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[Nihilism] - Why we need to care about people who don't

24

Posts

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

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    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    There's a good essay by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic about this: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/america-without-family-god-or-patriotism/597382/

    This was the best example of the various why's. Different groups impacted in different ways choosing to reject existing institutions looking for different outcomes.

    What is this I don't even.
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nihilism has meant a dozen different things and often actually just refers to the rejection of a more or cultural ideal recently held by the zeitgeist. There's not much productive to be found in arguing whether someone is exhibiting "true nihilistic" ideas.

    yes, but in order to know what should be done to make society better we need to understand why these people say and do what they do, and what they actually want and what they need to feel better.

    They say they want to burn the world down
    They say this because they must tell a lie that it has held them back
    They desire success, and to be viewed as powerful by other white men
    What they actually need is the emotional ability to enjoy their own success without the unfair comparison to others

    The system itself is the thing denying them that emotional ability. In a world built fundamentally upon the idea that people find value based on their place in a hierarchy, there is no way to be happy when you are not on the top.

    Eh, while I agree that capitalism and competition is an issue, the main issue is here is racism and sexism and their corrupt relationship with capitalism and our society. I do not agree that a hierarchy is a bad thing. In a fair race, there is joy in running your hardest and coming in 5th. People like to succeed against others, but what brings true satisfaction, and true despair if you don't achieve it, is your own personal evaluation of how you did compared to your dreams.

    Capitalism does not require racism and sexism to exist, but inequality on the level which we have today requires it both to distract from resentment of the wealthy, and to assure the success of people inside the ruling class who don't have true ability.

    And of course, the patriarchy also poisons the satisfaction of the wealthy, because they TOO believe they have failed when compared to the lie they were told.

    There is joy in a fair race because it is a game. It is a competition we choose on a playing field we have leveled.

    When you tie one's success in the hierarchy to every aspect of their life, to their ability to eat, where they can live, who they can associate with, it is not a game. It is a struggle to survive, and when one's entire life is based on success in this hierarchy, what sort of things do you think they'll be incentivized to do in order to increase their position in it?

    SleepZibblsnrtJuliusJeep-Eep
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    We clearly didn't create this system to enjoy it, because it is keeping us all as slaves.

    dispatch.oJuliusMrVyngaard
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    The survey questions seem most likely to identify the people cosplaying as nihilists, which I think is the actual group they mean to identify anyways

    Political/societal arsonists is another way to describe them maybe

    MrVyngaardMr Ray
  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    I liked Ian Danskin's take on the matter:



    Short version: Actual nihilism isn't actually that popular, but a facade of nihilism can be a useful tool for groups like the alt-right to make their beliefs palatable.

    Can't watch the video right now, but I do want to address the assertion of "Actual nihilism" not being that popular. That appears to be contradicted by the Times article. Do you believe those who responded to the poll questions in the affirmative were lying? The poll questions do not invoke political affiliation, only broad feelings of general disaffection.

    I agree that the alt-right have glommed onto this nihilism to serve as a tool to message-boost by soliciting said nihilist by appearing to be agents of the chaotic change they purport to desire, but I feel like we might be dealing with a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario here. Note that some (though less) of those who polled positive for nihilism claimed to be Sanders supporters.

    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: It's worth watching the video, because it does a better job explaining this, but one big point that it makes is that while they claim to be nihilists, they in large part save their ire for the left - which points to there actually being a rationale behind the argumentation. Or to put it another way, as Danskin points out, when you claim "general dissatisfaction" but are lashing out at specific groups and ideologies, you are being incoherent.

    Edit: You mentioned South Park in your response, which is worth noting as an excellent example of this dynamic. Matt Stone and Trey Parker claim that they attack things across the political spectrum - this is sort of true, but anyone who has watched the show for any length will know that they save their biggest swings for the left.

    Ok so I watched the video on my lunch, and I'm not sure I've come to the same conclusion you're drawing here.

    While I agree with the observation that the trolls save their ire for the left, that's not because they all necessarily hold alt-right beliefs, it's because they get a kick out of the reactions they get. I don't have a transcript of the video or anything, so I'm paraphrasing, but I recall one of the arguments was "you make fun of an SJW, they cry. You make fun of a nazi, they might STAB you". So I think my original point stands. These chaos inciters aren't necessarily sincere alt-righters, but rather have aligned themselves with the alt-right because those who oppose the alt-right are softer targets.

    Now, that doesn't mean they're not an issue to contend with. They're basically the true alt-right's useful idiots in this regard. All said, sincere or not, their message is the same, which means, functionally, it doesn't really make a difference, but I do maintain that the underlying issue is nihilism/apathy first, which happens to work to the alt-right's advantage.

    This doesn't hold much weight with me. Maybe, maybe, if you are talking merely about physically provoking, there is some point about SJWs being softer targets. The vast majority of this discourse occurs online, though. Jordan Peterson isn't going to come to your house and beat you up because you made him look stupid. He's going to snark about it to right-leaning newspapers and then cry in his messy bedroom like the big, powerful boy that he is. Even face-to-face, most of these guys are doughy pantloads of insecurity. Aside from that, being super concerned with one's physical safety isn't exactly compatible with wanting to watch the world burn anyway.

    I disagree. Jordan Peterson himself might not, but your neighbour, who happens to be a fan of his, what about him? My boss is a Peterson fan. I like my boss, as far as bosses go, he's pleasant to be around and has, in my experience, been a fair and equitable person in his business dealings. I cannot, however, reconcile this with the statements he's made to me in social settings where he espouses his admiration for Peterson's philosophies. Due to our power dynamic, I felt the need to feign ignorance when he asked me if I had ever heard of Peterson. I did not feel comfortable engaging him in a discussion on the matter because I did not wish to endanger our professional relationship. Despite my professional respect for him, I cannot help but think that he may be, or is at least sympathetic to, one of these nihilists that we're talking about, and that troubles me. As a concerned member of this society, I feel a responsibility to confront destructive ideologies, but I when I was presented with an opportunity to do so in real life, I failed.

    On the other hand, I have plenty of friends, which include other people who have a different power dynamic with me, who align more closely with my views, and I have no problem engaging such folks in lively debate, even when we disagree. Why is it that I can tell other left-leaning people, even those who have power over me, that a more permissive immigration policy will not result in the fall of Canadian society, but I cannot find the will to debate Peterson's misogyny with one of his fans?

    3DS FC: 1547-5210-6531
    Winky
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    I liked Ian Danskin's take on the matter:



    Short version: Actual nihilism isn't actually that popular, but a facade of nihilism can be a useful tool for groups like the alt-right to make their beliefs palatable.

    Can't watch the video right now, but I do want to address the assertion of "Actual nihilism" not being that popular. That appears to be contradicted by the Times article. Do you believe those who responded to the poll questions in the affirmative were lying? The poll questions do not invoke political affiliation, only broad feelings of general disaffection.

    I agree that the alt-right have glommed onto this nihilism to serve as a tool to message-boost by soliciting said nihilist by appearing to be agents of the chaotic change they purport to desire, but I feel like we might be dealing with a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario here. Note that some (though less) of those who polled positive for nihilism claimed to be Sanders supporters.

    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: It's worth watching the video, because it does a better job explaining this, but one big point that it makes is that while they claim to be nihilists, they in large part save their ire for the left - which points to there actually being a rationale behind the argumentation. Or to put it another way, as Danskin points out, when you claim "general dissatisfaction" but are lashing out at specific groups and ideologies, you are being incoherent.

    Edit: You mentioned South Park in your response, which is worth noting as an excellent example of this dynamic. Matt Stone and Trey Parker claim that they attack things across the political spectrum - this is sort of true, but anyone who has watched the show for any length will know that they save their biggest swings for the left.

    Ok so I watched the video on my lunch, and I'm not sure I've come to the same conclusion you're drawing here.

    While I agree with the observation that the trolls save their ire for the left, that's not because they all necessarily hold alt-right beliefs, it's because they get a kick out of the reactions they get. I don't have a transcript of the video or anything, so I'm paraphrasing, but I recall one of the arguments was "you make fun of an SJW, they cry. You make fun of a nazi, they might STAB you". So I think my original point stands. These chaos inciters aren't necessarily sincere alt-righters, but rather have aligned themselves with the alt-right because those who oppose the alt-right are softer targets.

    Now, that doesn't mean they're not an issue to contend with. They're basically the true alt-right's useful idiots in this regard. All said, sincere or not, their message is the same, which means, functionally, it doesn't really make a difference, but I do maintain that the underlying issue is nihilism/apathy first, which happens to work to the alt-right's advantage.

    This doesn't hold much weight with me. Maybe, maybe, if you are talking merely about physically provoking, there is some point about SJWs being softer targets. The vast majority of this discourse occurs online, though. Jordan Peterson isn't going to come to your house and beat you up because you made him look stupid. He's going to snark about it to right-leaning newspapers and then cry in his messy bedroom like the big, powerful boy that he is. Even face-to-face, most of these guys are doughy pantloads of insecurity. Aside from that, being super concerned with one's physical safety isn't exactly compatible with wanting to watch the world burn anyway.

    I disagree. Jordan Peterson himself might not, but your neighbour, who happens to be a fan of his, what about him? My boss is a Peterson fan. I like my boss, as far as bosses go, he's pleasant to be around and has, in my experience, been a fair and equitable person in his business dealings. I cannot, however, reconcile this with the statements he's made to me in social settings where he espouses his admiration for Peterson's philosophies. Due to our power dynamic, I felt the need to feign ignorance when he asked me if I had ever heard of Peterson. I did not feel comfortable engaging him in a discussion on the matter because I did not wish to endanger our professional relationship. Despite my professional respect for him, I cannot help but think that he may be, or is at least sympathetic to, one of these nihilists that we're talking about, and that troubles me. As a concerned member of this society, I feel a responsibility to confront destructive ideologies, but I when I was presented with an opportunity to do so in real life, I failed.

    On the other hand, I have plenty of friends, which include other people who have a different power dynamic with me, who align more closely with my views, and I have no problem engaging such folks in lively debate, even when we disagree. Why is it that I can tell other left-leaning people, even those who have power over me, that a more permissive immigration policy will not result in the fall of Canadian society, but I cannot find the will to debate Peterson's misogyny with one of his fans?

    Because the hierarchical structure is designed to silence you, and shape you into a yes-man. If you're not willing to debase yourself for it then it takes everything from you. Peterson as a "philosopher" is defined by his love of order and hierarchy. We're told to hold our tongue and wait our turn in line, but experience gives way to the lie. We do not get a turn.

    Sleepdispatch.oMrVyngaardMan in the MistsMr RayForar
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
    JuliusJeep-Eep
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.

    I'm not sure the definition of the word matters here, I suspect we are mostly on the same page. We have a set of core principles we ourselves have chosen to value, and we fashion our lives in service to those things and not the other way around. I tend to feel whatever particular labels we choose to place on it are more divisive than illuminating.

  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.

    I'm not sure the definition of the word matters here, I suspect we are mostly on the same page. We have a set of core principles we ourselves have chosen to value, and we fashion our lives in service to those things and not the other way around. I tend to feel whatever particular labels we choose to place on it are more divisive than illuminating.

    Yeah, unless anyone here has bright ideas on how to address social nihilism in particular, there is no reason to suss out who is nihilist and who is not. The things people choose not to care about are their own responsibility.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    I liked Ian Danskin's take on the matter:



    Short version: Actual nihilism isn't actually that popular, but a facade of nihilism can be a useful tool for groups like the alt-right to make their beliefs palatable.

    Can't watch the video right now, but I do want to address the assertion of "Actual nihilism" not being that popular. That appears to be contradicted by the Times article. Do you believe those who responded to the poll questions in the affirmative were lying? The poll questions do not invoke political affiliation, only broad feelings of general disaffection.

    I agree that the alt-right have glommed onto this nihilism to serve as a tool to message-boost by soliciting said nihilist by appearing to be agents of the chaotic change they purport to desire, but I feel like we might be dealing with a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario here. Note that some (though less) of those who polled positive for nihilism claimed to be Sanders supporters.

    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: It's worth watching the video, because it does a better job explaining this, but one big point that it makes is that while they claim to be nihilists, they in large part save their ire for the left - which points to there actually being a rationale behind the argumentation. Or to put it another way, as Danskin points out, when you claim "general dissatisfaction" but are lashing out at specific groups and ideologies, you are being incoherent.

    Edit: You mentioned South Park in your response, which is worth noting as an excellent example of this dynamic. Matt Stone and Trey Parker claim that they attack things across the political spectrum - this is sort of true, but anyone who has watched the show for any length will know that they save their biggest swings for the left.

    Ok so I watched the video on my lunch, and I'm not sure I've come to the same conclusion you're drawing here.

    While I agree with the observation that the trolls save their ire for the left, that's not because they all necessarily hold alt-right beliefs, it's because they get a kick out of the reactions they get. I don't have a transcript of the video or anything, so I'm paraphrasing, but I recall one of the arguments was "you make fun of an SJW, they cry. You make fun of a nazi, they might STAB you". So I think my original point stands. These chaos inciters aren't necessarily sincere alt-righters, but rather have aligned themselves with the alt-right because those who oppose the alt-right are softer targets.

    Now, that doesn't mean they're not an issue to contend with. They're basically the true alt-right's useful idiots in this regard. All said, sincere or not, their message is the same, which means, functionally, it doesn't really make a difference, but I do maintain that the underlying issue is nihilism/apathy first, which happens to work to the alt-right's advantage.

    This doesn't hold much weight with me. Maybe, maybe, if you are talking merely about physically provoking, there is some point about SJWs being softer targets. The vast majority of this discourse occurs online, though. Jordan Peterson isn't going to come to your house and beat you up because you made him look stupid. He's going to snark about it to right-leaning newspapers and then cry in his messy bedroom like the big, powerful boy that he is. Even face-to-face, most of these guys are doughy pantloads of insecurity. Aside from that, being super concerned with one's physical safety isn't exactly compatible with wanting to watch the world burn anyway.

    I disagree. Jordan Peterson himself might not, but your neighbour, who happens to be a fan of his, what about him? My boss is a Peterson fan. I like my boss, as far as bosses go, he's pleasant to be around and has, in my experience, been a fair and equitable person in his business dealings. I cannot, however, reconcile this with the statements he's made to me in social settings where he espouses his admiration for Peterson's philosophies. Due to our power dynamic, I felt the need to feign ignorance when he asked me if I had ever heard of Peterson. I did not feel comfortable engaging him in a discussion on the matter because I did not wish to endanger our professional relationship. Despite my professional respect for him, I cannot help but think that he may be, or is at least sympathetic to, one of these nihilists that we're talking about, and that troubles me. As a concerned member of this society, I feel a responsibility to confront destructive ideologies, but I when I was presented with an opportunity to do so in real life, I failed.

    On the other hand, I have plenty of friends, which include other people who have a different power dynamic with me, who align more closely with my views, and I have no problem engaging such folks in lively debate, even when we disagree. Why is it that I can tell other left-leaning people, even those who have power over me, that a more permissive immigration policy will not result in the fall of Canadian society, but I cannot find the will to debate Peterson's misogyny with one of his fans?

    This seems like a different class of problem than what I'm talking about. Being unable to disagree with your boss without fear of reprisal is definitely an issue around capitalism and its associated hierarchies, but it applies generally to any idiotic idea someone higher up on the food chain has, up to and including how we're all supposed to sit here and pretend the President is not simply ChrisChan in an ill-fitting suit. What I'm talking about is that it would equally easy, and probably significantly more funny, for internet denizens to harass the Jordan Petersons or Stephen Molyneuxs of the world. They're guaranteed a big, widely publicized reaction, much more so than some random womens studies undergraduate at a liberal arts school. Their fanbase isn't really capable of doing anything back to a group of people trolling online (though they themselves are able to harass and threaten individuals). They can act out violently against people at large, but again, if it's just nihilistic trolls trying to provoke the maximum reaction, then surely that's just part of the fun.



    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.

    I align more closely to existentialism than nihilism.

    Though I think moral nihilism is a flawed philosophy anyhow, because not only do you have to prove how so many different isolated human cultures created similar laws around morally abhorrent acts like murder and stealing, but also why even animals have concepts of fairness. Meaning that even nature itself has a sense of basic morality (fairness among individual members) and that it’s not just a human (ie, religious) concept.

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
    Julius
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    I liked Ian Danskin's take on the matter:



    Short version: Actual nihilism isn't actually that popular, but a facade of nihilism can be a useful tool for groups like the alt-right to make their beliefs palatable.

    Can't watch the video right now, but I do want to address the assertion of "Actual nihilism" not being that popular. That appears to be contradicted by the Times article. Do you believe those who responded to the poll questions in the affirmative were lying? The poll questions do not invoke political affiliation, only broad feelings of general disaffection.

    I agree that the alt-right have glommed onto this nihilism to serve as a tool to message-boost by soliciting said nihilist by appearing to be agents of the chaotic change they purport to desire, but I feel like we might be dealing with a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario here. Note that some (though less) of those who polled positive for nihilism claimed to be Sanders supporters.

    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: It's worth watching the video, because it does a better job explaining this, but one big point that it makes is that while they claim to be nihilists, they in large part save their ire for the left - which points to there actually being a rationale behind the argumentation. Or to put it another way, as Danskin points out, when you claim "general dissatisfaction" but are lashing out at specific groups and ideologies, you are being incoherent.

    Edit: You mentioned South Park in your response, which is worth noting as an excellent example of this dynamic. Matt Stone and Trey Parker claim that they attack things across the political spectrum - this is sort of true, but anyone who has watched the show for any length will know that they save their biggest swings for the left.

    Ok so I watched the video on my lunch, and I'm not sure I've come to the same conclusion you're drawing here.

    While I agree with the observation that the trolls save their ire for the left, that's not because they all necessarily hold alt-right beliefs, it's because they get a kick out of the reactions they get. I don't have a transcript of the video or anything, so I'm paraphrasing, but I recall one of the arguments was "you make fun of an SJW, they cry. You make fun of a nazi, they might STAB you". So I think my original point stands. These chaos inciters aren't necessarily sincere alt-righters, but rather have aligned themselves with the alt-right because those who oppose the alt-right are softer targets.

    Now, that doesn't mean they're not an issue to contend with. They're basically the true alt-right's useful idiots in this regard. All said, sincere or not, their message is the same, which means, functionally, it doesn't really make a difference, but I do maintain that the underlying issue is nihilism/apathy first, which happens to work to the alt-right's advantage.

    This doesn't hold much weight with me. Maybe, maybe, if you are talking merely about physically provoking, there is some point about SJWs being softer targets. The vast majority of this discourse occurs online, though. Jordan Peterson isn't going to come to your house and beat you up because you made him look stupid. He's going to snark about it to right-leaning newspapers and then cry in his messy bedroom like the big, powerful boy that he is. Even face-to-face, most of these guys are doughy pantloads of insecurity. Aside from that, being super concerned with one's physical safety isn't exactly compatible with wanting to watch the world burn anyway.

    I disagree. Jordan Peterson himself might not, but your neighbour, who happens to be a fan of his, what about him? My boss is a Peterson fan. I like my boss, as far as bosses go, he's pleasant to be around and has, in my experience, been a fair and equitable person in his business dealings. I cannot, however, reconcile this with the statements he's made to me in social settings where he espouses his admiration for Peterson's philosophies. Due to our power dynamic, I felt the need to feign ignorance when he asked me if I had ever heard of Peterson. I did not feel comfortable engaging him in a discussion on the matter because I did not wish to endanger our professional relationship. Despite my professional respect for him, I cannot help but think that he may be, or is at least sympathetic to, one of these nihilists that we're talking about, and that troubles me. As a concerned member of this society, I feel a responsibility to confront destructive ideologies, but I when I was presented with an opportunity to do so in real life, I failed.

    On the other hand, I have plenty of friends, which include other people who have a different power dynamic with me, who align more closely with my views, and I have no problem engaging such folks in lively debate, even when we disagree. Why is it that I can tell other left-leaning people, even those who have power over me, that a more permissive immigration policy will not result in the fall of Canadian society, but I cannot find the will to debate Peterson's misogyny with one of his fans?

    This seems like a different class of problem than what I'm talking about. Being unable to disagree with your boss without fear of reprisal is definitely an issue around capitalism and its associated hierarchies, but it applies generally to any idiotic idea someone higher up on the food chain has, up to and including how we're all supposed to sit here and pretend the President is not simply ChrisChan in an ill-fitting suit. What I'm talking about is that it would equally easy, and probably significantly more funny, for internet denizens to harass the Jordan Petersons or Stephen Molyneuxs of the world. They're guaranteed a big, widely publicized reaction, much more so than some random womens studies undergraduate at a liberal arts school. Their fanbase isn't really capable of doing anything back to a group of people trolling online (though they themselves are able to harass and threaten individuals). They can act out violently against people at large, but again, if it's just nihilistic trolls trying to provoke the maximum reaction, then surely that's just part of the fun.
    I liked Ian Danskin's take on the matter:



    Short version: Actual nihilism isn't actually that popular, but a facade of nihilism can be a useful tool for groups like the alt-right to make their beliefs palatable.

    Can't watch the video right now, but I do want to address the assertion of "Actual nihilism" not being that popular. That appears to be contradicted by the Times article. Do you believe those who responded to the poll questions in the affirmative were lying? The poll questions do not invoke political affiliation, only broad feelings of general disaffection.

    I agree that the alt-right have glommed onto this nihilism to serve as a tool to message-boost by soliciting said nihilist by appearing to be agents of the chaotic change they purport to desire, but I feel like we might be dealing with a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario here. Note that some (though less) of those who polled positive for nihilism claimed to be Sanders supporters.

    Short answer: yes.

    Long answer: It's worth watching the video, because it does a better job explaining this, but one big point that it makes is that while they claim to be nihilists, they in large part save their ire for the left - which points to there actually being a rationale behind the argumentation. Or to put it another way, as Danskin points out, when you claim "general dissatisfaction" but are lashing out at specific groups and ideologies, you are being incoherent.

    Edit: You mentioned South Park in your response, which is worth noting as an excellent example of this dynamic. Matt Stone and Trey Parker claim that they attack things across the political spectrum - this is sort of true, but anyone who has watched the show for any length will know that they save their biggest swings for the left.

    Ok so I watched the video on my lunch, and I'm not sure I've come to the same conclusion you're drawing here.

    While I agree with the observation that the trolls save their ire for the left, that's not because they all necessarily hold alt-right beliefs, it's because they get a kick out of the reactions they get. I don't have a transcript of the video or anything, so I'm paraphrasing, but I recall one of the arguments was "you make fun of an SJW, they cry. You make fun of a nazi, they might STAB you". So I think my original point stands. These chaos inciters aren't necessarily sincere alt-righters, but rather have aligned themselves with the alt-right because those who oppose the alt-right are softer targets.

    Now, that doesn't mean they're not an issue to contend with. They're basically the true alt-right's useful idiots in this regard. All said, sincere or not, their message is the same, which means, functionally, it doesn't really make a difference, but I do maintain that the underlying issue is nihilism/apathy first, which happens to work to the alt-right's advantage.

    This doesn't hold much weight with me. Maybe, maybe, if you are talking merely about physically provoking, there is some point about SJWs being softer targets. The vast majority of this discourse occurs online, though. Jordan Peterson isn't going to come to your house and beat you up because you made him look stupid. He's going to snark about it to right-leaning newspapers and then cry in his messy bedroom like the big, powerful boy that he is. Even face-to-face, most of these guys are doughy pantloads of insecurity. Aside from that, being super concerned with one's physical safety isn't exactly compatible with wanting to watch the world burn anyway.

    I disagree. Jordan Peterson himself might not, but your neighbour, who happens to be a fan of his, what about him? My boss is a Peterson fan. I like my boss, as far as bosses go, he's pleasant to be around and has, in my experience, been a fair and equitable person in his business dealings. I cannot, however, reconcile this with the statements he's made to me in social settings where he espouses his admiration for Peterson's philosophies. Due to our power dynamic, I felt the need to feign ignorance when he asked me if I had ever heard of Peterson. I did not feel comfortable engaging him in a discussion on the matter because I did not wish to endanger our professional relationship. Despite my professional respect for him, I cannot help but think that he may be, or is at least sympathetic to, one of these nihilists that we're talking about, and that troubles me. As a concerned member of this society, I feel a responsibility to confront destructive ideologies, but I when I was presented with an opportunity to do so in real life, I failed.

    On the other hand, I have plenty of friends, which include other people who have a different power dynamic with me, who align more closely with my views, and I have no problem engaging such folks in lively debate, even when we disagree. Why is it that I can tell other left-leaning people, even those who have power over me, that a more permissive immigration policy will not result in the fall of Canadian society, but I cannot find the will to debate Peterson's misogyny with one of his fans?

    This seems like a different class of problem than what I'm talking about. Being unable to disagree with your boss without fear of reprisal is definitely an issue around capitalism and its associated hierarchies, but it applies generally to any idiotic idea someone higher up on the food chain has, up to and including how we're all supposed to sit here and pretend the President is not simply ChrisChan in an ill-fitting suit. What I'm talking about is that it would equally easy, and probably significantly more funny, for internet denizens to harass the Jordan Petersons or Stephen Molyneuxs of the world. They're guaranteed a big, widely publicized reaction, much more so than some random womens studies undergraduate at a liberal arts school. Their fanbase isn't really capable of doing anything back to a group of people trolling online (though they themselves are able to harass and threaten individuals). They can act out violently against people at large, but again, if it's just nihilistic trolls trying to provoke the maximum reaction, then surely that's just part of the fun.

    The answer should be obvious; the Jordan Petersons of the world are still the ones signing your paychecks. In this system it does not benefit you to antagonize someone richer and more powerful than you. Rather, you should try to be like them, attack the people they attack, do as they do. Model yourself as the people on top and you'll succeed, or so we are made to believe. They are attracted primarily to feeling of power, because it is a feeling they perceive themselves as having been denied.

  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.

    I align more closely to existentialism than nihilism.

    Though I think moral nihilism is a flawed philosophy anyhow, because not only do you have to prove how so many different isolated human cultures created similar laws around morally abhorrent acts like murder and stealing, but also why even animals have concepts of fairness. Meaning that even nature itself has a sense of basic morality (fairness among individual members) and that it’s not just a human (ie, religious) concept.

    I think there's something to be said to being against strict, codified moral laws rather than deriving your moral reaction to each particular situation as a function of your core values.

    I think that there are universal aspects to morality, but more on the game theoretical level; we all have things we want, how do we get everyone what they want?

  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Nyysjan on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    First off, I hate that the NYT editors used the word "nihilist" here because as we've already seen in this thread, that's not what that word means and the best thing we could possibly do in this thread to keep it on track is to abandon that word and its connotations.

    Note that the word "nihilism" does not appear in the text of the NYT article or in the journal article at all.

    Instead, I suggest we use the much more precise terms offered by the article itself:

    Need for chaos
    Chaotic motivation
    Extreme discontent

    Furthermore, there is nothing in the journal article to suggest that the studied group "doesn't care." They care very much! They are, as indicated above, extremely discontent.

    We need to draw a distinction between trolls who are just in it for the lulz, vs people who are sincerely angry and looking to tear shit up, vs the self-interested agents who stoke anger merely to profit off of it.

    Those three groups aren't easily distinguishable - see: Schrodinger's Douchebag - and as AngelHedgie alluded to with "the card says moops" people who are driven by a need for chaos may be hiding their motivations behind a minimally-reasonable veneer.

    For example, from the journal article:
    malevolent psychological traits such as Psychopathy are not enough to generate a Need for Chaos: Social marginalization is a key condition.

    The dude who doesn't give a shit about anything except his own profit (epitomized by Trump, or perhaps people like Martin Shkreli) is in a different category from somebody who is deeply angry at 'the system' and wants to burn it all down.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    KamarIncenjucarHonkGennenalyse RuebenMrVyngaardMan in the MistsshrykeJaysonFourForarA Kobold's Kobold
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nihilism has meant a dozen different things and often actually just refers to the rejection of a more or cultural ideal recently held by the zeitgeist. There's not much productive to be found in arguing whether someone is exhibiting "true nihilistic" ideas.

    yes, but in order to know what should be done to make society better we need to understand why these people say and do what they do, and what they actually want and what they need to feel better.

    They say they want to burn the world down
    They say this because they must tell a lie that it has held them back
    They desire success, and to be viewed as powerful by other white men
    What they actually need is the emotional ability to enjoy their own success without the unfair comparison to others

    The system itself is the thing denying them that emotional ability. In a world built fundamentally upon the idea that people find value based on their place in a hierarchy, there is no way to be happy when you are not on the top.

    Eh, while I agree that capitalism and competition is an issue, the main issue is here is racism and sexism and their corrupt relationship with capitalism and our society. I do not agree that a hierarchy is a bad thing. In a fair race, there is joy in running your hardest and coming in 5th. People like to succeed against others, but what brings true satisfaction, and true despair if you don't achieve it, is your own personal evaluation of how you did compared to your dreams.

    Capitalism does not require racism and sexism to exist, but inequality on the level which we have today requires it both to distract from resentment of the wealthy, and to assure the success of people inside the ruling class who don't have true ability.

    And of course, the patriarchy also poisons the satisfaction of the wealthy, because they TOO believe they have failed when compared to the lie they were told.

    There is joy in a fair race because it is a game. It is a competition we choose on a playing field we have leveled.

    When you tie one's success in the hierarchy to every aspect of their life, to their ability to eat, where they can live, who they can associate with, it is not a game. It is a struggle to survive, and when one's entire life is based on success in this hierarchy, what sort of things do you think they'll be incentivized to do in order to increase their position in it?

    There are more than sufficient resources to allow even those who don't do so well in an unrigged game to eat. If we used some of the resources possessed by the rich to provide fair support to those who struggle, then all would be happier.

    Noone enjoys starving or being homeless or displaced, but there is no need for anyone TO be any of those things. Competition, win or lose, serious or for fun, is at the core of the human psyche. It is impossible to remove it. All we can do is make the struggle as fair as possible, and make the floor as high as possible.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    I think "in it for the lulz" and "sincerely angry and looking to tear shit up" are not nearly as distinct as we would like to believe. I think both originate from a desire to feel power over others resulting from the feeling that others have power over you, and the difference is really only a matter of degree.

    Romantic UndeadDisruptedCapitalistJuliusMrVyngaard
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
    Julius
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nihilism has meant a dozen different things and often actually just refers to the rejection of a more or cultural ideal recently held by the zeitgeist. There's not much productive to be found in arguing whether someone is exhibiting "true nihilistic" ideas.

    yes, but in order to know what should be done to make society better we need to understand why these people say and do what they do, and what they actually want and what they need to feel better.

    They say they want to burn the world down
    They say this because they must tell a lie that it has held them back
    They desire success, and to be viewed as powerful by other white men
    What they actually need is the emotional ability to enjoy their own success without the unfair comparison to others

    The system itself is the thing denying them that emotional ability. In a world built fundamentally upon the idea that people find value based on their place in a hierarchy, there is no way to be happy when you are not on the top.

    Eh, while I agree that capitalism and competition is an issue, the main issue is here is racism and sexism and their corrupt relationship with capitalism and our society. I do not agree that a hierarchy is a bad thing. In a fair race, there is joy in running your hardest and coming in 5th. People like to succeed against others, but what brings true satisfaction, and true despair if you don't achieve it, is your own personal evaluation of how you did compared to your dreams.

    Capitalism does not require racism and sexism to exist, but inequality on the level which we have today requires it both to distract from resentment of the wealthy, and to assure the success of people inside the ruling class who don't have true ability.

    And of course, the patriarchy also poisons the satisfaction of the wealthy, because they TOO believe they have failed when compared to the lie they were told.

    There is joy in a fair race because it is a game. It is a competition we choose on a playing field we have leveled.

    When you tie one's success in the hierarchy to every aspect of their life, to their ability to eat, where they can live, who they can associate with, it is not a game. It is a struggle to survive, and when one's entire life is based on success in this hierarchy, what sort of things do you think they'll be incentivized to do in order to increase their position in it?

    There are more than sufficient resources to allow even those who don't do so well in an unrigged game to eat. If we used some of the resources possessed by the rich to provide fair support to those who struggle, then all would be happier.

    Noone enjoys starving or being homeless or displaced, but there is no need for anyone TO be any of those things. Competition, win or lose, serious or for fun, is at the core of the human psyche. It is impossible to remove it. All we can do is make the struggle as fair as possible, and make the floor as high as possible.

    I think this is propaganda. The instinct to give and live communally is as much a part of human nature as the instinct to compete, the difference is which instinct our society is structured to accommodate and how. The difference between the chimpanzee and the bonobo is as much a function of their local resources as it is any significant genetic difference between them. Capitalism generates artificial scarcity explicitly for the purpose of keeping us in competition, in perpetuating a hierarchical system in which the people on top are overwhelmingly the beneficiaries. We can make a society in which competition is an optional feature and not the fundamental basis.

    Yes, and...AistanW2
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, this is just arguing over the definition of words. Existentialists themselves couldn't agree on what existentialism meant. The whole point of labels is that we communicate something meaningful to each other about what we believe, and I strongly suspect that what most of us believe is that we have morals that we chose ourselves and that these are what is meaningful to us.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    What is this I don't even.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nihilism has meant a dozen different things and often actually just refers to the rejection of a more or cultural ideal recently held by the zeitgeist. There's not much productive to be found in arguing whether someone is exhibiting "true nihilistic" ideas.

    yes, but in order to know what should be done to make society better we need to understand why these people say and do what they do, and what they actually want and what they need to feel better.

    They say they want to burn the world down
    They say this because they must tell a lie that it has held them back
    They desire success, and to be viewed as powerful by other white men
    What they actually need is the emotional ability to enjoy their own success without the unfair comparison to others

    The system itself is the thing denying them that emotional ability. In a world built fundamentally upon the idea that people find value based on their place in a hierarchy, there is no way to be happy when you are not on the top.

    Eh, while I agree that capitalism and competition is an issue, the main issue is here is racism and sexism and their corrupt relationship with capitalism and our society. I do not agree that a hierarchy is a bad thing. In a fair race, there is joy in running your hardest and coming in 5th. People like to succeed against others, but what brings true satisfaction, and true despair if you don't achieve it, is your own personal evaluation of how you did compared to your dreams.

    Capitalism does not require racism and sexism to exist, but inequality on the level which we have today requires it both to distract from resentment of the wealthy, and to assure the success of people inside the ruling class who don't have true ability.

    And of course, the patriarchy also poisons the satisfaction of the wealthy, because they TOO believe they have failed when compared to the lie they were told.

    There is joy in a fair race because it is a game. It is a competition we choose on a playing field we have leveled.

    When you tie one's success in the hierarchy to every aspect of their life, to their ability to eat, where they can live, who they can associate with, it is not a game. It is a struggle to survive, and when one's entire life is based on success in this hierarchy, what sort of things do you think they'll be incentivized to do in order to increase their position in it?

    There are more than sufficient resources to allow even those who don't do so well in an unrigged game to eat. If we used some of the resources possessed by the rich to provide fair support to those who struggle, then all would be happier.

    Noone enjoys starving or being homeless or displaced, but there is no need for anyone TO be any of those things. Competition, win or lose, serious or for fun, is at the core of the human psyche. It is impossible to remove it. All we can do is make the struggle as fair as possible, and make the floor as high as possible.

    I think this is propaganda. The instinct to give and live communally is as much a part of human nature as the instinct to compete, the difference is which instinct our society is structured to accommodate and how. The difference between the chimpanzee and the bonobo is as much a function of their local resources as it is any significant genetic difference between them. Capitalism generates artificial scarcity explicitly for the purpose of keeping us in competition, in perpetuating a hierarchical system in which the people on top are overwhelmingly the beneficiaries. We can make a society in which competition is an optional feature and not the fundamental basis.

    While I don't disagree that the idea that cooperation is more fundamental than competition is an interesting one, I believe that these reason we have all these angry and disappointed young men is due to the lies we tell people to justify all the cheating we have in our competition. If we stopped having so much cheating/ie got rid of patriarchal thinking and the myth of straight white cis male superiority then I believe things will improve. Even for the aforementioned straight white cis males.

    Honestly, I wonder if the patriarchy actually makes ANYONE happier and more satisfied by its existence? I suppose there are certainly a few men at the VERY VERY top who are stupid enough to truly believe they did it all by themselves and enjoy their great wealth, and then there are some white men at the bottom of society who (if we just had a 'fair' society but continued to allow people to fail as hard as their fortune and skills allowed) who have avoided starvation and death. But other than that small number of men, I'm not sure there's really anyone who actually wins from the existence of the patriarchy.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
    Hexmage-PA
  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    Ok now this is a point I was wondering if we'd get to.

    I often wonder if perhaps that can be a potential explanation of the issue. As a non-religious person myself, is there an argument to be made that the symbols that used to represent the higher ideals we as a society aspired to are starting to fall apart? (i.e. religion, patriotism (not to be confused with nationalism), hero-worship (in the aspirational sense, not in the cult of personality sense))? Could this provide an explanation for the seeming decline of engagement in (and subsequent caring about) western society?

    For all its faults (and they are many!), is this one of the roles religion has historically played to stave off discontent (whether rightly or wrongly)?

    Is there an argument to be made that perhaps people like us could be tasked with working toward codifying NEW ideals that we can promote as symbols to aspire to, to give disaffected people hope and stave off existential despair?

    Or is this folly? Should all aspirational symbols, religious or otherwise, be torn down and exposed as the pablum many of us feel them to be, and any attempt to create new ones to replace the old simply replacing an old lie with a new one?

    Now I don't want to turn this into a religion thread, I'm just curious to know what the general feeling is on the role aspirational models play in the establishment of society. Help or harm? Corrupting influence maybe? Noble lie?

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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    The very definition of nihilism is: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.

    If you have moral principles, by definition you are not a nihilist. It’s not just about religion and the meaningless of life.

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  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    Ok now this is a point I was wondering if we'd get to.

    I often wonder if perhaps that can be a potential explanation of the issue. As a non-religious person myself, is there an argument to be made that the symbols that used to represent the higher ideals we as a society aspired to are starting to fall apart? (i.e. religion, patriotism (not to be confused with nationalism), hero-worship (in the aspirational sense, not in the cult of personality sense))? Could this provide an explanation for the seeming decline of engagement in (and subsequent caring about) western society?

    For all its faults (and they are many!), is this one of the roles religion has historically played to stave off discontent (whether rightly or wrongly)?

    Is there an argument to be made that perhaps people like us could be tasked with working toward codifying NEW ideals that we can promote as symbols to aspire to, to give disaffected people hope and stave off existential despair?

    Or is this folly? Should all aspirational symbols, religious or otherwise, be torn down and exposed as the pablum many of us feel them to be, and any attempt to create new ones to replace the old simply replacing an old lie with a new one?

    Now I don't want to turn this into a religion thread, I'm just curious to know what the general feeling is on the role aspirational models play in the establishment of society. Help or harm? Corrupting influence maybe? Noble lie?

    I think we absolutely should be working to give people something good to believe in. If we truly believed in the validity of the ideals we espouse, and truly believe there is nothing already in existence to espouse them, why wouldn’t we want to build such a thing? Why not build awareness of its own imperfection into the structure itself? Then there is no sense in which it is a lie, it is a thing that itself aspires to be replaced with something better.

    Atlas in Chains
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    The very definition of nihilism is: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.

    If you have moral principles, by definition you are not a nihilist. It’s not just about religion and the meaningless of life.

    Cool definition bro

  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    Ok now this is a point I was wondering if we'd get to.

    I often wonder if perhaps that can be a potential explanation of the issue. As a non-religious person myself, is there an argument to be made that the symbols that used to represent the higher ideals we as a society aspired to are starting to fall apart? (i.e. religion, patriotism (not to be confused with nationalism), hero-worship (in the aspirational sense, not in the cult of personality sense))? Could this provide an explanation for the seeming decline of engagement in (and subsequent caring about) western society?

    For all its faults (and they are many!), is this one of the roles religion has historically played to stave off discontent (whether rightly or wrongly)?

    Is there an argument to be made that perhaps people like us could be tasked with working toward codifying NEW ideals that we can promote as symbols to aspire to, to give disaffected people hope and stave off existential despair?

    Or is this folly? Should all aspirational symbols, religious or otherwise, be torn down and exposed as the pablum many of us feel them to be, and any attempt to create new ones to replace the old simply replacing an old lie with a new one?

    Now I don't want to turn this into a religion thread, I'm just curious to know what the general feeling is on the role aspirational models play in the establishment of society. Help or harm? Corrupting influence maybe? Noble lie?

    That's an argument presented in the essay I linked to earlier. Maybe some excerpts will whet your appetite.
    The nuclear family, religious fealty, and national pride—family, God, and country—are a holy trinity of American traditionalism. The fact that allegiance to all three is in precipitous decline tells us something important about the evolution of the American identity.

    ... it looks like something bigger is going on. Millennials and Gen Z are not only unlikely to call themselves Protestants and patriots, but also less likely to call themselves Democrats or Republicans. They seem most comfortable with unaffiliation, even anti-affiliation.

    ... Young people today commit crimes at historically low rates and have attended college at historically high rates. They have done everything right, sprinting at full speed while staying between the white lines, and their reward for historic conscientiousness is this: less ownership, more debt, and an age of existential catastrophe. The typical Millennial awakens many mornings to discover that some new pillar of the world order, or the literal world, has crumbled overnight. And while she is afforded little power to do anything about it, society has outfitted her with a digital megaphone to amplify her mordant frustrations.

    It's a good piece, you should read it: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/america-without-family-god-or-patriotism/597382/

    You might also want to look at some of Thompson's earlier writing because he seems to have an interest in this stuff.

    Darkewolfe
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I think maybe "what is words" could be a GST, since the actual thread seemed to be about people who want to tear things down.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    Ok now this is a point I was wondering if we'd get to.

    I often wonder if perhaps that can be a potential explanation of the issue. As a non-religious person myself, is there an argument to be made that the symbols that used to represent the higher ideals we as a society aspired to are starting to fall apart? (i.e. religion, patriotism (not to be confused with nationalism), hero-worship (in the aspirational sense, not in the cult of personality sense))? Could this provide an explanation for the seeming decline of engagement in (and subsequent caring about) western society?

    For all its faults (and they are many!), is this one of the roles religion has historically played to stave off discontent (whether rightly or wrongly)?

    Is there an argument to be made that perhaps people like us could be tasked with working toward codifying NEW ideals that we can promote as symbols to aspire to, to give disaffected people hope and stave off existential despair?

    Or is this folly? Should all aspirational symbols, religious or otherwise, be torn down and exposed as the pablum many of us feel them to be, and any attempt to create new ones to replace the old simply replacing an old lie with a new one?

    Now I don't want to turn this into a religion thread, I'm just curious to know what the general feeling is on the role aspirational models play in the establishment of society. Help or harm? Corrupting influence maybe? Noble lie?

    I once discussed morals with someone that claimed to be an atheist. They said that even though there is no god, morals come from religion and that didn’t sit right with me and I thought about it for a long time because it seemed like a contradiction.

    Because it is.

    Suppose you believe there is no god, then where do morals come from? How do you know something is right or wrong? Is it emotions such as guilt, empathy, sadness, and equating those emotions with certain events like death or loss of a valuable object that led to morals and laws? Is morality really just a basic understanding of fairness in a society if you boil it down?

    So I thought about it and realized I was asking the wrong question and instead asked why a creature would evolve morals or empathy in the first place?

    When you ask that, you all of a sudden see it all over the natural kingdom, at least in mammals. Elephants can be sad. Monkeys know when things are unfair and sometimes shun bullies and murderers. Dogs are empathetic. And so on.

    I mean, think about it. Did the Mesopotamians or Aztecs or whatever ancient culture not have laws on stealing and murder because they never read the Ten Commandments? Or did they develop them on their own because human morality is an evolved trait and not a god given trait.

    Religion making us think they did is a trick.

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    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    The very definition of nihilism is: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.

    If you have moral principles, by definition you are not a nihilist. It’s not just about religion and the meaningless of life.

    Cool definition bro

    Thank you, I copied it myself :)

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nihilism has meant a dozen different things and often actually just refers to the rejection of a more or cultural ideal recently held by the zeitgeist. There's not much productive to be found in arguing whether someone is exhibiting "true nihilistic" ideas.

    yes, but in order to know what should be done to make society better we need to understand why these people say and do what they do, and what they actually want and what they need to feel better.

    They say they want to burn the world down
    They say this because they must tell a lie that it has held them back
    They desire success, and to be viewed as powerful by other white men
    What they actually need is the emotional ability to enjoy their own success without the unfair comparison to others

    The system itself is the thing denying them that emotional ability. In a world built fundamentally upon the idea that people find value based on their place in a hierarchy, there is no way to be happy when you are not on the top.

    Eh, while I agree that capitalism and competition is an issue, the main issue is here is racism and sexism and their corrupt relationship with capitalism and our society. I do not agree that a hierarchy is a bad thing. In a fair race, there is joy in running your hardest and coming in 5th. People like to succeed against others, but what brings true satisfaction, and true despair if you don't achieve it, is your own personal evaluation of how you did compared to your dreams.

    Capitalism does not require racism and sexism to exist, but inequality on the level which we have today requires it both to distract from resentment of the wealthy, and to assure the success of people inside the ruling class who don't have true ability.

    And of course, the patriarchy also poisons the satisfaction of the wealthy, because they TOO believe they have failed when compared to the lie they were told.

    There is joy in a fair race because it is a game. It is a competition we choose on a playing field we have leveled.

    When you tie one's success in the hierarchy to every aspect of their life, to their ability to eat, where they can live, who they can associate with, it is not a game. It is a struggle to survive, and when one's entire life is based on success in this hierarchy, what sort of things do you think they'll be incentivized to do in order to increase their position in it?

    There are more than sufficient resources to allow even those who don't do so well in an unrigged game to eat. If we used some of the resources possessed by the rich to provide fair support to those who struggle, then all would be happier.

    Noone enjoys starving or being homeless or displaced, but there is no need for anyone TO be any of those things. Competition, win or lose, serious or for fun, is at the core of the human psyche. It is impossible to remove it. All we can do is make the struggle as fair as possible, and make the floor as high as possible.

    I think this is propaganda. The instinct to give and live communally is as much a part of human nature as the instinct to compete, the difference is which instinct our society is structured to accommodate and how. The difference between the chimpanzee and the bonobo is as much a function of their local resources as it is any significant genetic difference between them. Capitalism generates artificial scarcity explicitly for the purpose of keeping us in competition, in perpetuating a hierarchical system in which the people on top are overwhelmingly the beneficiaries. We can make a society in which competition is an optional feature and not the fundamental basis.

    While I don't disagree that the idea that cooperation is more fundamental than competition is an interesting one, I believe that these reason we have all these angry and disappointed young men is due to the lies we tell people to justify all the cheating we have in our competition. If we stopped having so much cheating/ie got rid of patriarchal thinking and the myth of straight white cis male superiority then I believe things will improve. Even for the aforementioned straight white cis males.

    Honestly, I wonder if the patriarchy actually makes ANYONE happier and more satisfied by its existence? I suppose there are certainly a few men at the VERY VERY top who are stupid enough to truly believe they did it all by themselves and enjoy their great wealth, and then there are some white men at the bottom of society who (if we just had a 'fair' society but continued to allow people to fail as hard as their fortune and skills allowed) who have avoided starvation and death. But other than that small number of men, I'm not sure there's really anyone who actually wins from the existence of the patriarchy.

    People cheat to get ahead when the stakes are high. The higher you raise them the more they cheat. Remove the stakes and people will cheat less, it's basic incentives. Most of the horrible things we do, we do for the sake of power over others, for being a wrung higher on the totem pole. There is no real hatred between two groups who are not in competition, but if you're in competition with everyone else for everything you value, then why wouldn't you try to give yourself an advantage at the expense of others? You'd be a fool not to, because someone else will do it to you. Competition itself is the thing that makes us want to get away with being unfair. Scarcity is why we fear and hate each other.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    uvdrv144bt9mhuuefli7.png

    Humanism in the face of a nihilistic observation of the universe.

    Lanz on
    waNkm4k.jpg?1
    Stabbity StyleRomantic UndeadZibblsnrtIncenjucarAngelHedgieMonwynMrVyngaardJaysonFourRear Admiral ChocoKruiteA Kobold's KoboldMan in the MistsAtlas in Chains
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Nyysjan wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Internet trolls are not nihilists. They are racists, sexist, homophobes that use nihilism as a cover for their true nature. Plus they’re cowards.

    I believe there is no god. No afterlife. We’re a cosmic coincidence. The universe will one day decay into nothing where all things will ultimately be rendered meaningless.

    So I’m squeezing as much enjoyment out of what I have as possible. I’ve had an adventure. I’m raising a family in a home. I’m trying to make everyone else’s lives around me as enjoyable as possible and helping when and where I can.

    What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it make it better for everyone around you? Be one of those miserable assholes that hates themselves as much as others?

    No thank you.

    Even though you don't believe in a higher power, you still have a value system you believe in.

    The idea of enjoying life and not wasting it is coincidental to nihilism.

    Nihilism is a bad thing. It is the relief from moral conscience. I do not see the need to require a heightened level of proof that someone is nihilist, as it is not really a badge of honor and shouldn't be treated as such.
    Nihilism, the way it applies to me, is the realization that nothing matters in the grand scale, that there is no plan, no fate, no rules imposed upon us.
    Which means we are free to be as big pieces of shit, or as great altruists, as we want.
    And if we want there to be justice, fairness, or anything else in the world, we will need to make it so.

    Nihilism is not a bad thing, or a good thing, it just is whatever we make of it.

    Technically nihilism has no inherent morals, so you wouldn’t actually be a nihilist if you had a moral system even if you had nihilistic tendencies (like I do). That’s why I prefer existentialism.

    Though I suppose a nihilist could say that definitions are human social constructs and you can call yourself whatever you want cause it doesn’t matter.

    Though if you insist on using a human socially agreed constructs to define yourself, then you can’t really be a nihilist and argue the point cause it doesn’t matter, can you?

    :3

    Again, nihilism is not a meaningful term.

    TECHNICALLY nihilism refers to the futility of rational thought and is an explanation for the necessity of faith.

    Ok now this is a point I was wondering if we'd get to.

    I often wonder if perhaps that can be a potential explanation of the issue. As a non-religious person myself, is there an argument to be made that the symbols that used to represent the higher ideals we as a society aspired to are starting to fall apart? (i.e. religion, patriotism (not to be confused with nationalism), hero-worship (in the aspirational sense, not in the cult of personality sense))? Could this provide an explanation for the seeming decline of engagement in (and subsequent caring about) western society?

    For all its faults (and they are many!), is this one of the roles religion has historically played to stave off discontent (whether rightly or wrongly)?

    Is there an argument to be made that perhaps people like us could be tasked with working toward codifying NEW ideals that we can promote as symbols to aspire to, to give disaffected people hope and stave off existential despair?

    Or is this folly? Should all aspirational symbols, religious or otherwise, be torn down and exposed as the pablum many of us feel them to be, and any attempt to create new ones to replace the old simply replacing an old lie with a new one?

    Now I don't want to turn this into a religion thread, I'm just curious to know what the general feeling is on the role aspirational models play in the establishment of society. Help or harm? Corrupting influence maybe? Noble lie?

    Sure, you can make that argument. I'd broadly agree that religion, patriotism, and civic mythology/hero worship broadly exist to provide a way for people who are fucked over by society (women, working people, assimilated-but-marginalized people) to feel better about their lot in life and accept the status quo. And this has fallen by the wayside. The idea that the government would throw your life away in a meaningless war over bullshit is now a multi-generational reality of American culture and the civic mythology from WW2 is dying out. Anyone who came of age since the breaking of church sex scandals in the 80s and 90s should have a healthy wariness that religion is a tool to literally fuck you in the ass. Pretty much every hero who is put up in front of the public is eventually revealed to be a hollow idol. All these reactionary kids on the Internet are, in a sense, justifiably upset that they were sold a bill of goods as children about what to reasonably expect from adulthood. Of course, they're also stupid enough to immediately double down in support of the exact same forces that put them in this state in the first place.

    If you are thinking about society from the perspective of some deific Civilization or Europa Universalis player, then yes, it would absolutely be better that people believed in these things so that you're getting more output, building more armies, etc. If your concern is for something more in line with human flourishing, then it might just be that what we are seeing are the inevitable growing pains of a new Axial Age in which we collectively figure out whether being human means something more than enriching the next generation of lords and genuflecting before the next generation of priests.



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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    uvdrv144bt9mhuuefli7.png

    Humanism in the face of a nihilistic observation of the universe.

    What should we call our new church to Beta Ray Bill? :)

    3DS FC: 1547-5210-6531
  • WinkyWinky rRegistered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    The very definition of nihilism is: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.

    If you have moral principles, by definition you are not a nihilist. It’s not just about religion and the meaningless of life.

    Cool definition bro

    Thank you, I copied it myself :)

    That's great if you're trying to have a conversation with Oxford, but generally I try talking to the people who are in the room with me.
    wikipedia wrote:
    Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ(h)ɪlɪzəm, ˈniː-/; ) is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial of, or lack of belief in, the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist.

    The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2]

    Nihilism has also been described as conspicuous in or constitutive of certain historical periods. For example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch[3] and some religious theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[4] and many aspects of modernity[5] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

    Great, are we all squared up now on what Nihilism can mean?

    Incenjucar
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Semantics is always a tempting discussion, but ultimately does the increased precision change decisionmaking? What decisions matter?

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Winky wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    The very definition of nihilism is: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.

    If you have moral principles, by definition you are not a nihilist. It’s not just about religion and the meaningless of life.

    Cool definition bro

    Thank you, I copied it myself :)

    That's great if you're trying to have a conversation with Oxford, but generally I try talking to the people who are in the room with me.
    wikipedia wrote:
    Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ(h)ɪlɪzəm, ˈniː-/; ) is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial of, or lack of belief in, the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist.

    The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2]

    Nihilism has also been described as conspicuous in or constitutive of certain historical periods. For example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch[3] and some religious theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[4] and many aspects of modernity[5] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

    Great, are we all squared up now on what Nihilism can mean?

    The OP is about people calling themselves nihilists when they are in fact not and instead using the term as an excuse for bigotry.

    So yes, being clear on what a nihilism is and isn’t matters for the discussion and I am not bringing it up just to be a dick and score technically correct points. So go “cool definition bro” yourself.

    If you wanna call yourself an existential nihilist with morals, that’s fine, run with it. But working from a common definition matters here as the people the OP is referring to people that are both not nihilists and have shit morals.

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  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    For the record, guys, I put nihilism in the thread title as a type of shorthand for “people who act like they don’t give a shit about the world and call themselves nihilists even though they’re not really”, but I don’t think that would have fit as nicely.

    Hope that clears things up. Can we move on now, please?

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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    uvdrv144bt9mhuuefli7.png

    Humanism in the face of a nihilistic observation of the universe.

    What should we call our new church to Beta Ray Bill? :)

    Praise Bill Terrian

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