 02/17/03 12:39 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Who are these people who must be kept in line; and what is the line that they MUST be kept to? Please elaborate.

Are wars caused by large masses of people "kept in line" with their specific culture which is at odds with another culture? Are wars possible if everyone was an individual and rational thinker? Seems propaganda; whether from Bush or Hussein is necessary to "train" people into a collective group-think.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblebert
bodhi

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2,819
Loc: state
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314105 - 02/17/03 01:10 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

'Kept in line' as in following a set of rules. A lot of people would feel lost without religion. I wasn't specifically thinking of wars, but it does apply to that as well. Religious wars have been fought world-wide since time immemorial. I guess you do need a leader to motivate people towards fighting for a cause. If you ask me, religion in and of itself is propaganda wielded by those in power to frighten the confused masses into doing their bidding. I'm not sure if our involvement in Iraq could be considered a religious war. Is this what you are implying?


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Nihilism [Re: bert]
    #1314124 - 02/17/03 01:16 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I'm not sure if our involvement in Iraq could be considered a religious war.

Substitute the word "myth" for religion and then the answer becomes obvious.

The myth that Saddam is bad, while Bush is good; that Islam is bad while Christianity is good; that Saddam is selfish and Bush has no self-interest; that America's nukes are good and North Korea's nukes are bad and so on.

Note to any high-strung readers: I am making NO moral judgement NOR espousing any political views here.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblebert
bodhi

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2,819
Loc: state
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314157 - 02/17/03 01:27 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think we're gettin a bit off-track here, but I see what you're saying. Oftentimes, the 'truth' lies somewhere between two extremes. Personally, I think the North Korean government has gone completely insane, what with human rights abuses and such. I make my opinions separate from any religious dogma, though. And I think that's what most people should try and do. Openmindedness and compassion are a lot more important than praying 5 times a day or getting baptized.


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


Edited by bert (02/17/03 01:28 PM)


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Anonymous

Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314190 - 02/17/03 01:39 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

After thinking about nihilism for a while, I laid down on my bedroom floor for no reason at all, and stayed there for 15 minutes.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Nihilism [Re: bert]
    #1314194 - 02/17/03 01:42 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think the North Korean government has gone completely insane...

And the USA's War on Drugs is a model of sanity? Insanity abounds in all nation-states.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblebert
bodhi

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2,819
Loc: state
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314203 - 02/17/03 01:47 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Heh, yah, I didn't say the War on Drugs wasn't insane. Because it is. I'm tired of living in fear of my own government. But I'd rather live here than North Korea obviously.


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Persons denying the existence of robots may be robots themselves.


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OfflineKB1EWE
WIDE-EYEDCURIOSITY
Registered: 11/25/02
Posts: 167
Loc: f(s) = (8t^2-3t+35)/ i
Last seen: 12 years, 8 months
Re: Nihilism [Re: bert]
    #1314277 - 02/17/03 02:20 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

my friend constantly says, "niggers smoke crack"..................

hmmmmmmmm

i never thought this meant anything until one trip....

when i realized that this is his way of being a nihilist

wow :tongue: 


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E A T T H E W O R M...with moderation


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Offline3eyedgod
trippinkid

Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Far away and very near
Last seen: 13 years, 3 months
Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314292 - 02/17/03 02:31 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I don't find it frightening at all.  "God" is the creative/destructive force in the universe that spawned all(through what is refered to as chaotic purposeless evoulution) and will reclaim all.  The only purpose is to exist. 


Anyone like John Lennon's Imagine :wink: 


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Without everything wouldn't nothing be everything and without nothing wouldn't everything be nothing.I am the beginning and the end,the source and the void, the light and the darkness,i am but a small drop of the ocean yet i am an ocean unto myself


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OfflineStrumpling
Neuronaut
Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 7,571
Loc: Hyperspace
Last seen: 5 years, 6 months
Re: Nihilism [Re: recalcitrant]
    #1314373 - 02/17/03 02:58 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

"nothing can be proven true, only true with the facts that we have, and since we dont have all the facts about the universe or god, or even ourselves, there is no absolute truth."
Thats right, we can't prove anything 100%, but we can deal with probability yet uncertainty..


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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Anonymous

Re: Nihilism [Re: Swami]
    #1314487 - 02/17/03 03:43 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

"The plain fact is that the scientific examination of human existence strips away every claim for a special status of humanity that would put us above the rest of nature."

The plain fact is the philosophical examination of human existence gives evidence for every claim for a special status of humanity that would put us above the rest of nature.

Philosophy trumps science.

We win. :tongue: 


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: Nihilism [Re: ]
    #1314609 - 02/17/03 04:40 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

M_M: Philosophy trumps science.

Since when have they been at odds?

Maybe you meant: Philosophy trumps scientism.
In that case, I agree.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleCosmicJokeM
happy mutant
 User Gallery

Registered: 04/06/00
Posts: 10,185
Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Nihilism [Re: ]
    #1314758 - 02/17/03 05:31 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

well, frontal lobes are surely unique attributes, but hardly do they separate or make us superior to the rest of the natural order; everything is equally important, equally unimportant, equally empty, and equally expressive of the "World Soul" - you will find, however, this narcissistic self-hypnosis a common thread of many philosophies, but not of the great Oriental philosophers.


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Everything is better than it was the last time.  I'm good.

If we could look into each others hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.

It takes a lot of courage to go out there and radiate your essence.

I know you scared, you should ask us if we scared too.  If you was there, and we just knew you cared too.


Edited by CosmicJoke (02/17/03 05:33 PM)


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