Naturalism = Nihilism?
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25-07-2014, 01:33 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 01:47 AM by nietzsche101.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
...if nobody can put forward a rational reason as to why one should choose REAL "altruism" over "egoism", secular humanism is a joke!
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25-07-2014, 02:19 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(25-07-2014 01:29 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  I'm asking why we should ever choose REAL "altruism" over "egoism"?!
I'm an amoralist. I make no claims as to what you should do.
You make your own choices, I'll make mine.
If your choices impact me then maybe there will be consequences from me. If your choices don't impact me, then why would I be bothered to interfere?

If you want to give up your job, your house, your money and go live in Africa and help some needy starving people then that is your business.
But, since you are on the internet, I assume you have some free time and some money that you would prefer to spend on yourself rather than helping the needy.

I'm not one to judge, but I think maybe you could gain value from looking at the man in the mirror.
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25-07-2014, 02:32 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
I'm trying to have a philosophical discussion... I'm not claiming to be morally perfect, and I'm certainly not asking from moral advice from a "amoralist"

Would you agree that; secular humanism is a joke then??
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25-07-2014, 02:46 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(25-07-2014 02:32 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  I'm trying to have a philosophical discussion... I'm not claiming to be morally perfect, and I'm certainly not asking from moral advice from a "amoralist"

Would you agree that; secular humanism is a joke then??
Define joke?

I'm not a humanist.

I think atheism and nihilism are the only logical conclusions to reality as we see it without taking giant leaps of faith into unsubstantiated belief systems.
There are no reasonable arguments neither scientific nor philosophical for theistic belief. Theism is adults playing make believe.
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25-07-2014, 03:26 AM
Re: RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(25-07-2014 01:29 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  "I'm a monster in your eyes if I have never gone out of my way to help someone for reasons other than selfishness?" - IMO Yes.




Can no one realy notice a difference in this world between egoism and REAL altruism?

Now I'm not saying it's black and white(all one or the other), but can we all at least see a difference between "acting for everyone" and "acting only for myself"?....



many of you will probably state; that ultimately there is no difference, and these are arbitrary divisions... that's fair, I almost thought like this myself for a while... it's the rational conclusion of Naturalism. This is "moral nihilism"


Some argue that there is a difference, and that we should "act for everyone" , but after question they seem to concluded that the only reasons for this are infact also "egotisical"... Despite the word games, this is also moral nihilism



Some do acknowledge the real difference, but explain the REAL altruism away as basically just "bad genes", a disorder.... This is even darker than moral nihilism, but in it's own way, it's quite rational...



So again I ask, can anyone put forward a rational reason as to why one should choose REAL "altruism" over "egoism"?



I'm not, how we evolved seemily apparant "altruism" just for egotisical reasons!! - A Descpitive statment

I'm asking why we should ever choose REAL "altruism" over "egoism"?! - A Prescriptive Statment

I see a problem repeating, you keep stating ideas or what you think labels are without actually expounding on them.

What does nihilism mean to you? Because I've seen you call multiple things nihilism that I would say aren't nihilism.. They were connected elements but apart.

And what to you makes something the most rational choice? Such as how is disregarding moral principals in general more rational than forging your own moral choices? What value makes one more or less rational.

And where is this morality illusion coming from? It's merely the collective of society and evolutionary beneficiary actions. There's nothing more there... What's an illusion? Is it the most valuable and rational thing to follow, perhaps not, but there's only an illusion if you insist absolute morality is involved.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-07-2014, 04:46 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
@Stevil
my only claim is I feel I have a conscience(which is beyond egoism) and pleasing this conscience seems more important to me then my egotistical preferences. This is not rational, but I feel it is what is right, so I take it as true... yes it's a faith... a faith in myself, and what I really feel deep down.
I also believe that if we are all honest with ourselves, you'll agree, that you also share this faith.

I have not mentioned any kind of theism, so where is that coming from..?




@ClydeLee
"I see a problem repeating, you keep stating ideas or what you think labels are without actually expounding on them."

Sorry... but I'm not sure how many times I've said tried to define this term "morality" only to have the next poster completely ignore it, and simply use the word in a hole other context.

The topic for discussion is "Naturalism = Nihilism?" it seems you agree, and so do I? so what are you getting at?
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25-07-2014, 06:08 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 06:21 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(24-07-2014 01:33 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  @true scotsman

"We are never faced with that kind of choice in reality, whether to save ourselves or the species, because Human life does not require sacrifice"

- We are faced with it all the time!

eg. you are walking down the street, you come across a man beating a woman, about to rape her(which you state is objectivity wrong).....
what do you do? Do you intervene, risking your life? or do you simply walk away?

OK I'm back.

I find it very instructive that when talking about ethics with an altruist they always begin their questions with you're in a fire, or you're in a lifeboat, or you have to jump in front of a speeding train to save someone. The woman in the alley being raped is the most common one posed by the way. It tells me that their chief concern in the field of ethics is not how to live their lives and be happy but how to give them away.

To base ones moral code on a situation that a man is extremely unlikely to encounter seems to be the entirely wrong way to go about informing a code of values. Every ethical code must be based on a fundamental view of the world we live in and man does not live in a state of perpetual disaster or emergency.

Man has to set goals and then project them into the future for a successful life and that is impossible if his work, his plans, his achievements are constantly at the mercy of any random disaster that happens to some random stranger anywhere in the country. The ethics of self sacrifice make happiness impossible and that is why no one truly practices them but only likes to have others think he does.

I can only answer your question in a general way because I don't have enough information about the context. It makes a difference who the woman is . If it's my wife or my daughter then the perp is going to find out whether or not there is life after death. That is if I can get my hands on him. If the woman was a total stranger then I would help if my help didn't pose a significant risk to my life. Only a complete lack of self esteem could allow a man to value his life less than that of any random stranger on the street. Objectivism has a term for these situations called "the ethics of emergencies". I suggest you read the third chapter of The Virtue Of Selfishness by Ayn Rand if you are interested in a more detailed answer to this subject.

The basic principles of the Objectivist ethics are; always act in accordance with your hierarchy of values and never sacrifice a value for a lesser value. In an emergency situation it is proper to help strangers and to try and get back to a normal situation as quickly as possible but that does not mean that afterwards you spend your life roaming the streets looking for other women to rescue. Your life belongs to you and to no one else and the good is to live it.

As for the question about the lost wallet and $100 you should be able to infer my answer from my previous post about objective values. If I kept the money I would be contradicting my own values of honesty and justice. If I kept the money it would cause me great psychological pain and giving the money back would give me more pleasure than any amount of unearned money could ever do. A rationally selfish man does not attempt to profit from someone else's misfortune. He wants to earn his values by his own effort.

Incidentally, do you agree with me now that there are objective values because if there are not then it wouldn't matter what I did in your life boat scenario? I could walk away, join in the rape, break the guy's neck or laugh and it wouldn't matter because values would be subjective. The fact that you are asking me what one should do in that situation answers your question about whether values are objective.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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25-07-2014, 07:29 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(24-07-2014 03:52 PM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  "Empathy is built in by Evolution", Yes! I understand that we have evolved a sense of empathy..!!!




But what I am talking about is morality!

It's arbitrary. So is being selfish. Here, lets look at what you get:

Empathy:
  • "Feels good" (hopefully) - emotional payoff
  • People who notice will like you - emotional payoff
  • People who notice will trust you - long term tangible payoff
  • You don't get any direct payment - short term tangible opportunity cost

Selfishness:
  • "Feels bad" (hopefully) - emotional cost
  • People who notice will not like you - emotional cost
  • People who notice will not trust you - long term tangible cost
  • You get an immediate gain - short term tangible payoff

If you're looking for an objective reason to be nice instead of selfish, that's about the best you're going to get. Do you want more stable, long term payoffs or quick, short term payoffs with a long term cost? Some people are better suited at making long term decisions than others, so this may or may not appeal to you. Other than that, it's 100% arbitrary, and that's that. I can't offer you anything more than that.


(25-07-2014 01:33 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  ...if nobody can put forward a rational reason as to why one should choose REAL "altruism" over "egoism", secular humanism is a joke!

I disagree. While it may be arbitrary, the fact that most people by in large cooperate and will frequently help others means that most people are willing to make it work. Now, this isn't some argument of popularity to say that it makes humanism "true"; I fully acknowledge that it is fundamentally arbitrary. We're not talking about absolute truth, here; we're talking about whether or not a particular (arbitrary) morality system is tenable and sustainable. History says, by and large, it is, and every time it fails, people pick it up, dust off the pieces, and start using it again.
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25-07-2014, 09:45 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
@True Scott
Thanks for the reply True Scot, but sorry I just can't be bother discussing Ayn Rand's philosophy atm.. I know what it's about, I think it's bullshit... it's certainly not empirically proven science


@RobbyPants
so you're saying that morality is fundamentally a lie? although it's a "noble lie" that should be kept alive for the sake of holding society together....?

So where to from here? We should actually suppress the truth that "morality is a lie"?....

if we follow this logic a little further..... is a population brainwashed into believing in heaven and hell really a bad thing??
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25-07-2014, 09:53 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 10:10 AM by ClydeLee.)
Re: RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(25-07-2014 04:46 AM)nietzsche101 Wrote:  @ClydeLee
"I see a problem repeating, you keep stating ideas or what you think labels are without actually expounding on them."

Sorry... but I'm not sure how many times I've said tried to define this term "morality" only to have the next poster completely ignore it, and simply use the word in a hole other context.

The topic for discussion is "Naturalism = Nihilism?" it seems you agree, and so do I? so what are you getting at?

I didn't ask you to define morality... I specifically said other terms but morality is one that's already understood. What you mean by some of the concepts I listed, and why you value some is still absent. Mainly the key one is why do you value what's the most rational and how do You judge what's more rational than an alternative.

I don't agree that naturalism=nihilism, not as I accept the term nihilism. You might think I do as you define nihilism, but I don't know what that is because you've never explained your take on the term. That's the point i'm trying to get at.

To me, nihilism is the rejection of moral principals and seeing no value in them/maybe no value in life in general but it doesn't have to go that far. I don't accept that because I think there is value in forging your own moral belief and criteria.

I stem closer to the existentialist school of thought and a little bit of absurdist thought. While it's true There's no higher moral guiding force I can see, and life may be absurd or full of despair, that doesn't mean I ought to accept it without establishing my own morality. If you deem that less rational, I would like to know. I would be curious on what your basis is for that. I don't think this or nihilism are juxtaposed in a way where you can say one is more rational than the other.

This next bit may be rambling, but it's about how I deal with what I think are similar conditions. I ponder on Nietzsche's infinite regress and desire to act well to enjoy myself and I consider how I would like to act in a way that, if everyone acted thusly, people would be better off. I'm condemned to make my own path, but I do so knowing everyone else is in the same boat. They all, some less consciously/some more consciously go through the same process. There may not be an objective answer, but so what? We live with it and are forced to the consequences of the choices we made. I seek to be true to myself to deal with that anguish.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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