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Re: Intellectual Dishonesty

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  • 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 1 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
      --- 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 2 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
        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 3 of 18 , Oct 1, 2003
          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 4 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
            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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          • 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 5 of 18 , Oct 2, 2003
              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



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

              TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
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              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


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