Nihilism

Discuss literature (e.g. books, newspapers), educational studies (getting help or opinions on homework or an essay), and philosophy.

Re: Nihilism

Unread postby King Kong Zhou » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:55 am

I think that people usually mix the concept of morals with the concept of ethics. While I'm far from being an expert in this subject, I remember reading that morals are the set of principles that define what is right or wrong for an individual, while ethics are the set of principles that define what is right or wrong for a society.

Maybe useless jargon, but I have no idea how much of each one's own set of principles would be inherited from the society to which they belong. No much black and white here, I guess.
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
King Kong Zhou
Changshi
 
Posts: 425
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:02 am
Location: Out of this world

Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Ts'ao Jian » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:07 am

Shikanosuke wrote:
Ts'ao Jian wrote:Talon, do you have evidence that morality is wholly a societal construct, as opposed to being at least partially biological, perhaps?


Like the fact that morality is subjective to which society you belong to? Or that some moral choices defy biological impulses?


What about the idea that, while morality's specifics vary from culture to culture, many themes are common across cultures, and people tend to respond similarly from cultures to culture to quizzes such as Hauser's moral intuition test? (which is at http://moral.wjh.harvard.edu/) Isn't it possible that there exists an overall biologically-based moral framework, with specifics being supplied by culture/a person's environment? The fact that some portions of morality are cultural doesn't preclude the the existence of biological universals.

Also, what do you mean by some moral choices defying biological impulses?
Now heroes are men who cherish lofty designs in their bosoms and have plans to achieve them; they have all-embracing schemes, and the whole world is at their mercy. -Ts'ao Ts'ao

Hell is other people. -Tagline of No Exit
Ts'ao Jian
Langzhong
 
Posts: 581
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:26 pm
Location: Somewhere... maybe.

Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:32 am

Ts'ao Jian wrote:What about the idea that, while morality's specifics vary from culture to culture, many themes are common across cultures, and people tend to respond similarly from cultures to culture to quizzes such as Hauser's moral intuition test? (which is at http://moral.wjh.harvard.edu/)


Universal morality. And no, I don't buy into it. I think people develop morals to meet their own needs. Since a good many needs are universal, you will probably see a trend.

Isn't it possible that there exists an overall biologically-based moral framework, with specifics being supplied by culture/a person's environment? The fact that some portions of morality are cultural doesn't preclude the the existence of biological universals.


Whats a biological universal? How does biology choose for us what is right and wrong? I think if you're going to ask for proof about morality being a social construct, I think I'm going to have to ask for proof that our biology forces us to choose certain moral decisions.

Also, what do you mean by some moral choices defying biological impulses?


Stealing is supposedly immoral. If I am hungry/starving, it would make sense that I procure food by whatever means. Mercy is a common moral theme in many societies and religions, but if I am threatened it makes no sense to show mercy. In my view, biologically we are wired to do whatever is in our best interests as individuals (and sometimes as packs if it helps us better survive..but even then people are immoral), but society teaches us many moral decisions which suppress our biological impulses. I'm not saying this is bad, I'm simply saying they do this. If I followed purely my biological instincts I'd kill, steal, rape, and do anything else I desired.

I'm obviously speaking merely of biological imperatives or impulses. I admit, and I'll be surprised if someone doesn't show up to remind me, that man can employ reason and rationality. But these things are subjective as well.
User avatar
Shikanosuke
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 4337
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:22 am
Location: US

Re: Nihilism

Unread postby talon1579 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:59 pm

Promiscuity is biological, but most cultures forbid polygamy (but it is often encouraged before marriage - strange).
User avatar
talon1579
Changshi
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:41 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Nihilism

Unread postby Vismien » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:51 am

I apologize for bumping up this 2008 thread. I was browsing the forum and topics like these tend to jump out at me due to the fact that, while I am not a nihilist, per se, I am nihilistic. That is, I do not presuppose the non-existence of an absolute moral obligation or great "meaning" for life despite a complete lack of evidence, but at the same time, because of said lack of evidence, do not live life through any moral code. I strongly agree that people develop morals to meet their own physical and psychological needs - morality is simply adaptive. The human mind has an inherent need to view the world as both safe and consistent, and through the imposition of one's will via morality, this can be effectively accomplished; at the same time, one is satisfying one's needs to view oneself as consistent, as well as in a positive light.

However, moral codes and resulting social restrictions ultimately lead to severe damage of personal freedom, and a plethora of other problems. To those who don't think they are imposing on anyone else: If you harbor any kind of moral code, and/or support human society as it is now, imposition of your will is unavoidable. To want is to impose. Humankind will never admit that the most obvious solution to imposition of will is to simply not will at all.

Also, this comment struck me as funny...
SunXia wrote:I'm definitely not a Nihilist!!
Life without meaning to me is pointless!!

Image
Vismien
Tyro
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:33 am

Previous

Return to Literature, Academics, and Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved