Nihilism

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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Jer » Sun May 25, 2008 3:39 pm

You have the power to choose your own values, dude. For example, I live in America--I don't value wealth, fame, or individualism.
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Sun May 25, 2008 3:45 pm

Jer wrote:You have the power to choose your own values, dude. For example, I live in America--I don't value wealth, fame, or individualism.


One may consider that an individualist attittude, but either way wouldn't you statement be confirming subjective values. Which I'm not saying you were or weren't trying to do .
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Jer » Sun May 25, 2008 5:48 pm

I don't understand what you're saying. My point is that no one can force values upon you.
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Master Kong » Sun May 25, 2008 6:21 pm

Actually that brings up a good question on the matter of personal responsibility. I'm in the opinion that a mentally functional adult is responsible for all his or her action, even if performed under coercion (the man who presses a nuclear launch button with a gun to his head is still responsible). On the other hand, that doesn't, in my mind, take blame from the one who performs the coercion.

Anyways, the iffy part comes elsewhere, does mental instability excuse people from responsibility? Also, when does one become responsible for their own actions or beliefs? A large part of one's belief system is determined by how one was raised, should folks be held responsible for beliefs imprinted on them before they were capable of self reflection?
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby talon1579 » Mon May 26, 2008 12:08 am

it leads to unruly behaviour!!


Unruliness is a value imposed by society. A violent culture (say, Klingons, for lack of a real one) may term unruly behaviour as normal.

The way I see it, if children aren't taught values, from where do they learn what is right and wrong


Same applies. Right and wrong are also imaginary values that are completely subjective, its just that the majority of humans agree on them, and the rest are punished.
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby talon1579 » Mon May 26, 2008 12:11 am

Jer wrote:I don't understand what you're saying. My point is that no one can force values upon you.


Murder someone, today. You wont, because you have been conditioned to believe murder is wrong. Also, the police will arrest you. Thus they are limiting your freedom and imposing values on you.

For a less extreme example, take me. I was raised in a (not highly religious but quite a cultural) Jewish household. Being brought up not to eat pork means I don't really like it now, the thought of eating it is more repellent to me than eating chicken. Thus a dislike of pork has essentially been forced upon me.
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Mon May 26, 2008 1:29 am

Jer wrote:I don't understand what you're saying. My point is that no one can force values upon you.


And you said you didn't buy into the ideas of individualism, and i asked if that statement itself and now this one were individualistic statements? just a question, not an accusation.


Master Kong wrote:Anyways, the iffy part comes elsewhere, does mental instability excuse people from responsibility? Also, when does one become responsible for their own actions or beliefs? A large part of one's belief system is determined by how one was raised, should folks be held responsible for beliefs imprinted on them before they were capable of self reflection?


Good question. I will admit I'm not sold either way, as good arguments can be made on both sides. Personally, I find it a hard notion to agree with that because someone has a diminished capacity to understand then they also have diminished culpability for their actions. Actions happen irregardless of whether you realize them. In the U.S. it is illegal to execute mentally retarded criminals. I personally do not find this just. Not saying my view is correct, just doesn't sit well with me.

As far as somoene's beliefs giving them amnesty from responsibility for their actions, if it was up to me forget it. How many times does someone get to use the excuse 'god told me to do it'.



talon1579 wrote:Murder someone, today. You wont, because you have been conditioned to believe murder is wrong. Also, the police will arrest you. Thus they are limiting your freedom and imposing values on you.


I agree with you, though our society does make allowances for acceptable violence.
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby SunXia » Mon May 26, 2008 4:30 am

talon1579 wrote:Unruliness is a value imposed by society. A violent culture (say, Klingons, for lack of a real one) may term unruly behaviour as normal.
I agree, cultures will vary, it is one of the things that make us different from other people!!
Same applies. Right and wrong are also imaginary values that are completely subjective, its just that the majority of humans agree on them, and the rest are punished.
Yes, values are completely subjective, they're theories and ideals we hold important in our lives and are willing to defend!! Since we're all different from one another, my values are going to be different from yours!! But again, I don't believe I've ever been imposed upon where my values are concerned, I've been taught them and I have willingly accepted them!! But then, everyone will feel differently!!
If becoming enlightened or an intellectual means I must become arrogant and coldly cynical about the world around me then I'd gladly remain a fool for the rest of my life!!

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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Jer » Mon May 26, 2008 1:07 pm

Yeah, values may be thrust upon you but you always have the final say. I was conditioned to think murder was wrong and I choose to keep myself conditioned to that belief. I was conditioned to think Sunday was a holy day of worship and I chose to lose that value.

To Shikanosuke:
Haha yeah, now I understand what you're saying. I am just generalizing (which I don't like to do) about the individualism of competitiveness, self-absorption, and "me against the world" mentality. I agree it can be considered individualistic to hold your own individual opinions and beliefs--however, I believe that it's not individualistic when you share them in open-minded and collective discussion.

My explanation doesn't really make sense right now but hopefully something clearer will come to me. :lol:
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Re: Nihilism

Unread postby talon1579 » Mon May 26, 2008 1:42 pm

But again, I don't believe I've ever been imposed upon where my values are concerned, I've been taught them and I have willingly accepted them!!


Can you prove that? What you really mean is that you haven't felt that you were imposed upon. Anyway, what is will?


It's easy to reject some things, such as religion, or murder, but much harder to reject others, such as talking. Why talk? Because we are talked to when we are young. Thus talking is imposed upon us (I'm not saying it's a bad thing). However, some people who have extreme determination (monks) have taken a vow of silence, and rejected this value of talking in favour of other values.
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