Ni*hil*ism

Reaching back deep into ILP’s archives, I’ve been reading a lot of posts by former members who were active around the time that I joined. I’ve come across a lot of great stuff. I’m presently shifting in the way I think about nihilism after reading this-

I have been kind of proud of my nihilism, as if it were a necessary transition to something better, but now I feel very wary of being nihilistic. The focus of a nihilistic outlook is on where there is a lack of meaning, and so it can lead one to deny the importance of a great many things, including, ultimately, life and being. It’s almost as if nihilism is so over-critical of all authority and determination that it can’t help but indiscriminately knock the wind out of any and all motivation, even and most especially self-determination, should one cling too tightly to its point of view.

I may be mistaken, but I think nihilism only points out the lack of objective meaning (I have seen no evidence that there is objective meaning) – leaving the doors wide open for personal meaning – which can be as or even more fulfilling than objective meaning.

I know, but I’m conflicted. I guess it depends on how you treat nihilism. I mean for something that doesn’t exist, people spend an awful lot of time talking about objective meaning, purpose, etc. And I think now that we all conceive of objective meaning, whether it be divine or otherwise inherent in the universe, it has become like an imaginary standard that all personal meaning, values, and reasons can only fall short of. In the past, if people have assumed objective meaning it seems to have usually been an optimistic assumption, complementary to the human desire to know and understand. The idea that there could be a rock solid answer to the question “How ought I live?” was an incredibly positive conviction.

The problem with “Nihilism” is that it seems to be used in all sorts of different ways.

I’m not so sure it’s productive any longer to simply talk of “nihilism in general”. People keep flocking back to such discussions, misunderstanding one another right from the start because of the abundance of different definitions of the term. Very little is achieved (oh the nihilism, ho ho ho).

It’s even commonly thrown around to defame those who don’t believe in something or other. For example, theists might accuse atheists of nihilism simply because they don’t believe in what they believe in. And admittedly, the theist often finds they are left with nothing without their belief so it’s no wonder.

It’s pretty Nietzschean to turn this around, accusing various religious folks of nihilism - since many beliefs practically throw away all connection and engagement in physical reality, in favour of framing it all as preparation for something otherworldly (often perceived as making reality MORE real). Conceivably, this can easily be seen as the ultimate rejection of all living content, whilst still remaining functional as a living being to some extent.

And then there’s ontological nihilism - that nothing “is”, or perhaps even exists (a dodgey one, that one), there’s epistemological nihilism (aka extreme skepticism?) - a pretty common one for fans of Socrates and whatnot. Solipsism can be seen as nihilistic, and so can its opposite.

Is all nihilism unproductive?

Is “use” the ultimate goal of man?

Do we need a rock solid answer to the ever-changing world?

I don’t know how positive that truly was. “How ought I live?” leads to “How ought my neighbor live?” leads to The Inquisition, among other things.

I don’t see why a real answer to that question is incompatible with a nihilistic vision of the world.

Sil,

It’s true, nihilism has become a popular buzzword, which is annoying because now no one quite knows what anyone else is talking about when they use it.

Haha, yes, dodgey indeed.

What’s that?

Yes, but see now what argument can you make against The Inquisition? The only thing you can say is that you don’t like it. And if you happen to have more support than your opponent you get to enforce your way.
There’s no point in trying to show that your way is any better than another, because it isn’t. You and The Inquisition are on level ground. Isn’t that absurd? The only standards we can appeal to are the ones we make up. It all comes down to persuasion and force, and underlying all the persuasion and force is nothing.

See:

The man can not live without values.

“Man is the moral animal” - Nietzsche

Values are guiding actions.

But only actions about people ruling other people, because morals are in nature aristocratic.

Until Christianity. Christianity is nihilism who hinders aristocratic actions by hindering the values.

You say bravery - they say “NO its selfish!”
You say pride - they say “NO its arrogant!”
You say wisdom - they say “NO its evil!”

Christianity does not say “work has begotten the man, work only”, they assume you will take that action without being told so, because in the south work isn’t that needed like in the north.

Therefore a struggle against nihilism is needed.

It seems that many people in the west think that all they need to do is to wait and everything will be given to them alone, but that isn’t so.

Without a revaluation everybody will become a slave. Slowly all positions in the society which don’t lead to the production of food and utilities will vanish, history, classical philology and everything non-modern will disappear and there will be only place on Earth for work, stupidity and humility.

And it is your own laziness and fault!

This is nihilism and decadence:

Funny that you don’t get it.
You don’t even suffer from it to get the idea to seek a solution against it.

Who the fuck are you talking to?

To all of you here! You still discuss about “what is nihilism”!

If nihilism is not that sword in your chest then I DON’T KNOW WHAT NIHILISM IS!

You waltz in here, oblivious to what people are discussing, acting like Nietzsche’s rambling mouthpiece, making left field statements like “The man can not live without values.” & “Values are guiding actions.” that aren’t even in dispute. And then you proceed to call everyone ignorant.

What the hell is with people here?

Nihilism is simply BAD, HELLO!!!

“So Nietzsche is not a nihilist per se; he is a moral nihilist, but not an “ethical” nihilist, so to say.”

sauwelios.blogspot.com/2007/11/i … s-man.html

Look at this ramblings of Sauwelios!

He didn’t get that Nietzsche WAS a nihilist (until Human only human or the Camel). He thinks Nietzsche IS a nihilist and then he seeks for approval!

So is the rest of you too, you still speak about “my nihilism is profound” as if that statement is not revealing of your own decadence!

Nihilism is a sign that you are too weak to have morals and values. In case that your weakness is underage, you might survive, but if it is innate, then you are a subject which needs to be removed! (Nietzsche spoke about a deadly stroke which would remove all modern Europeans!) Nietzsche was against decadence and decadence is nihilism, hedonism, laziness, hate against truth, altruism, anarchy etc!

And there are so many of you who speak about “our western culture” as if that is not YOUR OWN WESTERN APOCALYPSE!

I already said this… you are most unhelpful. Why don’t you try following a discussion before posting so that you can respond intelligently to the issues addressed.

What shall I say to you?

Go into your solitude and defeat the nihilistic dragon?

Are you ready to be hated for wanting to be wise and brave and just and called evil for that?
Are you ready to live alone like a stranger among your family and acquaintances?

Here is your fckn last message, do you think I can not follow you?

How can you get rid of nihilism if you don’t know what a priest is???

Morals are there for the upbringing of the society! The man IS a social animal! The Overman IS a social OVERANIMAL! The Overman needs upbringing just as every other human being! And most probably even more as he does.

The chicken comes out of the egg ready for living but the higher the being is the more upbringing it needs.

The only difference is that the current human being doesn’t want to go beyond of his upbringing! Beyond of his SLAVISH upbringing.

Therefore we want no imperative upon us, just a tool for our offspring.

But we need the tool, we need the values and the upbringing!!! Damn it!

As for New values from TSZ, it hasn’t been said they are your own values! First of all, if they are only for personal use, then why would you need tablets and why would you want to break the tablets of others?

The “New values” could be even the old values which are not the Christian ones! What if someone decides that Scandinavians need the Codelaw of Manu?

Nietzsche said somewhere “we don’t want to start from the beginning” and “the masters of Earth will offer morals to folks as they deserve it”!

And “we shall learn different morals and philosophies and offer them to different people as they deserve it”!

He needs to conquer Earth in order to take control over the values! Hey, that isn’t a play with words!

And those who like his philosophy are born to rule!

And “Zarathustra must persuade his pupils to conquer Earth”!

All this is in Nietzsche’s notebooks!

That’s all I need to say. You said it was positive, I say I don’t like it – nor do most people – and so how was it positive?

Touché

It seems like there is something special about morality such that it transcends survival, evolution, and desire; i.e. morality isn’t just about doing what it takes to survive, isn’t just about doing what facilitates the evolution of the species, isn’t just about fulfilling personal desires. I’ve always intuitively felt like there was something more to it.