Good news for nihilists?Philosophers say that life is meaningless after all

If work stoppages in the second year, social restrictions, ongoing health risks and existing fears erode the ultimate meaning and purpose of your life, a new report by British and Australian philosophers may bring double encouragement.

First of all, they said that you are absolutely correct. Life is meaningless.

Second, this fact did not cause major problems or threats.

Tracy Llanera, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, Australia, said: “In fact, some good things may be produced.” “I think the change of ideas will bring more philosophical and practical possibilities to people. Sex.”

Llanera and Keele University professor and British philosopher James Tartaglia co-authored a 70-page research report entitled “The Defence of Nihilism.”His early works include Meaningless philosophy of life.

Tataglia said: “I am passionate about nihilism.” “It is badly misunderstood.”

During the pandemic, political critics on the left and the right used “nihilism” as the root cause of what they generally believed to be cultural and moral discomfort. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

The nihilist view begins with a refusal to believe that human life derives meaning from a larger context, such as the will or purpose of divine existence, or another external force such as destiny or moral goodness, or any impact on human values ??and qualities. Measure the standard life. In some interpretations, purely nihilistic views despise any attempt to assign value or meaning to anything.

Traditionally, such views have been negatively reported and bluntly condemned by thought leaders around the world. During the pandemic, critics of the left and the right regarded “nihilism” as the root cause of their generally perceived cultural and moral discomfort.

Use political writing In April 2021, Charles Sykes accused the Republican Party of abandoning its principles and advocating “free-floating nihilism.” He opposes what he believes is the party’s attempt to gain power without considering moral, economic or democratic reasons or traditions.

The two most senior medical experts in Pakistan, Saira Afzal and Khalid Masud Gonal, accused the country of “medical nihilism” because they did not take COVID-19 seriously. Threatened.

They believe that some governments are obviously willing to spread the virus and even encourage actions known to cause more deaths. Their renunciation of responsibility reminds them of the German philosopher Nietzsche’s definition of a philosopher: Some people believe that “nothing in the world has Material existence or value.”

Fight for nihilism

Moreover, the Guardian this winter reported on the “lonely repetition and nihilism” in the lives of young Australians after months of wildfires and pandemic-related news and restrictions. In this case, nihilism brings a sense of indifference and loses the mental ability to face the future and take actions aimed at achieving happiness.

Llanella told idea Host Nahlah (Nahlah Ayed) said that acquaintances and the media continued to show anti-Nishism sentiment, which prompted her to fight back in the name of nihilism.

“Defending it does make me feel like Friedrich Nietzsche’s lunatic The science of homosexuality,“Lanila said. “You know,’You came too early!” Not too late! Don’t shake the boat! But we think this is the time, which is why we want to do this. “

British philosopher James Tartaglia stated that anti-nihilists are overly concerned that if people don’t focus on meaningful lives, they will focus on trivial matters. He noted that this concern is related to people spending money or buying consumer goods online rather than participating in activities that critics consider essential to a meaningful life. (Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock)

The philosopher’s case depends on distinguishing the premise that people have no cosmic significance from the many negative conclusions that people often draw from it. Tartaglia pointed out that there is widespread concern that people who believe that life is ultimately meaningless will begin to destructively reject life itself, which may endanger others or at least fall into despair.

Tatalia said: “This is a major misunderstanding.” “The other thing is that you worry about trivial matters because you don’t see the important things in life.” He often sees the latter fear with people online It’s about spending time or buying consumer goods instead of participating in activities that critics consider essential to a meaningful life.

The most terrifying nihilists in popular culture include Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the clown in the 2008 Batman movie. dark Knight. He laughed at moral codes and rules as unfounded, and saw order itself as an illusion desperately created for arbitrary happiness. For movie audiences, these beliefs seem to be closely related to the clown’s preference for chaos, crime, and social illness.

Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the clown in the 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Knight” is one of the weirder nihilists in popular culture. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Tartaglia says that figures like the clown may be correctly described as nihilists, so much so that they reject the idea of ??the overall meaning of some inhuman action.

‘A particularly evil utopian’

Tataglia said: “But I don’t see any reason to force you to kill people and tie a knife to their throat.” “He is a particularly evil utopian.”

Historically, the German philosopher and soldier Ernst Jünger accused a country of pedigree in Nazism, leading to the spread of nihilism.

Although such connections continue to influence the perceptions of those who believe that life is ultimately meaningless, the mere trivial utopian may be the more common caricature today.

The famous example in the film is the opposition of a group of German cartoon characters to Jeff Bridges’s character Dude. Great Lebowski. These self-declared nihilists seem to embody the two main components of the bad image of the philosophy: violence and stupidity.

A famous example of a typical nihilist in the movie “Big Big Lebowski” is the German cartoonized opposition to Jeff Bridges’s character Dude . (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Lenella did not find any convincing logical connection between nihilism and antisocial behavior, nor did he choose to waste his life on trivial, unrequited obsessions.

Although the lack of the ultimate source of the meaning of life cannot directly prove the legitimacy of good behavior, it can make people get rid of harmful misconceptions and destructive ways of thinking.

Llanera often hears from students that they think they are “not religious, but spiritual”, which is a description she finds may be involved.

“What shocks me is that people are always looking for something to keep-tarot cards, luck for the stars. I think [that’s] Used to counter this threat, that life will become meaningless. “Lanella said.

‘The problem is conceit’

She criticized some non-nihilistic philosophers for spreading the message: The best way to deal with meaninglessness is to use non-human resources, such as sacred entities or magical realms. In her opinion, this is tantamount to a misdiagnosis of the problem.

Lenara said: “The problem is conceited. We want to have an authority to control and give us answers instead of being responsible for our own lives.”

Although Lanella is keen to defend nihilism, she believes that the central point of meaningless life is neutrality, not good news or bad news for humans. She hopes that more people will no longer believe that the meaninglessness of the universe in life poses a threat.In her view, life does not need a larger meaning background to increase the sense of personal or social morality or The joy of life.

“These things can be understood with common sense. For example, you need to be responsible to the dog, you don’t need to deceive your partner, or you need to protest the terrible acts of genocide or ethnic cleansing. All these are part of the human condition. “Leneira said.

Tracy Llanera, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, Australia, suggests that being responsible for dogs is part of the human condition, just as you might protest genocide or ethnic cleansing. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

“They are very important, they have a certain meaning to our personal lives and human society. But this meaning does not exceed our human background. And we think that those who defend the meaning of life feel very uncomfortable about it. Idea. .”

The attempts of philosophers to distance the core claims of nihilism from bad behavior related to the words themselves have caused protests from some colleagues in the field. Guy Bennett-Hunter of the University of Edinburgh believes that self-proclaimed nihilists can enjoy the social meaning of life, while also claiming that life itself is meaningless.

“I want to emphasize the social significance of James. [Tartaglia] Bennett-Hunter said that he accepted and asked logically and psychologically to go beyond the meaning of life, but he refused. In a prosaic sense, it still exists and is poetically true, just like a creation myth.

Tataglia believes that his interpretation of nihilism is related to its history and the ideological struggle surrounding the claim to know facts, especially in European thought.

He pointed out that the widespread use of the term “nihilism” and the term “meaning of life” originated in a decade in the late 1700s, when scholars broke religious certainty and scientific belief gained power. Tartaglia viewed the fear of most modern anti-Nishists as a continuation of the intellectual panic that followed at the time.

During this period, French religious conservatives opposed almost any form of reasoning and learning. For them, because all sacred mysteries are eliminated, these pursuits risk falling into nihilism. The so-called threat concept of nihilism often seems to be inseparable from atheism or free thought.

“Life is the Common Ground”

Today, however, Tattaglia believes that he must defend nihilism from the views of the religious and atheistic world, because the latter tends to substitute another non-human equivalent for the sacred meaning of life, such as technical Worship attitude. Tataglia fears that too many leaders view technological advancement as a force that must allow technological advancement regardless of whether humans want the consequences.

Tataglia said: “This may go in a very unfavorable direction.” “That’s why nihilism seems worthwhile.”

On the positive side, Tataglia believes that the nihilistic attitude provides a potential common basis for the extreme encounter between religion and secularism, because it eliminates all their arguing claims about the ultimate meaning of life.

Tatalia said: “Life is the common foundation.” “If you are a utopian, then you don’t think that everything transcends life. If you are not a utopian, you think there are some extras Things. Okay, but there are still great things in common.-Religious Brigade… [with nihilism] We can all understand each other, right? We can all reach consensus in life. “

Tartaglia’s optimism in this regard may not be commensurate with the endless cruel conflicts in the world due to smaller doctrinal differences between various groups (religious groups or other groups). However, daydreamers can dream.

About the author

Tom Howell is idea On CBC radio.

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