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Old 12-18-2018, 06:38 AM   #126
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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You're struggling up a mountain and think the summit is right around the corner, but you keep spiraling around one after another, only to find more trail ahead. When do you finally say **** it, pitch a tent, crack open some beers, and enjoy yourself? Of course you envision the view from the summit to make for a much more enjoyable experience but what if it doesnt come? The hike up that mountain might destroy you.

The problem with your methodology is that theres no limit to the amount of struggle before actualization.
The limit is where you're content with the effort you've put in and with your self. Doesn't matter if you arent the very best in the world at whatever drives you. In the end, we'll all suffer either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. If you prefer regret, cool. I don't.

Also, you can pitch a tent every weekend, have a dance and get wasted. You can ALSO practice your discipline on weekdays. You can do both. Many do.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:16 AM   #127
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The limit is where you're content with the effort you've put in and with your self. Doesn't matter if you arent the very best in the world at whatever drives you. In the end, we'll all suffer either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. If you prefer regret, cool. I don't.

Also, you can pitch a tent every weekend, have a dance and get wasted. You can ALSO practice your discipline on weekdays. You can do both. Many do.
In the end we'll be freed from suffering. In the meantime you might experience pain from regretting the pain of discipline.

Why would anyone want to practice discipline?
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:40 PM   #128
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Our experiences in the stack diverge at actualization. You're struggling up a mountain and think the summit is right around the corner, but you keep spiraling around one after another, only to find more trail ahead. When do you finally say **** it, pitch a tent, crack open some beers, and enjoy yourself? Of course you envision the view from the summit to make for a much more enjoyable experience but what if it doesnt come? The hike up that mountain might destroy you.
These are strong reasons to not be the first person to risk fully committing to completing the journey. With each individual that completes the journey and models the payoff, it will become a less risky proposal for the rest. Ultimately, there is only so much we can influence each other, and how we live our lives is up to individual choice.

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The problem with your methodology is that theres no limit to the amount of struggle before actualization. When do you know it's time to give up on a life goal? When is enough enough? When you're old and used up?
The idea is not to actualize all of our aims but only the one that sustainably fulfills us. How that plays out is when we start to make progress in, for instance, climbing status hierarchies, our conscience will begin to indicate to us that our current direction is not fulfilling enough.

We are extremely adaptable and contain more potential than we realize. The failure point is not in our inability to become what we need to become in order to overcome adversity. The failure point is in refusing to reject the comfort and security of the status quo.

Pain, suffering, lack of meaning, unsustained fulfillment, deterioration - these feelings and states are like a bully that we can’t escape from for more than brief periods of time. Are we satisfied with managing and lessening the impact of the bully? Perhaps. For me, a line would get crossed, and I would risk the unknown in order to put a stop to all of it for the present and future. My sense is that just about everyone reaches this same point. The difference is that I am willing to escalate the conflict to a point in which I am willing to sacrifice whatever it takes in order to get my aim, and I don’t compromise by accepting the lesser offering that reality always tries to first test us with.
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Old 12-18-2018, 05:07 PM   #129
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Why would anyone want to practice discipline?
Because you're not unhappy with the world or the system. You're unhappy with yourself.

You're unhappy with yourself precisely because you lack discipline.

The world owes you nothing. Nice things - most certainly not.

You should not expect to be happier without due effort and discipline.

Find a more sustainable, inner source of happiness. A happiness that does not depend on the whimsical changes and unpredictability of the external world. A happiness borne out of self-efficacy and personal excellence.

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Old 12-18-2018, 05:43 PM   #130
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

"The deeper its roots go into the dark, the higher the tree grows into the light" - Nietzsche.

You must run head first into the dark; the discipline, the problems, the responsibility, the effort and the grit. Only then will light shine upon thee.

This is a strange kind of cosmic justice. Justice nonetheless.

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Old 12-18-2018, 06:22 PM   #131
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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These are strong reasons to not be the first person to risk fully committing to completing the journey. With each individual that completes the journey and models the payoff, it will become a less risky proposal for the rest. Ultimately, there is only so much we can influence each other, and how we live our lives is up to individual choice.


The idea is not to actualize all of our aims but only the one that sustainably fulfills us. How that plays out is when we start to make progress in, for instance, climbing status hierarchies, our conscience will begin to indicate to us that our current direction is not fulfilling enough.

We are extremely adaptable and contain more potential than we realize. The failure point is not in our inability to become what we need to become in order to overcome adversity. The failure point is in refusing to reject the comfort and security of the status quo.

Pain, suffering, lack of meaning, unsustained fulfillment, deterioration - these feelings and states are like a bully that we can’t escape from for more than brief periods of time. Are we satisfied with managing and lessening the impact of the bully? Perhaps. For me, a line would get crossed, and I would risk the unknown in order to put a stop to all of it for the present and future. My sense is that just about everyone reaches this same point. The difference is that I am willing to escalate the conflict to a point in which I am willing to sacrifice whatever it takes in order to get my aim, and I don’t compromise by accepting the lesser offering that reality always tries to first test us with.
It seems all this talk of status, hierarchies, etc. rests on your belief that the will to power is at the essence of the human drive. At their worst, these things are all mechanisms for control over others. Or, used defensively, for freedom from others who subscribe to the same belief.

Power corrupts and is fleeting, thus, ultimately, unfulfilling. Why lead others down the same well-trodden path to nowhere?

The negative states you've described are brought on by the struggle and suffering that one must endure in attempt to overcome barriers.

You say you're willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for your aim. What exactly would you sacrifice? The wellbeing of others, your health, your integrity....your life?

If you feel as though there is a bully within you, then its the part of you that is goating you into the struggle. Bullies are often victims of abuse, or are in distress due to insecurities, with no knowledge of healthy ways to cope. Bullies should not be met with conflict, but with compassion. Heal the bully, don't crush him. Or you'll destroy yourself in the process.

The healing begins with uncovering what it is that has hurt the bully so badly. Eventually you'll find forgiveness, self-love, and acceptance. Then you will no longer experience the agonizing inner strife, as the need for the unttainable will be resolved.
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:51 PM   #132
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Because you're not unhappy with the world or the system. You're unhappy with yourself.

You're unhappy with yourself precisely because you lack discipline.

The world owes you nothing. Nice things - most certainly not.

You should not expect to be happier without due effort and discipline.

Find a more sustainable, inner source of happiness. A happiness that does not depend on the whimsical changes and unpredictability of the external world. A happiness borne out of self-efficacy and personal excellence.
The type of self-efficacy and excellence you're advocating for is necessitated by precisely that which you're attempting to remove yourself from dependence on- the external world.

See my response to Craig for a healthier solution.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #133
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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It seems all this talk of status, hierarchies, etc. rests on your belief that the will to power is at the essence of the human drive. At their worst, these things are all mechanisms for control over others. Or, used defensively, for freedom from others who subscribe to the same belief.

Power corrupts and is fleeting, thus, ultimately, unfulfilling. Why lead others down the same well-trodden path to nowhere?

The negative states you've described are brought on by the struggle and suffering that one must endure in attempt to overcome barriers.

You say you're willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for your aim. What exactly would you sacrifice? The wellbeing of others, your health, your integrity....your life?

If you feel as though there is a bully within you, then its the part of you that is goating you into the struggle. Bullies are often victims of abuse, or are in distress due to insecurities, with no knowledge of healthy ways to cope. Bullies should not be met with conflict, but with compassion. Heal the bully, don't crush him. Or you'll destroy yourself in the process.

The healing begins with uncovering what it is that has hurt the bully so badly. Eventually you'll find forgiveness, self-love, and acceptance. Then you will no longer experience the agonizing inner strife, as the need for the unttainable will be resolved.
Your treatment plan of forgiveness, self-love, acceptance, and compassion — while useful tools in the journey — cannot stand the test of time. I will let reality be your teacher from here. After enough time passes, and the honeymoon period comes to its end, your only options become escapism/denial or a reconsideration of your current assessment. There is no discussion to be had with people who falsely believe they have already arrived.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:27 PM   #134
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The healing begins with uncovering what it is that has hurt the bully so badly. Eventually you'll find forgiveness, self-love, and acceptance. Then you will no longer experience the agonizing inner strife, as the need for the unttainable will be resolved.
Forgiveness and acceptance are virtues of the weak; for the weak.

You're going to struggle reaching a sustainable state of self-love without self-efficacy. If you always feel like a failure then your moral virtues, perfect as they may seem, will need recalibration. A well calibrated set of moral virtues empowers you to achieve self-efficacy.

Alternatively you may also choose to love yourself through delusion. A state of being where feelings of failure and inadequacy are suppressed and ignored for a prolonged period of time. A state that leads to apathy, depression and incessant finger-pointing.

Try it out. See how long you can pretend that it's the world and the Other that's the problem.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:22 AM   #135
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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
It seems all this talk of status, hierarchies, etc. rests on your belief that the will to power is at the essence of the human drive. At their worst, these things are all mechanisms for control over others. Or, used defensively, for freedom from others who subscribe to the same belief.

Power corrupts and is fleeting, thus, ultimately, unfulfilling. Why lead others down the same well-trodden path to nowhere?

The negative states you've described are brought on by the struggle and suffering that one must endure in attempt to overcome barriers.

You say you're willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for your aim. What exactly would you sacrifice? The wellbeing of others, your health, your integrity....your life?

If you feel as though there is a bully within you, then its the part of you that is goating you into the struggle. Bullies are often victims of abuse, or are in distress due to insecurities, with no knowledge of healthy ways to cope. Bullies should not be met with conflict, but with compassion. Heal the bully, don't crush him. Or you'll destroy yourself in the process.

The healing begins with uncovering what it is that has hurt the bully so badly. Eventually you'll find forgiveness, self-love, and acceptance. Then you will no longer experience the agonizing inner strife, as the need for the unttainable will be resolved.
I agree that forgiveness and appreciating yourself are indeed important traits. We live in an age where "the strongman" is worshipped, and the image of this man / woman seems to be a person devoid of some very basic human traits which we all have. And not only do we have them, we need them to function properly. Sympathy, empathy or care are somehow seen as "weak", even though they are basic traits humans need to cooperate effectively and quickly.

However that bullies somehow have low self-esteem or are insecure is somewhat of a myth. It's not like such people do not exist, but research shows that on average bullies have higher self-esteem than non-bullies.

What bullies are, however, are destructive. They ruin cooperation, communication, trust, the well-being of others and efficiency. Accepting bullies is like running an engine without oil, aka "just plain stupid".
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:21 PM   #136
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Craig and Veedz,

I walked down the path you're on for over a decade. I found it leads to nowhere and causes suffering. This is my take.

Of course you are free to do your own thing. If the struggle and discipline is what makes you happy then that's that. If it makes you happy then you are not suffering.

For those who are suffering on that pursuit, I suggest letting go.

I wish you the best on your journey.
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:46 PM   #137
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I agree that forgiveness and appreciating yourself are indeed important traits. We live in an age where "the strongman" is worshipped, and the image of this man / woman seems to be a person devoid of some very basic human traits which we all have. And not only do we have them, we need them to function properly. Sympathy, empathy or care are somehow seen as "weak", even though they are basic traits humans need to cooperate effectively and quickly.

However that bullies somehow have low self-esteem or are insecure is somewhat of a myth. It's not like such people do not exist, but research shows that on average bullies have higher self-esteem than non-bullies.

What bullies are, however, are destructive. They ruin cooperation, communication, trust, the well-being of others and efficiency. Accepting bullies is like running an engine without oil, aka "just plain stupid".
I was speaking metaphoricaly about the "bully within" to which Craig was referring. Of course I agree we should not accept bullying behavior. I'm not suggesting that. I'm suggesting healing the bully so the bullying behavior stops.

This is another topic entirely but the self esteem research seems to be mixed. It's a difficult thing to measure. Its difficult to pin down feelings triggering causation after the fact. Did the bullies higher self esteem precede the bullying?

Could it be that, without the ability to bully, the low self-esteem is present, but with the ability it is higher? Are bullies lying about their insecurities? Are they buried?

One thing that seems to be unequivocal is that bullies have often experienced some form of trauma. Many have been victims of abuse, experienced a tragedy, or sustained head injury.



Well I cant get the embedded player to work so here is a link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDVaiwzU8yc

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Old 12-19-2018, 05:48 PM   #138
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Tame - I think your diagnosis or assumptions about our shared societal values is not quite right.

What we need more of is people with inner strength, with courage, with integrity; with grit; with self-efficacy; with confidence.

Instead we have a population born out of the self-esteem movement; a population struggling to reconcile their sense of inadequacy with the positive feedback given to them by everyone around; a population with participation trophies; a population of socially anxious, nervous wrecks; a population that looks at a great guitarist and thinks - 'it must be wonderful to be so talented' - instead of - 'wow, this guitarist must have come from a really dark place of 6-8 hour daily training over 9 or 10 years'.
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Old 12-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #139
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Tame - I think your diagnosis or assumptions about our shared societal values is not quite right.

What we need more of is people with inner strength, with courage, with integrity; with grit; with self-efficacy; with confidence.

Instead we have a population born out of the self-esteem movement; a population struggling to reconcile their sense of inadequacy with the positive feedback given to them by everyone around; a population with participation trophies; a population of socially anxious, nervous wrecks; a population that looks at a great guitarist and thinks - 'it must be wonderful to be so talented' - instead of - 'wow, this guitarist must have come from a really dark place of 6-8 hour daily training over 9 or 10 years'.
Not everyone is confident, not everyone needs to be and sometimes confidence is negative. We're a social species with many roles that need to be filled.

And participation trophies are fine too, competition is only needed in a selection of human endeavors while cooperation is needed in most of them. Why rain on rewarding participation? You certainly don't dilute the merits of competition by also accepting that participation is important. If someone wants to look at the gold medal and think "that is what matters"; fine. But surely they can do that without criticizing someone who admires everyone who took part.

What I take issue with is mostly that we take some very basic and highly functional human traits and we view them as negative.

Consider this: The latter years of my career I've spent teaching professional in various disciplines how to lead others under critical condition and where decisions will literally decide who lives and who dies. Never have I met one of those people who think empathy, sympathy, care for others or forgiveness are "weak" traits. Rather the opposite, these people admire such qualities because they know that it a) makes their teams better b) makes time-sensitive decisions more effective.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:14 PM   #140
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Empathy and sympathy aren't weak traits. But when it's all your capable of and you have a unidimensional character - that's weak, and thats where you'll have issues. No one is denying the importance of these traits either. And most people naturally have these traits, in abundance.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:14 PM   #141
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

The issue is that Western society has swung too far to the feminine, and there is a long term cost to that if isn’t corrected. I mentioned that for the purpose of socialization, it is better that we emphasize ethics (considered more feminine) over “willpower” in young children. However, when our morality is only focused on ethics for all demographics, and there is still a growing belief that the masculine is too pervasive in society, that is an indicator that we have swung too far.

Most people are blind to this and will think someone like me is harmful. They are easy to spot. They believe that morality and ethics are synonymous, and that the Will is to be suppressed always. Except the Will doesn’t stay suppressed and their demonization of it causes them to blind themselves from their own. Soon enough, they will complete their arc of becoming what they claim to despise while still insisting that others are the enemy, incrementally justifying the unethical behavior of their Will which is now in control. It’s better if that doesn’t happen at a large scale I think. It’s better if we consciously include and integrate our masculinity.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:18 PM   #142
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Empathy and sympathy aren't weak traits. But when it's all your capable of and you have a unidimensional character - that's weak, and thats where you'll have issues. No one is denying the importance of these traits either. And most people naturally have these traits, in abundance.
Yeah, but luckily literally nobody is like that.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:34 PM   #143
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The issue is that Western society has swung too far to the feminine, and there is a long term cost to that if isn’t corrected. I mentioned that for the purpose of socialization, it is better that we emphasize ethics (considered more feminine) over “willpower” in young children. However, when our morality is only focused on ethics for all demographics, and there is still a growing belief that the masculine is too pervasive in society, that is an indicator that we have swung too far.

Most people are blind to this and will think someone like me is harmful. They are easy to spot. They believe that morality and ethics are synonymous, and that the Will is to be suppressed always. Except the Will doesn’t stay suppressed and their demonization of it causes them to blind themselves from their own. Soon enough, they will complete their arc of becoming what they claim to despise while still insisting that others are the enemy, incrementally justifying the unethical behavior of their Will which is now in control. It’s better if that doesn’t happen at a large scale I think. It’s better if we consciously include and integrate our masculinity.
What's masculine and feminine doesn't even necessarily cross across cultures very well. And applying a gender to "ethics" is just weird.

The fact is that as long as nothing is majorly wrong with your brain, you probably have the entire range of emotions available and individuals will differ in which ones are most prominent. So perhaps instead of arguing exactly how the ideal uber-mensch is supposed to be like, we should just accept that people should get to be who they are as long they don't cause serious harm to others and move onto something useful.

Because what I see in this thread is decrying completely normal and highly functional human behavior as "bad" for no genuinely good reason. Life ain't a movie where caricatures rise to the occasion while lacking half the emotional responses that actually make up human beings. And when it is poor faximiles like that we admire, then we'll end up preferring people who are good putting on an act instead of being honest.

The military learned it the hard way: If you disregard completely normal emotional responses as "weak", you'll just end up with a bunch of people with ruined mental health or who do crazy **** when deployed. And the worst part is that viewing those responses as weak had absolutely no basis in rationality or reason. It was just a stupid trait of the prevailing culture at the time (and one that sadly still exists).

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Old 12-21-2018, 01:26 AM   #144
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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How did you do this before? For instance, a good way of bootstrapping meaning is by doing volunteer work helping people. There's not a large ideological component to people who want food, shelter, good health, a good life for their kids, etc. Volunteer for a local food bank or homeless shelter. Stay away from politics if you find people's ideology troubling.



I won't say it's surprising that you are an antinatalist, but moral nihilism and antinatalism are incompatible beliefs. Insofar as your kind of "view from outside" nihilism differs from moral nihilism, it also seems incompatible with antinatalism. Mostly, you don't seem like an actual nihilist at all to me, but more of an anti-humanist.



The Less Wrong people like to say that "Rationality is Winning." By this they mean something like, being rational isn't just about thinking clever thoughts, but comes from fitting means to ends that actually benefit you and/or those around you as a person. Taken to an extreme, there are problems with this formulation, but it is a good thing to keep in mind when you feel tempted to arrogance. I've played with poker players who sit down at a $1/2 or $2/5 table, and then after losing all their money complain about how they can't play at those low of stakes because the other players are so bad at poker. Ridiculous.

Intelligence is a useful quality to have, just like self-discipline, attractiveness, strength and athleticism, and so on. But as you get older you'll find it less interesting to people as a mere quality of you as a person if you are unable to use it to live a good or successful life. Intelligence in children is a predictor of later success, but as you get later in life without that success, that signal is much weaker.
You're a non-nihilist attempting to preach to (rather than converse with) a nihilist; you're obviously going to be at a loss. I lost a decent amount of respect for you after reading this post; as you indirectly caution against arrogance, your own arrogance drips from the virtual page. I make money and find some small semblance of 'community' by playing low/mid-stakes poker at the local Indian casino sporadically (although I have long been sick of that atmosphere)...not even going to address your other points. Your attempt to dissociate nihilism from antinatalism was pained and unconvincing. If you want to argue for the incompatibility of moral nihilism and antinatalism, well, sure, you can argue for the incompatibility of moral nihilism and any other position X--I personally would argue that a base of moral nihilism can empower a person to advocate anything he wishes, while still realizing that it's all arbitrary. That's the [sometimes hidden] philosophical underpinning of existentialism, after all. But beyond that, it's not moral nihilism that is relevant to the antinatalist position so much as existential nihilism. You could perhaps trade in your Thomas Nagel books for some David Benatar.

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Old 12-21-2018, 03:04 AM   #145
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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Yeah, but luckily literally nobody is like that.
Except most people.

Most people, for example, don't know how to say no; how to confront problems before they become something too large to deal with. Empathy and sympathy are great at times. So is a strong will and disagreeableness.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:18 AM   #146
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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The issue is that Western society has swung too far to the feminine, and there is a long term cost to that if isn’t corrected. I mentioned that for the purpose of socialization, it is better that we emphasize ethics (considered more feminine) over “willpower” in young children. However, when our morality is only focused on ethics for all demographics, and there is still a growing belief that the masculine is too pervasive in society, that is an indicator that we have swung too far.

Most people are blind to this and will think someone like me is harmful. They are easy to spot. They believe that morality and ethics are synonymous, and that the Will is to be suppressed always. Except the Will doesn’t stay suppressed and their demonization of it causes them to blind themselves from their own. Soon enough, they will complete their arc of becoming what they claim to despise while still insisting that others are the enemy, incrementally justifying the unethical behavior of their Will which is now in control. It’s better if that doesn’t happen at a large scale I think. It’s better if we consciously include and integrate our masculinity.
You, perhaps not more than others but because you're in my crosshairs (ooh, masculine word) at this very moment, have a peculiar, muddled philosophy. You probably thought with a lot more clarity back when you were a nihilist.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:41 AM   #147
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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You're a non-nihilist attempting to preach to (rather than converse with) a nihilist; you're obviously going to be at a loss. I lost a decent amount of respect for you after reading this post; as you indirectly caution against arrogance, your own arrogance drips from the virtual page. I make money and find some small semblance of 'community' by playing low/mid-stakes poker at the local Indian casino sporadically (although I have long been sick of that atmosphere)...not even going to address your other points.
I'm not sure how this addresses any of my points. You seem unhappy with your life and seem to think this has something to do with the generic meaninglessness of human existence. Maybe so, but it seems to me more likely that it has to do with your lifestyle. Not seeing anything to change my mind in the description of your poker playing above.

As for losing your respect, I'm sure I'm unable to calibrate my tone to satisfy your expectations. You've been posting this same basic argument for over five years here now and often veer between different emotional perspectives. As I've stated, the issue nihilism seems to raise for you is not really an intellectual one to be argued about, but rather a practical one of how to be satisfied or happy with the kinds of meaning actually available to us in a world without transcendental meaning. Trying to persuade you of this will inevitably sound a bit like preaching, as it is an argument for you to change your life rather than your ideas.

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Your attempt to dissociate nihilism from antinatalism was pained and unconvincing. If you want to argue for the incompatibility of moral nihilism and antinatalism, well, sure, you can argue for the incompatibility of moral nihilism and any other position X--I personally would argue that a base of moral nihilism can empower a person to advocate anything he wishes, while still realizing that it's all arbitrary.
I understand "moral nihilism" as the view that nothing is morally wrong or right. Benatar's asymmetry argument for anti-natalism claims that we have a moral duty to not bear children because doing so causes suffering, thus claiming that having children is morally wrong. Hence, Benatar's version of ant-natalism is inconsistent with moral nihilism.

A moral nihilist can advocate for anything she wishes, but not on moral grounds, at least, not consistently. Moral nilhilism is not the same thing as moral relativism or subjectivism.

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That's the [sometimes hidden] philosophical underpinning of existentialism, after all. But beyond that, it's not moral nihilism that is relevant to the antinatalist position so much as existential nihilism. You could perhaps trade in your Thomas Nagel books for some David Benatar.
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David Benatar:
Actually I don’t think that life is devoid of any and all meaning. Our lives can have meaning as a result of their impact on other individuals, communities or, in rare cases, humanity as a whole–all forms of what we can call “terrestrial” meaning. What I deny is that life can have a more ultimate form of meaning–a “cosmic” meaning if you will. There is no broader purpose that we serve. Thus the fact that people can find some meaning in life supports rather than challenges my view. Creating or finding terrestrial meaning makes life go much less badly than it otherwise would.
I've made this exact point in this thread. If by "existential nihilism" you mean that our lives don't have "cosmic" meaning, then fine, I basically agree. If you mean by "existential nihilism" that our lives don't have any meaning, then I disagree (as, evidently, does Benatar). A life without any meaning would be dreadful and pose serious problems for our psychological and physical health if we admitted it to ourselves. However, as I've argued in this thread, a life with "terrestrial" meaning but without "cosmic" meaning can be a good, happy, and full life. You just keep passing over this point as if it is trivial, but it is the core of the disagreement between us.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:20 AM   #148
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

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I'm not sure how this addresses any of my points. You seem unhappy with your life and seem to think this has something to do with the generic meaninglessness of human existence. Maybe so, but it seems to me more likely that it has to do with your lifestyle. Not seeing anything to change my mind in the description of your poker playing above.

As for losing your respect, I'm sure I'm unable to calibrate my tone to satisfy your expectations. You've been posting this same basic argument for over five years here now and often veer between different emotional perspectives. As I've stated, the issue nihilism seems to raise for you is not really an intellectual one to be argued about, but rather a practical one of how to be satisfied or happy with the kinds of meaning actually available to us in a world without transcendental meaning. Trying to persuade you of this will inevitably sound a bit like preaching, as it is an argument for you to change your life rather than your ideas.



I understand "moral nihilism" as the view that nothing is morally wrong or right. Benatar's asymmetry argument for anti-natalism claims that we have a moral duty to not bear children because doing so causes suffering, thus claiming that having children is morally wrong. Hence, Benatar's version of ant-natalism is inconsistent with moral nihilism.

A moral nihilist can advocate for anything she wishes, but not on moral grounds, at least, not consistently. Moral nilhilism is not the same thing as moral relativism or subjectivism.





I've made this exact point in this thread. If by "existential nihilism" you mean that our lives don't have "cosmic" meaning, then fine, I basically agree. If you mean by "existential nihilism" that our lives don't have any meaning, then I disagree (as, evidently, does Benatar). A life without any meaning would be dreadful and pose serious problems for our psychological and physical health if we admitted it to ourselves. However, as I've argued in this thread, a life with "terrestrial" meaning but without "cosmic" meaning can be a good, happy, and full life. You just keep passing over this point as if it is trivial, but it is the core of the disagreement between us.
Scary that you know I've been posting here for over five years. That's either phenomenal recall about my other account or a tremendous ability to be Sklansky or Malmuth while acting as if you aren't. Haha...half-serious.

Moral nilhilism may not be the *same* thing as moral relativism, but the extent to which they're distinguishable is probably a subject for debate. Just as I willingly argue that atheism implies nihilism, I'll gladly argue that relativism implies nihilism (or nihilism implies relativism--we'll make this biconditional)

The core of the disagreement between us is derived from the fact that I cannot fathom how anyone who agrees with me on 'the basics' then goes on to say such conventional things as 'intelligence is just another way of getting what you want in life, along with attractiveness and strength' (to paraphrase your previous post)--I mean, that is something that makes me want to projectile vomit. Tells me all I all I need to know about how you yourself managed to get to wherever you may actually be at this point, but it's such a mercenary viewpoint. I'm principled in my nihilism, if that irony can be appreciated at all. I don't want to 'succeed' in spite of being a nihilist; I want people to know I'm not succeeding for a reason, or a lack of reasons.

That might get closer to the core of our disagreement...?
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:30 AM   #149
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Re: Is religion the answer to Nihilism? If not what ideology is?

Probably a good example of Jonathan Haidt's 'emotional dog and its rational tail' argument...you're far less inclined than I to accept absurdity even as we both accept a worldview that easily implies absurdity. The willingness or lack thereof to embrace absurdity is due to innate emotional inclinations....
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:10 AM   #150
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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
Scary that you know I've been posting here for over five years. That's either phenomenal recall about my other account or a tremendous ability to be Sklansky or Malmuth while acting as if you aren't. Haha...half-serious.

Moral nilhilism may not be the *same* thing as moral relativism, but the extent to which they're distinguishable is probably a subject for debate. Just as I willingly argue that atheism implies nihilism, I'll gladly argue that relativism implies nihilism (or nihilism implies relativism--we'll make this biconditional)

The core of the disagreement between us is derived from the fact that I cannot fathom how anyone who agrees with me on 'the basics' then goes on to say such conventional things as 'intelligence is just another way of getting what you want in life, along with attractiveness and strength' (to paraphrase your previous post)--I mean, that is something that makes me want to projectile vomit. Tells me all I all I need to know about how you yourself managed to get to wherever you may actually be at this point, but it's such a mercenary viewpoint. I'm principled in my nihilism, if that irony can be appreciated at all. I don't want to 'succeed' in spite of being a nihilist; I want people to know I'm not succeeding for a reason, or a lack of reasons.

That might get closer to the core of our disagreement...?
Yes, you and millions of others do tend to claim that atheism implies nihilism.

Primarily because you and those people define atheism as you see fit and then jump to the conclusion. A bit like claiming clothing is socks and then conclude that hats are silly because noone should be wearing socks on their head.

Here is the kicker: It doesn't matter what you think atheism implies, it matters what the the individual atheist thinks it implies. Perhaps John thinks that the universe is magically handing down morals via the sweet song of ethereal unicorns. Perhaps you disagree. Your disagreement is irrelevant, because the only thing that matters for this discussion is that John is not a nihilist.

Your failure to understand or be willing to understand the views of others on morality is not on them, it is on you. Now you don't have to agree with them. You could even find their views banal, silly or even dangerous. But this is none of those things, this is simply the refusal to accept that the beliefs exist.
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