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The case against nihilism

dylancatlow
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4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Nihilism asserts that statements predicated on a "should" are inherently subjective and can have no basis in reality. This position, however, is indefensible. It requires that reality lack a moral standard of its own, which amounts to the requirement that reality be inexplicable. Since reality is all and only that which is real, it is either inexplicable or self-explanatory. If reality is self-explanatory, then it is self-caused, since an explanation for the existence of something is an identification of that which caused it to exist. If reality is self-caused, then it is self-actualizing , since there is nothing external which could direct it or bring it into existence (it must answer the question "why exist"). Since self-actualization is the goal of self-actualization, reality's self-actualization would constitute objective (reality's) morality. Denying that reality needs an explanation requires an explanation of its own, because it is a truth statement (even claiming that a causeless universe is possible would require one). Since there can be no cause for causelessness...no explanation for inexplicability, such an explanation would amount to nonsense. Failing that, one may assert that reality "just exists" or "existence exists because non-existence cannot" (which amounts to "existence exists because something must exist"). But in order for these explanations to explain the existence of reality, reality would itself need to be self-explanatory. The existence of something can be explained with circular reasoning only if the thing in question proves whatever you're after...in this case the existence of reality. So claiming that existence exists "just because" amounts to "existence" as the answer to the question, which could only answer the question if existence were self-explanatory. How can existence be self-caused you ask? In light of nothingness, there is zero constraint. A self-actualizing reality was inevitable.
Sswdwm
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4/18/2014 8:47:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Nihilism asserts that statements predicated on a "should" are inherently subjective and can have no basis in reality. This position, however, is indefensible. It requires that reality lack a moral standard of its own, which amounts to the requirement that reality be inexplicable. Since reality is all and only that which is real, it is either inexplicable or self-explanatory. If reality is self-explanatory, then it is self-caused, since an explanation for the existence of something is an identification of that which caused it to exist. If reality is self-caused, then it is self-actualizing , since there is nothing external which could direct it or bring it into existence (it must answer the question "why exist"). Since self-actualization is the goal of self-actualization, reality's self-actualization would constitute objective (reality's) morality. Denying that reality needs an explanation requires an explanation of its own, because it is a truth statement (even claiming that a causeless universe is possible would require one). Since there can be no cause for causelessness...no explanation for inexplicability, such an explanation would amount to nonsense. Failing that, one may assert that reality "just exists" or "existence exists because non-existence cannot" (which amounts to "existence exists because something must exist"). But in order for these explanations to explain the existence of reality, reality would itself need to be self-explanatory. The existence of something can be explained with circular reasoning only if the thing in question proves whatever you're after...in this case the existence of reality. So claiming that existence exists "just because" amounts to "existence" as the answer to the question, which could only answer the question if existence were self-explanatory. How can existence be self-caused you ask? In light of nothingness, there is zero constraint. A self-actualizing reality was inevitable.

I didn't see anything in this that demonstrates life has any meaning or intrinsic purpose/value.

Maybe paragraphs would help...
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dylancatlow
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4/18/2014 9:00:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/18/2014 8:47:50 PM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
.
I didn't see anything in this that demonstrates life has any meaning or intrinsic purpose/value.

Maybe paragraphs would help...

Maybe not quoting the whole freakin thing would help as well :p

Since objective morality necessarily exists,objective morality in the context of life consists of striving to further reality's self-selection parameter, which requires that we know what that entails, which requires life. There's more to it than that of course, but the explanations get rather techncal, and people here don't seem to like those.
dylancatlow
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4/19/2014 1:00:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Claiming that the existence of reality is inexplicable amounts to the assertion that we cannot know why we cannot know why reality exists, yet somehow we are supposed to know that. To know something is ultimately to know why you know it. Claiming that there might be or is a truth which we cannot know is self-refuting, since it amounts to the idea that reason as we understand it isn't necessarily true, since if it were true yet unknowable that we couldn't know, we couldn't know that. Claiming that we "might" know something amounts to a definite statement i.e. you are certain that we might know and every alternative is ruled out definitively. Since reality either has an explanation or does not have an explanation, it must have an explanation, since inexplicably can't even be entertained as an option, since option implies knowledge that it isn't impossible. Phew.
dylancatlow
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4/21/2014 5:45:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Langan:

In this usage, "explanation" is identical to "structure", and "cause" is identical to "explanation for the existence of something". In order to fully specify the structure of reality, one must explain why its aspects and components are related in certain ways (as opposed to other possible ways). If one cannot explain this, then one is unable to determine the truth values of certain higher-order relations without which structure cannot be fully specified. On the other hand, if one claims that some of these higher-order structural components are "absolutely inexplicable", then one is saying that they do not exist, and thus that the systemic structure is absolutely incomplete. Since this would destroy the system's identity, its stability, and its ability to function, it is belied by the system's very existence.
sdavio
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4/22/2014 3:59:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Nihilism asserts that statements predicated on a "should" are inherently subjective and can have no basis in reality. This position, however, is indefensible. It requires that reality lack a moral standard of its own, which amounts to the requirement that reality be inexplicable.

Assertion. How does it follow that if reality lacks an inherent moral standard then it must be inexplicable?

Since reality is all and only that which is real, it is either inexplicable or self-explanatory.

I'm sure this makes sense to people who already understand your philosophy, but otherwise this is another bare assertion; it's not at all clear how one follows from the other. There is no necessary (deductive) connection I can see between something being real and being explicable.

If reality is self-explanatory, then it is self-caused, since an explanation for the existence of something is an identification of that which caused it to exist. If reality is self-caused, then it is self-actualizing , since there is nothing external which could direct it or bring it into existence (it must answer the question "why exist"). Since self-actualization is the goal of self-actualization, reality's self-actualization would constitute objective (reality's) morality.

Just because something goes in a certain direction does not necessitate a moral standard. "If I drop the ball, it will fall" is not a moral statement. There is no 'should' involved there, only a 'will'. If reality can, and does self-actualize, that doesn't mean that in any grander sense that is what's preferred, only that that's what does occur. Not that I actually know what self-actualization means lol.

Denying that reality needs an explanation requires an explanation of its own, because it is a truth statement (even claiming that a causeless universe is possible would require one).

'Needs' and 'requires' according to what?

Since there can be no cause for causelessness...no explanation for inexplicability, such an explanation would amount to nonsense.

You state that reality is 'self-contained' and therefore it must have no cause or explanation other than itself, and a thing itself is no explanation at all; ie, you imply that reality is causeless and inexplicable. If I recall you also claim it came from nothing. You're basically saying, "It would be nonsense to say that reality is causeless and inexplicable, therefore we must conclude that it's causeless and inexplicable but use different words to say it."

Failing that, one may assert that reality "just exists" or "existence exists because non-existence cannot" (which amounts to "existence exists because something must exist"). But in order for these explanations to explain the existence of reality, reality would itself need to be self-explanatory.

This idea of 'self-explanatory' is nonsense. If I say "apple", just on its own, have I explained the term "apple"? No, because an explanation by definition adds information; it needs recourse to something external. This idea of self-containment and explanation is just a way to relegate all the apparent mysteries and contradictions of existence into the vagueness of your abstractions. "Self-explanatory" and "not explained", and "self-contained" and "not contained" are all identical in their functional meaning.

The existence of something can be explained with circular reasoning only if the thing in question proves whatever you're after...in this case the existence of reality. So claiming that existence exists "just because" amounts to "existence" as the answer to the question, which could only answer the question if existence were self-explanatory. How can existence be self-caused you ask? In light of nothingness, there is zero constraint. A self-actualizing reality was inevitable.

Are you still talking about nihilism and 'should' here?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Smithereens
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4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
wall'o'text. I'd much rather read it in smaller chunks. Psychological reasons. But to the point about nihilism, you treat it as a positive position. I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it. A BoP would be sustained for sure if they say that no meaning can be attributed to anything, but the basic premise lacks the magnitude of a claim.
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dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 8:45:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 3:59:18 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Since reality is all and only that which is real, it is either inexplicable or self-explanatory.

I'm sure this makes sense to people who already understand your philosophy, but otherwise this is another bare assertion; it's not at all clear how one follows from the other. There is no necessary (deductive) connection I can see between something being real and being explicable.

If reality has an explanation for its existence, then it has a cause for its existence, since a cause is an explanation for the existence of something. In order for a cause to bring about reality, it must be real. Thus, reality would be self-caused, because reality would be causing reality.

If reality is self-explanatory, then it is self-caused, since an explanation for the existence of something is an identification of that which caused it to exist. If reality is self-caused, then it is self-actualizing , since there is nothing external which could direct it or bring it into existence (it must answer the question "why exist"). Since self-actualization is the goal of self-actualization, reality's self-actualization would constitute objective (reality's) morality.

Just because something goes in a certain direction does not necessitate a moral standard. "If I drop the ball, it will fall" is not a moral statement. There is no 'should' involved there, only a 'will'. If reality can, and does self-actualize, that doesn't mean that in any grander sense that is what's preferred, only that that's what does occur. Not that I actually know what self-actualization means lol.

Self-actualization is not deterministic by definition. It must be self-directed and answer the question "why self-actualize", since there is nothing else that could cause it to self-actualize.

Denying that reality needs an explanation requires an explanation of its own, because it is a truth statement (even claiming that a causeless universe is possible would require one).

'Needs' and 'requires' according to what?

I don't get what you mean for the first one. Just replace "needs" with "has". Denying that reality has an explanation requires an explanation of its own, because the de facto position is not that things are causeless.


Since there can be no cause for causelessness...no explanation for inexplicability, such an explanation would amount to nonsense.

You state that reality is 'self-contained' and therefore it must have no cause or explanation other than itself, and a thing itself is no explanation at all; ie, you imply that reality is causeless and inexplicable. If I recall you also claim it came from nothing. You're basically saying, "It would be nonsense to say that reality is causeless and inexplicable, therefore we must conclude that it's causeless and inexplicable but use different words to say it."

Nonsense.


Failing that, one may assert that reality "just exists" or "existence exists because non-existence cannot" (which amounts to "existence exists because something must exist"). But in order for these explanations to explain the existence of reality, reality would itself need to be self-explanatory.

This idea of 'self-explanatory' is nonsense. If I say "apple", just on its own, have I explained the term "apple"? No, because an explanation by definition adds information; it needs recourse to something external. This idea of self-containment and explanation is just a way to relegate all the apparent mysteries and contradictions of existence into the vagueness of your abstractions. "Self-explanatory" and "not explained", and "self-contained" and "not contained" are all identical in their functional meaning.

When I say "self-explanatory", I don't mean that the word "reality" explains the word "reality". Rather, I mean that reality (as defined as all and only that which is real) is self-explanatory in the sense that the question "why does reality exist" is answered by reality itself...i.e. reflexive self-action.
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 8:48:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM, Smithereens wrote:
wall'o'text. I'd much rather read it in smaller chunks. Psychological reasons. But to the point about nihilism, you treat it as a positive position. I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it. A BoP would be sustained for sure if they say that no meaning can be attributed to anything, but the basic premise lacks the magnitude of a claim.

Nihilists assert that things cannot have objective meaning. My point is that there is no reason to believe that things cannot have objective meaning.
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 8:51:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's not just that there is no reason to believe nihilism is true, it's that there can't be. An inherently unprovable assertion is hardly the de facto.
sdavio
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4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
There cannot be an inherent / objective meaning to anything in reality (as an 'is') because a meaning must add information, and a thing as it is only means itself (in other words, means nothing). Meaning is a connection subjectively added. 'Intrinsic meaning' basically translates to; connections existing outside of any connections. That is, if I take an object as a totally independent existent, it by definition would have no connections. And to say "it's connected to itself" is no point of interest at all. It's just a rephrasing of 'not connected'.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/22/2014 9:49:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM, sdavio wrote:
There cannot be an inherent / objective meaning to anything in reality (as an 'is') because a meaning must add information, and a thing as it is only means itself (in other words, means nothing). Meaning is a connection subjectively added. 'Intrinsic meaning' basically translates to; connections existing outside of any connections. That is, if I take an object as a totally independent existent, it by definition would have no connections. And to say "it's connected to itself" is no point of interest at all. It's just a rephrasing of 'not connected'.

X being the totality of reality's internal relationships, "X is related to X" is a non-statement.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 10:29:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM, sdavio wrote:
There cannot be an inherent / objective meaning to anything in reality (as an 'is') because a meaning must add information, and a thing as it is only means itself (in other words, means nothing). Meaning is a connection subjectively added. 'Intrinsic meaning' basically translates to; connections existing outside of any connections. That is, if I take an object as a totally independent existent, it by definition would have no connections. And to say "it's connected to itself" is no point of interest at all. It's just a rephrasing of 'not connected'.

Mind restating this in a way that makes sense?
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 10:34:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 9:49:09 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM, sdavio wrote:
There cannot be an inherent / objective meaning to anything in reality (as an 'is') because a meaning must add information, and a thing as it is only means itself (in other words, means nothing). Meaning is a connection subjectively added. 'Intrinsic meaning' basically translates to; connections existing outside of any connections. That is, if I take an object as a totally independent existent, it by definition would have no connections. And to say "it's connected to itself" is no point of interest at all. It's just a rephrasing of 'not connected'.

X being the totality of reality's internal relationships, "X is related to X" is a non-statement.

Consider the generic question "why does X exist?" This question is really a statement of causality; it says that X, rather than being a magical production of something from nothing, must have a cause, and asks that this cause be identified. In other words, it requests a label for the origin of the cause-to-effect arrow pointing at X. But where there is no external causality (because there is nothing real outside of reality), the arrow becomes a loop; point and tail, question and answer, now coincide. In mathematics, this looping arrow is called a "reflexive relation", and because the shape of the arrow has changed, the associated "why?" question changes its meaning accordingly. Now the question becomes "why is X identical to X?", which amounts to a demand that the observable coherence and persistence of X be described in terms of X itself. To deny this demand is to deny the existence of the reflexive relation in question, which (because it is an identity relation) is to deny the existence of X. Since X exists, this is a contradiction. Ergo, the question must be answered. The answer is what we have been calling "teleology".

First, "reality causes reality to exist" gives rise to a further question, namely "how?", to which there is a nontrivial answer. Second, you're not merely asking "Why does reality exist?"; you're asking "Why is the self-evident existence of reality coherent and stable in space and time?", the answer to which also gives rise to a "how?" question. The answer to this "how?" question is this: "By reflexive self-action". So what we're really talking about is the degree and method of reflexivity of reality, considered as a relation. A true reality, analogized to software, is sufficiently reflexive to serve as the "hardware" on which it runs. A mechanically simulated reality is not; you must provide it with hardware, and when you do, you are its "god" in a supra-mechanistic sense. Now, since the reflexive structure of true reality is mathematically complex, explicating it is by no means equivalent to saying "just because!".

Let's take a slightly closer look. The "why?" question is really two questions in one: "what causes reality?" and "why is reality coherent and stable in space and time?" With each of these questions is associated a "how?" question, the answer to which requires the explanation of some facet of the reflexive structure of reality (considered as a relation). It is important to realize that this structure is mathematically complex and therefore nontrivial... as opposed, for example, to a philosophical equivalent of "just because!". On the other hand, if this structure does not exist, then what we have is a nonreflexive relation like the computer-simulated reality of your gendankenexperiments. By dint of its nonreflexivity, such a simulation cannot provide itself with hardware on which to run; you provide the hardware and thus assume the role of facilitator with respect to it. In contrast, if we consider true reality as a self-simulation written in a protean "programming language" called SCSPL, then it is sufficiently reflexive to write itself (self-configure) and execute itself (self-process), thereby serving as its own developer, programmer, hardware designer and hardware builder. Obviously, this takes self-containment to a whole new level. Since answering the "why?" question requires an explanation of this entire process, "just because!" won't cut it. So you'd be well advised not to let yourself think about it that way.
sdavio
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4/22/2014 10:36:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 10:29:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM, sdavio wrote:
There cannot be an inherent / objective meaning to anything in reality (as an 'is') because a meaning must add information, and a thing as it is only means itself (in other words, means nothing). Meaning is a connection subjectively added. 'Intrinsic meaning' basically translates to; connections existing outside of any connections. That is, if I take an object as a totally independent existent, it by definition would have no connections. And to say "it's connected to itself" is no point of interest at all. It's just a rephrasing of 'not connected'.

Mind restating this in a way that makes sense?

Would you accept that 'meaning' in the context of discussing nihilism must add some sort of information? In other words that simply restating a word gives no meaning, and that therefore one must create connections to other concepts to give meaning to the original concept?
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sdavio
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4/22/2014 10:57:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Intrinsic purpose is a contradiction of terms because purpose is always in some sense external. By 'in some sense' I mean that even when we simply define a term, we are often adding information or clarifying what we previously understood about that term. A totally intrinsic purpose would be one where the purpose of object X is to X; ie, a total repetition with no variation between the object and the purpose of the object.

For instance, imagine if I said "I am going to walk to the store", and you asked "why?", and I reply, "I am going to walk to the store for the purpose of walking to the store."

That totally undermines the whole idea of purpose / meaning. My above reply, if it is saying that is the only purpose, is totally the same as saying I'm going to the store for no purpose at all. The same principle applies in regard to explaining reality. An explanation must also refer to something external. To say "This thing is the way it is only because it is the way it is" is identical logically to saying that it is the way it is for no reason.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 3:29:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 10:36:03 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 4/22/2014 10:29:26 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/22/2014 9:44:57 AM, sdavio wrote:

Would you accept that 'meaning' in the context of discussing nihilism must add some sort of information? In other words that simply restating a word gives no meaning, and that therefore one must create connections to other concepts to give meaning to the original concept?

Not in that sense. If something is intrinsically good, then "restating it" as justification for its value is merely a reflection of this fact. Take logical tautologies, for instance. X=X is true, yet predicated on the fact that X=X. Does this mean it's not true? Of course not. The case is no different for objective morality. Just replace "true" with "moral".

The same principle applies in regard to explaining reality. An explanation must also refer to something external. To say "This thing is the way it is only because it is the way it is" is identical logically to saying that it is the way it is for no reason.

Not if the thing in question is self-actualizing. Reality's tautological explanation directly mirrors its reflexive self-action. Since an explanation for reality is itself real, such an explanation is still self-referential.
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 3:52:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Since morality defines that which should be and that which should not be, it is implicit in reality's structure. If it weren't, it would either imply that reality is unable to self-configure (lacks control of itself) or has no reason for existing, both of which imply non-conclosure. Since reality has nothing but itself with which to decide what it should become, the creation of reality is a distributed event in which its self-actualization is an ongoing process from an internal vantage. However, reality is still timeless, becomes time occurs on a less general level than those which sustain it (God witnesses a single act of creation). This is why there is evil in the world. Reality is a self-simulation in which it simulates possible forms that it could take.
Stephen_Hawkins
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4/22/2014 4:04:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/18/2014 9:00:04 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:47:50 PM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
.
I didn't see anything in this that demonstrates life has any meaning or intrinsic purpose/value.

Maybe paragraphs would help...

Maybe not quoting the whole freakin thing would help as well :p

Since objective morality necessarily exists

If you're trying to show that moral nihilism is wrong, and your starting premise is "objective morality exists", then you're going to be begging the question a rather large amount.
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tBoonePickens
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4/22/2014 4:39:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it.
The act of assuming requires meaning, thus one cannot really "assume that everything is meaningless." If there is no meaning in assuming, then how is that position any different than that of a "square-circle"? It's not. Actually, it's not even a position because no coherent information was conveyed!
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: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 5:25:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 4:04:21 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 4/18/2014 9:00:04 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:47:50 PM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 4/18/2014 8:39:09 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
.
I didn't see anything in this that demonstrates life has any meaning or intrinsic purpose/value.

Maybe paragraphs would help...

Maybe not quoting the whole freakin thing would help as well :p

Since objective morality necessarily exists

If you're trying to show that moral nihilism is wrong, and your starting premise is "objective morality exists", then you're going to be begging the question a rather large amount.

I was simply explaining how objective morality (which I proved exists in the OP) relates to life.
Stephen_Hawkins
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4/22/2014 7:12:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Can you either a) put it in the form of premise-premise-conclusion, or b) Paragraph it somehow? I've got to agree with other posters and say it just becomes verbage at some point and concepts fail to become distinct. I can't work out what is being substantiated by what, and whether you've justified a premise or skipped over its justification assuming its veracity, and whether you're just about to justify it.

Also, with my other post, I didn't notice that you were adding a corollary, but though that was a summary of the argument - my mistake.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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dylancatlow
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4/22/2014 7:16:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 7:12:10 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Can you either a) put it in the form of premise-premise-conclusion, or b) Paragraph it somehow? I've got to agree with other posters and say it just becomes verbage at some point and concepts fail to become distinct. I can't work out what is being substantiated by what, and whether you've justified a premise or skipped over its justification assuming its veracity, and whether you're just about to justify it.

Also, with my other post, I didn't notice that you were adding a corollary, but though that was a summary of the argument - my mistake.

Oh please. It's not that bad.
Stephen_Hawkins
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4/22/2014 7:18:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 7:16:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/22/2014 7:12:10 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Can you either a) put it in the form of premise-premise-conclusion, or b) Paragraph it somehow? I've got to agree with other posters and say it just becomes verbage at some point and concepts fail to become distinct. I can't work out what is being substantiated by what, and whether you've justified a premise or skipped over its justification assuming its veracity, and whether you're just about to justify it.

Also, with my other post, I didn't notice that you were adding a corollary, but though that was a summary of the argument - my mistake.

Oh please. It's not that bad.

Common writing style is a premise a paragraph. This is because, as you wrote it, you know how it 'should' look in its ideal condition. If someone else is saying it's difficult to read, it probably is. If more than one person is saying it, then it very much is.
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Smithereens
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4/23/2014 4:24:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 4:39:08 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it.
The act of assuming requires meaning, thus one cannot really "assume that everything is meaningless." If there is no meaning in assuming, then how is that position any different than that of a "square-circle"? It's not. Actually, it's not even a position because no coherent information was conveyed!

meaning in this context does not mean definition, but some sort of transcendental purpose.
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Smithereens
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4/23/2014 5:09:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/22/2014 8:48:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM, Smithereens wrote:
wall'o'text. I'd much rather read it in smaller chunks. Psychological reasons. But to the point about nihilism, you treat it as a positive position. I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it. A BoP would be sustained for sure if they say that no meaning can be attributed to anything, but the basic premise lacks the magnitude of a claim.

Nihilists assert that things cannot have objective meaning. My point is that there is no reason to believe that things cannot have objective meaning.

The philosophy of nihilism is broader than that. More correctly stated, there are different forms of nihilism, such as existential nihilism and moral nihilism. I assume you take issue against existential nihilism. This form holds that our existence has no intrinsic value. This claim is justified as it is a negation of a positive statement; that life has intrinsic value. The claim that life cannot have intrinsic value is an extremely strong view that few if no nihilist actually holds. Attacking nihilism from your flawed definition is a straw man if anything, as the philosophy of nihilism does not rely on the word 'cannot.'
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Smithereens
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4/23/2014 5:12:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I believe a reasonable rebuttal to the position that 'Nihilism is false as it fails to fulfill a BoP that 'nothing can have objective meaning' is false due to the fact that nihilism does not assert that nothing can have objective meaning but instead that nothing has objective meaning. This is a 'default' position with no BoP, thus Nihilism has nothing to prove unless it continues to assert this position if it is more reasonable to believe that things do have intrinsic value.
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dylancatlow
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4/23/2014 8:14:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 5:09:12 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 4/22/2014 8:48:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 4/22/2014 4:56:42 AM, Smithereens wrote:
wall'o'text. I'd much rather read it in smaller chunks. Psychological reasons. But to the point about nihilism, you treat it as a positive position. I see it as a neutral position with no BoP. The reason being that it assumes everything is meaningless unless meaning can be given to it. A BoP would be sustained for sure if they say that no meaning can be attributed to anything, but the basic premise lacks the magnitude of a claim.

Nihilists assert that things cannot have objective meaning. My point is that there is no reason to believe that things cannot have objective meaning.

The claim that life cannot have intrinsic value is an extremely strong view that few if no nihilist actually holds. Attacking nihilism from your flawed definition is a straw man if anything, as the philosophy of nihilism does not rely on the word 'cannot.'

This is absurd. The only reason nihilists think that life has no intrinsic value is because they think life cannot have intrinsic value. Nihilism is an a priori position.
dylancatlow
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4/23/2014 8:17:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 5:12:48 AM, Smithereens wrote:
I believe a reasonable rebuttal to the position that 'Nihilism is false as it fails to fulfill a BoP that 'nothing can have objective meaning' is false due to the fact that nihilism does not assert that nothing can have objective meaning but instead that nothing has objective meaning. This is a 'default' position with no BoP, thus Nihilism has nothing to prove unless it continues to assert this position if it is more reasonable to believe that things do have intrinsic value.

Delusions to the contrary notwithstanding, anyone who makes or denies a claim has a burden of proof. Something is not negated until proven otherwise. In any case, an explanation of inexplicably is hardly the default position, even for purposes of convenience.
dylancatlow
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4/23/2014 8:30:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
By "burden of proof", I mean "reason to believe something". This doesn't mean that someone who doesn't believe in fairies has to prove their non-existence. A reasonable belief doesn't need to entail certainty nor does it have to be based on observing a negative.