20 09 11 - 20:51From the mailbag:
Nihilism is far from the isolated, oddball, radical philosophy many consider it to be. I would suggest that nihilism is the logical "conclusion" of most modern humanistic philosophies. More importantly, I believe that nihilistic death is accepted, though not recognized, as the universal destination of humankind by all who do not believe in a life after death. I would suggest that if we embrace a modern secular philosophy, or no philosophy/religion at all, we must embrace nihilism. We will assert that if you believe that your existence may end at physical death, you are accepting the idea that "nothing" may follow death, and you are by definition accepting the possibility that "nihilism" is correct. Once we realize that the acceptance of nihilism is a necessary consequence of our humanistic beliefs, or non-beliefs, we will be able to decide for ourselves if what we currently believe to be true, is what we really want to believe is true. Until we understand the nature of "nothing", we may well have difficulty appreciating "anything". - "LifeNotes"
While I don't agree with this person, I think he or she makes a reasonable case with this statement, cited in his or her email to me:
"According to absurdism, humans historically attempt to find meaning in their lives. Traditionally, this search results in one of two conclusions: either that life is meaningless, or life contains within it a purpose set forth by a higher power - a belief in God, or adherence to some religion or other abstract concept." - PedoPedia
A few thoughts:
- Obviously, the "nihilism" described above is fatalism. Nothing means anything, so why bother creating meaning? Instead, revel in the meaningless, namely physical sensations, social power and egodrama. Fatalism either leads immediately to suicide or, as in the vast majority of cases, to extreme individualism which is itself a code-word for narcissistic, self-absorbed, denial-based refusal to entertain the notion the world is real. That in turn takes many, many forms, including all liberalism and many religions.
- The choice of absurdism is completely broken. First, it assumes the world should bow to a human perspective; what drug addict wrote that? Second, it assumes these two choices exist because we're seeking inherent meaning. We forget that meaning is in our interpretation. That doesn't mean any "meaning" is valid (I'm just living for this turd in a sock, maaaan) but that meaning does not exist in the world per se. It takes thinking beings to discover the mechanisms of that world, and to find out why to value them.
- The vital point this person makes is that humanism leads naturally to fatalism through narcissism. With nothing larger than the self, why bother? About anything, I mean. Do what's convenient and never exert yourself for a cause. That in turn leads to depression, because without meaning, life is a series of sensations that get boring over time and eventually become oppressive.
Food for thought, or sodomy.