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Re: Intellectual Dishonesty

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  • Mary Jo Malo
    C.S. Nihilism is not only despair and negation, but above all the desire to despair and to negate. - Albert Camus If we are to fail, it is better in any
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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      C.S.

      "Nihilism is not only despair and negation, but above all the desire
      to despair and to negate." - Albert Camus

      "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
      side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
      destroying." - Camus

      Mary Jo

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@t...>
      wrote:
      > The following statement is technically inaccurate:
      >
      > > Christ, even bacteria have
      > > a greater will to live than nihilists.
      > >
      > > Jo
      >
      > A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
      > destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
      > humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The
      peaks
      > and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
      > descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.
      >
      > When capitalized, Nihilism is a cousin to Anarchy. It was a
      political
      > movement throughout Europe and found a center in the Slavic nations.
      > Eventually, Nihilism even counted as a true force in the Russian
      > Revolutionary Movements.
      >
      > Nihilism, noun. the beliefs and practices of a revolutionary party
      in
      > Russia in the middle 1800's, which advocated destruction of the old
      > order by violence and terrorism to make way for reform.
      >
      > On the other hand, nihilism (lowercase) is more a rejection of order
      > than an assertion that everything is terrible and we should all die.
      >
      > ni·hil·ism n
      > 1. the general rejection of established social conventions and
      > beliefs, especially of morality and religion
      > 2. a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless
      > 3. the belief that there is no objective basis for truth
      > 4. the belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be
      > destroyed in order to rebuild a just society
      > 5. Ni·hil·ism: a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that
      > sought to bring about a just new society by destroying the existing
      > one through acts of terrorism and assassination
      >
      > (from, of all places: Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999)
      >
      > I could use any number of dictionaries and texts for longer
      > definitions, but let us use these simplified definitions.
      >
      > The first two easily fit into the Existentialism of early Sartre,
      > which is why many consider the two related. The idea that social
      > values should be redacted and replaced by internal motivations,
      > intrinsic values, is common to many Continental Philosophical
      schools
      > of thought.
      >
      > Item 3 is closer to later movements. I hate to sound negative, but
      > American "moral relativists" and "cultural relativists" often fall
      > under the spell of the "no objective truth" assertion of nihilism.
      > Personally, I think there are a few objective truths -- starting
      with
      > mankind is an animal that seeks to survive.
      >
      > Items 4 and 5 are Sartre's weakness. In fact, Sartre admired and
      > embraced Russian Nihilism as a romantic notion. Camus did the same,
      in
      > "The Just Assassins" -- but he observed a clear distinction between
      > Nihilism and nihilism. Dostoevsky and other Russian writers did the
      same.
      >
      > "Nihilism" and "nihilistic" are too often misused,
      like "Existential"
      > and "existentialism."
      >
      > - C. S. Wyatt
    • C. S. Wyatt
      ... Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like Merleau-Ponty, he
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
        > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
        > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
        > destroying." - Camus
        >
        > Mary Jo
        >

        Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
        rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
        Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
        Russia as suspect.

        Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
        this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
        violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

        The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
        and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
        view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
        mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
        -- and became nothing but destruction.

        Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
        careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

        We toss about words too esily without historical context.

        - C. S. Wyatt
      • C. S. Wyatt
        I wish to clarify something.. ... The Nihilists of Russia and Eastern Europe did not call for the compelte destruction of society, but rather the destruction
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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          I wish to clarify something..

          > A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
          > destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
          > humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The peaks
          > and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
          > descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.

          The Nihilists of Russia and Eastern Europe did not call for the
          compelte destruction of society, but rather the destruction of a
          government and its symbols. I do not consider this "destructive" in
          the sense of random and violent crime -- this is not Clockwork Orange.

          So, it becomes slightly symantec... destructive in the sense of
          tearing down a government, but not destructive in the sense of harming
          the citizens of a society. The Nihilists were no longer a political
          force by the end of World War I.

          The word "nihilism" slipped into common usage, without a reference to
          the party, to describe random and meaningless destruction. However,
          that is not the philosophical definition.

          Anyway... I must slip out again and write.
        • Mary Jo Malo
          C.S. Camus examined nihilism in greater depth than the example you provide. I accept his rejection, because it is my rejection. Obviously, I choose the side of
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
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            C.S.

            Camus examined nihilism in greater depth than the example you provide. I accept his rejection, because it is my rejection. Obviously, I choose the side of hope, because I give an ultimate dignity to the human condition. Even with dictionaries, lexicons and historical context, we are simply offered several definitions. We will always choose the definition that most suits that which we already hold to be true for ourselves. To deny desire and hope in both trivial and profound matters will only guarantee that those who masquerade as humanity will succeed in making us like them. I choose forwards rather than backwards.

            Mary Jo

            "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
            > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
            > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
            > destroying." - Camus
            >
            > Mary Jo
            >

            Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
            rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
            Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
            Russia as suspect.

            Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
            this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
            violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

            The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
            and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
            view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
            mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
            -- and became nothing but destruction.

            Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
            careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

            We toss about words too esily without historical context.

            - C. S. Wyatt



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          • George Walton
            Philosophy in a dictionary? C. S. Wyatt wrote: ... A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for destruction. Nihilism,
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
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              Philosophy in a dictionary?



              "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
              The following statement is technically inaccurate:

              > Christ, even bacteria have
              > a greater will to live than nihilists.
              >
              > Jo

              A Nihilist is not destructive, nor does he or she call for
              destruction. Nihilism, academically, is a theory that asserts that
              humanity will peak and then descend into chaotic existence. The peaks
              and valleys of this pattern move mankind forward, until a final
              descent -- thousands of years from now, in theory.

              When capitalized, Nihilism is a cousin to Anarchy. It was a political
              movement throughout Europe and found a center in the Slavic nations.
              Eventually, Nihilism even counted as a true force in the Russian
              Revolutionary Movements.

              Nihilism, noun. the beliefs and practices of a revolutionary party in
              Russia in the middle 1800's, which advocated destruction of the old
              order by violence and terrorism to make way for reform.

              On the other hand, nihilism (lowercase) is more a rejection of order
              than an assertion that everything is terrible and we should all die.

              ni�hil�ism n
              1. the general rejection of established social conventions and
              beliefs, especially of morality and religion
              2. a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless
              3. the belief that there is no objective basis for truth
              4. the belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be
              destroyed in order to rebuild a just society
              5. Ni�hil�ism: a political movement in late 19th-century Russia that
              sought to bring about a just new society by destroying the existing
              one through acts of terrorism and assassination

              (from, of all places: Encarta� World English Dictionary � 1999)

              I could use any number of dictionaries and texts for longer
              definitions, but let us use these simplified definitions.

              The first two easily fit into the Existentialism of early Sartre,
              which is why many consider the two related. The idea that social
              values should be redacted and replaced by internal motivations,
              intrinsic values, is common to many Continental Philosophical schools
              of thought.

              Item 3 is closer to later movements. I hate to sound negative, but
              American "moral relativists" and "cultural relativists" often fall
              under the spell of the "no objective truth" assertion of nihilism.
              Personally, I think there are a few objective truths -- starting with
              mankind is an animal that seeks to survive.

              Items 4 and 5 are Sartre's weakness. In fact, Sartre admired and
              embraced Russian Nihilism as a romantic notion. Camus did the same, in
              "The Just Assassins" -- but he observed a clear distinction between
              Nihilism and nihilism. Dostoevsky and other Russian writers did the same.

              "Nihilism" and "nihilistic" are too often misused, like "Existential"
              and "existentialism."

              - C. S. Wyatt


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              (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)

              TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
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            • George Walton
              Words mean things. And God knows only nihilists are permitted to compile the dictionaries we use to confirm the meaning of all the words we use in philosophy.
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
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                Words mean things. And God knows only nihilists are permitted to compile the dictionaries we use to confirm the meaning of all the words we use in philosophy.

                He does, doesn't he?

                "C. S. Wyatt" <existlist1@...> wrote:
                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Jo Malo" <alcyon11@y...>
                > "If we are to fail, it is better in any case to have stood on the
                > side of those who choose life than on the side of those who are
                > destroying." - Camus
                >
                > Mary Jo
                >

                Camus, especially during the Algerian uprisings, came to see violent
                rebellion as no longer acceptable in the post-WWII environment. Like
                Merleau-Ponty, he came to view the Nihilists and Communists of Soviet
                Russia as suspect.

                Revolution often descends in to a cycle of violence. Camus lectured on
                this, near the time of his death. Camus struggled with the problem of
                violence, as did so many others during the 20th-Century.

                The Nihilists of Russia turned increasingly violent, without logic,
                and Camus studied this and other revolutionary movements. He came to
                view the Nihilists as basically hopeless and caught in a mob
                mentality. The violence lost its meaning -- equality for the workers
                -- and became nothing but destruction.

                Words mean things... which is why we have dictionaries and I am
                careful to post lexicons on my Web site.

                We toss about words too esily without historical context.

                - C. S. Wyatt



                Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT

                Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)

                TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


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