Do You Know an Argument Against Nihilism?

What are some good arguments that refute nihilism or show it’s contradictory.

Google defines nihilism as: “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.”

If that is an accurate definition, I think all good arguments for classical theism, natural religion, and revealed religion are good arguments against nihilism. If there is a God, if He is an all-good Creator, then we can prove that He has a just claim on 100% of our devotion. That is a binding moral principle that we can argue for through reason alone. From there, we can give good evidence that this Creator has revealed Himself through the Jewish religion and, subsequently, the Catholic Church. Both of those include binding religious principles. Therefore, we can argue for both religious and moral principles using reason alone.

As a former (Nietzschean) nihilist, I couldn’t agree more with dmar198 said. Nihilism (in my opinion) is along with other existential schools of thought the only sensible position to hold for one who doesn’t believe in god. You can only really combat it from the position of a theist and god, else face a muddy argument where any nihilist will attack you for stating at the same time that there is meaning, and no god (for example).

Best argument I’ve ever heard:

If nihilism is true, then it is not wrong to murder people ruthlessly for being black/Jewish/blond-haired/unintelligent. But these things are wrong. Therefore, nihilism is false.

I hope I don’t come off promoting suicide here(which I assure I’m not) But if they say life is meaningless say then why haven’t you ended your life yet

Isn’t there something self contradictory with asserting that it is true that nothing is true? That it is good to believe that nothing is good?

Nihilism is a kind of intellectual suicide it always seemed to me, if a self reflective life searching for Truth and goodness is what constitutes an valid intellectual life.

As far as I’m aware, the position of the solipsist, if that’s similar enough or the same thing as nihilism, is relatively unassailable by logic. Which doesn’t mean that it’s true, just that it’s unassailable. The Catholic faith can’t really be proven wrong, either (although many will try to do so). The common strain of atheism that is rampant in the modern world, on the other hand, is totally untenable.

What I see as indicating preference between theism and solipsism is the intuitive factor. The bottom line is, no one actually lives as though they were a solipsist. The proof is in the pudding. Solipsism is spiritual suicide, and although the mind might accept it, in truth the spirit rejects it, and so this is why no one really lives the life of a solipsist.

And even if there is someone living as a true-blood solipsist, it’s not me, so they’re not real anyways… :wink:

That dafy-nition is not accurate. Correctly defined Nihilism is the belief that all religions are a form of paganism and exist for the purpose of creating truth statements to coalesce power from the masses (Luther, Freud, Darwin, Marx progression). Since it is mankind who defined god, mankind can also kill god. Since the very existence of god is the power of mankind, it is man who is god but doesn’t understand this. Anything short of perfecting mankind towards the evolutionary end, the super man, is pointless. Once the super human emerges, they will define ultimate truth to form the power structure needed to purge humanity (read death camps). Super Humanity will be the new race of gods, starting the cycle over. The current form of this is those seeking the singularity.

It is not that life is meaningless, it is that anything short of super human life is pointless.

A true nihilist hopes you believe that way, because if you do give up, what they consider, your sub-human belief, their job to rid the world of imperfection will be easier. You will have already understood the theory.

QUOTE=SighGuy;12610654]As far as I’m aware, the position of the solipsist, if that’s similar enough or the same thing as nihilism, is relatively unassailable by logic. Which doesn’t mean that it’s true, just that it’s unassailable.

A solipsist cannot state for certain, that only they exist and everything else is a psychotic delusion. All they can state is willful ignorance. To state for certain, one must have a view outside the psychosis which breaks the theory (logically). However, even if true, whose dream is it? If it is my dream, an entity so powerful to create such a vast creation must be god, and powerful enough to not allow the end the dream (death). Therefore, by definition, there is a god, and the theory is false, because if I truly am in control, everything is all my fault now. What a sick bastard I am for allowing all this pain and suffering.

That being said…
None of these actually deal with one person. Jesus Christ.

Jesus stated he was God, to prove it He rose from the dead and left martyrs to prove it. Jesus stated that HE was the way, the truth and the life. Jesus made the ultimate truth statement. Because of that, the pagans, and the religious both conspired to kill him.

Nihilism has issues because Jesus being God means that all other truth statements are false, paganism is false. Mankind did kill God, but Jesus the author of life could not remain dead because the author of life could not exist life-less. Jesus was the super man, and they are correct, any other pursuit but Him is false.

Solipsist had a dream that all mankind needed salvation. The solipsist created a God, in the image of a God they could not know. Jesus walks into that dream, and awakens the sleeper. Arrise sleeper, for your salvation has come. Come awake and live.

Alas, neither group wants to tackle Jesus because they know, He assails their logic. He is the name above all names, the logic beyond all logic and the King of all kings.

That is a subset of Nihilism.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the negation of one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. The Greek philosopher and Sophist, Gorgias (ca. 485 BCE–380 BCE), is perhaps the first to consider the Nihilistic belief. 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. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.

The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to 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.[2] Movements such as Futurism and deconstruction,[3] among others, have been identified by commentators as “nihilistic” at various times in various contexts.

Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of their theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

There are many different strands of nihilism and there is nothing intrinsically superior to your view of it that negates any other.

First, I don’t think solipsism and nihilism are the same. Google defines nihilism as: “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.” Google defines solipsism as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”

If those definitions are accurate, they don’t seem to be the same thing. Perhaps you could believe that all that can be known to exist is yourself, but you thought you were a god, and therefore created a religion that you thought was an extension of your own being. Then you would believe in religious principles (rejecting nihilism) but they would be an extension of yourself as the only thing you can know (accepting solipsism). Therefore, I don’t think solipsism and nihilism are the same thing.

Second, I don’t think solipsism is unassailable by logic. I think we can use reason alone to determine that something other than ourselves exists.

One argument against solipsism tries to prove that you are an effect. I think a person can use reason to examine the properties of himself and conclude that he cannot be eternal. For one thing, every person changes. An eternal thing can’t. For another thing, every person loses energy. An eternal thing can’t.

In that light, I think anybody can conclude with moral certainty that he started to exist at some point.

The reason this is important is because of the following argument based on the law of contradiction:

Either you are caused, or you are not. If you are caused, either something eternal caused you, or something non-eternal. Using reason alone, we can exclude all other theories, because the law of contradiction says that, in any case between an option and its negation, one of the two must be true.

That simple argument gives us three options for understanding your own existence: (1) you are not caused, (2) something eternal caused you, or (3) something non-eternal caused you.

That’s where the earlier argument about you being an effect comes in: by showing that you must be an effect, using reason alone, we can exclude option 1. If my reasoning is correct, that proves that something caused you, and I think that excludes solipsism.

Actually, I think we can go further and prove that something eternal had a hand in creating you. You can plug all non-eternal things into the argument above, and I think it will still work. When you use the argument to prove that all non-eternal things are effects, there is no non-eternal thing left to cause them, which allows you to exclude options 1 and 3.

I used this argument to prove that something eternal created the world in this post. If you want to, please let me know what you think of that argument.

Well, since wikipedia is the correct answer to everything, maybe. My goal was not to create a competing article but to refute Google’s over-simplification.

Also, I do not require my view to be superior. Having spent 20+ years discussing nihilism, I am just trying to correct some assumptions that nihilism is self-deprecating… just deprecating on the human struggle for truth. Minus the Jesus discussion, it stands as one of the most superior pagan belief structure in our pagan world today.

Saying it is just about meaningless would be like defining Catholicism as the belief in the ingesting of one’s god. It sells it short.

BTW, this topic alone could be 16 college credits to cover in depth. So anyone trying to say they have the full definition here is also selling ownership in the Eiffel tower, that includes the all powerful Wiki. :slight_smile:

So you affirm that that it is true that there is no truth?

:rolleyes:

Sounds more to me like the you’re just tying to stay away from simplification but don’t realize that you could just very well be giving your own take on the philosophy. Look what happened to Marxism, plenty of offshoots because of plenty of thinking heads that are claiming 20+ years studying or ‘enhancing’ the original manifesto. :shrug:

Wow, tough crowd.

I have my truth.
You have your truth.
God is THE truth.

Everyday, I learn HIS truth and admit I am wrong. How about you?

And again, wow. My only manifesto is that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The question was about nihilism. There is more “definition” to that philosophy and more studying you should do before claiming what you claim. Failing to understand paganism will cause you to fail to evangelize in this current pagan world. It is not enough to just have a short definition, nor it is enough to trust Google or Wiki for your answers.

We are called to let our love for others be genuine. The root of that word comes from the ability to detect fakes.

Read Act 17:16-34 if you doubt about understanding a pagan world. Paul could have easily started a “new” Way, but NOT understanding your city will get you ignored, not accepted. If you are ignored, how will you preach the Gospel? Paul KNEW his culture, you should too. Paul was not a fake. The Greeks did not reject him because of a lack of substance, they were offended their philosophy lead to “foolishness of resurrection” However, because he took the time to learn, and speak out, we have Saint Dionysius the Areopagite.

Where did I say it was otherwise? Did I call you a communist? :confused:

Yet the more people explain, the more the thinking heads start to disagree. Again, I point to you Marxism and its offshoots. Hasn’t this happened before? Look at Plato and Aristotle. I’m just simply pointing out that trying to explain how an understanding is ‘oversimplified’ doesn’t really help much. You could very well be giving your own understanding of someone else’ understanding of what nihilism is.

(For what it’s worth, I have met one or two self-proclaimed nihilists that have openly admitted, to my face, about their suicidal contemplations! :eek:)

The problem with calling something like nihilism ‘fake’ is that it is essentially without standards to begin with. I don’t disagree that you should try and understand where people come from. However, I don’t think that has anything to do with establishing a ‘true definition’ of nihilism. :shrug:

So you do think that Truth denies itself?

I think you and I are in agreement, mostly, but put different emphasis on different aspects of what objective Truth is.

The is objective perfect Truth, which is the perfect cognitive expression of what reality is and how it behaves. Abrahamists believe that this is the Mind of God, what Greek Emanationists would have called the Logos. scholar.google.com/scholar?start=10&q=greek+emanationism&hl=en&as_sdt=0,47

We as mere mortals, if we are engaging in the self reflective life of pursuit of Truth and Beauty, can only form our own personal comprehension of Perfect Objective Truth, or God’s Truth. We all borrow heavily from institutional versions of what God’s Truth is, but usually we all have our own personal permutations of it whether by choice or mistaken impressions.

That we as imperfect beings cannot perfectly grasp God’s Truth does not mean that there is no objective Truth, nor that we should not still strive for reaching that mathematical limit of God’s Truth in the incremental steps that we must content ourselves with, for we are mortal and of finite mind.

And that seems to be the crux of our disagreement, and I know that I am right and you are wrong to whatever degree you disagree with me. :smiley:

“I am THE truth”, Jesus.

Are you being argumentative to prove a point or just to one up an Italian? :slight_smile:

??? so a manifesto is only communist? You stated that for me to clarify a vast body of thought into a smaller package for those asking is somehow going to cause me to be responsible for offshoots of nihilism being formed. I have no manifesto but the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wow, you provide interesting insight into your thought processes here. If all you are getting is my view on a topic, you are not doing your duty to these concepts. These short conversations here should either draw you into the study, or satiate a small interest in this knowledge which will never be visited again.

As for Marxism and its offshoots, these didn’t occur because someone summarized Marx. These occurred because people see the inherent flaw in the argument, and think they are smart enough to improve upon it. No where here am I trying to improve on the concept or create a new body of work. Your logic is flawed as to my intent, response and outcome. Please study these things before you make statements which are accusatory in nature.

I am sure you have. Depression occurs regardless of belief. I had a close Catholic friend who committed suicide almost one year ago.

You miss my point, I was not calling nihilism fake. It is a real philosophy. I am calling those who use Google or Wiki only fake. They are not able to dialog on the real issues, just a superficial understanding.

:popcorn:

Yes, the Logos.

I dispute that I am being argumentative. :smiley:

And I didn’t realize that you were Italian.

Do you find posting on the internet to be stifling since you cant use your hands?

:smiley:

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