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Death of a Nihilist
#1
Death is the first enemy an nihilist is forced to face down.  It is a hard thing when you realize nothing matters.  You won't be remembered, you have no soul and all you have is right now.  When you find out there is not only no god, but no possibility of the existence of a god, and no reincarnation or living on as a spirit, the next thought is "why bother?".  When you answer that question, your life will be decided.  Some people might answer "I won't bother".  Those people put shotguns into their mouths and pull the trigger.  The lucky ones are cheated out of this option by circumstance (like I got no shotgun), help from people that have made the transition or sometimes maybe by a wisp of an idea.  On my night I was not smart enough to have the idea, but I was lucky enough to be poor so my existence is because of circumstance.  

Nihilistic thought does not allow for gods, nor heavens nor magically reappearing as some other creature.  It also forbids the existence of "souls"   Such thought is tantamount to "surrendering" you soul.  If I seem soul-less at times, that is because I no longer have one like you believe you do.  It strips you to bare nothing and it is a battle to come back.

I have walked up to that cliff and looked over the edge.  I've made it back with the help of philosophies, one document, one system (ethics) and the ramblings of a long dead poet.  This is what I once saw named "radical nihilism".  Radical Nihilists believe in the last instance, or at the most basic level, nothing matters.  Their is no truth, no god, no president - no anything.  This is actually based on astronomical physics, and the belief is based on the eventual disintegration or implosion of the universe.  If at any time nothing matters, then always nothing matters.  So it isn't just something made up.

However, a nihilist might choose as I did to graft on a philosophy and accept religious tenants.   My philosophy is libertarianism, my religion is a Buddhist-informed atheism.  I'm a better libertarian than Buddhist because I only accept Eastern thought on the way we should interact with each other.  I made a conscious choice to treat all creatures humanely and with an accepting mind.  At the same time I chose libertarian philosophy because it is crystalline pure.  It can be as simple as 3 words or it can fill volumes.  Joining the army stopped me from being a boy and made me become a man.  At the heart of being a soldier is the duty to protect at all costs The Constitution of the United States.  So I rely heavily on the words in that document to guide my thought.   Add to all that a poet named Nietzsche and ideas of being a bridge.

I built my humanity from scratch with those things.  I understand everything I think or believe other than the nihilistic nature of existence is a lie.  It is a hoax.  But it is that lie that answers the question "so what".  My answer doesn't have to be a shotgun in my mouth because my answer can be kindness and ethics and just maybe I can think that humanity will evolve in a more positive way if I stay around.

I have freed myself of doubt.  On my deathbed, where I have thought I have laid more than once, I will not lose my faith.  I know when I draw my last breath, I have finished.  I go to bed and often think I may not wake up, and that's fine with me.  On a side note, you should see a psychologist light up when you say that to them.  LOL.   It's like a mix of panic and dollar signs in their eyes.  Luckily, I have extraordinarily intelligent doctors and they recognize the positive outlook I have on life and death.

Jess said in her post that all animals fear death.  I have no fear of death.  I fear the pain and suffering death can bring, but the other side is not ugly, it is not anything.

A short bit on souls.  It is my opinion that what we commonly call a "soul" is nothing but reactions between neurons in our brain.  That is your entire reality, including your soul.

Those of you who believe differently, good for you.  If you have something to look forward to after you pass, I hope you are right and you find happiness and joy, whether you are reincarnated or walking streets of gold.  I have already been reincarnated as a nihilist, and while my roads are not paved with gold, that doesn't matter to me.
 

 

 
Winner.
Winner.

Chicken Dinner.


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#2
Nihilism appears to be so,simple, yet in my reading in preparation for this forum, I find it to be quite complex.  Your words are powerful, Lib, and inspire much curiosity.

I do believe we are wired to fear death, or the act of dying.  Why else would we strive to preserve life?

Is it possible, out of nothingness, to have liberty, freedom and creativity?
 
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
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#3
I've been told that if a person jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, it would take 4 seconds until they hit the water and presumably die from impact.  I've always wondered if during that 4 second drop, a person might change their thinking about the wisdom of having jumped.  We all have the capacity to change.  Is it really unreasonable to think that during that fall, some number, maybe even a large number, actually change their minds.  Not that they can do anything about it.  It's too late for that.  But the certainty of mind that they had just a second or two earlier is now filled with doubt.  

Now tell me again, as you draw your last breath, how certain will you be about anything and everything you lived your life for?  Tell me how certain you are about the something you think will come next or if you're a believer that nothing comes next, tell me of your certainty.  

"We'll never "really" know how strong our convictions are until just after we draw that last breath.   
 
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#4
'Iamme1 dateline='' Wrote: I've been told that if a person jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, it would take 4 seconds until they hit the water and presumably die from impact.  I've always wondered if during that 4 second drop, a person might change their thinking about the wisdom of having jumped.  We all have the capacity to change.  Is it really unreasonable to think that during that fall, some number, maybe even a large number, actually change their minds.  Not that they can do anything about it.  It's too late for that.  But the certainty of mind that they had
just a second or two earlier is now filled with doubt.  

Now tell me again, as you draw your last breath, how certain will you be about anything and everything you lived your life for?  Tell me how certain you are about the something you think will come next or if you're a believer that nothing comes next, tell me of your certainty.  

"We'll never "really" know how strong our convictions are until just after we draw that last breath.  
 

 
So, Pascal's wager, then?


 
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
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#5
In my life, I've done so many 180s that my head is spinning.  I have no doubt that today, Liberty feels just as he described.  I have no doubt the Pope believes what he professes to believe and I have no doubt that the suicide bomber believes he's getting a bunch of virgins.  Where I have my doubts is that statement about "my last breath", given the capacity for people to change.  Remember, there are no atheists in foxholes and drawing your final breath, assuming you know it's your final breath, is the ultimate foxhole.  
 
Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.  
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#6
I understand your view, not sure I agree there are no atheists in a fox hole, simply because we can't possibly know a person's mind at that last breath.  Besides, isn't that "last breath" thing equivalent to a last ditch effort get out of a sticky situation, you know saying what you think you should without actually believing, or living it?  I think a very important thing to master while living is the preparation for one's death.  Not the dying, but the death.  
 
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
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#7
Quote:I've been told that if a person jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, it would take 4 seconds until they hit the water

If they change their minds, they made the mistake of giving themselves too much time to think about it.  I can change my mind in 4 seconds, I can't
between the time Ipull the trigger and my brain becomes the new wallpaper.
Quote:LRemember, there are no atheists in foxholes and drawing your final breath, assuming you know it's your final breath, is the ultimate foxhole.

Like I said, some nights I think I may not wake up the next day.  I could stroke out at any time and nobody would know for hours.  I go to bed every night, perfectly accepting I may not wake up, and I think that is a good indication of my fear of death.  I avoid pain, because it hurts.  

Death is coming for all of us,  my "soul" will be long dead before I am burned and my ashes are floating in the gulf.  Little fish will probably eat me.

When you know the magic is a lie, you can do without it if you want.
Winner.
Winner.

Chicken Dinner.


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