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    Thread: Do you agree more with Existentialism or Nihilism? Why?

    1. #1
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      Do you agree more with Existentialism or Nihilism? Why?

      I used to find myself being quite nihilistic when I was younger. As I've aged my views have naturally migrated toward existentialism.

      I think the principal reason for the switch is related to a change in world outlook, my attitude, and my mental health (because it improved and became more positive). Before the meaningless, monotony, and ennui of existence was such a pervasive influence on my beliefs that I completely abandoned my value system. This formed a feedback loop that guided all my thought patterns, mood, and outlook toward negativity and neuroticism. Without a value system or believing in any real meaning, nothing had significance in my life and all actions become permitted and justified. After all, I'm not religious and had no objective sense of morality (i.e. a value system); if I was going to die nothing mattered anyway because nothing would ever amount to anything in the end.

      Of course, despite believing nothing really mattered and nothing was actually that "real", I could not ignore the reality of personal suffering and pain. No matter how much you rationalize or justify how meaningless it is to care about anything (including personal suffering), you cannot escape these without turning to dangerously unhealthy forms of escapism (like drug abuse or obsessions). I had stripped myself of the ability to experience pleasure, joy, contentment, or happiness but could not strip myself of negativity, pain, and suffering. In the end I was still judging myself to be every bit of worthless and pathetic as I was viewing everybody and everything else, and that negative sense of self-worth only increased the suffering.

      Once I started to recover, I realized how important value systems are. I thought I had understood that any meaning anything had could only be created by me, but I was not able to actually create any meaning because my general outlook and philosophy at their core were preventing that from occurring. Once I reestablished my moral compass with thoughtfully constructed personal beliefs, my literal feeling of morality/right and wrong did not return in the way it used to exist when I was younger. At first this was dismaying, but I soon came to the conclusion that restoring that feeling wasn't necessary and my current sense of right and wrong was merely different, not deficient.

      So, despite the absurdity of the human condition and reality, I firmly believe in the good and overwhelmingly positive effect that forming your own meaning and a personal value system has on one's life. Outright nihilism, to my understanding now, is a very toxic, negative philosophy to base your sense of reality around.

      What about you guys? Which philosophy do you believe more in, and please explain why.

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      Definitely Extensialism. And why? Because you can talk about it our put it down and forget about it all as you wish and go on with what ever you do. That's not the case with Nihilism, because you get reminded all the time in how "pointless" everything is, and that is to make a point in and out of everything that might just be as it is.

      Anyhow, I dont feel that Nihilism more right or wrong really. But Nihilism do get contradictory up to a point where things do start to matter eventually, and I think that's why there is pain to that resistance of that there is to much meaning in everything. Just as everything in life matter all the time. Because all that life does, it matters. Even if we where to try to deny that it does matter, it merely changes in form.

      So nothing can eventually be totally meaningless, since it cant mean less than the meaning it originate from.
      You are not your thoughts...

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      I think it is necessary in this world to be stoic. I would say my philosophy on life is to search for value. Which is not always apparent as to the degree of value in any given circumstance. It is outright necessary for me to be stoic and dissociate from having to have value. In other words not to cling to have value at all times. Since value is such an elusive concept and differs from person to person. We are searching for the right things to attach to I think. It helps to understand that nothing really matters. And feel ok with that. In that mode it is easier to see things for what they are.
      At the end of the dark the light begins

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      I would say my waking here-and-now self agrees more with existentialism. Even though I would include shamanism in my value system, I don't see myself as particularly religious. I just feel what we are and what we do matters. We have the courage to define for ourselves what we believe in and what we strive for in this life. However I have also seen the side of nihilism, both in my high school angst phase and in certain extra-ordinary circumstances. There is a malevolent part of reality that appears to be pointless to the degree of everything seeming part of a big practical joke. So in those moments finding meaning can be a stretch for sure. Despite this, through self healing and my life experiences so far, I have made the choice for existentialism.
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      Nice to see your face Neo Neo
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      At the end of the dark the light begins

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      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      Likewise Dthoughts! I am a bit of a lurker again these days but felt like adding my two cents here lol.
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