I find myself coming back to nihilism again and again. Does anybody else have to deal with this whole, "everything is meaningless and pointless" mindset? Lol. I mean, I try to find meaning... I love my life, don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed...I just kinda feel like the main character in "Office Space" most of the time...
I find it more comforting to accept the fact that even if there is no true meaning or that life is pointless doesn't necessarily mean your life and or actions doesn't impact the life around you either positive or negative. Even the character in Office Space obviously had an enormous impact on his coworkers, setting forth a chain of events that led who knows where (cuz there was never a sequel). Like what was previously said in earlier comments, no matter how insignificant our lives are in this reality we as individuals will never be able to fully comprehend how our just being here right now at this time will effect the chain of events for the extent of time as we know it. Every action positive or negative has some sort of reaction. One act of kindness can effect generations, one action of cruelty can ruin or benefit entire cultures. Although human life has just been a blink of an eye when put into the scale of existence of earth everything has had some sort of role, dare I say meaning in the continuum. At least in my opinion, but whatever get ya through the day.
I think we construct reality as parts of a community, a neighborhood, a family or a support group. That includes things like nihilism.
Think about how much $10.00 is worth?
Or do you think it is just a piece of colored paper?
When you turn on the lights entering a room, can you imagine all the massive infrastructure that makes flipping the switch and turning on lights possible. We don't have to think about it, it is basic to our understanding of how things are and we can't escape that understanding of the world, it is kinda like a transparent prison.
That is why, I think, we create meaning, we (individually or as a society) really don't have a choice in the matter. Camus said that there is only really one serious question in philosophy and that is the question of suicide. If everything is absurd then what difference does it make. And, to live is to suffer, if not now then eventually.
I think we have a responsibility to the reality we have constructed for our selves, to the set of meanings, values and beliefs that move us, our family and our society. To deny this responsibility is an act of bad faith with our self. Socrates (al la Plato) said that he would rather be out of tune with the world then our of tune with himself.
There's a youtube channel called In A Nutshell, it's got some cool ideas. Lot's of wild science topics. But they spend their whole time painting a brilliant picture of what we are doing here and now to better everyone and everything.
And then yank the rug out from under you. One of their more recent videos was a video on defeating aging and how would life be if we got rid of old age. If we could live to be 200, 300, 400 on average and our bodies wouldn't shut down how cool would THAT be!?
They sat here and painted a brilliant picture of a utopian world. And then ended it by saying. If Humans cured all diseases, including old age. We'd still end up dead. Eventually.
The biggest reason to fight these things is the belief to live forever, and we just can't. Why do I bring this up? Their videos, In A Nutshell, consider to be 'Optimistic' Nihilism.
I don't know if I spend a whole lot of time focused on Nihilistic ideas as much anymore. I try to have a positive outlook.
But then I remember the bad, so I guess I believe in equal parts life has meaning, and life is doom and gloom. I am one weird kind of guy.
Life has no EXTERNALLY BESTOWED meaning or purpose. But there's plenty of personal meaning and purpose to be found.
I think the problem most people encounter is they think that meaning and purpose have to be earth-shattering and life-changing. At my age, I've accomplished something today if I simply managed to take a dump [shrug].
Humans are of no particular significance or importance, and the implication of that is that our true scope is pretty small. If you learn to live within that scope, your life will be FILLED with a sense of accomplishment. Today I did good work for my client, showed kindness and love to my wife despite feeling, subjectively, rather irritable, and enjoyed the cookies she baked me last night for Valentine's Day. I got both the dogs walked and therefore myself somewhat walked, which met some of my exercise goals despite a very busy work day. That feels good because I wasn't expecting to figure out the Meaning Of Life and foster World Peace, I just was living my little ol' life to its fullest.
Yes. If it all does have meaning and purpose, then it means we don't know the rules and can't play the game correctly and that makes me depressed and anxious. I'd rather just try and enjoy what I've got than try and plan my life around some ultimate goal that no one will tell me exactly what it is or how to get to it.
If I think too much about it, I start to feel depressed honestly. But I know I'm too rational to pick up the religion card just because it can sometimes sound better and appealing to think I'm special the universe has plans for me me me. Because the universe doesn't really owe me anything just for existing.
I don't try to change the world, I know I will make a small difference in it. Math inspires me. Once, in the 60's, climate scientists decided enough computing power was available to accurately predict weather for at least 6 months. So they inputted the data and let it fly, came up with a years worth of climate. Lasted 3 days. What happened? They used averages for large tracts of land for temp, large tracts of air mass for moisture and temp, and averages for wind speed. Turns out that every second of the day a million-to-one occurance happens thus skewing the projection, several of these and the entire models fails within days. So as I look at my life and what I do for others and myself, family and friends, I try not to look at the immediate result but hope that my million-to-one action, any one of them, skews the moral arc to justice further. That is my mindset.