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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatReligion(Moderator: bhcordova) WorldView: Pessimistic naturalism (nihilism)
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drizabone
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« on: Aug 21, 2017, 07:58PM »

Greetings fellow travellers through this world of ours.

This thread is one of a number of threads to discuss different perspectives people have of the world.  These perspecitives are called WorldViews.  My purpose in starting this series is to understand each others perspectives so I'm keen for you to fill out or correct the detail in the WorldView that correlates most closely with your perspective, or if you don't think there is one that matches you then start another.

This thread here explains whats going on:  http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,101685.0.html

And the questions that I think give a good start to characterising the WorldViews are in item 15 of that thread.  (How do you link to a thread item?)

So here is what I think the WorldView: Pessimistic naturalism (nihilism) is.

God/ultimate reality:
   • No god.
   • A cosmos that appears not to care, to value goodness, or tobe rational.
   • Absurd.
Cosmos/prime reality:
   • Operates either from necessity or chance.
   • No inherent value or meaning.
   • Provides no answers.
   • Absurd.
Humans:
   • No value, meaning or self.
   • Freedom and consciousness undermined.
Knowledge/revelation:
   • No foundation for knowledge.
   • No reason to think the brain as pure matter would give“truth”.
   • Truth and illusion indistinguishable.
Ethics:
   • No basis for moral values.
   • Values relative.
   • Cannot produce “oughts” from what “is” the case.
Death:
   • Extinction of consciousness, personality, and individuality.
   • Final absurdity.
History:
   • No direction or purpose.
   • Individual and world history are meaningless.
« Last Edit: Aug 22, 2017, 05:57PM by drizabone » Logged
BillO
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 23, 2017, 01:58PM »

So here is what I think the WorldView: Pessimistic naturalism (nihilism) is.

God/ultimate reality:
   • No god.
   • A cosmos that appears not to care, to value goodness, or tobe rational.
   • Absurd.

I don't think the comments about cosmos and absurdity belong here.  I would add: Ultimate reality is what can be observed and verified - objective
Quote
Cosmos/prime reality:
   • Operates either from necessity or chance.
   • No inherent value or meaning.
   • Provides no answers.
   • Absurd.

I don't think absurdity belongs here either.  The cosmos can provide answers, but only objective answers about itself.

Quote
Humans:
   • No value, meaning or self.
   • Freedom and consciousness undermined.

Here's where absurdity might go for this worldview. Although in Nietzsche's view of nihilism man can give value and meaning to his life through interpretation, but there is no intrinsic value or meaning.  I tend to agree with this.  I don't personally buy the concept of philosophical absurdity, but that's my worldview.  As far as self goes, only metaphysical nihilism and deconstructive nihilism lead to the being no 'self'.  Both Nietzsche and Kierkegaard held to the notion that the 'self' exists.  Freedom is key to nihilism so I can't see how it is undermined.  What makes you think consciousness is undermined in nihilism?  Nothing springs to mind on this.

Quote
Ethics:
   • No basis for moral values.
   • Values relative.
   • Cannot produce “oughts” from what “is” the case.

No inherent moral values would be a better claim.  can you explain: "Cannot produce “oughts” from what “is” the case."?


Quote
Death:
   • Extinction of consciousness, personality, and individuality.
   • Final absurdity.
Some nihilists believe that consciousness is external - belonging to the cosmos so would not be extinguished at death.  However it does not carry the 'self' with it - so no afterlife.  Again, I wouldn't use absurdity here.  A nihilist is free to interpret meaning to their death.

Quote
History:
   • No direction or purpose.
   • Individual and world history are meaningless.

I agree a nihilist would give no meaning to history, but it's purpose and direction never change.  It is always a record and it is linear if recorded accurately.

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