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Old 12-09-2018, 07:54 PM   #101
tame_deuces
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Well, if there is no reliable way to determine if the "absolute authority" wants you to invade Canada, pick blueberries or sing Kumbaya - what difference is there from Nihilism anyway? And if the way to determine the command of said "absolute authority" is shaky at best, you haven't really moved much either. You might be doing stuff just because some random geezer said it was the thing to do, not exactly the cure for ennui I would choose.

And ultimately I think that's the thing with "divine morality" (or similar concepts) that irks me the most. It's like saying the cure for the fossil fuel crisis is to invent a car that doesn't need energy. Yeah, sure... but unless you can specify at least some basic premises that are believable, I don't really see it as a valuable contribution.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:40 PM   #102
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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You still haven't let go of the Christian story of creation. You still think that in order for something to have a purpose, it must have a creator that gives it that purpose. But my car's purpose doesn't come from just its creators, it also comes from me. If I decided I want to use it as part of an art installation, then that would be its purpose. If I decided to use it as an abode, then that would be. It's true that the people who created my car knew that lots of people want something that would get them from point A to B quickly, and so made something good for that, but that is not essential to an object's purpose. Horses, which are not made by humans, also can be used for the purpose of getting people from point A to B quickly.

This is why you think atheism immediately and obviously implies a lack of purpose for human lives. If the only way a human life can have a purpose is if a conscious creator made them for that purpose, then if there is no god creating humanity, but only the nonconscious laws of science restricting the otherwise randomness of nature into certain pathways, then of course nothing has a purpose (I'll politely ignore for now the obvious fact that conscious creators called "parents" do create humans lives for a purpose all the time). But in fact, creation is not required for something to have a purpose. I can repurpose something created with one end in mind for another. I can use found objects for a purpose of my own.

The reason why it seems silly to think the universe as a whole has a purpose is because only a godlike being - one powerful enough to actually affect the distant stars - can truthfully be said to use it as a whole. Humans certainly can't. Individual humans are generally only able to consciously and purposefully affect the things in their immediate vicinity, and at approximately their size (although science is changing this). However, one of the things we are most able to actually affect is our own lives. We make decisions about what to eat, how to spend our leisure time, with whom and what kind of relationships to have, careers, etc. And it's not only us - other humans also use people for their own purposes all the time. It's in this sense that our lives can have a real purpose of their own.

Now, it is true that many people struggle to have this sense of control and purpose over their own lives. Their decisions feel to them outside of their conscious control and in some cases are. But that is a problem (maybe! see Buddhism) for them, not a universal truth about reality. My own life has a purpose - the purpose I've given it, along with the purposes my friends, family, co-workers, fellow hobbyists, you guys here, and others have given it. You think this is some kind of a paradox because you can't let go of something you call an "objective" purpose, which you think God creates for humans in the Christian mythos. No...any purpose God has for humans would still be subjective, just like our own purposes. Even Christian theology acknowledges the possibility of rebellion, of choosing to go against God's purposes for our own.
Regarding 'giving one's own life purpose', you can subscribe to the existentialist viewpoint there all you want (and that is indeed the only option if one is an atheist), but that still doesn't change the ultimate reality that life is meaningless, whatever our stated idiosyncratic 'purpose(s)' is/are for the given period of time (before inevitable revision). By virtue of my continued existence, I too must strive to 'give my life purpose' at that subjective level--that is the project of existentialism. That still doesn't change the ultimate nihilistic reality that life is inherently meaningless. I don't see why this is a difficult point to concede (logically if not psychologically).
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:58 PM   #103
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Is it a benevolent authority that you need? or any kind of authority at all? I think it's the former.

Indulge me for a moment. Let's play imagine. It can be enlightening to imagine. Let's imagine that there was an overarching authority, with an objective purpose for the existence of each and every one of us.

Let's also imagine that the objective purpose was something you strongly disagreed with.

Would this be a better state of affairs, from your perspective, than having no objective purpose at all?

...
I was religious for the first 18 years of my life; I've been an atheist/nihilist for the past 14. I was a lot happier in my childhood. Got the psych ward visits to prove how much unhappier I've been in my adulthood. Now, in assessing my anecdotal experience, I can't quantify how much of that happiness was owed to religiosity...but I did think about religion all the time (proverbially) when I was a kid. Every day, for sure. So the void was felt when it was no longer there, perhaps (and by 'perhaps' I mean 'surely'--I'm just being polite) in a way that a lifelong atheist could not appreciate. As a Christian, there were tenets of the faith that felt inconvenient, with the Catholic Church's stance on premarital sex coming to mind immediately, but the inconvenient aspects were far outweighed by the positives. Always being something of an anxious person by nature, I did experience a good amount of anxiety as I'd ponder the current status of my everlasting soul on some given night before going to sleep, but...like I said, the inconveniences were minor when compared to the strength and, well, sense of purpose I derived from the narrative. Despite the amount of time I did spend thinking about religion in my youth, it can still be said that I did not fully appreciate it from a psychological perspective until I lost it.

To address your hypothetical, then, I imagine what I'd be able to tolerate in the name of a benevolent authority could be rather severe from an *inconvenience* (as craig proposed) standpoint...total asceticism or something wouldn't be out of the question, for example. And indeed, such a lifestyle may seem merely 'inconvenient' from my current perspective, but immersed fully in a belief system that prescribed removal of oneself from society, I could imagine achieving 'peace of mind', whatever that ultimately means. Whereas if I attempted to live the same lifestyle now but without any 'reason' for doing so, I'd likely have a psychotic break in relatively short order. So it's difficult to assess these things in a vacuum. As far as doing something with which I strongly disagreed...I don't know, the story of Abraham in Genesis comes to mind here. Believe strongly enough in a cause (or deity), and watch any sign of dissent wither away...cue the quote about how those who can convince you to believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:12 AM   #104
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

The absence of any faith in objective purpose forges a path to a singular subjective purpose- the hedonistic imperative.

I think craig's stance is that it's hard for us to determine what that really looks like in a sustainable form. What you think you want today might cause problems of conscience, or more discomfort down the line.

So you're constantly playing this game of catchup. Stuck in a cycle of suffering->adjusting-> false feeling of resolvment...

But If it's all just bull****, and you really commit to the that thought, then that understanding should free you from the burden of conscience. And doing a preemptive cost/benefit analysis should bring about awareness and acceptance of the price you pay.

That is all garbage imo. Theres talk of truth in a thread right down the road. I dont think the truth should be brushed over.

Last edited by citamgine; 12-13-2018 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:55 AM   #105
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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
The absence of any faith in objective purpose forges a path to a singular subjective purpose- the hedonistic imperative.

I think craig's stance is that it's hard for us to determine what that really looks like in a sustainable form. What you think you want today might cause problems of conscience, or more discomfort down the line.

So you're constantly playing this game of catchup. Stuck in a cycle of suffering->adjusting-> false feeling of resolvment...

But If it's all just bull****, and you really commit to the that thought, then that understanding should free you from the burden of conscience. And doing a preemptive cost/benefit analysis should bring about awareness and acceptance of the price you pay.

That is all garbage imo. Theres talk of truth in a thread right down the road. I dont think the truth should be brushed over.
A preemptive cost-benefit analysis wouldn't come close to being able to adequately perform the task of committing to that route (however we're actually defining 'that route'). It's well-documented in psychological research that humans are terrible at predicting future happiness/contentedness/etc. The special case of the nihilist has yet to be studied in exclusivity as far as I know, but, yeah, still human.

Interesting post; would appreciate a follow-up. Didn't know what you were referring to with the last few sentences.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:35 PM   #106
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Originally Posted by mrcnkwcz View Post
Regarding 'giving one's own life purpose', you can subscribe to the existentialist viewpoint there all you want (and that is indeed the only option if one is an atheist), but that still doesn't change the ultimate reality that life is meaningless, whatever our stated idiosyncratic 'purpose(s)' is/are for the given period of time (before inevitable revision). By virtue of my continued existence, I too must strive to 'give my life purpose' at that subjective level--that is the project of existentialism. That still doesn't change the ultimate nihilistic reality that life is inherently meaningless. I don't see why this is a difficult point to concede (logically if not psychologically).
What is the difference between the reality that contains the mind/brain that creates meaning and purpose out of my ideas, emotions, sensations, etc and the "ultimate nihilistic reality" where these things don't exist and so my life "ultimately" doesn't have meaning or purpose? My concept of reality includes myself and my brain/mind. Thus, if my brain is able to "give one's own life purpose," then my own life can have purpose in reality. So what is this more "ultimate" reality where it doesn't?

This still sounds to me primarily a matter of your own unmet expectations about the significance of human life based on the stories and fantasies of your youth. Yes, to the distant galaxies and the far future of the universe individual human lives hold no significance that we are aware of. So what? That doesn't imply as you seem to think that human lives don't have significance at all. Yes, this significance is relative and subjective. But it is so to you. Almost nothing is more significant to you than your own life. The view from nowhere is not just the view from far away, but also encompasses the view from nearby.

This is why I (and I assume other atheists like tame_deuces) take a deflationary stance towards this type of issue. I think it is useful to have a guiding philosophy about what kind of person you want to be, what things are important to you, and so on. But it seems really unfortunate and irrational to let not winning the lottery cause you to not work at all. Embrace the meaning and purpose you actually can have as a contingent, mortal human being rather than rejecting them just because the stories told to you in your youth about how you are secretly a immortal god-like being fighting a cosmic war between good and evil aren't actually true.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:58 PM   #107
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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
The absence of any faith in objective purpose forges a path to a singular subjective purpose- the hedonistic imperative.

I think craig's stance is that it's hard for us to determine what that really looks like in a sustainable form. What you think you want today might cause problems of conscience, or more discomfort down the line.

So you're constantly playing this game of catchup. Stuck in a cycle of suffering->adjusting-> false feeling of resolvment...

But If it's all just bull****, and you really commit to the that thought, then that understanding should free you from the burden of conscience. And doing a preemptive cost/benefit analysis should bring about awareness and acceptance of the price you pay.

That is all garbage imo. Theres talk of truth in a thread right down the road. I dont think the truth should be brushed over.
You’re right that if we fully believe that the struggle is all nonsense, then that should free us from our conscience.. and therefore the struggle. We would fully adapt to meaninglessness and moral relativism. Further, we wouldn’t even be bothered with thoughts of the truth of nihilism, let alone waste time discussing it seriously. Actually, it would be impossible to question it, impossible to doubt it. Philosophy and religion wouldn’t exist.

That’s why this topic is incomplete without at least acknowledging the universality of intuition and faith. But we are unable to do that because only the part of us that acts on intuitive truth over rational truth is able to acknowledge it, and that part of us does not have the upper hand in crafting the narrative in our head as well as in motivating our actions.

That’s how faith works. It’s the ultimate minority. We act on it without being aware rationally that it is true, without having the known narrative in our head supporting us, and without the natural motivation to act on it (which is where the topic of suffering and the Will come in). That conflict creates the tension to allow faith to work. It’s why meaningful faith is so rare, both in intellectual understanding as well as in action.

It’s also why we can’t convince each other on this topic through rational discussion unless there is already enough overlap in experience.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:23 PM   #108
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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As far as doing something with which I strongly disagreed...I don't know..
I think its important that you know. Think on it more.

Once you know you may be less bothered by the lack of a grand narrative.

The lack of a grand narrative, to me for example, is freeing; not paralysing.

Your issues with your lifestyle are problems in your life. Problems that you're free to fix. Problems that are eager and waiting to give your life meaning.

More and more as I get older, I'm learning that life is about running into your problems. Not walking into them or slowly approaching them, and especially not leaving them alone. Meaning aplenty to be found.

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Old 12-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #109
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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1) The universe has no purpose as a whole.
2) Therefore, no part of the universe has a purpose.
3) Humans are part of the universe.
4) Therefore, no human has a purpose

...Yep, looks sound to me. Trying to ascertain how this might be a trap....

Oh, fallacy of division, hah!

It's a fallacy to think that because the fallacy of division can apply, that it must apply. Given your overzealousness in applying the fallacy of division here, you might want to think of its limitations in future cases....
Given that (2) doesn't follow from (1) by logical necessity, please show why it follows in this particular instance. Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:58 AM   #110
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The lack of a grand narrative, to me for example, is freeing; not paralysing.
This is a rather common argument. I don't think so, personally. Erich Fromm, author of 'Escape From Freedom', doesn't think so. Barry Schwartz, author of 'The Paradox of Choice', doesn't think so. Because if you can be anything...well...who's to pick? Schwartz spends a lot of his book talking about 'paralysis by analysis' in mundane situations, like a mega-supermarket with 25 different brands of salad dressing, but the message of his book applies all the more to life itself, if we assume the adoption of your/somewhat-my worldview.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:59 AM   #111
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Youíre right that if we fully believe that the struggle is all nonsense, then that should free us from our conscience.. and therefore the struggle. We would fully adapt to meaninglessness and moral relativism. Further, we wouldnít even be bothered with thoughts of the truth of nihilism, let alone waste time discussing it seriously. Actually, it would be impossible to question it, impossible to doubt it. Philosophy and religion wouldnít exist.

Thatís why this topic is incomplete without at least acknowledging the universality of intuition and faith. But we are unable to do that because only the part of us that acts on intuitive truth over rational truth is able to acknowledge it, and that part of us does not have the upper hand in crafting the narrative in our head as well as in motivating our actions.

Thatís how faith works. Itís the ultimate minority. We act on it without being aware rationally that it is true, without having the known narrative in our head supporting us, and without the natural motivation to act on it (which is where the topic of suffering and the Will come in). That conflict creates the tension to allow faith to work. Itís why meaningful faith is so rare, both in intellectual understanding as well as in action.

Itís also why we canít convince each other on this topic through rational discussion unless there is already enough overlap in experience.
What's your current worldview? I'm pretty sure you identified yourself as 'ex-nihilist' upthread, lol.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:03 AM   #112
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Given that (2) doesn't follow from (1) by logical necessity, please show why it follows in this particular instance. Thanks.
Sophistry (attempted). But you're religious anyway, so I'm not sure what you're looking to gain here. The fallacy of division doesn't apply to questions of purpose; if the entire thing is purposeless, so too are all the constituent parts. Pretty basic logic. But you reject the premise that it's purposeless, so I'm not sure why you're trying to question the deduction.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:50 AM   #113
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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What is the difference between the reality that contains the mind/brain that creates meaning and purpose out of my ideas, emotions, sensations, etc and the "ultimate nihilistic reality" where these things don't exist and so my life "ultimately" doesn't have meaning or purpose? My concept of reality includes myself and my brain/mind. Thus, if my brain is able to "give one's own life purpose," then my own life can have purpose in reality. So what is this more "ultimate" reality where it doesn't?

This still sounds to me primarily a matter of your own unmet expectations about the significance of human life based on the stories and fantasies of your youth. Yes, to the distant galaxies and the far future of the universe individual human lives hold no significance that we are aware of. So what? That doesn't imply as you seem to think that human lives don't have significance at all. Yes, this significance is relative and subjective. But it is so to you. Almost nothing is more significant to you than your own life. The view from nowhere is not just the view from far away, but also encompasses the view from nearby.

This is why I (and I assume other atheists like tame_deuces) take a deflationary stance towards this type of issue. I think it is useful to have a guiding philosophy about what kind of person you want to be, what things are important to you, and so on. But it seems really unfortunate and irrational to let not winning the lottery cause you to not work at all. Embrace the meaning and purpose you actually can have as a contingent, mortal human being rather than rejecting them just because the stories told to you in your youth about how you are secretly a immortal god-like being fighting a cosmic war between good and evil aren't actually true.
Is The View From Nowhere any good? Mind And Cosmos, or whatever it was called, was terrible.

I like the last couple sentences, and you're of course a good writer, but I think pragmatically it's an 'easier said than done' situation. You and I might agree on materialism/grudging (from you) nihilism/etc, but if I wake up every day and my first thought is, 'Ugh, here we go again, another boring day in a meaningless universe' (which is not too far from standard for me), and you wake up and manage not to think about 'ultimate meaning[lessness]' except say when on this forum or in select other, relatively rare venues (allow me to assume), then...even if we might find ourselves in ultimate agreement, the lives that result are qualitatively different, with mine being subjectively worse (presumably). If I think 20 times per day that life is meaningless and pointless and worthless, with a deprivation of dopamine/serotonin/any relevant neurotransmitter to go with it, and you think that way essentially 0 times, then...what, do I need to become a better liar to myself? I think that's kind of the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy--'fake it till you make it' logic, no? F*ck that, though, as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer to stomach reality as much as humanly possible...unfortunately for me though it tends to result in depression and binge drinking.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:34 AM   #114
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Sophistry (attempted).
How is my request sophistry?

Quote:
But you're religious anyway, so I'm not sure what you're looking to gain here.
I'm looking to "gain" finding out if the argument is logically valid. (For the record, I think that it is logically valid, for the following reason...)
Quote:
The fallacy of division doesn't apply to questions of purpose; if the entire thing is purposeless, so too are all the constituent parts. Pretty basic logic.


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But you reject the premise that it's purposeless, so I'm not sure why you're trying to question the deduction.
Because I personally find discussing valid arguments more edifying than discussing invalid arguments. Don't you?
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:33 PM   #115
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Is The View From Nowhere any good? Mind And Cosmos, or whatever it was called, was terrible.

I like the last couple sentences, and you're of course a good writer, but I think pragmatically it's an 'easier said than done' situation. You and I might agree on materialism/grudging (from you) nihilism/etc, but if I wake up every day and my first thought is, 'Ugh, here we go again, another boring day in a meaningless universe' (which is not too far from standard for me), and you wake up and manage not to think about 'ultimate meaning[lessness]' except say when on this forum or in select other, relatively rare venues (allow me to assume), then...even if we might find ourselves in ultimate agreement, the lives that result are qualitatively different, with mine being subjectively worse (presumably). If I think 20 times per day that life is meaningless and pointless and worthless, with a deprivation of dopamine/serotonin/any relevant neurotransmitter to go with it, and you think that way essentially 0 times, then...what, do I need to become a better liar to myself? I think that's kind of the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy--'fake it till you make it' logic, no? F*ck that, though, as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer to stomach reality as much as humanly possible...unfortunately for me though it tends to result in depression and binge drinking.
Your intuitions are leading you right. Here is the game:
(1) Confront the biggest problem
(2) Hold onto it (don’t disengage)
(3) Make the right sacrifices

You are right to defy, in this thread and elsewhere, any advice that is encouraging you to stop (1) and (2). As I talked about toward the beginning of this thread, if we do this process right, we will eventually “step into the fire” and come out the other side.

(1) and (2) are overwhelming, so we have to break it down into manageable chunks. Inevitably we will take on more then we can handle and we will turn to coping (binge drinking). In this situation, there are three ways forward. The first is the status quo (coping). The second is to deny what we have become aware of from doing (1) and (2), which is regression. The third option is to consider what I am implying in this post and throughout the thread: that this entire process and reality in general is redemptive. That if we continue to follow capital ‘t’ Truth (continue this process), then there will be a payoff on the other side.

If we affirm this third option, then that allows us to do (3), which is to reject our coping mechanisms, bringing us back closer in confrontation with the fire. Then we gain a little more ground until we turn to a new coping mechanism and go through the entire cycle again.

As I have also talked about, an intermediary step between giving up our coping mechanisms and moving closer to the fire is to instead give up our coping mechanisms and pursue status. This helps to develop/train our Will, so that we will feel confident in our potential to and ability to move closer toward the fire instead of being convinced that we are voluntarily participating in our own suffering and destruction.

The only way what I’m saying will even partially land is through silence, so don’t attempt to categorize or think of a way to clarify or respond. The part of us that does this doesn’t want us to be great but rather is solely concerned about short term risk avoidance.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:17 PM   #116
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Is The View From Nowhere any good? Mind And Cosmos, or whatever it was called, was terrible.
Nagel is one of the clearest writers in the analytic philosophy tradition, so almost always worth reading, but I would recommend the collection Mortal Questions as his best book. The View From Nowhere is useful as a framework for thinking about some existentialist questions, but it isn't really necessary to read the whole book to get the gist of it.

Quote:
I like the last couple sentences, and you're of course a good writer, but I think pragmatically it's an 'easier said than done' situation. You and I might agree on materialism/grudging (from you) nihilism/etc, but if I wake up every day and my first thought is, 'Ugh, here we go again, another boring day in a meaningless universe' (which is not too far from standard for me), and you wake up and manage not to think about 'ultimate meaning[lessness]' except say when on this forum or in select other, relatively rare venues (allow me to assume), then...even if we might find ourselves in ultimate agreement, the lives that result are qualitatively different, with mine being subjectively worse (presumably). If I think 20 times per day that life is meaningless and pointless and worthless, with a deprivation of dopamine/serotonin/any relevant neurotransmitter to go with it, and you think that way essentially 0 times, then...what, do I need to become a better liar to myself? I think that's kind of the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy--'fake it till you make it' logic, no? F*ck that, though, as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer to stomach reality as much as humanly possible...unfortunately for me though it tends to result in depression and binge drinking.
A couple points. First, the guessed at contrast in our lives is largely inaccurate. Like you, I had a happy childhood in a very Christian home. Like you, while I still would prefer Christianity to be true (immortality seems better than the alternative to me), I find myself unwilling to go the Kierkegaardian route of embracing the absurdity of belief in the Christian faith. I also studied philosophy in both undergraduate and graduate school - not really actions conducive to avoiding thinking about the meaning or meaninglessness of life. While I've never seriously abused alcohol or drugs, as an adult I've also gone through semi-regular cycles of depression.

Now, it's true that I don't go through my day thinking that my life is meaningless, pointless, or worthless, but this is because I don't think my life is meaningless, pointless, or worthless. I have goals I want to accomplish, my decisions affect other people in meaningful ways, my existence has value both to me personally and to my friends, family, employees, etc. None of this is contingent on whether rocks and gases millions of light years away "care" (whatever that would mean) or are affected by these goals or by those I know and care about. You think this is lying, but have so far been completely unable to identify what is false in my claims.

I don't know you. Maybe you live a relatively meaningless life with little significance to you or others. I'm not saying that isn't possible or true. What I'm saying is if that is so, that isn't just a philosophical problem, where you have bravely peered into the abyss and found nothing. Rather, it is a practical problem where perhaps you aren't living the kind of life that is meaningful and valuable. If you find it difficult to find value and meaning in your own goals or desires, bootstrap onto other people who find this easier. Or change your life so that it is more like the lives of other people who do find this easier (eg get married and have kids, live a healthier lifestyle, find a more positive social circle, etc.).
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:21 PM   #117
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Your intuitions are leading you right. Here is the game:
(1) Confront the biggest problem
(2) Hold onto it (donít disengage)
(3) Make the right sacrifices

You are right to defy, in this thread and elsewhere, any advice that is encouraging you to stop (1) and (2). As I talked about toward the beginning of this thread, if we do this process right, we will eventually ďstep into the fireĒ and come out the other side.
Yes, another alternative is to Capitalize Some Words, people seem to find that meaningful as well I guess.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:55 PM   #118
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Yes, another alternative is to Capitalize Some Words, people seem to find that meaningful as well I guess.
Posts like this won't age well.
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Old Yesterday, 04:09 PM   #119
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

I have to say I still disagree with craigs advice. For all you know that could be a trap meant to keep you in the cycle of suffering in perpetuity. It could be impossible to achieve your vision of success. Even if you overcome your "biggest problem" you could be confronted with another and so on.

By definition status is relative. Are you superior to others?
Chasing status will likely cause frequent alianation from real human connection. Youll find that type of connection really is something of high value.
Status serves as a means to achieve things most of us find rewarding, but it comes at a cost to others. And it inevitably causes problems for everyone including ourselves.

It's really a great way to get people to destroy themselves and others. Show them something of value, withhold reward, convince them it's their fault to create feelings of inadequacy and frustration, then offer the alternative.

Someone telling you to chase power and status is like Darth Vader saying "if you only knew the power of the dark side."
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Old Yesterday, 05:36 PM   #120
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I have to say I still disagree with craigs advice. For all you know that could be a trap meant to keep you in the cycle of suffering in perpetuity. It could be impossible to achieve your vision of success. Even if you overcome your "biggest problem" you could be confronted with another and so on.
For me, the best way I know something is through repeated experiences. If I experience a pattern that can’t be falsified, then I develop a firm belief in it. I try to limit my actions to these types of beliefs.

One thing I know is that I have desires and that reality often resists those desires. That can also be thought of as having requests and that reality doesn’t accommodate all requests.

The question that then arises is ‘does reality accommodate any type of requests?’ We can test that. When reality resists the actualization of my desire, then I will persist. I found out that if I persist enough, reality will accommodate my request in some capacity. It may look a little different then I originally envisioned, but my request will continue toward actualization. Time is a constraint on this process of course.

I now know that reality does not accommodate all requests, but there is a pattern of granting requests of conviction. We can think of them as casual requests and genuine requests. Genuine requests are desires that we will sacrifice for. Another question arises: how does reality test to distinguish between casual requests and genuine requests? We already know the first which is resistance to test our conviction. The other way is by negotiation.

If we have an aim, or a genuine request, and we settle for less than what we originally aimed for, then we are communicating that our original aim was more casual than genuine. At that point, we are jeopardizing the actualization of our original request by giving the steering wheel to the part of us that is satisfied with the lesser offering. As long as we pass those tests, then our requests will be accommodated.

The other issues are whether or not reality has an upper limit in actualizing our desires and the problem of desiring for what is in our best long term interest. The focus then needs to be on answering if reality is strictly mechanistic or if there is a metaphysical nature. If there is a metaphysical aspect to it, then that implies the existence of a creator God and as a consequence an unlimited potentiality to the actualization of genuine requests. Repeated undeniable metaphysical experiences that occur alongside the process of actualizing genuine requests, for me, fostered a strong belief in affirming the metaphysical nature of reality.

Since we have the freedom to be deceived by and pursue desires that we originally thought would be in our best, long term interest when they actually are not, we have to ask the question ‘Is God good?’ If God is good, we would be given the capacity to recognize the truth about our desires that do not actually fulfill us. That is the conscience.

Finally, once we believe that God is good, it follows that there is no upper limit imposed on us as to what can be actualized. So that is my response regarding how I know that I’m not stuck in a never ending cycle of suffering by pursuing my desires. That is also my critique of Buddhism.


Quote:
Originally Posted by citamgine View Post
By definition status is relative. Are you superior to others?
Chasing status will likely cause frequent alianation from real human connection. Youll find that type of connection really is something of high value.
Status serves as a means to achieve things most of us find rewarding, but it comes at a cost to others. And it inevitably causes problems for everyone including ourselves.

It's really a great way to get people to destroy themselves and others. Show them something of value, withhold reward, convince them it's their fault to create feelings of inadequacy and frustration, then offer the alternative.

Someone telling you to chase power and status is like Darth Vader saying "if you only knew the power of the dark side."
Status is a universal desire within the sequence of desires that we have to filter through to get to our truthful desire, which is the desire that will sustainably fulfill us. We can’t just skip to the end. The temptation of the “dark side” works in relationship with affirming the good. We have to take the test and pass. Abstaining does not qualify as passing.

If you don’t agree with my worldview, then there is somewhere in the stack in which we don’t share overlapping experiences. For most people, I’d imagine it’s at the beginning with the idea that reality will accommodate genuine requests of conviction. Until that is tried and tested, we will be speaking past each other.

Btw, I disagree with your claim that status is relative. A lack of clarity about status doesn’t mean it’s relative.
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