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Old 10-28-2018, 02:10 PM   #1
AskTheZoltar
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Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

I don't believe in God, heaven or hell due to the arguments made by atheists. However I don't see anything coming from atheists (or those with that mindset) dealing with the problem (if they see it as a problem) with nihilism. Logical realism and the materialistic world view seems void and empty of anything worthwhile.

This world view that is lacking doesn't drive people to be moral, altruistic, compassionate or have any empathy. They have no obligation to be so. How can there be genuine connection between groups of people in a dog eat dog world. Surely you would agree that everyone is out for their own good with no obligation to others. I really have three issues,

1. People are not good with no reason to be so. (ring of gyges)
2. Life has no value.
3. An individual is limited to what he or she can or can not do to bring the change they wish to their own lives.(you can't always get what you want so settle for much less in desperation)

How do atheists respond in terms of going on with life (what is the point?) knowing that is their nothing to be gained from life and therefore no attachment to it?

Last edited by AskTheZoltar; 10-28-2018 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Please move this thread if I have posted in the wrong section.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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How do atheists respond in terms of going on with life (what is the point?) knowing that is their nothing to be gained from life and therefore no attachment to it?

I gain a lot of enjoyment out of life and therefore am very attached to it.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

A very detailed answer. Point proved I guess.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

The way both atheists and theists deal with nihilism almost always is using delusion and denial through false reassurances and rationalizations that are presented by their protective mechanism.

The real question is how do we respond to nihilism without distorting the truth. There is no belief system that can do that effectively because nihilism brings a deeper clarity of truth while belief systems always attempt to preserve an outdated, insufficient truth. The outdated, insufficient truth that belief systems seek to preserve is the idea that our foundational psychological structure, or our sense of self, is secure. The deeper truth that nihilism brings is the realization of a flawed foundation.

If we rationalize away nihilsm, then we can preserve our belief system/psychological structure, but we lose truth. If we follow truth, then our belief system crumbles into chaos.

Religion is not the answer to nihilism if by religion you mean a belief system, unless the goal is to delude yourself as a coping strategy. However, there is wisdom and moral truths found both within religion and the secular that can help us navigate truthfully.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I gain a lot of enjoyment out of life and therefore am very attached to it.
You may have a dog or cat or a wife. Whoopie!
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by craig1120 View Post
The way both atheists and theists deal with nihilism almost always is using delusion and denial through false reassurances and rationalizations that are presented by their protective mechanism.

The real question is how do we respond to nihilism without distorting the truth. There is no belief system that can do that effectively because nihilism brings a deeper clarity of truth while belief systems always attempt to preserve an outdated, insufficient truth. The outdated, insufficient truth that belief systems seek to preserve is the idea that our foundational psychological structure, or our sense of self, is secure. The deeper truth that nihilism brings is the realization of a flawed foundation.

If we rationalize away nihilsm, then we can preserve our belief system/psychological structure, but we lose truth. If we follow truth, then our belief system crumbles into chaos.

Religion is not the answer to nihilism if by religion you mean a belief system, unless the goal is to delude yourself as a coping strategy. However, there is wisdom and moral truths found both within religion and the secular that can help us navigate truthfully.
Thanks for your answer.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by AskTheZoltar View Post
I don't believe in God, heaven or hell due to the arguments made by atheists. However I don't see anything coming from atheists (or those with that mindset) dealing with the problem (if they see it as a problem) with nihilism. Logical realism and the materialistic world view seems void and empty of anything worthwhile.

This world view that is lacking doesn't drive people to be moral, altruistic, compassionate or have any empathy. They have no obligation to be so. How can there be genuine connection between groups of people in a dog eat dog world. Surely you would agree that everyone is out for their own good with no obligation to others. I really have three issues,

1. People are not good with no reason to be so. (ring of gyges)
2. Life has no value.
3. An individual is limited to what he or she can or can not do to bring the change they wish to their own lives.(you can't always get what you want so settle for much less in desperation)

How do atheists respond in terms of going on with life (what is the point?) knowing that is their nothing to be gained from life and therefore no attachment to it?
Freedom can be terrifying.

Quote:
Immanuel Kant:
Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"óthat is the motto of enlightenment.

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me. The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them (including the entire fair sex) regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the go-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts.

Thus, it is difficult for any individual man to work himself out of the immaturity that has all but become his nature. He has even become fond of this state and for the time being is actually incapable of using his own understanding, for no one has ever allowed him to attempt it. Rules and formulas, those mechanical aids to the rational use, or rather misuse, of his natural gifts, are the shackles of a permanent immaturity. Whoever threw them off would still make only an uncertain leap over the smallest ditch, since he is unaccustomed to this kind of free movement. Consequently, only a few have succeeded, by cultivating their own minds, in freeing themselves from immaturity and pursuing a secure course.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Paradox:
1) Until we reject guidance and become independent, we are unable to find the guidance we need
2) In order to overcome the suffering of life, we have to open ourselves up to making our lives even harder
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Freedom can be terrifying.
Maybe for you. I don't think freedom is terrifying. (I think rules and standards set by other people are however)


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Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another.
In society you are conditioned to follow rules and guidance that proceeds you. Have you ever noticed these things? You know social norms, laws, rules, regulations, bureaucracy, government, groups, standards, police, judges, army...do they not impose on me? Even other people? I suppose you deny that given that statement. I suppose you don't believe in consequences. Because that is what they are imposing on me. Go outside once in a while and have look if you don't believe me.

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This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"—that is the motto of enlightenment.
I don't need anybody else. If everybody else died I would be total fine with that.

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Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men...blah blah blah blah.

Thus, it is difficult for any individual man to work himself out of the immaturity that has all but become his nature. blah blah blah
It is not the work that is difficult but no goal to which to work for. You completely fail to understand the point I was making. You don't understand what nihilism is. Because in nihilism you can never give a reason for the choice one makes. One day I could give you a £1000 next day I could cut your head off.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by AskTheZoltar View Post
<snip>
It is not the work that is difficult but no goal to which to work for. You completely fail to understand the point I was making. You don't understand what nihilism is. Because in nihilism you can never give a reason for the choice one makes. One day I could give you a £1000 next day I could cut your head off.
Humans are beings which can create goals. I can create goals, so can you. Most people are used to creating short-term goals at work, school, family life, etc. It can be difficult to create goals for longer periods or your entire life, but it can be done. Religion is one way of doing so, but hardly the only. If you choose to do so, you can also devote your life, or some segment of your life, to your family or business or life project, or to a sports team, or country, or humanity, or specific abstract ideals, or science, or your local community, and so on. Atheism doesn't suggest or imply that these things have no value, just that any value they have doesn't come from a god.

If you want to have purpose and goals for your life, but don't think you have any, then create them.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:43 PM   #11
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

I don't have any goals. The world doesn't owe me anything. There is nothing I want.

(Honestly it's like everyone is a child to me. They want a toy...go Chicago Bulls...go my team because it makes me feel special. I find that mindset utterly pathetic)
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:35 PM   #12
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I don't have any goals. The world doesn't owe me anything. There is nothing I want.
I guess I don't understand what question about nihilism you think religion is supposedly answering. You seem okay with nihilism yourself, based on this comment.

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(Honestly it's like everyone is a child to me. They want a toy...go Chicago Bulls...go my team because it makes me feel special. I find that mindset utterly pathetic)
Why does it seem pathetic to you? This is how I see it. Some people believe that their lives have cosmic eternal significance because of God, heaven/hell, religion, etc. Good for them. Some people become atheists and so also stop believing their lives have cosmic eternal significance. Some atheists still find significance and meaning in the everyday, contingent, and temporal but actually real aspects of human existence. This can include rooting for a sports team. Other atheists decide that even though religion, God, and the afterlife are all myths, still the only significance and meaning they will accept from life is the kind you get from gods and eternity, and so claim that life without a real god is pointless and without value.

I mean, if nihilism works for you, fine, but I would say, you are still stuck in a religious worldview, just a failed one. We aren't gods, we don't have the abilities of gods, either to change the world or to imbue our actions with eternity, accept this reality and try to live the life you do have well.

Last edited by Original Position; 10-28-2018 at 11:36 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:02 AM   #13
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

In my view, the nihilism and frustration that OP is feeling is a sign of progress IF it gets dealt with consciously. Suppressing it and getting back in line is what I’m sure they have been doing their entire life. This is rightfully so from a societal perspective because it helps us to act ethically.

However, the pain, dissatisfaction, victimhood, and frustration builds up over time like layers on the psyche. It’s constantly bubbling below the surface and more regularly gets triggered until we feel stuck, get fed up, and decide to stop being complicit in the suppression.

When we stop the suppression, our story/worldview changes. Our new story is more truthful, but it’s a story of meaninglessness, victimhood, and frustration (nihilism). We don’t progress beyond this point by once again disengaging from these feelings and allowing this new story to be suppressed. The way forward is through the conscience.

Our victimhood and nihilistic worldview will cause us to act hypocritically and unethically. When that happens, our conscience will wake us up afterward, bringing our violations into conscious awareness. The more severe the violation, the more the conscience sobers us up. That moment is a crossroads. We either take ownership of our error and work toward resolving our victimhood that is responsible for the actions, or we rationalize, taking one step toward destruction/hell/evil. The more that we are conscious, the deeper we feel the judgment of our conscience, and the more likely we will choose to act on behalf of the good and change our ways.

Continuing the suppression never allows us the opportunity to go through this process of turning inward, healing ourselves, and reaching our full potential. At the same time, there is the risk of instead moving in the direction of destruction. It’s a high stakes game but a game we are intended to play successfully.

So I say push forward and don’t allow the nihilism to be swept back under the rug. But pay attention and go slow.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:42 PM   #14
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I guess I don't understand what question about nihilism you think religion is supposedly answering. You seem okay with nihilism yourself, based on this comment.
I'm fine with nihilism as it appears to me as being true. However, I'm not okay with doing something I don't want to do and forced to take responsibility for something I never asked for nor consented to. Because when I said "I don't want anything" that includes my next heart beat. So from my perspective, I don't even control my own body.

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Why does it seem pathetic to you?
Because I don't see how one can pick a side on anything. The moment one picks something they instantly create division and often conflict and by doing so claim (from my perspective) they don't want peace (because they exclude the other group). However, I do enjoy watching people kill themselves over what they believe to be best side be it politics or religion or whatever. I find it rather amusing. Since from my perspective everything is assigned arbitrarily from birth. Nobody picked their starting point but yet they will defend their so claimed history, nationalism (or insert X here) to bloody murder.


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I mean, if nihilism works for you, fine, but I would say, you are still stuck in a religious worldview,a failed one.
What would a successful worldview look like?


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we don't have the abilities of gods, either to change the world or to imbue our actions with eternity, accept this reality and try to live the life you do have well
What do you mean well? "Well" as in context with nihilism? "well" as in context with Christianity? "well" as in a general vague sense?

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Old 10-29-2018, 08:04 PM   #15
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by craig1120 View Post
In my view, the nihilism and frustration that OP is feeling is a sign of progress IF it gets dealt with consciously. Suppressing it and getting back in line is what Iím sure they have been doing their entire life. This is rightfully so from a societal perspective because it helps us to act ethically.

However, the pain, dissatisfaction, victimhood, and frustration builds up over time like layers on the psyche. Itís constantly bubbling below the surface and more regularly gets triggered until we feel stuck, get fed up, and decide to stop being complicit in the suppression.

When we stop the suppression, our story/worldview changes. Our new story is more truthful, but itís a story of meaninglessness, victimhood, and frustration (nihilism). We donít progress beyond this point by once again disengaging from these feelings and allowing this new story to be suppressed. The way forward is through the conscience.

Our victimhood and nihilistic worldview will cause us to act hypocritically and unethically. When that happens, our conscience will wake us up afterward, bringing our violations into conscious awareness. The more severe the violation, the more the conscience sobers us up. That moment is a crossroads. We either take ownership of our error and work toward resolving our victimhood that is responsible for the actions, or we rationalize, taking one step toward destruction/hell/evil. The more that we are conscious, the deeper we feel the judgment of our conscience, and the more likely we will choose to act on behalf of the good and change our ways.

Continuing the suppression never allows us the opportunity to go through this process of turning inward, healing ourselves, and reaching our full potential. At the same time, there is the risk of instead moving in the direction of destruction. Itís a high stakes game but a game we are intended to play successfully.

So I say push forward and donít allow the nihilism to be swept back under the rug. But pay attention and go slow.
My conscience is free of anything the world may through at me. For all the good and bad (as judged by the standard of others) I know deep in my heart that either road one takes it is meaningless. And to do good things merely for the approval of others is also meaningless. Other peoples judgment, on what they condone as appropriate behaviour does not effect me. I'll always have a clean conscience because I know I never consented to that standard. Nowhere will you find my signature for written approval of what society is assuming I accepted. I never accepted it. From my perspective "I was born and now I am here still figuring this out"

And any attempt of coercion on their part to make me act a certain way will be meet with roaring laughter or an awkward silence because I value my freedom (to act, and think and feel however I see fit) over anything else.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:49 PM   #16
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by AskTheZoltar View Post
I'm fine with nihilism as it appears to me as being true. However, I'm not okay with doing something I don't want to do and forced to take responsibility for something I never asked for nor consented to. Because when I said "I don't want anything" that includes my next heart beat. So from my perspective, I don't even control my own body.
"I don't want anything" except I do want people to not make me responsible for anything and to leave me alone. You aren't really describing nihilism here, but an ethic of selfishness or isolation. Such ethics can often seem nihilistic because they reject or downplay other people's value. People with such an ethic also often feel the apathy and loneliness commonly associated with nihilism.

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Because I don't see how one can pick a side on anything. The moment one picks something they instantly create division and often conflict and by doing so claim (from my perspective) they don't want peace (because they exclude the other group).
I can't figure out how to respond. You say that you are fine with nihilism, then list all your problems with it. I just don't believe you that you are fine with it. "I'm not okay with doing something I never consented to or asked for" is explicitly wanting something, to be left alone. Worrying about creating division or disrupting peace is wanting something.

Picking a side doesn't just create division, it also creates community through shared projects and goals. Again, there is no God that tells us that this side is The Right Side. You have to make your best guess and hope you're right. Or, you have to just acknowledge that life sometimes means just picking one (arbitrarily as you say) when you don't know if it is the right side. If you're given a free lottery ticket, you don't refuse to play because the numbers chosen were arbitrary.

Quote:
However, I do enjoy watching people kill themselves over what they believe to be best side be it politics or religion or whatever. I find it rather amusing. Since from my perspective everything is assigned arbitrarily from birth. Nobody picked their starting point but yet they will defend their so claimed history, nationalism (or insert X here) to bloody murder.
Yes, it is easy to feel superior when observing from the sidelines.

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What would a successful worldview look like?
A failed religious worldview is one that requires that everything promised by religion be true while also claiming that they are false. Success varies depending on the goal.

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What do you mean well? "Well" as in context with nihilism? "well" as in context with Christianity? "well" as in a general vague sense?
Healthy, happy, meaningful, good friends, family, enjoyment, mastery of skills, art and literature, development of character, building interesting and important things, etc.

Last edited by Original Position; 10-30-2018 at 10:51 AM. Reason: strikethrough for text I meant to delete.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:34 AM   #17
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

OP you say you don’t want anything, but it’s more likely that you just don’t know what you want because your will has been suppressed and you’ve been told what you want rather than freely chosen it. If you focus on your will, which means going from your head to your body, you will find desires. (You’re going to need to use the aggression to go from head to body and connect to your will).

There’s going to be two different categories of desires from your will: One is justice, revenge, domination, etc. The other is status, admiration, prestige, etc. Choose the latter.

Also, talk is cheap! Staying stuck in limbo, denying the desires of your will, is as weak as the “pathetic” mindset of the “children” that you look down on!
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:35 AM   #18
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The moment one picks something they instantly create division and often conflict and by doing so claim (from my perspective) they don't want peace (because they exclude the other group).
Haven't you done this yourself, though? Once you've declared yourself to be against others (societal norms, etc.) you've created the same type of division that you seem to be against.

I don't really see how your philosophical outlook is helping you to rise above the others. You're merely participating in the same thing, with just a different set of labels.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:40 AM   #19
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I don't believe in God, heaven or hell due to the arguments made by atheists. However I don't see anything coming from atheists (or those with that mindset) dealing with the problem (if they see it as a problem) with nihilism. Logical realism and the materialistic world view seems void and empty of anything worthwhile.
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Originally Posted by AskTheZoltar View Post
It is not the work that is difficult but no goal to which to work for. You completely fail to understand the point I was making. You don't understand what nihilism is. Because in nihilism you can never give a reason for the choice one makes. One day I could give you a £1000 next day I could cut your head off.
Can you be specific about your concept of "nihilism"? What claims are you accepting or rejecting when you talk about "the problem of nihilism"?
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:30 PM   #20
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by AskTheZoltar View Post
My conscience is free of anything the world may through at me. For all the good and bad (as judged by the standard of others) I know deep in my heart that either road one takes it is meaningless. And to do good things merely for the approval of others is also meaningless. Other peoples judgment, on what they condone as appropriate behaviour does not effect me. I'll always have a clean conscience because I know I never consented to that standard. Nowhere will you find my signature for written approval of what society is assuming I accepted. I never accepted it. From my perspective "I was born and now I am here still figuring this out"

And any attempt of coercion on their part to make me act a certain way will be meet with roaring laughter or an awkward silence because I value my freedom (to act, and think and feel however I see fit) over anything else.
Meaninglessness is also a position, a created division ( with meaningful and meaningless either side of a coin). You think you are somehow removed from the everyday world, above all petty things, but you are invested in it just as everyone else is.

You are also contradicting yourself.

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from my perspective, I don't even control my own body.

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I value my freedom (to act, and think and feel however I see fit) over anything else.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:48 AM   #21
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Asking "atheists to deal with nihilism" is a bit like asking people who don't believe garden gnomes are living beings to deal with nihilism. That's not a dig at religion, that's simply a reminder that atheism's only feature is lack of belief in god(s).

If you ask me how I deal with nihilism, I don't see nihilism as causing the destruction of moral and cultural values, rather I see nihilism as a result of beliefs claiming monopoly and infallibility in determining those values. If you persuade people only belief A can be correct, then things will collapse when it shown that it probably isn't. People get morally lazy, so to speak.

Personally, I don't view see meaning or morality as some external force we're subjected to. I see it as a result of ourselves and the world we live. It's an emergent trait, and it is not static. It continuously shifts and changes, though some basic traits will endure.

That doesn't mean I am a moral relativist. I have my values, and I'm prepared to fight for them. It's more an acknowledgement that in 500 years a lot of what I see as morally defensible will probably be viewed as abhorrent. I figure the best you can do is to not harm others, expect others to think likewise and save the fighting for beliefs and values that don't respect that.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:36 PM   #22
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

There are many people who believe there is no (for lack of a better word) “cosmic” significance to life, yet they still find meaning. If you think nothing matters then cut off your finger and see if you can still think it in the moment. The meaning is in the experience. Other people will continue to have experience long after you’re gone. You will have a direct impact on some. There is meaning in the present even if that meaning is to eventually fade into oblivion.

Of course the notion above is contingent upon one huge assumption- that there is no greater meaning residing outside of the materialistic lens of human perception. Anyone who tells you that they are certain that is the case is either lying to you or lying to themselves.

All that said, It does not seem like you really hold a nihilistic view. Would you really be in a philosophy forum probing for answers about life if that were the case? You’ve even expressed the makings of ideals in regard to freedom. It just seems as though you’ve noticed something extremely disconcerting and are trying to make sense of it.

It is the hypocrisy of the masses and the ruling class through actions and systems which do not align with their purported values. You’ve noticed that the social contract is not optional and is enforced by... well….force. There is an enormous restriction of freedom. Where even in the “land of the free democracy” the majority imposes their beliefs on the minority through institutionalized violence while at the same time condemning acts of violence. People clamor over trivial games which have no impact on anything except for the value they assign to them, yet they sit silently when faced with real impactful issues that attack innate values which most people are not free to alter.

In your post addressing the problem of conscience you talk about never having consented to the societal standard of morality. Due to that fact your conscience is not beholden to the standard. I think that’s fair. Some of the standard is absolutely stupid and hypocritical as mentioned above. But i also think there is an intrinsic notion of morality which our conscience is not immune to. I think you are more consciously aware of it than most and that is why you’re having this crisis.

It appears that you have sort of just begun to extrapolate the fault of your restriction from being a product of a system created by people to the natural system- meaning this world’s reality. In other words, to see the consequential nature of reality as an imposition. One which you had no say in. You want to do x and you don’t want y, but if you do x you’ll get y too. Maybe you have not made that realization. If not, I hope I’m not going to **** you up by drawing attention to it because it’s hard to unsee.

As Craig points out it can be very difficult once viewed in that manner. Pretending nothing matters ala nihilism is one way to cope.
Another way is the one which Craig advocates. I think this way is extremely toxic. i will address Craig’s post and do my best to explain why i think it is harmful.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:32 PM   #23
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by citamgine View Post
There are many people who believe there is no (for lack of a better word) ďcosmicĒ significance to life, yet they still find meaning. If you think nothing matters then cut off your finger and see if you can still think it in the moment.
Bad advice imo
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:42 AM   #24
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Nihilism is fire. It sporadically and continuously sears us, and it’s so threatening to us that we do whatever we can do to hide from it until we no longer can. When people start expressing to others about life’s meaningless in a scorned manner, they are doing so with the vague knowledge that they have been getting burned for a long time.

Still, at that point, even though we are willing to somewhat acknowledge the fire and the new level of clarity and truth that accompanies it, we just want it to go away as quickly as possible. After that, each time the fire sears us, we become a little more aware of its presence below the surface and a little more aware of our defense mechanisms in dealing with it. We are still able to escape from it for long periods of time, forgetting about it, even getting our hopes up that we’ve moved past it, but when it inevitably returns, we realize that we are back at square one.

As our awareness of the fire increases through exposure over time, desire for truth also increases through that same exposure. We start to become perturbed by our defense mechanisms used in reaction to the fire, irritated by the fakeness of it. Often we will project that onto others and become aggressive toward them when we see them squirming away from truth in favor of pain avoidance and self preservation.

At this stage, we are at a crossroads, and there is a part of us that senses it. Our desire for truth combined with our annoyance at our defense mechanisms is in balanced conflict with our desire for immediate security, comfort, and familiarity. Now, each time we go through a cycle of getting burned by the fire and using our defense mechanisms to suppress it, not only do we feel the anger/despair of getting burned again, but we feel the self betrayal of our desire for truth.

Voluntarily stepping into the fire, disallowing our defense mechanisms from suppressing it, is an act of defiance and rebellion. It’s anti social to the core. But it’s also a genuine act of faith in support of truth. It’s an act of trust in a yet unseen redemptive world. There will never be a rational argument for it from yourself or anyone else. It comes from a place deeper and more real than rationality.

Last edited by craig1120; 11-01-2018 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:44 AM   #25
AskTheZoltar
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by neeeel View Post

You are also contradicting yourself.
I don't control how many hairs I grow on my head or how my heart beats or how my lungs move in and out. There is a lot of body functions I'm not in control. (are you going to deny that?) so my first statement is I don't control my own body, however I do, to some degree, control my actions. And the whole reason I bring that up and define it that way is to what degree I'm a responsible? (in the context of free will, if you believe in it)
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