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RE: [existlist] Nihilism

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  • Robert Keyes
    True. Even though the list of Human atrocities is endless and continues today. I think you are right. That we are more social than hostile ape like creatures.
    Message 1 of 173 , Oct 1, 2005
      True. Even though the list of Human atrocities is endless and continues
      today. I think you are right. That we are more social than hostile ape like
      creatures. Sure we are stupid and emotional, but Brains have won and at
      least we think it is not good to kill others even though we do it. This is a
      step forward.
      Bob... p.s. Jeff, your Posts are always great.. I wish I had time to comment
      on them...



      -----Original Message-----
      From: existlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of jtate
      Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 7:14 AM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Nihilism

      " . . . 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
        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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