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  • existentialism isn't more depressing than nihilism.

    Nihilism = there is no meaning in life
    Existentialism = there is no predetermined meaning in life, you have to make it.

    quoth Sartre:

    “Existentialism is not so much an atheism in the sense that it would exhaust itself attempting to demonstrate the nonexistence of God; rather, it affirms that even if God were to exist, it would make no difference - that is our point of view"... “In this sense, existentialism is optimistic. It is a doctrine of action, and it is only in bad faith - in confusing their own despair with ours - that Christians are able to assert that we are “without hope.””

    by BoneKrusher
    <DG> how metal unseen
    <TheUnseen> Drunken Canadian Bastard: There's an APS for that

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    • existentialism isn't more depressing than nihilism.

      Nihilism = there is no meaning in life & you're doomed from birth
      Existentialism = there is no predetermined meaning in life, you have to make it.
      Joke I heard a yr ago: A nihilist is an existentialist who got wiped out in the Recession. Or this one: a nihilist is a lazy existentialist.... why bother trying if you're doomed anyway? So an existentialist is an ambitious nihilist.

      And a lot of existentialists are definitely NOT atheists, but are severely anti-religious & anti-God, like Woody Allen (an atheist) said back in his standup days: God is at best an underachiever. I took Existentialism in college as p/o satisfying the Philosophy goal of 6 hrs. minimum (but got Literature credit, declared an English major the next semester) & I recall too many classroom hrs. wasted arguing the existence of God, atheism is a p/o it but just a part.

      Amended your definition somewhat, but you're right. Existentialism had more, better writers to develop it into a full blown global philosophy & the world was ready to accept it after the horror of WW2.

      Nihilism got a bad rap, no pun intended -- it seems to be associated with a smaller group of mostly Russian & Eastern European anarchists pre-WW1, it's difficult to persuade people for doom & gloom in any case. Existentialism became something of a bandwagon for followers who had seen their whole world & value systems destroyed, yet it had/has it's biggest following among American college students & poets who have lived almost their whole lives in suburban prosperity, go figure.
      Last edited by LizardState; 07-16-2010, 02:32 PM.

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      • Originally posted by LizardState View Post
        And a lot of existentialists are definitely NOT atheists, but are severely anti-religious & anti-God, like Woody Allen (an atheist) said back in his standup days: God is at best an underachiever.
        Right, but Sartre was one of the atheist ones as I quoted him. I find Christian existentialism a la Paul Tillich pretty fascinating. His idea of God is unique and thought-provoking.

        by BoneKrusher
        <DG> how metal unseen
        <TheUnseen> Drunken Canadian Bastard: There's an APS for that

        Comment


        • Originally posted by The Unseen View Post

          “Existentialism is not so much an atheism in the sense that it would exhaust itself attempting to demonstrate the nonexistence of God; rather, it affirms that even if God were to exist, it would make no difference - that is our point of view"... “In this sense, existentialism is optimistic. It is a doctrine of action, and it is only in bad faith - in confusing their own despair with ours - that Christians are able to assert that we are “without hope.””

          Nothing sums this up better than this chapter from The Brothers Karamazov..which is followed up by The Grand Inquisitor. The rest of the entire book is Dostoevsky trying to make sense and explain the existentialism (and make the case for God) that nobody understood better than himself. Greatest thing ever written...


          http://www.online-literature.com/dos..._karamazov/35/


          "But I've still better things about children. I've collected a great, great deal about Russian children, Alyosha. There was a little girl of five who was hated by her father and mother, 'most worthy and respectable people, of good education and breeding.' You see, I must repeat again, it is a peculiar characteristic of many people, this love of torturing children, and children only. To all other types of humanity these torturers behave mildly and benevolently, like cultivated and humane Europeans; but they are very fond of tormenting children, even fond of children themselves in that sense. it's just their defencelessness that tempts the tormentor, just the angelic confidence of the child who has no refuge and no appeal, that sets his vile blood on fire. In every man, of course, a demon lies hidden -- the demon of rage, the demon of lustful heat at the screams of the tortured victim, the demon of lawlessness let off the chain, the demon of diseases that follow on vice, gout, kidney disease, and so on.

          "This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was one bruise. Then, they went to greater refinements of cruelty -- shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement, and it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature, who can't even understand what's done to her, should beat her little aching heart with her tiny fist in the dark and the cold, and weep her meek unresentful tears to dear, kind God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted? Without it, I am told, man could not have existed on earth, for he could not have known good and evil. Why should he know that diabolical good and evil when it costs so much? Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones! I am making you suffer, Alyosha, you are not yourself. I'll leave off if you like."

          "Listen! I took the case of children only to make my case clearer. Of the other tears of humanity with which the earth is soaked from its crust to its centre, I will say nothing. I have narrowed my subject on purpose. I am a bug, and I recognise in all humility that I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. Men are themselves to blame, I suppose; they were given paradise, they wanted freedom, and stole fire from heaven, though they knew they would become unhappy, so there is no need to pity them. With my pitiful, earthly, Euclidian understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty; that cause follows effect, simply and directly; that everything flows and finds its level -- but that's only Euclidian nonsense, I know that, and I can't consent to live by it! What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty and that cause follows effect simply and directly, and that I know it? -- I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote infinite time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself. I have believed in it. I want to see it, and if I am dead by then, let me rise again, for if it all happens without me, it will be too unfair. Surely I haven't suffered simply that I, my crimes and my sufferings, may manure the soil of the future harmony for somebody else. I want to see with my own eyes the hind lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been for. All the religions of the world are built on this longing, and I am a believer. But then there are the children, and what am I to do about them? That's a question I can't answer. For the hundredth time I repeat, there are numbers of questions, but I've only taken the children, because in their case what I mean is so unanswerably clear. Listen! If all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony, what have children to do with it, tell me, please? It's beyond all comprehension why they should suffer, and why they should pay for the harmony. Why should they, too, furnish material to enrich the soil for the harmony of the future? I understand solidarity in sin among men. I understand solidarity in retribution, too; but there can be no such solidarity with children. And if it is really true that they must share responsibility for all their fathers' crimes, such a truth is not of this world and is beyond my comprehension. Some jester will say, perhaps, that the child would have grown up and have sinned, but you see he didn't grow up, he was torn to pieces by the dogs, at eight years old. Oh, Alyosha, I am not blaspheming! I understand, of course, what an upheaval of the universe it will be when everything in heaven and earth blends in one hymn of praise and everything that lives and has lived cries aloud: 'Thou art just, O Lord, for Thy ways are revealed.' When the mother embraces the fiend who threw her child to the dogs, and all three cry aloud with tears, 'Thou art just, O Lord!' then, of course, the crown of knowledge will be reached and all will be made clear. But what pulls me up here is that I can't accept that harmony. And while I am on earth, I make haste to take my own measures. You see, Alyosha, perhaps it really may happen that if I live to that moment, or rise again to see it, I, too, perhaps, may cry aloud with the rest, looking at the mother embracing the child's torturer, 'Thou art just, O Lord!' but I don't want to cry aloud then. While there is still time, I hasten to protect myself, and so I renounce the higher harmony altogether. It's not worth the tears of that one tortured child who beat itself on the breast with its little fist and prayed in its stinking outhouse, with its unexpiated tears to 'dear, kind God'! It's not worth it, because those tears are unatoned for. They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don't want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price. I don't want the mother to embrace the oppressor who threw her son to the dogs! She dare not forgive him! Let her forgive him for herself, if she will, let her forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering of her mother's heart. But the sufferings of her tortured child she has no right to forgive; she dare not forgive the torturer, even if the child were to forgive him! And if that is so, if they dare not forgive, what becomes of harmony? Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."

          "That's rebellion," murmered Alyosha, looking down.

          "Rebellion? I am sorry you call it that," said Ivan earnestly. "One can hardly live in rebellion, and I want to live. Tell me yourself, I challenge your answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature -- that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance -- and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth."

          "No, I wouldn't consent," said Alyosha softly.

          "And can you admit the idea that men for whom you are building it would agree to accept their happiness on the foundation of the unexpiated blood of a little victim? And accepting it would remain happy for ever?"

          "No, I can't admit it. Brother," said Alyosha suddenly, with flashing eyes, "you said just now, is there a being in the whole world who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? But there is a Being and He can forgive everything, all and for all, because He gave His innocent blood for all and everything. You have forgotten Him, and on Him is built the edifice, and it is to Him they cry aloud, 'Thou art just, O Lord, for Thy ways are revealed!'

          "Ah! the One without sin and His blood! No, I have not forgotten Him; on the contrary I've been wondering all the time how it was you did not bring Him in before, for usually all arguments on your side put Him in the foreground. Do you know, Alyosha -- don't laugh I made a poem about a year ago. If you can waste another ten minutes on me, I'll tell it to you."

          "You wrote a poem?"

          "Oh, no, I didn't write it," laughed Ivan, and I've never written two lines of poetry in my life. But I made up this poem in prose and I remembered it. I was carried away when I made it up. You will be my first reader -- that is listener. Why should an author forego even one listener?" smiled Ivan. "Shall I tell it to you?"

          "I am all attention." said Alyosha.

          "My poem is called The Grand Inquisitor; it's a ridiculous thing, but I want to tell it to you.

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          • Since you are talking philosohy, has anyone read Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus? Mind explaining it to me lol.

            What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic, and a dyslexic?

            You get somebody who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.
            Last edited by LadyGaga'sPenis; 07-18-2010, 02:10 AM.

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            • Anyone have suggestion on books to read? I'd prefer like a series, but singular books would work. I hate riding the train for 30-45 minutes with nothing to read.

              I like adventure/non-real (can't think of the word) type stories.

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              • Like Magical Realism sort of stuff?
                Originally posted by Mr. Goosemahn
                The APS is strong in this one.
                Originally posted by killxswitch
                Tears for Fears is better than whatever it is you happen to be thinking about right now.

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                • Originally posted by iowatreat54 View Post
                  Anyone have suggestion on books to read? I'd prefer like a series, but singular books would work. I hate riding the train for 30-45 minutes with nothing to read.

                  I like adventure/non-real (can't think of the word) type stories.
                  Is "fiction" the word you're looking for?

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                  • Originally posted by P-L View Post
                    Is "fiction" the word you're looking for?
                    Yes, fiction. Thank you. How on earth I couldn't think of that, I have no idea.

                    But yes, fiction. Not really like ultra-fantasy type stuff, but not strictly realistic. If that makes sense.

                    Magical realism would probably be a particularly good description. Sadly, I quit reading way back when I was like 10, so I really don't know any books.

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                    • I enjoyed this, but the title was misleading. And he could have done with out the name-dropping.

                      Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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                      • Robert Stone short stories Fun With Problems.

                        Report to follow....

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                          • Originally posted by Paranoidmoonduck View Post
                            David Foster Wallace is pretty amazing. I absolutely love Infinite Jest.
                            When I eat, it is the food that is scared.

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                            • I'll probably start this soon.

                              Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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                              • Originally posted by iowatreat54 View Post
                                Yes, fiction. Thank you. How on earth I couldn't think of that, I have no idea.

                                But yes, fiction. Not really like ultra-fantasy type stuff, but not strictly realistic. If that makes sense.

                                Magical realism would probably be a particularly good description. Sadly, I quit reading way back when I was like 10, so I really don't know any books.
                                you should check out Neil Gaiman especially American Gods


                                The way it is

                                GamerTag : GrubbyPaws (Halo 3, NCAA 09, Madden 09)

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