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Re: [existlist] Nihilism

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  • George Walton
    Oh, we have that innate ability all right. But a closer look at the bloody [at times barbaric] nature of human history to date shows it is in competition with
    Message 1 of 173 , Oct 1, 2005
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      Oh, we have that innate ability all right. But a closer look at the bloody [at times barbaric] nature of human history to date shows it is in competition with a few other innate tendencies as well. At least regarding the male of the species.

      And the irony being that lots of that blood was shed in the name of shoving moral values down the throats of those who prefered their own instead.

      And it doesn't change anything regarding the profoundly problematic manner in which we construe and then manifest our political and ethical agendas in the absense of God. They are merely existential contraptions in which what appears shabby to one person may appear quite sublime to another.

      Then what? Then whoever has the most power is able to enforce one particular rendition over another. That's an additional lesson we learn from a close perusal of human history to date.

      george


      jtate <jtate@...> wrote:

      " . . . when we realize the shabby origin of our moral values....our reactive response is to declare that existence is meaningless."

      The key to this sentence is the word "reactive." Upon reflection we can see that the origin of our moral values is our innate ability to care for the well-being of persons. Everything else about morality is interpretation and elaboration of this fact.

      That's not such a shabby origin.




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    • PoetCSW
      Someone on television -- I am not sure of the network, since I was busy staring at my computer screen -- just said the Arizona shooting was nihilism on
      Message 173 of 173 , Jan 14, 2011
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        Someone on television -- I am not sure of the network, since I was busy staring at my computer screen -- just said the Arizona shooting was nihilism on display.

        Apparently, two friends of the perpetrator have said he called himself a nihilist. I wanted to respond, but this seems the only place where people might know the answer.

        1) Wasn't "nihilism" a Russian movement to overturn a corrupt government, not merely a call to destroy everything and anything? It devolved, certainly, but I thought it was a defined moment in Russian history.

        2) Even current "nihilists" and "anarchists" in Greece and Spain seem to be focused on social issues. I might dislike their methods, but it appears the Mediterranean nihilists are closely aligned with a historical "anarchists" movement. Is that incorrect?

        I know, with some level of certainty, that "nihilism" is not random violence. It is a defined belief, even a scientific or pragmatic movement that sought to rebel against the Romantic, the idealistic, the general trends in Continental thought. In this light, nihilism is an opposite to existentialism or some forms of anarchism. I always associated nihilism with the rise of Western and Soviet Marxism, two movements that nihilists viewed as incomplete, still to idealistic.

        Admittedly, not one of my university courses spent any time on nihilism. I think the only mention might have been while we were discussing Russian film and rhetoric.

        - C. S.
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