Nihilism
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03-03-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Nihilism
What are your thoughts on Nihilism and Nihilistic thinking?

I still see some truth in the respect of "moral nihilism" which basically goes on to say that no action can really be considered more moral than any other. It also suggests that the very idea of morality is itself man-made.

I DO think that morality is man-made, and thus a flawed concept. You have debates all over the world over what is and isn't moral. You can get two people in a room and they will be able to find an issue of morality they disagree on. For example killing in order to save the lives of others, etc.

As far as other stems of Nihilism, the topic still interests me.
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03-03-2011, 12:58 PM
 
RE: Nihilism
Nihilism is silly.

I don't think anyone has proved that there is not an objective morality. Mathematics is objective yes? Just because we invented numbers doesn't mean the concept of mathematics is flawed.
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03-03-2011, 01:10 PM
 
RE: Nihilism
I think Nihilism makes perfect sense really.

I don't remember the name or location of it, but there's a species of fly somewhere out there that hatches in the water, flies out with their new wings and mates for two hours, comes back down to the water, lays their larvae and then die. Meaning they have a life span of two hours after birth. My point being, nothing mattered to them other than coming into existence, mating, laying their offspring and then dying.

Humans are the same. We just have complicated thoughts and philosophies that make the world and life seem more complex, when in truth, it's nothing more than life and death. We live, we die. Morals, philosophies, emotions, they're almost all (emotions like fear are different) man made thoughts that aren't needed nor important in the long run.

All that's important is the fact that you live, and then die.

If i'm confusing nihilism with something else, sorry.
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03-03-2011, 01:23 PM
 
RE: Nihilism
Nihilism – Abandoning Values and Knowledge
Nihilism derives its name from the Latin root nihil, meaning nothing, that which does not exist. This same root is found in the verb “annihilate” -- to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Nihilism is the belief which:

* labels all values as worthless, therefore, nothing can be known or communicated.
* associates itself with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism, having no loyalties. (More)

Morality is not universal. Read any newspaper and it's easy to arrive at the conclusion we can never hope to legislate common sense, decency or morality.
So perhaps the human tribe has always lived a version of Nihilism. We may hold to certain moral constructs yet, when it comes down to brass tacks they can easily be cast aside so as to survive ourselves in the altered state.

What's the purpose of life? Someone asked me long days ago.
Live till you die if you can live with yourself and what you've done, that's all you can do.
Everyone else is.
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03-03-2011, 01:25 PM
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 12:58 PM)Sacrieur Wrote:  Nihilism is silly.

Moral nihilism is correct; that's simply the position that there is no such thing as objective morality. Existential nihilism is correct; that's the position that there is no objective "meaning" to life. Mereological nihilism is also correct; that's the position that, ultimately, objects as we see them are nothing more than a collection of parts and do not exist as things in and of themselves.

Which part of nihilism are you objecting to?

Quote:I don't think anyone has proved that there is not an objective morality.

So? No one has proved that there is not a teapot orbiting Jupiter, or a race of aliens living at the heart of the sun, or that Great Cthulhu is not waiting for the time when the stars will be right again.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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03-03-2011, 01:27 PM
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 01:23 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  Nihilism – Abandoning Values and Knowledge
Nihilism derives its name from the Latin root nihil, meaning nothing, that which does not exist. This same root is found in the verb “annihilate” -- to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Nihilism is the belief which:

* labels all values as worthless, therefore, nothing can be known or communicated.
* associates itself with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism, having no loyalties. (More)

Slightly off. That's a specific branch of nihilism, called epistemological nihilism. Not all nihilists are epistemological nihilists.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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03-03-2011, 02:00 PM
 
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 01:27 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(03-03-2011 01:23 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  Nihilism – Abandoning Values and Knowledge
Nihilism derives its name from the Latin root nihil, meaning nothing, that which does not exist. This same root is found in the verb “annihilate” -- to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Nihilism is the belief which:

* labels all values as worthless, therefore, nothing can be known or communicated.
* associates itself with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism, having no loyalties. (More)

Slightly off. That's a specific branch of nihilism, called epistemological nihilism. Not all nihilists are epistemological nihilists.
I suggest you contact the owners of the Philosophy site, so as to afford them opportunity to address a correction to their information, so that they may discern if your claim is credible. I just share, I didn't author. Smile
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03-03-2011, 02:11 PM
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 02:00 PM)GassyKitten Wrote:  I suggest you contact the owners of the Philosophy site, so as to afford them opportunity to address a correction to their information, so that they may discern if your claim is credible. I just share, I didn't author. Smile

Yeah, I know. And it's not wrong, exactly. It's just talking about epistemological nihilism as if it's the be-all, end-all of nihilism.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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03-03-2011, 02:45 PM
 
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 01:25 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Moral nihilism is correct; that's simply the position that there is no such thing as objective morality. Existential nihilism is correct; that's the position that there is no objective "meaning" to life. Mereological nihilism is also correct; that's the position that, ultimately, objects as we see them are nothing more than a collection of parts and do not exist as things in and of themselves.

I am talking about moral nihilism. It is not correct until it proves that it is correct.

Quote:So? No one has proved that there is not a teapot orbiting Jupiter, or a race of aliens living at the heart of the sun, or that Great Cthulhu is not waiting for the time when the stars will be right again.

Yes, but when you make a claim, you must provide evidence for that claim, or a proof. I am not claiming that there is or isn't an objective morality, I'm saying that there isn't a proof showing that there isn't one.

There are many philosophical works that sort of edge around this issue with moral relativism. Just because we have different moral views that we make up doesn't mean that's necessarily all they are. For example, if an ancient civilization believed that the Earth was spherical, and another believed that the Earth was flat, it doesn't mean that there is no objective truth on the matter because they disagree. The Earth is spherical, that's the objective truth.

A philosopher named James Rachels pointed it out best:

"To many thinkers, this observation- 'Different cultures have different moral codes'- has seemed to be the key to understanding morality. The idea of universal truth in ethics, they say, is a myth. The customs of different societies are all that exist. These customs cannot be said to be 'correct' or 'incorrect,' for that implies we have an independent standard of right and wrong by which they may be judged. But there is no such independent standard; every standard is culture-bound."

He goes on to show how this type of reasoning is flawed..

"Does it follow, from the mere fact that they disagree, that there is no 'objective truth' in the matter? No, it does not follow; for it could be that the practice was objectively right (or wrong) and that one or the other of them was simply mistaken."

---

Things aren't so clearcut anymore.
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03-03-2011, 04:30 PM
RE: Nihilism
(03-03-2011 02:45 PM)Sacrieur Wrote:  I am talking about moral nihilism. It is not correct until it proves that it is correct.

Quote:So? No one has proved that there is not a teapot orbiting Jupiter, or a race of aliens living at the heart of the sun, or that Great Cthulhu is not waiting for the time when the stars will be right again.

Yes, but when you make a claim, you must provide evidence for that claim, or a proof. I am not claiming that there is or isn't an objective morality, I'm saying that there isn't a proof showing that there isn't one.

The evidence for lack of objective morality is the lack of evidence for objective morality. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence if no evidence exists where it would be expected.

If morality were objective, we would expect all conscious beings to possess matching moral codes. Since not all conscious beings possess matching moral codes, we know that morality is not objective. Any "objective" code of morals which, for some reason, does not affect all humans equally behaves in all ways exactly as though it is subjective, and therefore is.

Objective morality does not exist. We know this for a fact.

Quote:"Does it follow, from the mere fact that they disagree, that there is no 'objective truth' in the matter? No, it does not follow; for it could be that the practice was objectively right (or wrong) and that one or the other of them was simply mistaken."

Except that, for this to be true, there must be an external standard. There is no external code of objective morality. Any external source with a different code, by definition, is just another moral code, and is subjective, not objective. If it were objective, everyone would share it.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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