Nihilism's nihilism

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Dachshund
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Dachshund » June 18th, 2018, 7:04 am

I think it depends on what exactly you mean by the term "moral". As an adjective, the word "moral" typically connotes a concern with the principles of right and wrong behaviour, that is, what is good and what we ought to do (behaviour wise) and what is bad and we ought not do (behaviour wise).
Maxcady10001 wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 4:46 am

So long as your perceptions are your own, you decide the rules for your behavior. It is obvious that the rules for behavior, or morality, comes from the meaning of perceptions.
Some years ago, when I was living and working in central London, a commuter on the tube ( the London Underground), suddenly thrust a pen ( i.e. a "biro") he was carrying through another commuter's eye with such force that it was driven into the person's brain and swiftly resulted in his (it was a young male, I recall) death. It eventually turned out when the case was brought before a London Magistrate's Court, that the man who had killed this other commuter with his pen was - his legal defense team argued - a diagnosed chronic schizophrenic, who had, immediately prior to attacking the man he killed, experienced auditory hallucinations (imaginary voices in his head) exhorting him him to violently stab the deceased with his pen ( as described). This case was widely reported in the London news media at the time and most Londoners were appalled by the incident. Most, that is, thought that the violent behaviour of the schizophrenic perpetrator of this killing was very wrong / bad, and that this behaviour ought not ever have been taken place on the day that it did (?)

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Dachshund

Dachshund
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Dachshund » June 18th, 2018, 7:25 am

In the first paragraph of the post above, I wanted to emphasise that Kierkegaard firmly believed that we HUMAN BEINGS could not ever BY OURSELVES find a satisfactory answer to the question of THE meaning of our lives, that is, by USING UNGUIDED and UNAIDED HUMAN REASONING (i.e. Enlightenment -type rationalism) ALONE/ by ITSELF.

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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by kordofany » June 18th, 2018, 11:07 am

Nihilism according to your understanding is impossible because in itself it turns into a specific tendency. But nihilism is generally more of a psychological position than a rational one.
Freedom is an Idea in the mind... And reckless behavior is irrational.. I can live free inside the prison.
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Maxcady10001
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 18th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Hereandnow

I was not saying we should behave as scientists say we should, the quote from Becker tries to describe why there is meaning in perception. It is the meaning behind meaning.
Also, I would argue flying a plane is about as natural as riding a horse or using a bow and arrow. These things all seem natural to me, as they all involve the making of more environmental connections.

Dachshund
Meaninglessness seems to come from the knowledge of death and finitude. However, meaninglessness should only be a result if dying is denied prior to its acknowledgement. And such a denial would have been made possible by what i've seen called the characterological lie. Personality traits formed to cope with death or life's absurdity, the juxtaposition if symbolism and finitude. Ex: I could have billions of dollars and the love and respect of everyone but I will be dead in a few years. With the money or the symbolic value of money, I am powerful but concerning death I am powerless because I can't buy more life (probably arguable, i.e., transplants). But it is in recognizing the characterological lie (money prevents death) and understanding that you will die, where a shift in values occurs and new symbols become more powerful.
I've seen it called self overcoming or transcending the character traits built around death's denial.

Didn't Kierkegaard through reason (unaided) come to God as a source of meaning for life?

What did you mean by the event ought not have taken place? It was visually disturbing, frightening?

Kordofany
I don't know if nihilism is possible psychologically, there is certainly despair and fear of death, but all mean7ng void? Life devoid of meaning? How does one come to the conclusion life is meaningless? They might ask "why should I go to work?" And you could spend a lifetime coming up with reasons, some people do just that. You could ask "why should I live heathily if I will die anyway?" Again, the rest of your life can be spent answering these questions. I do not believe there is nihilism or meaninglessness, rather despair at too many meanings.

I hope I didn't contradict myself with this and the other posts.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 18th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 7:19 pm
There are several claims to nihilism that I am aware of, those being moral nihilism, religious nihilism and life's nihilism.
If nihilism is a position which reject belief I do not see any problem with categories of it.
It is not any kind of contradiction to accept the idea that belief is faulty in particular areas of human life such as religion and morality whilst at the same time accepting the finding of science.

But even in the case of absolute nihilism it seems perfectly acceptable to take a position of skepticism on all issues of belief and even challenge the basis of science as based on perceptions which could be deceptive.
Practical nihilism would have to provide for the temporary or contingent acceptance of a world view that, for example, accepts the existence of food, drink and shelter yet holds that sensory deception might be involved.

The rejection of nihilism itself is just black and white thinking. The sort of absolutism for which no warrant can be preserved.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 20th, 2018, 12:21 am

Thomas Hobbes
To reject a belief is to deny a judgement, by making a judgement. Both judgements based on perception. Nihilism phrased as the rejection of belief is impossible because particular judgements are rejected in favor if other judgements, and a general rejection of all judgements is impossible because to live is to be reliant on the making of judgements at all moments.
Judgements about the world or belief is absolutely necessary. And perception has to be trusted as you could only scrutinize perception with perception. If your only tool of truth is perception, how can perception deceive you? I suspect you mean a judgement about the world could be rejected after accepting it, but is there ever really a rejected judgement? Or, are there only new ones? Meaning, every new perception results in a new judgement, and the rejection of a judgement is a new perception, so it must be a new judgement.
Ex: I believe (judge) that man to be going for my face. No he was just reaching for the overhead compartment. See, the original judgement was rejected, but was it really? It seems more like a new perception, and a new judgement.

Dachshund
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Dachshund » June 20th, 2018, 11:21 am

Hobbes,

You're way off track, buddy. Nihilism in philosophy does NOT refer to (quote) "a position which rejects belief".

Schopenhauer was a classic philosophical nihilist, but he certainly had beliefs. He was a hard-core pessimist who firmly believed that human life was basically a thoroughly meaningless, **** deal.

Nihilism, to put it in other words, is a perspective in philosophy that rejects any theoretical account/s regarding what is thought to confer meaning on life, and the implicit assumption all such accounts make that SOME human lives are in fact meaningful.

A Nihilist perspective is, strictly speaking, one that challenges this assumption.

According to nihilism ( aka philosophical pessimism) what would make a life meaningful either cannot obtain, or, as a matter of fact, simply never does.

You need to bear this definition in mind in contemplating any further comments you might wish to contribute in response to the OP on this thread.

Regards

Dachshund

Judaka
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Judaka » June 29th, 2018, 1:24 pm

Maxcady your refutation of nihilism would make sense but nihilism is not a rejection of subjective meaning, it is a rejection of objective meaning. Subjective meaning as you say, is irrefutable.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 29th, 2018, 5:28 pm

Judaka

I made a weird argument out of a misunderstanding of Hume on the first page for the objectivity of perception and it's morality. It is not perceptions that are simple and indivisible, but parts of it when broken down.

That was the wrong way to argue for objectivity, instead, I should have said perception being all there is, it is objective. To assume it is subjective, would be to assume the existence of perceptions other than yours, which is impossible, as there is no evidence for objects of perception as perceivers. Of course, someone may say "but I speak and you respond", but I also push a button on a vacuum cleaner and it turns on. There is only my feeling of the button, and my vision and hearing of speech. Does the vacuum cleaner feel my finger pressing down and respond, or do I just hear the sucking and see an on light? To say otherwise, I would have to feel the feelings of the vacuum.

There being only my perception, how is this perception susceptible to bias and determined subjective? Because of the assumption that there are multiple perceivers, something undiscoverable.
But another argument for even the absence of personal bias. As only a perception is able to act on a perception, where does the personal bias come in? What is personal would have to be outside of perception, in order to bias it. Someone will say well perception is outside of perception (as all perceptions cannot run together), and past perceptions influence new perceptions, and in fact this is what you (the op) called morality, the interpretation of meaning into a perception, the meaning necessarily being from past perceptions. And they will say past perceptions are what make up the personal bias, as personal identity is only past perception. So what will you (the op) say to personal identity/past perception influencing new perception, and making perception subjective?

To which I say there is nothing personal about past perceptions. The uses of words such as my or I, are only the result of the resemblance of parts, and the desire to distinguish between what is not of some resemblance. Consider the spoken memory "I went to the store yesterday", I is used to distinguish between the different
things that could have gone to the store. It is associated with the collection of parts/objects that are most regularly perceived, and the resulting relational ideas formed. Two perceptions in regular succession, such as the thought of eating and the bringing of food to the mouth, allow for the idea of causality, "I fed myself." The I and myself, being the perceived relation between parts. Just as blue, red, and green make up the general term color, and there isn't a color divorced from individual colors, perceptions are generalized for an I, but there is no I divorced from perception. There also isn't a perception of color, but instead individual colors, just as there isn't a perception of an I, but individual perceptions. These perceptions grouped together based on their relation, ex: succeeding perceptions of thought and hand positioning. To perceive not the individual perception, but a perceiver, would mean to perceive what is outside perception, as a perceiver would need to be outside perception to not be a part of the perception. But how can what cannot be perceived exist? What cannot be perceived being what is outside of perception.

Then, if there is no personal influence, personal identity being only a relation between individual perception, and there are no perceivers, there being only perception, perception must be objective. Or not susceptible to any bias. Perception must exist objectively. This is a weird argument, as morality is how to perceive. Or perception determining rules for perception, objectively.

Did I contradict myself? I feel like I did. I shouldn't have been so fast to write that post on the first page about objectivity.

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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Judaka » June 29th, 2018, 11:34 pm

Maxcady perception has no bearing on nihilism and limited barely on morality. A more relevant word might be perspective or perhaps an alternative definition of perception other than the one you're using. The reason being that the meaning, categorisation, characterisation and the intellectual meat of a thing - so to speak - comes from interpretation and not perception. Nihilism says yes that's fine but these matters are asserted by individuals as interpretations and they can't be defined as objectively true under any circumstances.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about with regards to perception but it's clearly objectively true in the intersubjective sense, in the way that you are using the word as what I would define literally as "objective perception". As opposed to subjective perception - or perspectives.

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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 30th, 2018, 1:29 am

Perception has no bearing on nihilism and small bearing on morality? An interesting claim. You say interpretation is the origin of meaning, and nihilism results from here. What is an interpretation? The recognition of meaning. What is meaning? Past perception. All meaning is derived from past perceptions. Unless you would like to make an argument for meaning apriori (Schopenhauer makes an argument for causality apriori, causality and meaning go hand in hand), but I don't believe you want to make that argument.
Considering all meaning derived from past perceptions, the interpretation of meaning is also dependent on past perceptions. I cannot interpret a book into a language I have never heard of, because similar past perceptions are not available.

An objective morality being how to behave, is decided by perception. Specifically, past perceptions determining how next to perceive. Behavior, being a series of perceptions. Clearly stated, moral claims are objective, because a lack of personal bias, an absence of empirical proof of the self. The self, being a perceiver outside of perception. Outside of perception, because perception changes successively and a self could not be subject to change or it would not remain a self, also outside of perception because the perceiver would not be an object. The lack of proof of the self is what was being referred to earlier when it was said that words such as I or my, are only general terms for a collection of parts, to have proof of a self, there would need to be the perception of a perceiver or a non object. What does the term self mean? Necessarily such a thing would not be subjected to change, or it would not be a self, so the self would be eternal. There cannot be a perception of what is eternal.

What does intersubjectivity mean? There are multiple perceivers. False. There is no empirical evidence of a perceiver. What was mentioned with the vacuum cleaner and the person responding, neither time is the feeling of the object felt. Is there ever a feeling of a person's feelings? The thoughts of another's thoughts? No there are only perceptions of objects. How could there be a perception of another self, when oneself is undetectable?

Back to nihilism. The absence of objective moral claims is impossible, as past perceptions determine how next to perceive at all given moments, and such perceptions are not biased, as there is no self biasing, nor are there other people's perceptions making perceptions strictly subjective.
As I know so far, no one has claimed an objective morality to be the objective nature of perception, because of the necessary assumption that as subjects other people don't exist, they are only objects of perception.

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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Judaka » June 30th, 2018, 3:51 am

Interpretation is the only origin for meaning is my assertion. In what way does perception give meaning? You see a person staring at you, how do you make sense of that without interpreting it? There is more going on here than simply that their eyes have been locked onto you for some period of time, it's far more complicated than that. The entire situation can be perceived with dramatic difference based on your ideas about what is going on.

What should you do about it? What does it say about them? What do your reactions say about you? Why are they staring at you?

All kinds of animals have perception but only one has such complex interpretations, perception is not responsible for interpretation existing despite interpretation being dependant upon perception. Similarly sports, businesses and schools weren't created by perception but are dependant.

Your past perceptions may be a lesson in what to do or not to do, all are questions for interpretation to answer. Without interpretation, there is no merit in your experiences, no assessment can take place, we cannot tell right from wrong or good from bad.

Morality are interpretations also, perception is not even at all relevant (except for morality being dependent on it) unless we credit it with what it perceives. For instance, our attitudes towards children are not just arbitrary but also based on the fragility of children for instance.

I don't really understand your ideas about perception. Thoughts of others, feelings of others and such are all interpreted. The existence of the self is interpreted. What we perceive becomes associated with these interpretations both consciously and subconsciously, until you can easily associate what someone is feeling based on their facial expressions and so on. Although some things we may be attuned to biologically, I'm not certain where one ends and the other begins.

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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 30th, 2018, 4:43 am

Interpretation as the only origin for meaning implies Interpretation is not reliant on past perception. That there exists reason Independent memory.

If the claim being made is that reason exists independent past perceptions, how are Interpretations accessed? How would you know what you have never known any form or variation of? We must ask what is being interpreted, and what is it to interpret? What is being interpreted? A perception. What is it to interpret? Take the reading of this post as an example. You look at the words, and there is an understanding of their meaning. Why do you understand the meaning of these words? Because you have seen the words before, or you have seen the context of a word before. The meaning interpreted from the perception if this post is based on past perceptions, past uses, definitions, and contexts of the words used here.
Can you honestly say having never seen the English language or any similar looking language you could read this post with clarity? No. It is past perception providing the Interpretation.
Of course, you will still hold past perception is not reason and certainly not Interpretation , but that would be without considering the causality and order past perception imposes on new ones. You read a sentence from left to right because you have done so your entire life, an action like this might be said to be Interpretation or reason, but are only considered so because of the consistency in the resulting past perceptions. Ex: reading from left to right often resulted in seeing the same meaning you heard from another person, hence you reason it must be the correct way to read. But this reason and interpreting is only a result of the consistency of past perceptions.

As you even said the thoughts and feelings of others are assumed from bodily actions. You know them as objects and not as knowers or subjects. Do you think others thoughts? You can try to infer thought from bodily actions, but once again you only know them as an object of perception and not as a subject. You know their voice, their touch, their smell, but where are they? So far they are a collections of noises and farts. Where is the perceiver in your perception of them? Do you perceive a perceiver? It is assumed there is a perceiver, you consider yourself a perceiver, but this is due to the constant grouping together of parts and relational things.

Just as you read a certain way and see a correlation between that and people's response, you see your hands move after a certain thought, and the causality seems obvious. They say they will do something and seemingly magically it is done. A subject or perceiver must be there. But this is contrary to evidence, as a perceiver is not a smell, or a sight, or a feeling, or a sound. So where is the perceiver? Where are you? Where are they? Are you an idea? A thought? A sight? An arm or a leg?

Of course, you will say you and they are a collection of these things, but there is the bit about change. Consider the idea of a self, what happens when there is a new perception? The memory changes. And if the memory changes, personal identity changes, and if personal identity changes, you are no longer you. You see what the self must do in order to remain a self is not change. But being subject to change, where can the self be?

Is there a perception of what does not change? Of an immutable self? Do you perceive anything that does not change? The idea of a self is coming from the constant reinforcement of causality in perception. Which, is a relation between things over and over and over again.

Judaka
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Judaka » June 30th, 2018, 5:36 am

You once again refute an argument which hasn't been made, I have already agreed that interpretation is dependant upon perception and that includes past perception.

Although you are refuting nihilism in this thread, it appears you actually subscribe to ontological nihilism. I do not have anything to say about ontological nihilism or Solipsism or any such ideas. To a practical person like myself, much of what you are saying seems like unnecessary concern over nothing. The perceiver interprets that which he perceives and this creates meaning, arguments to refute this are difficult to understand, it is there for any to see, who looks.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Nihilism's nihilism

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 30th, 2018, 5:43 am

But where is the perceiver? It is impossible to separate ontological nihilism from practical nihilism. And in an earlier post when nihilism was called a psychological position, assuming this is what is meant by practicality, the position is one of despair over too many meanings. And the argument against ontological nihilism is also against solipsism.

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