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Nihilism... where 'Nothing Matters"


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Ever heard of Nihilism... a doctrine... a particular perspective of life where 'nothing matters'.

If we accept a nihilistic death - i.e. an end to the physical consciousness without an after life - then we must accept that the ultimate sum of our experiences will be nothingness...

Now, as per Nihilism, this nothingness is exactly equal if we live a good life like raise a family etc or if we spend our lives james bond style or if we just decide to walk out in front of a truck right now... :roll: The state of non-existence is exactly the same, ie future, present and past do not exist to you (because you don't), thus nothing you did whilst you were alive actually matters at the point of death...

Since we all know we're going to die, why bother with all the slings and arrows? There isn't a great deal of use to the continuation of life.

There are various objections though. The fact that the enjoyment of life is enough. We only experience consciousness and thus we are infinitely alive in a subjective sense. We need no meaning to life to live. Sheer logic that there is no point to living...

For we humans who desire significance and self-importance more than anything else, the promise that our lives mean nothing as do our actions is a bit of a blow.

Curious about what do you think about Nihilism ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Found something on Nihilism, which looks like a pretty good description. Looking for some objections, if any:

Nihilism is primarily skepticism (The disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge) coupled with reduction, furthermore it is the realization that there is/are no:

1. Teleology (A doctrine explaining phenomena by their ends or purposes)

2. Wrong or Right - just cause and effect

3. Sacred principles, along with taboo, heresy and blasphemy.

... and that:

4. Artificial morality and values are subjective, elastic, fungible and impermanent.

5. that which is self-evident requires no belief, for it has an independent, objective existence and self-continuation.

While Nihilism rejects:

6. faith, and everything necessitated by it.

And Nihilism uses:

7. Occam's Razor (The principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly; the simplest of two competing theories is to be preferred).

8. logic

While recognizing:

9. Natural Selection (A natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment)

10. Sustainable idea-sets have minimized internal contradictions.

Furthermore even if it can be shown that one element has flaws this does not demonstrate that any or all of the remaining points are flawed as well.

5) Self-Evident. For example, one does not need faith in the objective principle or the word-symbol 'gravity' to know that if you jump off a cliff you will fall to the bottom, or that if you punch a wall it will hurt your fist. This concept segues into the idea of pain and sensations which although they can be distorted, they are still consistent and these neurological signals are the same throughout the animal kingdom. A needless fixation on the basic chemical and electrical properties (or beyond) does not invalidate the fundamental purpose they serve for the biological organism.

9) Natural Selection. One path is selected over another for a reason. "Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability." R. A. Fisher. Nor through divine guidance since this is unsupported by any evidence and rejected using the principle of Occam's Razor. Rather natural selection outcome is a product of surroundings and the unceasing struggle of adaptation and the search for success. This process should not be confused with a value, which is an arbitrary choice by a human mind such as saying the color blue is better than the color purple. Whatever mind-games the philosophers want to play, one can debate where it leads and why, but none of that matters. Occam's Razor again - because natural selection reflects the framework that not only we as biological entities exist within but the entire universe operates upon that principle as a result of being a finite system. Everything either succeeds or it fails.

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