Archive for August, 2012



So, today I realized I am a nihilist.  I must admit this came as a shock to me.  I am not a trenchcoat mafia type playing dungens and dragons while doing drugs and waiting for the world to end kind of guy.  But, I realized that Nihilism, if you ignore the stereotypical idiots who ascribe to it, IS essentially correct.

It started because I got in a very bizarre discussion with a co-worker about a story I read years ago about some guy who got diagnosed with inoperable cancer, and went out and killed 6 random people in a store and than himself.  I made the observation that although horrendous in action, I sympathize with this action more than the Boulder Colarado kids.  I realize it was a bizarre conversation, but this is not meant as a defense of murder, obviously bad, but an argument about how one rationalizes death.  The argument for the Boulder kids is that it was simple revenge.  Atrocious as it was, it was still simply a modern smaller version of Agamemnon launching 1000 ships because the Trojans kidnapped his brothers wife.

But the cancer guy was a little different.  In fact, it was the exact opposite.  His victims were random, and that was his point.  The boulder shootings were targeted.  They didn’t like the jocks, so they shot the jocks.  But the Cancer guy took the essential Nihilistic world view, that everything is meaningless, and decided to roll the odds for other people to somehow compensate that his die roll went bad.  Wrong obviously, but I find the distiction between the 2 extremely fascinating.  Because in his life he rolled the die and lost, he decided to roll 10 others peoples die FOR THEM.  There was no targetting.  If you were in front of his gun at the store, you were dead, that was the only targetting.  I find his logic far more fascinating than the simple revenge excuse.

Now, I am in no way advocating killing random people.  But ignoring the shooting, this guy was essentially correct.  Life IS meaningless.  I could get diagnosed with a brain tumour today!  There is no god that makes this happen (In my opinion), there is no food I eat that could make it happen.  A brain tumour is just a role of the dice.  Are you one of the x% of random people that will get one this year or not?  There is no way to avoid it.  You either DO or DO NOT.  praying to God will not help, nor will eating healthier food or excersize.  Not for Brain tumors.  And this is the biggest question humanity has ever dealt with.  We have evolved these big brains, but we have not evolved how to handle that we are GOING to die some day, and there is no reason for, and there is no way to avoid it.  That is where religion and philosophy come in.

I do believe that Nihilists are fundamentally correct.  There is no reason for life, death, brain tumors, or morals.  However, I do not follow the nihilists into the depressive state many of them go into because of this.  In some sense, I feel freed because of my nihilistic world view.  I believe liberals have essentially embraced nihilism and are reacting with an obsession with self and personal freedom, that I frankly believe this in the long term leads to chaos and societal destruction.  Modern conservatives (In America in particular) are fighting against nihilism as much as possible while deep down recognizing the correctness of it.  For example the famous quote “The quickest way to make someone an atheist is to read them a few quotes from the bible”.  I do agree with Nietzsche that science has dealt a serious blow to religion, but that without “purpose” people have a hard time living life.  which is why I think modern liberals are so empty.

Which brings me to my point.  I completely agree with the following statement: “Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived.”

But I completely disagree with this one: “explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws”

See, I don’t get that.  Squirrels do not get depressed about the pointlessness of existence, so why should I.  The is why I embrace some things that some on the left do not care for like nationalism or ethnic violence.  I think those are very correct and necessary modes of human and animal existence.  I think embracing things like that is what we are designed to do.  I think the depression that comes in modern society is the combination or our acceptance that there is no point to anything, but the rejection of our lower more animalistic instincts.

Generally, as I see it, Nihilists believe that life is meaningless and pointless.  I agree with them it is meaningless, but I do not agree it is pointless.  I am a husband and father, and I have a career.  My life is very pointed.  If I don’t make money my family suffers.  Plus, like all animals on earth, I would like my lineage to spread to all corners of the earth after I die.  My life very much has a point.  Meaning?  Probably not.  I suspect nihilists (maybe even people in general) who do not have kids will end their lives very depressed.  I wouldn’t be surprised if people who are childless go on more medication for mental issues than those that have kids.  Focusing on children is a very focusing event in life.  Without kids you would constantly wonder what your purpose is, and eventually hit the limits of mortality with your genes unable to compensate the loss of your individual life.  Very depressing stuff.  But although my individual life is meaningless, my life most definitely had a point.  My children.  As all animals have always had.

I think focusing on survival, be it sex, violence, and enjoying life are OK.  Nihilists often reject these as pointless.  I do not understand why.  We were programmed to do these things, so what is the problem with embracing them.   My biggest problem with modern times is that liberals think humans are just worthless rapers of earth, and conservatives think we have a right bestowed by GOD to do anything we want (short of offending GOD).  But I think there is a healthy middle ground.  Recognizing that we are one of the greatest creations evolution has given, with the most ability to affect the universe, celebrate that fact (which libs do not), but recognize that GOD did not do this for us.  WE DID it, through evolution and survival of the smartest of us.  This is why I support space exploration.  Any species can fight a war or have sex, but how many species in the history of the universe have gone to another planet.  God may not exist, but what is wrong with trying be godly.