Basement-dwelling pseudo-otaku with a thrill for forecasting on the side.
By: KoritheMan , 2:25 PM GMT on February 05, 2014
I know this is a weather community, that some people may be offended by this sort of thing, da da da. But with all the other non-weather related blogs I see frequently plastered on this site, I don't see why -- controversial or not -- this type of discussion should be stifled or immediately dismissed. Keep an open mind, and everything will be okay. I implore the WU admins not to delete this. If they do, whatever. Can't say I didn't try. Anyway, coming to the point of this now...
Finally coming to the point of this topic, I'm friends with this Christian dude on Facebook. Another friend of mine is also friends with the guy. The first guy is named Evan, while the second guy is called Chris. Anyway, Evan posted a status update about creationism vs evolution, and naturally there was some devolving into a couple of nihilistic comments. Chris posts a response arguing, essentially, that there should only be two logical possibilities: that god exists or that nihilism is absolutely true. If god does not exist, the only alternative is nihilism. And if we assume nihilism to be a valid maxim, we have to assume all of the implications and encumbrances that come with that. If nihilism is true, then we as individuals have no objective value. And if we have no objective value, we have no basis to make even a relative claim of self-fulfilled purpose, which effectively renders the common "create your own purpose" counter to the nihilistic paradigm vacuous. Because in order to even presume that we have actual purpose -- even relative purpose -- that relativity has to be compared to something. His actual post verbatim went like this:
What I think is the most intellectually accurate and honest response is that there are two "logical" viewpoints. Either God exists, or nihilism is actually true in practice.
What I mean to say is that there are a lot of people out there who find the usual nihilistic response "make your own meaning" to be satisfactory. Unfortunately, if there is no such thing as objective value *in reality*, then this is really just a giant lie. Things can only even have relative value if you yourself already have value, and if nihilism is true, then you do not have value. None at all. And neither does your own sense of value, or your feeling of something be "valuable" to you. And while it is perfectly fine to "feel" this way in the sense that you are fully capable of doing so, it does not actually mean it is correct any more than thinking you can walk through walls when you can't. It is not self consistent or intellectually honest and logical to believe in only "parts" of what is essentially nihilism. It has nothing to do with whether a person is capable of this or not, and everything to do with whether or not you are deceiving yourself / being deceived, which you are if you say that there is no such thing as objective value but still think / talk / live in consideration of a sense of relative value.
The only response to nihilism, or should I say, the only other self consistent possibility, is if God exists. All philosophical inquiry where the assumption of God's existence is absent ultimately leads to nihilism. And nihilism ultimately leads to the total break down of philosophical discourse and logical argument. People will try to deny it, but time and time against since the Ancient Greeks, this has proven to be the case. Ironically enough, Nietzsche, who is often credited with the modern justification for nihilism, also said that in his opinion nihilism MUST be overturned. In his view, modern philosophers would have to find a way to respond to and defeat nihilism, because nihilism was the "will to nothingness" and in the face of it nothing could actually be fundamentally logically proven. And of course there is only one response to that.
God is, or perhaps I should say should be, a "necessary assumption" in philosophy. It is a maxim. All philosophy breaks down without the assumption of the existence of God, JUST like all of math breaks down without the assumption of the existence of numbers or all of physics breaks down without the assumption of causality. Without the existence of God, there is no fundamental source of value, no fundamental source of truth or knowledge, and no fundamental source of being.
It will never be an issue of proof vs. lack of proof, because it is logistically impossibly to prove the existence of what is essentially an infinite. But there is good and perfectly valid reason to believe in the existence of God. That, in the face of the obvious impotence of nihilism, is all that is really required. Nihilism, true nihilism, is ultimately self defeating, and the only reason most people do not realize that is because they only "selectively" engage in it. The assumption of the existence of God however is not self defeating.
What's everyone's thoughts on this? I've been atheist since the 2007-2008 timeframe, and I can honestly say I've never come across something that made me question the very foundation of my worldview to this magnified degree.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.