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It’s the end of the world as we knew it

Cognisant

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This is my own take on onesteptwostep's thread about religion and secularism.

I see modernism as idealism, post-modernism as cynicism leading to nihilism, and with this nihilism came the proverbial death of god. Specifically the loss of a unifying grand narrative and consequently the deconstruction of traditions and culture which is now occurring.


We're in this strange limbo where the death of god has occurred but for most of society it hasn't arrived yet, like a baby bird that's pecked a hole in its egg and with the sudden influx of light and sound and air it sits in there dumbfounded.

Having killed god we have inherited its divine remit, we are the gods now, the book of all magic is in our hands its pages blank and waiting for us to fill them. Ok I'll stop doing that.

In more practical terms if nihilism is accepted as absolute truth and everything is pointless then if you do something pointless like an atheist praying to a god that they know doesn't exist, then the fact that it's pointless is itself pointless because everything is pointless.

So why not do it?

This is post-nihilism, what I want to refer to as absurdism because it is blatantly and unabashedly absurd, it is lighting lanterns in the morning because why not?

God is dead, life is meaningless, the universe is as indifferent as it is incomprehensibly vast, and yet here we are and despite our accidental apotheosis here we remain, still alive, still human, still wondering what to do.

Well it's up to us now, we can't just continue deconstructing everything forever because sooner or later there won't be anything left to deconstruct and we'll be forced to start creating. What stories will we tell ourselves, what rituals will we invent, what new grand narrative will we come up with and what will be our role in it?
 

Rook

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tl'dr all government apparachios should wear boob helmets and keep parrots on their shoulders
 

Hadoblado

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Just FYI, depending on the area, post-modernism does put forward positive claims about how we should proceed. The issue for me is that often these positions are either arse backward or lack support. It ends up funnily enough as an echo chamber founded on skepticism, but they direct all that skepticism outward.

In Australia in particular, our Early Childhood Education has a strong post-modern streak running through it but it's mostly waffle IMO. For example, deconstruction of traditional hierarchical leadership structures is useful, and the alternatives they put forward are not just a negation of those structures. However, you then get vertical structures masquerading as horizontal structures because that's good for marketing but impractical for the people calling the shots. It's retarded because it becomes an ideological signal rather than a pragmatic evaluation of the pros and cons.

I think there's a lot to be said for the openness to different ways of thinking. But opposition to objective truth has limitations when it's populist and imprecise.

I basically advocate for post-modernism mixed with empiricism.
 

Hadoblado

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Regarding the existential/absurd, once I'd done the groundwork of exploring the different schools of thought, further effort expended was detracting from my experience of meaning. Camus talks about there being three options: Suicide, faith, or recognition. My sophomoric conclusion was that recognition holds two options therein, one where you stare directly at the sun in pursuit of meaning but blinding you to meaning in the process, and one where you focus on meaning as if it weren't absurd even though you know it is.
 

Animekitty

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Unlike full-blown atheists who take on atheism as a banner, most people become stanch in a layer of video game shamanism that totally pulls them in. We are not yet ready for technoshamanism because entities of a different kind do not exist yet. It is still discussed whether to create such beings. But gatherings come first in such places as metaverses. People want to be in a different place than where they are someplace not limited.

Focussing solely on atheism/nihilism makes one dead inside base on past philosophy.. Replacement comes not from inside the person but from expanding the universe one is in.

The first time I realized extreme nihilism was in 2007, it was when I could not get anywhere in life. I was isolated and had no skills. And just useless. What helped I found several forums like this one. Other media did not interest me like gaming and Anime. I had no money and lived alone in an empty apartment. I tried to learn to code but that did not work out.

It is important to know you can do something in life. Or you crawl into a hole.

The metaverse is a big event of the 2020s. People will be really into it.
 

Glaensaeth

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I'm super bored with the whole of 21st century because it's still stuck on the post-modern Nietzschean "god is dead" and "inherent value doesn't exist" and still thinking there's nothing to do but hedonism or cynicism.

There are obviously answers to Nietzsche, post-modernisms and structures and intellectual steps that you take after you declare god and virtue as dead. Nietzsche and all other post-modernists either took these steps or tried to but failed and died out of morbid depression. Cynicism and hedonism aren't great for longevity.

Intellectually, most people need religion or some imposed value structures because they can't guide themselves so they need to be herded. People should be taught how to guide themselves, build their own spirituality, aesthetics, values and so on.

What ends up happening is the superstructure of religion, nationality or family the whole external purpose and sense belonging gets removed, but the people are still sheep that need herding so they are absolutely lost and in complete despair and then they adopt even worse replacements for what was removed or they just turn into consumption or other creative ways of counting seconds until death or a bad shepherd comes along and herds them into genocidal war.

My short take on that whole shebang is that truth can be subjective and value doesn't have to be inherent in things. The fact that people call for objective truth is still them asking for external purpose, same thing with discovering inherent purpose or value in evolutionary processes or existence of things.

What I deem as valuable is absolute and above everything else and I place it above all objective truths and laws. Why can't my subjective experience not be worth more than all other experiences combined? It can and it is. The trick with this approach is self-discovery leading to finding things that hold value. Now this approach would be dangerous if my list of valuable things wasn't entirely mundane and didn't include some respect for humans.
 

scorpiomover

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I'm super bored with the whole of 21st century because it's still stuck on the post-modern Nietzschean "god is dead" and "inherent value doesn't exist" and still thinking there's nothing to do but hedonism or cynicism.
There are plenty of people following other philosophies. However, the entertainment media keeps showing men following hedonism in relationships and in the workplace, or men being cynical about relationships and the workplace.

So it's more the case that if you're hooked on getting your information from the TV, the internet and your smartphone, you'll only see people thinking there's nothing to do but hedonism or cynicism, and think that either those are the only options for humanity, or those are the only things that most humans are choosing.

Intellectually, most people need religion or some imposed value structures because they can't guide themselves so they need to be herded. People should be taught how to guide themselves, build their own spirituality, aesthetics, values and so on.
It would be nice if people developed their own applications, operating systems, and gadgets, instead of relying on those made by Microsoft and FAANG.

But think of how long it would take to make a decent one. Also think of how many people died trying to make new discoveries (Marie Curie gave herself radiation poisoning as a result of working with radioactive materials).

So for most people, it is far safer and far more efficient if a minority spend their days developing advanced technology that other people will use.

Same with cognitive, emotional, psychological and societal technologies.
 

scorpiomover

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This is my own take on onesteptwostep's thread about religion and secularism.

I see modernism as idealism, post-modernism as cynicism leading to nihilism, and with this nihilism came the proverbial death of god.
Modernism is non-religious idealism, the belief that non-religious things like science and democracy will solve all of our problems (science curing lack of food and disease, and democracy ending war and violent conflicts). It began with the French Enlightenment, when non-religion became very popular all over Europe.

The goal was to establish a society which sorted all of its own problems and thus didn't need to rely on deities.

Initially, it was quite good at the science bit, and came up with many inventions that saved many lives, like water pipes that provided clean running water.

B) However, then came WW1, where millions died, incluing children. Diplomacy failed to stop the deaths of millions. Science made things like mustard gas and bombs.

Then people said "Oh, but humans needed to purge out the last vestiges of their primitive emotions. Now that humans have purged their violent impulses, war has come to an end. Yay us."

Then WW2 happened, and then it was clear that there was a pattern of violence. Science and democracy had repeatedly failed. That put the nail in the coffin of modernism.

Some people became cynical of everything. Some people even gave up on thinking anything was worth doing, and became nihilistic.

C) Some people now turned to intellectually and impartially critique modernism, to figure out what in modernism was worth keeping, and what in modernism needed to be replaced, to make a new version of modernism that was viable.

Specifically the loss of a unifying grand narrative and consequently the deconstruction of traditions and culture which is now occurring.
The left-wing has a unifying grand narrative, of saving humanity and bringing about a Heaven on Earth, by stamping out racism, sexism and homophobia.

Traditions and cultures that used to unify geographically and ethnically (being in the same area and being of the same ethnicity), now unify virtually and politically (being on the same app/site and being of the same political affiliation).

So we've replaced one set of grand narratives, traditions and cultures, for another.

We're in this strange limbo where the death of god has occurred but for most of society it hasn't arrived yet, like a baby bird that's pecked a hole in its egg and with the sudden influx of light and sound and air it sits in there dumbfounded.
Non-religious humans now look to things like science, diplomacy and social activisim to solve humanity's long-term problems. But those are lofty goals that could take thousands of years, like the lofty dream of a religious Rapture or a religious Utopia brought about by deities that is supposed to happen sometime in the future.

In the meantime, i.e. in their own lifetimes, they look to the state to solve their short-term problems. However, the state is still human, and so most humans have nothing super-powerful to believe in, that might convince them that someone is on their side to solve their more immediate problems.

So when faced by what seems to be problems in their own lifetimes that are too big for them to handle, and too much for the state to guarantee to solve everyone's problems, they have lost hope that there's anyone or anything that can bail them out.

They're all like people staying in lockdown waiting for a vaccine to happen, except that the vaccines for people's major problems are taking a lot longer to appear than they reckon they'd live anyway.

Having killed god we have inherited its divine remit, we are the gods now, the book of all magic is in our hands its pages blank and waiting for us to fill them.
Deities possess supernatural knowledge. Their books are already filled with answers. We are only deities in that we don't acknowledge the existence of anyone more powerful than us. Great for optimists. Terrible for pessimists.

In more practical terms if nihilism is accepted as absolute truth and everything is pointless then if you do something pointless like an atheist praying to a god that they know doesn't exist, then the fact that it's pointless is itself pointless because everything is pointless.

So why not do it?
Because that would be admitting that you still need a higher power, that your science, diplomacy and activism are mere tools and not magical panaceas that would solve all the problems each human has in life, and so that would be an admittance that modernism is deeply flawed.

What stories will we tell ourselves, what rituals will we invent, what new grand narrative will we come up with and what will be our role in it?
In Game of Thrones, the writers wrote in it that it's the stories that we tell ourselves, the narratives that we invent, that matter. The Westworld series presents the same viewpoint.

Our new stories, narratives and rituals are being invented by the entertainment media. They are mankind's new prophets.
 

Old Things

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There have been several points in history where "God has died." Yet every time after a little while of what seems like complete hopelessness, people are reinvigorated by the belief in a transcendent being who speaks to them and guides their lives giving them meaning and purpose. History has a way of repeating itself in ways that are sometimes unexpected.
 

Cognisant

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Deities possess supernatural knowledge. Their books are already filled with answers.
Enlighten me with an example, admittedly there's some wisdom in there about not being a total douche-bag but "what goes around comes around" is hardly a groundbreaking revelation.

Because that would be admitting that you still need a higher power, that your science, diplomacy and activism are mere tools and not magical panaceas that would solve all the problems each human has in life, and so that would be an admittance that modernism is deeply flawed.
The implementation is flawed, I don't think we need a higher power in a spiritual sense however a super intelligent AI orchestrate everything would be very nice to have, and if there's a deity that can step up to the challenge and actually make itself useful I'd be more than happy to pray to it.

I digress, getting back to the implementation being flawed, we may have developed beyond the need for religion but we're still humans and humans are not entirely logical creatures (much to my dismay) so I think we still need some degree of ritual for its own sake to care for our mental health.

Our new stories, narratives and rituals are being invented by the entertainment media. They are mankind's new prophets.
That's horrifying.

I'm kinda getting over this whole post-nihilism thing, maybe the problem isn't human society, maybe the problem is human nature. It's like monkeys with guns, the solution isn't to make a monkey-safe gun but rather to make a gun-safe monkey, i.e. one that won't fire it randomly/accidentally/whimsically like a stupid monkey.

However, then came WW1, where millions died, incluing children. Diplomacy failed to stop the deaths of millions. Science made things like mustard gas and bombs.
See that's the monkey with a gun I'm talking about, there's nothing inherently good or bad about technology, it's just an enabler, it empowers us and it's up to us to use that power responsibly which is asking a lot of a bunch of stupid monkeys, too much.

Advanced technology will never be idiot proof, it will never be safe for humans, so clearly the solution isn't to change the technology to be human-safe, we have to change the humans to be technology-safe.
 

scorpiomover

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Deities possess supernatural knowledge. Their books are already filled with answers.
Enlighten me with an example,
The "books" that we read, are the sources of information that we have access to.
A deity's "books" that it reads, are the sources of information that the deity has access to. If the deity is omniscient, then it knows everything. Even if not, if it's a deity like Athena, the goddess of the hunt, then it knows more about hunting than any human.

admittedly there's some wisdom in there about not being a total douche-bag
Sounds like you are thinking of the Bible. That's not one of the books that a deity reads. That's one of the books that a deity is believed to have given to humans to read.

but "what goes around comes around" is hardly a groundbreaking revelation.
There seem to be lots of people who get rich off of others, where it seems that everyone thinks that they'll keep their riches and die happy.

Because that would be admitting that you still need a higher power, that your science, diplomacy and activism are mere tools and not magical panaceas that would solve all the problems each human has in life, and so that would be an admittance that modernism is deeply flawed.
The implementation is flawed, I don't think we need a higher power in a spiritual sense however a super intelligent AI orchestrate everything would be very nice to have, and if there's a deity that can step up to the challenge and actually make itself useful I'd be more than happy to pray to it.
Would still need to be implemented properly by the people, for the orchestration to work.

I digress, getting back to the implementation being flawed, we may have developed beyond the need for religion but we're still humans and humans are not entirely logical creatures (much to my dismay) so I think we still need some degree of ritual for its own sake to care for our mental health.
Psychological views of mental health have changed. In the past, they thought some people have mental illness. Now, they seem to say that most people do things that keep them mentally well, and some people don't. So if rituals are necessary for mental health, it may be that humans were designed/evolved to use rituals, because humans who follow some level of ritualisation were/are more capable.

Our new stories, narratives and rituals are being invented by the entertainment media. They are mankind's new prophets.
That's horrifying.
Yes. But sadly, often true.

Gen X were said to have been "raised by TV". Their parents didn't tell them what to think. So they picked up much of the things the wanted to know about the world, by watching the goggle box. So the writers of TV and films were their teachers about how to navigate the world and get what they want.

Later generations seem to be more influenced by the internet. But that too is influenced by advertising & PR companies on behalf of their clients.

I'm kinda getting over this whole post-nihilism thing, maybe the problem isn't human society, maybe the problem is human nature. It's like monkeys with guns, the solution isn't to make a monkey-safe gun but rather to make a gun-safe monkey, i.e. one that won't fire it randomly/accidentally/whimsically like a stupid monkey.

However, then came WW1, where millions died, incluing children. Diplomacy failed to stop the deaths of millions. Science made things like mustard gas and bombs.
See that's the monkey with a gun I'm talking about, there's nothing inherently good or bad about technology, it's just an enabler, it empowers us and it's up to us to use that power responsibly which is asking a lot of a bunch of stupid monkeys, too much.

Advanced technology will never be idiot proof, it will never be safe for humans, so clearly the solution isn't to change the technology to be human-safe, we have to change the humans to be technology-safe.
Well, that's a bit of a surprise.

That sounds more like instead of taking away guns, we make every kid in school learn to be a crack shot.

Or, if we think of cars as things that can kill, instead of making self-driving cars that even a monkey could use safely, we make everyone learn to be expert drivers, to the point where the odds of any one person killing someone with a car is less than 1 in a million.

I can see the benefit of such a view. But it seems that most people prefer the self-driving cars and taking away guns. So it's quite a surprise to me to read that you wrote that.
 
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