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Unread 10-09-2003, 03:28 PM   #1
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Nihilism

I would like to throw out a question:

Can nihilism ever be refuted?

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Unread 10-09-2003, 03:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Idiot
I would like to throw out a question:

Can nihilism ever be refuted?
Hmm, I dunno.

I only know the basic tenants of nihilism, so I wouldn't begin to understand how to formulate a refutation.

I would love to see one though, I am very intrigued by nihilism.
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Unread 10-09-2003, 04:03 PM   #3
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Flaggle-worms eat glue.

What?

Oh, nothing.

Yep.


That is to say, its falsehood is plainly evident to each and every individual, and all our actions (even those of supposed nihilists) demonstrate our commitment to this obvious truth. It is assumed false in our careers, in mathematics, when we raise our children, by all our language, and in all our relationships. Every one of our actions and thoughts assumes nihilism false. Might we be wrong? If we are wrong, it is not the case that we are wrong. Or, well, it doesn't matter, anyways. So, why talk about nihilism? But, about what else will we talk? Can we find something about which to talk that matters? Why does it matter to talk about something that matters?
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Unread 10-09-2003, 04:25 PM   #4
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The nihilists bit it in The Big Lebowski.

Seriously though, even atheists get uncomfortable at the thought of unprovoked violence, which usually is quite acceptable - if not encouraged - in nihilism.
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Unread 10-09-2003, 04:27 PM   #5
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How many nihilists does it take to change a lightbulb?

There is no lightbulb.
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Unread 10-09-2003, 05:04 PM   #6
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Personally I think it's refuted by the fact that no one has ever been a consistant nihlist. Ever.
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Unread 10-10-2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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Yes, it can be refuted. I just wrote a paper on nihilism recently for my poli thought class. If I can get it, I'll post it. It's only about 5 pages long,a nd it is easy to read.

And oh yes, it got an 'A' and references The Big Lebowski.
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Unread 10-10-2003, 02:37 PM   #8
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Awesome, man! I look forward to reading it.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 01:12 PM   #9
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Here is my nihilism paper. Keep in mind it is for a political thought class. It is essentially a recap of the first week or two of class. To expalin a bit, political theories arrive out of a perceived crisis in the political system. Communism, for example, was an extreme solution to the crises caused by unrestrained capitialsm. The current crisis caused by unrestrained liberal* democracy is nihilism.


*When I use the term 'liberal,' I'm refering to both classical liberalism (American 'conservatism') and reform liberalism (American 'liberalism). I am not indicting the Democratic Party. I'm indicting the entire theory from which the Republicans and the Democrats come from. The fight betwixt those two is essentially a family squabble, and neither party is really addressing the fundamental concerns of unrestrained liberal capitalist democracy.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 01:24 PM   #10
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I saw two main critiques of nihilism in there. First is the inconsistency of many modern "nihilists," as they worship the god of tolerance. This obviously only deals with individual nihilists, not nihilism as a system of thought. Second is the epistemological impossibility inherently contained in nihilism; if we cannot know anything, we cannot know that we know anything.

Did I miss another critique?

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Unread 10-13-2003, 01:47 PM   #11
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Isn't it impossible to critique nihilism? It doesn't embrace rationality, and any attempt to refute it rationally is useless. It doesn't matter if its already presupposing language or if its being consistent. The point is...it doesn't matter. That is why rational debate cannot be carried out with a nihilist.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Did I miss another critique?
No. The paper topic was, basically, "What's wrong with nihilism for politics?" We weren't required to do anything else. Those two critiques are really the only two pertinent to the class.

Also, the last paragraph is a very, very short description of communitarianism.

Finally, this isn't my best paper, by a long shot. I probably didn't deserve an A, given the poor quality of the writing itself.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Idiot
Isn't it impossible to critique nihilism? It doesn't embrace rationality, and any attempt to refute it rationally is useless. It doesn't matter if its already presupposing language or if its being consistent. The point is...it doesn't matter. That is why rational debate cannot be carried out with a nihilist.
Exactly. You can't argue with a consistent nihilist.

Of course, it's lucky for us that there are no consistent nihilists...
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Unread 10-13-2003, 03:13 PM   #14
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They don't care what consistent means. It doesn't mean anything to them.
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Unread 10-13-2003, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Idiot
They don't care what consistent means. It doesn't mean anything to them.
Of course, if they're really nihilists, it really doesn't matter to be consistent, though.
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