I don't understand Nihilism

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ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
I don't understand Nihilism

I mean, whats your selling point?

So let me get this straight.

You want me to abandon the illusions that give my life purpose even though they make my life objectively better?

Are you sure you thought this premise through?

I think the reputation for nihilists being brooding, melancholic, fragile, phobic and obsessed with death is somewhat deserved. There is also a tendency to associate nihilism with people who are bi-polar or have wild mood swings with the occasional manic episode.

I always get the feeling that the narrator is somehow trying to paint the setting as better than the real world, but its actually far worse.

A nihilist trying to sell you on nihilism because it will somehow make my life better or make me happier should maybe take a look in the mirror. I know this is anecdotal, but most of the nihilists I've met are some of the most miserable people on earth. They either spend every waking moment in a state of existential despair or in pursuit of hedonistic debauchery in order to try and chase away the blues.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
I know this is only tangentally related to EP, but...

I feel nihilism is an underwritten and pervading theme in Eclipse Phase, and is definitely an avenue or agenda that seems pursued by the narrative. Surely one of the main philosophical premises of the game warrants at least some discussion.

Panoptic Panoptic's picture
Nihilism is a perfectly valid

Nihilism is a perfectly valid viewpoint. There are benefits to understanding reality as closely as possible. But if a person simply stops thinking at pure nihilism, it won't do them much good. Nietzsche gets totted out as the ur-Nihilist. But he didn't see nihilism as an end goal. And I think the last quote here in particular has parallels for the EP setting.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/#H5

Quote:

It has been over a century now since Nietzsche explored nihilism and its implications for civilization. As he predicted, nihilism's impact on the culture and values of the 20th century has been pervasive, its apocalyptic tenor spawning a mood of gloom and a good deal of anxiety, anger, and terror. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It's helpful to note, then, that he believed we could--at a terrible price--eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind:

I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible. . . . (Complete Works Vol. 13)

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jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Hoo boy, this might end in

Hoo boy, this might end in some kind of definitional argument of what constitutes nihilism, but I'm going to bite anyway because I don't think you're trolling.

So: yeah, EP is grimdark. It also has a lot of sub-cultures that have embraced everything from consumerist materialism to ideological camaraderie to sex & drugs as ways of coping with what was done to transhumanity. It's a setting where literally everyone, even the worst oppressed, has in their time been a victim on some level. Everyone in EP has lost something.

That said, most factions aren't embracing nihilism as a way of life. The exhumans, and some might say the Ultimates, can get pretty nihilistic. The scum may look nihilistic, but being a very mixed bag, they bring diverse motives to what they're doing.

I guess it's pretty easy to read or project a lot of nihilism onto the EP setting. This seems to be particularly true for people who think the lack of "higher powers" in the game (other than uncaring alien superbeings) by its nature reduces to nihilism.

Anyway, I don't think any of us writing the game are cynical about humanity itself (although deeply critical of many of humanity's social organizations). When all's said & done, EP is about people in an absolutely awful situation doing their best to keep themselves and their fellow transhumans safe.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham :: Google+Jack Graham

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
"...even the worst oppressed.

"...even the worst oppressed...."

Erps, meant "worst oppressors."

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham :: Google+Jack Graham

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Eclipse Phase is much more

Eclipse Phase is much more Existentialist than Nihilistic IMO.

Quote:
You want me to abandon the illusions that give my life purpose even though they make my life objectively better?

But I don't even know what this means, so this whole argument doesn't really make sense to me.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:But

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
But I don't even know what this means, so this whole argument doesn't really make sense to me.

Yeah, I haven't really parsed that one either.

But, on the plus side, I feel like our friend here either has a poor grasp of political philosophy (claiming EP invented "statist", when even after a cursory research it apparently is a word dating back to ~1850) or is fucking with us. So there's that.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
ringringlingling wrote:You

ringringlingling wrote:
You want me to abandon the illusions that give my life purpose even though they make my life objectively better?

If they're illusions in your life, there's nothing objective about them.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
that's not what i was talking

that's not what i was talking about.

I mean, obviously, I'm using an outside point of reference, to me, they are my beliefs, and in my evaluation, they make my life better.

I just really don't think anyone could ever get behind resleeving is all. Its not just the loss of continuity, its the idea of the holistic self, that the mind, the body and the spirit form a complete whole, and that you can never really treat one separate from any other.

The idea that there is a continuity that surpasses the mind, the will and the memory is part of my culture and my beliefs, people will be weirded out that you basically killed one version of yourself and made another, they would see a loss of continuity that goes beyond the ego and to the soul.

Of course, illusions adapt. You could say that the spirit transfers or divides itself when resleeving happens, which is why i might be willing to resleeve while remaining conscious, like on page diggity 2 where they describe it like co-location of consciousness or "seeing double".

But i bet you anything if you did that the first person would start screaming saying "your killing me!" or "Ow, my brain!" and you really wouldn't have any kind of shared conscious at all.

I'd almost be willing to say that EP posits the existence of the soul, since normally when you resleeve people don't start screaming.

So copy/paste works on the human spirit, who knew?

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
I hope you don't mind me "stirring the pot"

Its just that a lot of the stuff I see or hear from EP forums/threads is kind of redundant. I think EP puts us in a frame of mind that makes some of us uncomfortable, which is good, cause we occasionally need to be exposed to different ideas and experiences, but i think sometimes the opposite is true, where some people get a little too comfortable with themes like determinism, which can lead to misery or despair.

Its often a difficult, painful process to shed ones own beliefs, so I don't think its at all inappropriate to ask whats to be gained from doing so.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I was a Nihilist for about 5 minutes.

ringringlingling wrote:
I mean, whats your selling point?

So let me get this straight.

You want me to abandon the illusions that give my life purpose even though they make my life objectively better?

Are you sure you thought this premise through?

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
If they're illusions in your life, there's nothing objective about them.

This.

The key to understanding Nihilism is to realise that “they make my life objectively better” is a nonsense statement: 'Better' is a value judgement and as such is implicitly subjective.
If your quality of life was an Objective property then your opinion/feelings toward your quality of life wouldn't be a factor, which is absurd.

The universe does not and cannotcontain objective morality or meaning because doing so renders those terms meaningless, and would be evident in the same way as Gravity or Entropy.
It's worth mentioning at this point that IMO even the existence of a God or Gods doesn't change this, because in that case Good/Evil/Meaning is something applied by that/those entities rather than being a function of the Universe – A clockmaker may be moral but the clocks they make are not.

This is the heart of Nihilism: Good, Evil, Meaning, Knowledge... they're all illusions/lies that exist solely in your head, without any basis in reality, whatever form it may take. Being a Nihilist means freedom from guilt.

However, that's all Nihilism says. It's a statement of fact. It provides no admonitions nor obligations because they would automatically counter it's basic principles, with the possible exception of “Acknowledge This Truth”.

The reason Nihilism gets such a bad rap is because people don't react well to meaninglessness, to the point that it's the foundation of Cosmic Horror (which is were it applies to EP).
When you see a depressed Nihilist, it's because they've realised their life is meaningless but they haven't realised how to get past it.

So, why be a Nihilist? Because it's honest. It means acting because of your values and desires, rather than because someone else told you too.

Keep your illusions, just acknowledge that they are illusions.

ringringlingling wrote:
I just really don't think anyone could ever get behind resleeving is all. Its not just the loss of continuity, its the idea of the holistic self, that the mind, the body and the spirit form a complete whole, and that you can never really treat one separate from any other.

The idea that there is a continuity that surpasses the mind, the will and the memory is part of my culture and my beliefs, people will be weirded out that you basically killed one version of yourself and made another, they would see a loss of continuity that goes beyond the ego and to the soul.

Of course, illusions adapt. You could say that the spirit transfers or divides itself when resleeving happens, which is why i might be willing to resleeve while remaining conscious, like on page diggity 2 where they describe it like co-location of consciousness or "seeing double".

But i bet you anything if you did that the first person would start screaming saying "your killing me!" or "Ow, my brain!" and you really wouldn't have any kind of shared conscious at all.

I'd almost be willing to say that EP posits the existence of the soul, since normally when you resleeve people don't start screaming.

So copy/paste works on the human spirit, who knew?

If there really is a Soul/Spirit, then it has to be movable/transferable – otherwise it would die along with the body :P
I absolutely would be ok with resleeving IRL. I remake myself every day – I grow new cells and dispose of the old, I learn new things and forget others. There's no reason to believe that resleeving would be my End any more than moving from one room to another.

ringringlingling wrote:
I think EP puts us in a frame of mind that makes some of us uncomfortable, which is good, cause we occasionally need to be exposed to different ideas and experiences, but i think sometimes the opposite is true, where some people get a little too comfortable with themes like determinism, which can lead to misery or despair.

Its often a difficult, painful process to shed ones own beliefs, so I don't think its at all inappropriate to ask whats to be gained from doing so.


Because personal beliefs can unknowingly cause a lot of pain and anguish, both in others and ourselves.
I used to get really stressed out because I felt I had to have an opinion on everything – I had to know whether something was good/bad/smart/stupid... whatever. The day I realised that it's ok not to have an opinion on something – that I acknoweldged that I might be wrong and that's okay - a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
Likewise, I had problems with Nihilsim and the lack of meaning until I realised that (again, in my opinion) Existential Meaning doesn't matter.

We make a big deal on the Meaning of Life but we only bring it up in relation to negative events; we say “God has a Plan” when someone dies, or we use it to excuse to hurt and oppress others.
But when someone dives into a burning house to save the inhabitants, or stops a mugging? When we're polite to someone on the street to brighten their day, or see a fantastic sunset... we don't cry that these things are only worthwhile because of Meaning – the very act suffices, and requiring meaning would only lessen them.

I don't care about good and evil any more – I care about kindness and cruelty.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
ringringlingling wrote:

ringringlingling wrote:

I just really don't think anyone could ever get behind resleeving is all.

I'd guess 99% of people could not get behind resleeving. The good news in EP is, those people are all dead. Because, unless you're super-duper rich, the only way off the planet was by resleeving. So yes, you're absolutely right, many people may have seen the choice between death and resleeving and figured 'meh, same thing either way'. And those people are deceased. Those who remain obviously have taken a different view.

And to echo what has already been said, nihilism does not try to make your life 'better'. It doesn't try to do anything. It's just a refusal to accept things as true which the evidence says probably are not. You may think it is better to accept a lie that makes you happy, and that's fine. But not everyone agrees.

In EP, you have people who live for so very long, and have seen so much, a lot of the old stories are stripped away. Santa Claus is dead. Some of those old stories survive. Some people create new stories. And some people fall into nihilism. That's not a value judgment on which is 'best' or 'right', just extrapolation of how culture would respond to such a tremendous shock.

You are, of course, welcome to play EP in your own way. If you feel nihilism is unrealistic, absolutely change it. Preferably come back and write about it so we can see how you applied it and what the response was :)

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Who says quality of life can't be measured objectively?

There have been numerous attempts by psychologists at doing precisely that. You can assign a number and try to create a scale for individual events in your life, moments where you felt happy or sad, try to determine through statistical analysis and objective study what constitutes happiness and well being, compensating for bias or error as the case may be.

I'm not sure how effective the our methodology is to date, but why shouldn't there be a means to determine, objectively, what constitutes being happy and who is and who isn't happy?

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Truth

Ultimately, if you subjectively value truth more than happiness, you are behaving irrationally.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
You may be right in describing Nihilism as a state of being

rather than as a philosophy. Its the state of being unable to accept that which you know, rationally, to be untrue, to be anything other than what it is, a falsehood. People are often capable of believing things they know, objectively, to be untrue, to be subjectively true, and often this is what drives us as a species. It requires a sort of separation of the self, a compartmentalization that allows you to believe two separate things at once.

Far from Orwell's "double-think", I think its more of a miracle that allows us to survive and prosper despite the general uncaring nature of the universe and our infinitesimal place within it. Knowledge is in no way permanent or irrevocable, our understanding of the universe changes all the time. Allowing oneself to doubt what one already knows is what allows us to progress towards a deeper understanding.

Without ignorance, what use would knowledge be? What good is it to know everything there is to know? Without some thin shred of mystery in life, there really is no reason to continue exploring and discovering whats out there.

Ghost Ghost's picture
ringringlingling wrote:There

ringringlingling wrote:
There have been numerous attempts by psychologists at doing precisely that. You can assign a number and try to create a scale for individual events in your life, moments where you felt happy or sad, try to determine through statistical analysis and objective study what constitutes happiness and well being, compensating for bias or error as the case may be.

That's true. It would also be true that if they are successful then we could say that one belief structure make a person happier than another one. It wouldn't say much though about if these structures are accurate in the reality we find ourselves in though (all hail the FSM, obviously the winner here). Even if happiness can be quantified this way it wouldn't change anything about it being a subjective biological response.

The trouble may be because in normal language, objective means something like "conclusion based on no emotion" where subjective means "conclusion based on emotion" while in philosophy objective means more along the lines of "inherent to the object" where subjective means "what a subject (ie a person) thinks about the object". For example objective: the log is round/bumpy/hollow. Subjective: the log is pretty/useful/valuable.

ringringlingling wrote:
Ultimately, if you subjectively value truth more than happiness, you are behaving irrationally.

"Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to believe, or of one's actions with one's reasons for action."
I think that we are talking about different definitions of rationality.

ringringlingling wrote:
Knowledge is in no way permanent or irrevocable, our understanding of the universe changes all the time. Allowing oneself to doubt what one already knows is what allows us to progress towards a deeper understanding.

Kinda sorta. Knowledge normally means justified, true belief. If what a person "knows" changes over time then they didn't really "know" it in the first place, they were just wrong.

ringringlingling wrote:
People are often capable of believing things they know, objectively, to be untrue, to be subjectively true, and often this is what drives us as a species.

While I can't possibly deny that people do believe things that contradict other things that they also believe (or at least say that they do). I am rather curious as to why you think that this drives us as a species instead of being a horrible flaw? BTW, it's not "far from being double-think" it is double-think by definition.

ringringlingling wrote:
Without ignorance, what use would knowledge be? What good is it to know everything there is to know? Without some thin shred of mystery in life, there really is no reason to continue exploring and discovering whats out there.

Mostly because I don't want to go back into the cave. All of us (I assume) live lives that are reliant on what we as a species have figured out about reality. There is a good chance that most of us are still alive only because of that understanding (look at life expectancy and infant mortality rates in hunter-gatherer groups if you want to know what I'm talking about). Nature is a harsh bitch, and our continued existence as a species relies on us looking for ways to keep her boot off of our necks.

Would you mind if I paraphrase your last statement as "Without a reason to keep on looking for my keys, why are we still looking for my keys"? It's just an odd statement.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
The Gilded Cage...

ringringlingling wrote:
Who says quality of life can't be measured objectively?

There have been numerous attempts by psychologists at doing precisely that. You can assign a number and try to create a scale for individual events in your life, moments where you felt happy or sad, try to determine through statistical analysis and objective study what constitutes happiness and well being, compensating for bias or error as the case may be.

I'm not sure how effective the our methodology is to date, but why shouldn't there be a means to determine, objectively, what constitutes being happy and who is and who isn't happy

You can assign observable variables, and say they coincide with the subjective sensation of happiness, but you cannot measure happiness itself. Asking people to rate moments in their life simply allows you to tabulate their subjective experiences... and if that doesn't occur instantaneously, then that rating is subject to bias due to altered perspectives.

More relevant is the fact that the claim that Quality Of Life is important is a subjective value judgement.
Saying it's “better to be happy” is a tautology but not an objective claim: one can say that 3 is more than 2, but not that 3 is better than 2.

ringringlingling wrote:
Ultimately, if you subjectively value truth more than happiness, you are behaving irrationally.

That's a nonsense statement: if you value truth more than happiness then you are happier than if you are happy.
The relevant quote from Carl Sagan is “Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”
So you would be saying that those who value Hard Truths more than Happiness born from illusion are behaving irrationally.
Which is technically true.
But you're also behaving irrationally if you value happiness more than truth.
In fact the only occasions where valuing X over Y is rational is when X is a prerequisite of Y.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Quote:Ultimately, if you

Quote:
Ultimately, if you subjectively value truth more than happiness, you are behaving irrationally.

With that line of thought, why don't you live a life of hedonism? Enjoy enough drugs and alcohol to almost jump the tracks, but not quite. Don't commit to anything which may eventually make you unhappy, only to things which make you happy.

I'm not saying you're wrong in doing so (or whatever you choose to do with your life). Only that you are wrong in stating those who value other things over happiness are irrational. I value my marriage over happiness, and regularly put in hard, painful work to keep it going. I value my children over happiness. I value understanding, knowledge, experience all over happiness. Honestly, happiness rates pretty low on my list of priorities. It's just a dopamine hit. That's cheap.

(Again, if happiness is what gives you value in life, I can't tell you you're wrong or irrational. But the same is true if truth gives you value, or if the color blue does.)

Quote:
Far from Orwell's "double-think", I think its more of a miracle that allows us to survive and prosper despite the general uncaring nature of the universe and our infinitesimal place within it. Knowledge is in no way permanent or irrevocable, our understanding of the universe changes all the time. Allowing oneself to doubt what one already knows is what allows us to progress towards a deeper understanding.

1) No one is saying nihilists can't have doubt. Quite the contrary, they doubt quite a lot. However, nihilists don't have absolute faith (believe without doubt).
2) You sound like the sort of person who enjoys HP Lovecraft; the greatest horror is for us to be insignificant and unable to survive in the full cosmic order. But Lovecraft was countered by as many authors who were eager for the cold emptiness of space.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
All good points, I suppose

Ultimately, what it comes down to for me is this:

Does Nihilism make you happy? Are you happier believing in Nihilism than you would be believing in something else?

The way I think of it is like Santa Claus. Everybody knows Santa Claus isn't real. These days, even little kids know it. But for a moment, when you're a kid, when everybody is gathered around the tree, everybody is smiling and laughing and having a good time, you sort of believe it, and it makes you feel good. You watch one of those old christmas movies like miracle on 34th street, and for a minute you might almost believe that some old man flies around delivering presents on his sleigh with magic reindeer.

When you get older, you realize the holiday is more about the spirit of giving and togetherness and being alone with your family, but the magic never really leaves you. I guess thats why they call it the "spirit" of christmas, yeah?

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Or you can be the kind of sick bastard

Who hangs baby jesus from the manger and puts santa clauses head on a pike during thanksgiving. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Again, your assumption is the

Again, your assumption is the goal is 'happiness'. Ignoring how vague 'happiness' is, it's also not universal. Some people would rather be right than happy, or rich, or honest, or loyal, etc. If you cannot appreciate people are motivated by other things, I can understand why you would find nihilism confusing.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Bananers

Here is what makes nihilism seem so unfathomable to me. You say that life has no purpose, free will is an illusion, but then immediately turn around and say MY life has purpose and MY choices have consequences. Out of necessity, you exclude your own ego from your evaluations.

You tell people they should reject illusion and embrace objectivity, but then when it comes time to apply those evaluations to yourself and your own life, you revert to the idea that, subjectively, your life and your decisions have merit. How can you embrace objectivity and unbiased observation if you only apply your conclusions when it suits you?

If objectively, life has no merit, but subjectively, it does, then you have obviously made a decision and stated a preference. You've chosen your own subjective interpretation over your objective analysis. So why then, is it acceptable for you to call people irrational when they choose to do the exact same thing? Why do you hold fast to the notion that other people are living an illusion while clinging steadfast to your own?

Ghost Ghost's picture
ringringlingling wrote:Here

ringringlingling wrote:
Here is what makes nihilism seem so unfathomable to me. You say that life has no purpose,

No objective purpose, correct. Plenty of subjective ones though.

ringringlingling wrote:
MY choices have consequences

Well, yea. Unless you're talking about galactic wide consequences than probably not. The consequence of a person walking across a room is that they are now on the other side of the room.

ringringlingling wrote:
free will is an illusion,

What??? I believe that the closest thing that I've ever said about free will is that I have no idea, in practical terms, what a person means when they say "free will", and that it's not a precise term that's useful for discussion.

ringringlingling wrote:
You tell people they should reject illusion and embrace objectivity, but then when it comes time to apply those evaluations to yourself and your own life, you revert to the idea that, subjectively, your life and your decisions have merit. How can you embrace objectivity and unbiased observation if you only apply your conclusions when it suits you?

Ummm, I'm pretty sure no one in this thread has made those points. Did you get into a different argument before posting?

ringringlingling wrote:
If objectively, life has no merit, but subjectively, it does, then you have obviously made a decision and stated a preference. You've chosen your own subjective interpretation over your objective analysis. So why then, is it acceptable for you to call people irrational when they choose to do the exact same thing? Why do you hold fast to the notion that other people are living an illusion while clinging steadfast to your own?

Purpose, not merit. I'd personally argue that Starry Night has a great deal of merit, but that's a long way from saying that it has some sort of objective purpose. I'll be honest, for the last part I'm not really sure what your on about. Care to clarify?

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
ringringlingling wrote:Here

ringringlingling wrote:
Here is what makes nihilism seem so unfathomable to me. You say that life has no purpose, free will is an illusion,

I think you're mixing up nihilism and determinism? Nihilism doesn't say you can't die dancing on a mountain of cocaine, only that it has no objective meaning to it.

That applies to everyone; you and me. I don't see a lot of nihilism evangelizers for a reason. It doesn't matter. Although some people think it makes them more sexy, so I guess there is that.

Quote:

If objectively, life has no merit, but subjectively, it does, then you have obviously made a decision and stated a preference. You've chosen your own subjective interpretation over your objective analysis. So why then, is it acceptable for you to call people irrational when they choose to do the exact same thing? Why do you hold fast to the notion that other people are living an illusion while clinging steadfast to your own?

Here's the difference;
I say chocolate is the best, because I like chocolate. Chocolate is not, objectively, the best. I can't measure how many meters of 'bestness' chocolate has. But I can measure the amount of dopamine chocolate releases in my brain, and how it improves my behavior. So I eat it, and I will probably tell you how good chocolate is too. There is nothing irrational about an animal doing something that feels good (even if, in the long run, it's meaningless).

If I say I will not eat chocolate because self-denial builds up an invisible body I will inhabit when I die, that is objectively different. There is no evidence of an invisible, post-mortem body being constructed. It is irrational for me to believe in it. So my denying a measurably (but subjectively) good thing for what appears to be nothing whatsoever is clearly a bad deal. And my selecting it is irrational.

Replace 'invisible post-mortem body' with any other end product that defies all evidence and the argument is the same. Nihilism just happens to be especially pessimistic on what qualifies as an end product (since in the end, nothing will matter).

Of course, if you tell me you go to church because it gives you a sense of community, brings you peace of mind, keeps you from having to mow the lawn, etc., that's logically consistent, even to a nihilist. It's only when you say you go to church to secure eternal life that the nihilist will roll her eyes.

Fenrir Fenrir's picture
In my understanding, nihilism

In my understanding, nihilism isn't a choice. You can't choose to be a nihilist any more than you can choose to believe that there was a guy named isaac newton who made some useful discoveries. You can question it, but you either believe or you don't, and trying to resist that belief is like trying to believe you can fly by flapping your arms fast enough; you can't actually concince yourself.

One day you realize that there is no higher purpose in life, snd now you're a nihilist. The thing is, now that you beleive that there is no higher meaning, you have to make your own. This is hard for most people, especially because they realise that the absence of a higher meaning means that their life has meaning only so long as they vontinue to give it such: once they die, the life the lived will have no meaning. It will have consequence, but the only meani g it will have is that which others attribute to it.

And so nihilism is about the journy to findibg your perso al, subjective meaning now that you realized the objective one you used to nelieve in didn't exist. Hedonism is when people find their new meaning in seeking pleasure, but there are otber options out there. Because meaning is subjective.

TitaniumTitanian TitaniumTitanian's picture
Nihilists?... Fuck me.

I mean say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos.

Grim G Grim G's picture
ringringlingling wrote:

ringringlingling wrote:

I just really don't think anyone could ever get behind resleeving is all. Its not just the loss of continuity, its the idea of the holistic self, that the mind, the body and the spirit form a complete whole, and that you can never really treat one separate from any other.

I'd resleeve in a heartbeat. I hate my body; it needs exercise, vegetables, has bad posture, can't handle gluten, has insane pollen allergies, a face I constantly have to shave. To hell with it.