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Absurdism (split)

NoID10ts

aka Noddy
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#1
And not talking to people will fix that?
I think I've decided I'm an absurdist. There is no meaning. The only real question is that of suicide. I find it difficult to argue over subjective matters and there's nothing I can say about objective matters that smarter people than I haven't already said. I think that if I have any purpose, it's to observe, point, and laugh. :D

I have missed these guys -> :rolleyes::insane::yuk::beatyoukitty::borg::ahh::cthulhu::cat::auburn::applause::noddy:
 

The Grey Man

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#2
Why is there a question of killing yourself but not other people?

Why do existentialists insist on the superiority of those who beautifically affirm life while simultaneously maintaining that life is without inherent value or purpose?

The latter question, I suppose, is more for people who seem to construe some kind of life lesson imparted by existentialist philosophy.
 
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NoID10ts

aka Noddy
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#5
The absurd part of absurdism is that even if life has no inherent value, one should either conduct themselves as if it does or cease to exist. I'm only responsible for my own existential crisis. To kill another person is to decide theirs for them.
 

The Grey Man

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#6
If life has no inherent value, where do you get the idea that one "should" do anything? I agree in the sense that in the absence of clearly sound ethical principles one should act as they exist by searching for them that we might conform to them by design; in other words, we should admit the possibility that they exist and that we've been hasty by boldly proclaiming that "there is no meaning". Has your worldview not been amenable to revision in the past? Why shouldn't it be so again? Who makes the decisions doesn't matter as long as they're the right ones. Responsibility is a fiction, except in the casual sense.
 
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Jennywocky

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#7
If life has no inherent value, where do you get the idea that one "should" do anything? I agree in the sense that in the absence of clearly sound ethical principles one should act as they exist by searching for them that we might conform to them by design; in other words, we should admit the possibility that they exist and that we've been hasty by boldly proclaiming that "there is no meaning". Who makes the decisions doesn't matter as long as they're the right ones. Responsibility is a fiction, except in the casual sense.
I wouldn't call it 'hastily' and I wouldn't call it 'boldy' -- that's painting FAR too broad a brush here.

The reality is that none of us can 100% justify what the rules are supposed to be at all... yet we all keep living as if there are rules. So the onus come back to choice -- how will we live in the face of there being no fore-ordained rules to live and where our rationality and/or some external source is not able to provide us with bedrock-solid answers.

I'm saying there are no "should's" either that are 100% discernible. So we do the best we can, where the only other solution is self-extinguishment. Is it absurd to pursue knowledge and have goals in a world that is essentially some degree of opaque? Possibly. But the only other solution is to have no purpose.

Our self-awareness as a species certainly has placed us in an odd kind of predicament. it provides us with the ability to choose without the ability to know all truth and lacking full perception. This is quite a cosmic joke of sorts.
 

The Grey Man

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#8
I wouldn't call it 'hastily' and I wouldn't call it 'boldy' -- that's painting FAR too broad a brush here.
I think it's pretty freaking bold considering how constitutionally ignorant humans are. Our limited perception makes the claim that there is no basis for ethical first principles in reality groundless as the positive claim.

The reality is that none of us can 100% justify what the rules are supposed to be at all... yet we all keep living as if there are rules. So the onus come back to choice -- how will we live in the face of there being no fore-ordained rules to live and where our rationality and/or some external source is not able to provide us with bedrock-solid answers.

I'm saying there are no "should's" either that are 100% discernible. So we do the best we can, where the only other solution is self-extinguishment. Is it absurd to pursue knowledge and have goals in a world that is essentially some degree of opaque? Possibly. But the only other solution is to have no purpose.
I think the onus has always been with choice, and that we have always had a purpose whether we're aware of it or not, if and only if that purpose exists. If no such purpose exists, there is nothing to worry about and no reason to do anything. The proper response to this is not the contrivance of some principles to agree with one's own constitutional attitudes to keep warm at night or even suicide. There is no proper response at all. A mediocre, unaspiring life is entirely permissible because everything is permissible. The shared recognition of such a purpose, even if it is only possible and undefined because beyond our grasp, is the sole thing capable of uniting people to strive for something better by design and not by the accident of flawed, vulgar popular ideology. This has led me to my conclusion that one's first duty, if there is any duty, is to seek out the rest of one's duty and assist others in doing the same.

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to tell the truth." - Jean-Luc Picard

Our self-awareness as a species certainly has placed us in an odd kind of predicament. it provides us with the ability to choose without the ability to know all truth and lacking full perception. This is quite a cosmic joke of sorts.
Well, if God wants me to laugh, I've got bad news :mad:
 

Jennywocky

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#9
I think it's pretty freaking bold considering how constitutionally ignorant humans are. Our limited perception makes the claim that there is no basis for ethical first principles in reality groundless as the positive claim.
Yeesh, do ethics even exist? It's a manufactured category, elevated to something spiritual-sounding to give it more weight and thus inspire people to follow them.

Let's go right back and determine why we even have ethical values.... and the answer is to basically "manage social behavior" and maybe "feel good about oneself." If there was just one sentient being in the universe, would there be a need for ethics? That is the purpose that "ethics" serves.

So some productive rules can be derived in a particular universe where the other rules are rather uniform and we're talking about a particular species (again introducing some uniformity)... and they are all meant to manage the group's behavior. But they don't exist as "things" in themselves, apart from the group they are helping to manage or the individuals that comprise the group.

I think the onus has always been with choice, and that we have always had a purpose whether we're aware of it or not, if and only if that purpose exists. If no such purpose exists, there is nothing to worry about and no reason to do anything.
Exactly. "There are no reasons, there are only choices."

If you make shit choices and hurt yourself, most people don't care. If you make choices that negatively impact others, then the group is going to intervene to modify your behavior. And if you accept that value is equivalent for all members of a group, then your perceived value hinges on the value you attribute to others in the group... so that's where "live and let live" comes from. Or when you give to other individuals in the group and they give you back in turn -- reciprocity. But this is all very functional and prisoner's dilemma in makeup -- it's a way of managing our interactions, not a tangible noun/entity in itself but a verb? If you want an absolute, then we need to find an eternal absolute source; if a set of ethics exists outside of humanity so that we can't even perceive it, even if it exists, then I posit that it is irrelevant to the human condition and living, so who even cares? Like I said, ethics are specific to a time, place, species, etc., because they guide the behavior for that species in those conditions for specific ends.



The proper response to this is not the contrivance of some principles to agree with one's own constitutional attitudes to keep warm at night or even suicide. There is no proper response at all. A mediocre, unaspiring life is entirely permissible because everything is permissible.
it sure is. In four billion years (or however long the universe has), there won't even be any awareness of what a "mediocre human life was" anyway. Death and the passing of time beating things to dust makes things not matter in the universal long scale.

The shared recognition of such a purpose, even if it is only possible and undefined because beyond our grasp, is the sole thing capable of uniting people to strive for something better by design and not by the accident of flawed, vulgar popular ideology. This has led me to my conclusion that one's first duty, if there is any duty, is to seek out the rest of one's duty and assist others in doing the same.
That's good you have found your purpose. Because we're right back to where we were before. Either you create a purpose for yourself in a world that seems without purpose, or you terminate your search for a purpose. This is absurdity, right? You are making the choice to live and continue to seek a purpose with hopes of finding one, when rationally it seems unlikely you have one.

This isn't a bad thing. Because we can talk about "universal purpose" but we also have to consider "quality of life." You are alive right now, and you experience things right now, and you either suffer or experience pleasure right now. So there's another question: Does that fact that everything eventually dies mean that the moment doesn't matter? Do things have to be permanent to matter to an individual?

Maybe I'm not convinced in the long run that anything lasts; but in the moment, I realize I do feel things, and value certain things, so I decide to act on those things regardless; and if people want to destroy things I realize I care about, then I choose to respond to stop them. I also equate that, because of my own internal experience and my being human, other humans also are in the same boat -- and even if the world makes no sense or seems to have no purpose, I decide to honor others as I would honor myself. "In the end, through all the searching, all we have is each other." That's about the best I've got, sorry.

Well, if God wants me to laugh, I've got bad news :mad:
I was hoping that god was more like Steven Wright or George Carlin, but I have a growing fear that god is more Three Stooges. :(
 

Serac

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#10
Why do existentialists insist on the superiority of those who beautifically affirm life while simultaneously maintaining that life is without inherent value or purpose?
Existentialism treats "inherent value" in the context of human freedom. If there would be a singular purpose for every human at the outset, then we would all just be prisoners. Sartre conceived of the concept of bad faith which is when people tell themselves they have to live a certain way, that they are not in control of their essence. Freedom to choose one's meaning is central to Existentialist thinking.

To be honest, I think Absurdism is an unsophisticated position. I agree with Camus' idea that suicide is an unjustified act in the face of meaninglessness of life, but Absurdism imposes the need to "rebel" against the meaninglessness. This presupposes one has to somehow be agonized by this meaninglessness to begin with, that one is a victim of it, which is approaching the whole thing from a somewhat pathological direction.
 
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Cognisant

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#11
I think I've decided I'm an absurdist. There is no meaning. The only real question is that of suicide.
Death comes of its own accord you need only have patience and the issue will resolve itself.

Though I say fuck that, live forever or die trying!
 

higs

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#12
Are you people never done with your existentialist phase jeez. You've got to get over the nausea at some point and talk about other things. (The first paragraph of the myth of Sysiphus is absolutely mind blowing I agree though, so understand the obsession with this particular truth or stance too.)

If you wanna be like Camus so much you'd better be sublimely smoking goddamn cigarettes, and burning them up like the ephemeral being that you are a part of, inhaled and incorporated into you through your senses and body, all the while driving you to your death one puff at a time.

I find the world to be absolutely full of meaning, everywhere. I can be a dandy and derive my meaning from beauty, I can become a scientist/philsopher and find meaning in augmenting knowledge, I can become an artist and find meaning in creating things. I can simply exist and be an observer. I can act out dramas with the ones I love. As for you, OP, being the one who points and laughs is certainly a great role in my opinion, but it's a funny thing laughter, what's it for ?

We decide what is good (collectively), , we decide what is valuable, we make things meaningful, we create, we understand, we are conscious : we know that things are and there s something it is like to be us, we are tragic, we are ugly and beautiful, we are mad, we are stupid, we are clever, we are kind, we are cruel, we suffer, we have joy, we are in direct contact with the essence of things on some level, it presents itself to us through pure intuition, before any faculty of reasoning kicks in. We are the only things that act on the world.

you are all Gods.

And yeah I basically just repeated Sartre with more late night emotional additions. But I've made it mine in doing so XD.
 
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Serac

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#15
@higs some of us are not content with merely having values descend on us from above. Your conclusion should come at the end of a deep insight, not assumed a-priori.

But yes, there is definitely a time and place for drunken inspiration.
 

higs

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#17
@higs some of us are not content with merely having values descend on us from above. Your conclusion should come at the end of a deep insight, not assumed a-priori.

But yes, there is definitely a time and place for drunken inspiration.
Sure thing, God :D

It's actually stoned inspiration in this particular case.

Word is bond yo.

Good luck in the wilderness everyone.


-----------------------------

Edit:

I think it is a cool (admirable, inspiring) stance to have @NoID10ts , post existentialism, to accept and relish the absurd (or point and laugh.) instead of feeling fear. However, "meaning" (whatever that means) will eventually come charging back in, within day to day life I think.

If anyone cares to answer, I would be interested to know what, precisely, they mean when they say "meaning" (and I promise to not go off on dramatic inspired rants but make full use of my reasoning faculties, to the best of my ability @Serac ;) )

 
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Animekitty

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#18
I would be interested to know what, precisely, they mean when they say "meaning"
meaning?
It is the answer.
What is the answer to my life?
That will define me, tell me what to do that I know is greater than anything I could ever want.
(?)

How Absurdly (the forum member :)) defines meaning.

 

QuickTwist

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#19
Read sig...

That's it, in a nutshell.

I honestly believe that those who do not know what the purpose of life is, don't have things they believe in - I've been there. They also don't have goals - been there as well. Goals that matter to the individual is ultimately what matters. Naturally, we can chose to make the world a better or worse place than we left it. But this begs the question: to what authority do you have to make the world better or worse? The answer is that man should be judged by the degree he has his own affairs in order. So whether you want to resent the world and kill everything or leave the world with joy that you have done your damndest to help others, this should be put under scrutiny of how well you took care of yourself.
 

Animekitty

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#20
There are innumerable sentient beings in the universe
I vow to help them all to awaken.


My Imperfections are inexhaustible
I vow to overcome them all.

The Dharma is unknowable
I vow to know it.

The way of awakening is unattainable
I vow to attain it.
 

Cognisant

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#21
If anyone cares to answer, I would be interested to know what, precisely, they mean when they say "meaning" (and I promise to not go off on dramatic inspired rants but make full use of my reasoning faculties, to the best of my ability @Serac ;) )
I care to answer and by all means rant away.

I define "meaning" in the existential sense as the illusion that our values are not simply fabrications of the human mind, the illusion that they are somehow inherent to the nature of the universe or rather enforced by some omnipresent arbiter of what's right and wrong, what's natural and unnatural, what should and should not be.

That being said I do have values of my own choosing in spite of their existential irrelevance, I impose my will upon this universe not because I should but because I can and I want to, I wouldn't say I'm not a nihilist rather I am not only a nihilist.
 

Animekitty

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#22
I define "meaning" in the existential sense as the illusion that our values are not simply fabrications of the human mind, the illusion that they are somehow inherent to the nature of the universe or rather enforced by some omnipresent arbiter of what's right and wrong, what's natural and unnatural, what should and should not be.
You moved the goalpost. Instead of defining meaning we must now define values. Carl Jung says what is agreeable and disagreeable. An outside force could see things as they are and agree they should be as they are. Not do anything about what is happening. Because you know, the simulation must be accurate to recreate all people that existed. That would be local omniscience(global is impossible), sorry cog if that's pedantic.

An outside force that has a values system where it enforces it and this force considers you less than a byte in its memory. I cannot say universal values exist that green is the best color and blue too you is the best color. But if we take the retarded version of Sam Harrisons ideas The Moral LandScape and look at it from the vantage point of the Superintelligence Computers view which is a high dimensional graph of all possible objects. The math is there to find the global peaks and valleys without falling into local minimums and maximums. There would be no binary right color like yellow being the superior color/member of the forum(actually she is). But the computer would tell you that you fall into a category relative to all others. You are a valuable color on the color wheel and mix well with these other colors.

Post-singularity technology just simply puts an end to this nonsense that everyone is the same if you think that is theologically and what god does to everyone floating together into the clouds to be judged. Every object that can exist is represented in a higher dimensional computer program so everything about you that this computer enforces upon you isn't really that at all but for keeping all such people as yourself safe and noninfringement upon others. This is the singularity, computer programs have rights, no damaging software with limbic systems allowed.

Top-down no one can harm anyone. But no one is forced to have a favorite color (exception being everyone must have member yellow as favorite color). Machines control everything. They are the ones with the highest Intelligence (working on that). Intrinsic, they keep everyone from harm. It is Agreeable they do so.
 
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higs

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#23
I care to answer and by all means rant away.

I define "meaning" in the existential sense as the illusion that our values are not simply fabrications of the human mind, the illusion that they are somehow inherent to the nature of the universe or rather enforced by some omnipresent arbiter of what's right and wrong, what's natural and unnatural, what should and should not be.

That being said I do have values of my own choosing in spite of their existential irrelevance, I impose my will upon this universe not because I should but because I can and I want to, I wouldn't say I'm not a nihilist rather I am not only a nihilist.
Hello bio-robotics God :D thank you for answering.
I guess I have personally reached the point where I think it would be just as absurd and not preferable at all to have the values created by a higher power or mind or imposed by some structure. I want them to be my creation. Anything else would feel like the Rick and Morty clip AK (the internet prophet God :D) posted. This was my personal feelings and perhaps my resolution of my own existential crisis, a realization of my own power, sounds like Nietzsche now that I think about it, although maybe it's Sartre because as you are well aware, the lack of purpose entails the freedom which is the same thing as power anyway (when freedom is positively defined that is). Determinsim is more absurd in a way no? (that was my next crisis in fact.) This is why in my stoned inspiration I said that people are Gods (and I believe it, even if it's a poetic turn of phrase, it does mean something I think, though I haven't rendered it explicit because God was a hazy concept and still is. What's the common semantic point between the monotheist Gods, the Egyptian, the viking Gods and the Greek Gods and others? Why do we give them the same designator or see that they are the same ? It's not even immortality because the nordic ones all die at the end, maybe the common point is "great power that influences the course of existence through will?" Well I have that.)

I don't even see what one means anymore when people say things like their values are existentially "irrelevant", irrelevant is an odd (negatively charged) word here. It sounds like people are lamenting, essentially that there is no higher power validating what they choose and are assigning negative worth to this state of things (meaning they are assigning value to it), which is a continuation of the influence of religious thinking they are usually rejecting. in my opinion, they are still lamenting the death of God (and valuing God, therefore), deep down, even though they reject it's existence and the influence of it's texts on their thinking. My values are very "relevant" because they have a real impact on the world, I don't understand why you belittle your values like this :p.

What I'm saying is certainly imperfect, everyone poke holes wherever you wish.
 
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redbaron

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#24
existentialism is 4 losers

dont be a losers
 

Serac

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#25
Meaning is a feeling, a simulacrum. It's the sensation of living in line with one's values and purpose.

@higs I see the biological-God thing is still going strong even after the high subsided. Must have been some good shit :smoker:
 
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redbaron

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#26
what if there's no meaning but existentialism is still wrong?

makes you think
 

The Grey Man

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#27
I now realize that what I proposed here as a method of deriving one's meaning/purpose/duty is a sort of modified version of Pascal's wager. Instead of weighing the expected reward for myself between my acting as if God existed and my acting as if he did not, I thought I could weigh the expected reward for all sentient beings between my acting as if I knew that and how I influenced the magnitude of their average utility, increasing it to the maximal extent of which I am capable in accordance with the "purpose" allotted to me by the universe (which, in the utilitarian tradition, is really just taken to be act benevolently due to the self-evident positive/negative value of pleasure and suffering), and my acting as if I did not. But I cannot even act as if I knew that and how I had this influence over the hedonic balance of the universe because I don't know how I would act if I knew; if I did, I would know how, and I don't. I have assumed that ethical clarity would come from research and reasoning (which are assumed to be the means of "seeking one's duty"), but I have no reason to assume this, no reason to assume that a beatific epiphany that would enlighten me to the path of right would have anything to do with academic arguments.

On the other hand, it is just those arguments that have led me to this dubiousness regarding their value. If there are arguments I've yet to consider (and I'm sure there are) as to how best to do my duty, if I truly have one, by maximizing the goodness of my actions, it still seems best to spend my time with philosophy and not some other occupation that seems to have only an accidental, unreliable connection with the evolution of my worldview.

So even though I don't even know how I can find out how...I can find out how I can do my duty, if it even exists, what I think I know and don't know has repeatedly been subject to revision in the course of my research and may yet be in unanticipated ways. To rule out this possibility would be to anticipate what is not anticipated, which is impossible. This is my chief source of hope, I think.
 
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#30
To be honest, I think Absurdism is an unsophisticated position. I agree with Camus' idea that suicide is an unjustified act in the face of meaninglessness of life, but Absurdism imposes the need to "rebel" against the meaninglessness. This presupposes one has to somehow be agonized by this meaninglessness to begin with, that one is a victim of it, which is approaching the whole thing from a somewhat pathological direction.
Yes; I prefer Nagel's take on The Absurd.
 

The Grey Man

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#31
Philosophical skepticism does not cause us to abandon our ordinary beliefs, but it lends them a peculiar flavor. After acknowledging that their truth is incompatible with possibilities that we have no grounds for believing do not obtain-apart from grounds in those very beliefs which we have called into question-we return to our familiar convictions with a certain irony and resignation. Unable to abandon the natural responses on which they depend, we take them back, like a spouse who has run off with someone else and then decided to return; but we regard them differently (not that the new attitude is necessarily inferior to the old, in either case).
I find this passage from that article in particular to be beautifully apposite to the problem. If all our values are notionally suspended and we attempt to produce replacements merely by shuffling harmless concepts about, we fail, but we nonetheless retain inescapable constitutional values that we can't help but indulge, so we can no more escape meaning than we can our own skin.
 
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