How to (not) think about nihilism

06 Aug 2023 11:17 - 06 Aug 2023 11:29
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    • This is not a book to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force
      • – ??? source
    • Anybody with an ounce of brains and imagination will eventually encounter the intellectual trap of nihilism.
    • Tempted to think of it as an intellectual mistake that one might be attracted to for awhile, but maturity will make it easy to avoid such obvious pitfalls. IOW, you solve it once and are done.
    • Don't think that's right, it's more of a constant background throb, a reality that is present everywhere, something one deals with (generally by repression) so that one can get along with the practicalities of life
    • Meaningness has a well-elaborated investigation of the dynamics of nihilism – how one is attracted and how one escapes.
      • He falls back on stout pragmatic outrage though. So do I but I am also less convinced of that, sure, I have built a life for myself in the face of nothingness
    • It is easy to prove that everything is meaningless, hard to proceed from that conclusion, which you have to do unless you take the suicide route.
      • One should assume that every functional human being has some way of doing this, of hiding from their own smallness and death. Culture and all human activity is ways to do this, let's assume (or it is for us elites who seem to not have to worry about more basic economic issues).
      • Anxiety – raw fearfulness, a basic neural activity, not something you can just wish away.