• baker
    3.3k
    It's a supposition that is impossible to substantiate, other than by an appeal to faith; ie. making a statement of faith, rather than a statement of fact.

    As for my agreeing or disagreeing with it: All I can say is that I wish for it to be true, but I see no conclusive evidence for it to be true.
  • dimosthenis9
    497
    My problem is that I see almost everything as completely pointless and this has profoundly affected my happiness.Nicholas Mihaila

    You wrote a lot but I think the key issue is this. Everything in fact is completely pointless indeed! Right about that.
    But this is exactly what should make us free and should be considered as a leverage for happiness, not an obstacle. That free us from all the idiot unnecessary social stress we have. Life itself is nothing but a joke. We humans just take it too serious.

    Imo, you face the moon but you look at it from the dark side. I don't ask you to look the bright side of it.Just look at it straight. How it actually really is! It might help you, I don't know. Not that I fully achieve it but I try to do the same when my dark self visits me.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    You replied rather than killing yourself which, as far as I'm concerned, suffices as "evidence" in favor of living being (a) good in itself.
  • baker
    3.3k
    But it isn't sufficient evidence as far as I'm concerned.
  • Nicholas Mihaila
    15
    If he did I'm flattered :lol:john27

    Oops! No, that was Socrates: "Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death. If this is true, and they have actually been looking forward to death all their lives..."

    This is not what nihilism is, based on the definition I provided above.Alkis Piskas

    I don't think those are mutually exclusive definitions. I think meaninglessness is a product of purpose-giving ideas being baseless. This is from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated."

    Believing in universal and objective values, maybe do not give life a meaning but make it stronger, more solid. Such values are based on logic (rational thinking), which is the best tool that Man disposes and which makes them mentally healthy human beings. This must be never underestimated!Alkis Piskas

    I agree that it makes life a lot better. It provides somewhat of a foundation. I'm not sure that rationality leads to happiness though. On the contrary, the smartest people I've known are usually not the happiest. Schopenhauer was brilliant, but he was far from happy.

    I do agree, though, that meaning and purpose are subjective. They are what you make them.

    It became like a bell that would be sounded whenever I thought about doing something, letting me know what a waste of effort it would be.Judaka

    Exactly! I used to be very prolific, but now I don't do anything.

    I'm going to spend more time thinking about this. I like your wording: "possessed by nihilism."

    If you dance, do you want get from one place to another ? Or are you enjoying a movement
    If you listen a good music, do you want music to get to the end fast ? Or you enjoying it in process ?
    Nothing

    I agree that the solution is to enjoy the process. Recognizing that is the first step. Now it's a matter of how exactly to go about it.

    Oh yes, I'm familiar with Camus. “There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."

    Yes, if given the choice to feel better, I would make it. Taking time daily to learn about the mind and yourself can get exhausting though. Usually I have introspective periods scattered throughout my day, and sometimes my effort is more concerted. I want answers and I'm spending time looking for them.

    There are many intellectual paths one could take in life, however your subconscious is now telling you that yours has led you to a dead end and it's telling you through depression.

    A nihilistic philosophy is almost certain to be dissonant with the human experience. Humans simply experience things as having value, whether we're able to objectively confirm that or not.
    Tzeentch

    I agree with this 100%.

    Perhaps an interesting thought could be, why you prefer to take a nihilistic outlook on life, which is just as uncertain of a supposition as an outlook that claims things do have value.Tzeentch

    I think agnosticism implies equal likelihood, which I disagree with. I'm inclined to have nihilistic views because that makes the most sense. This is clearly not based on utility, as nihilism is inherently destructive. There are some life-promoting branches, like absurdism, but in general all arrows point toward suicide.

    I've yet to meet a person whose professed views entirely contradict their lived experience in which it does not lead to them becoming miserable.Tzeentch

    That is very true!

    You want a legacy but are guaranteed none.Kenosha Kid

    I think including that part in the OP was a little misleading. Legacy to me is meaningless because it implies that value comes from recognition, which seems absurd to me. I would say that value absolutely does not depend on recognition (or being remembered). Also, without exception, everybody is eventually forgotten.
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    This is from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated."Nicholas Mihaila
    Yes, I read that. And, by this occasion, I also found dozens of other definitions. Only https://www.yourdictionary.com/nihilism has 10 of them!
    Actually, it was my mistake to get involved in nihilism. I usually avoid talking about "-isms" and "-ists" because they are "boxed", "framed" concepts and usually mean anything or nothing.
    Sorry about that :sad:

    I'm not sure that rationality leads to happiness though.Nicholas Mihaila
    Right. Rational people can be unhappy and irrational people happy. But as a rule, rationality indicates mental sanity and more control over the mind, in comparison to lack of logic/rational thinking and, even worse, irrationality. People with high IQ are certainly known as more happy. And there are a lot of reasons for that.

    the smartest people I've known are usually not the happiest. Schopenhauer was brilliant, but he was far from happyNicholas Mihaila
    I have read Schopenhauer way in the past. From what I remember, he was a pessimist, right? Well, he might be gifted with rational thinking, but most probably he fell into "traps". He must have erred at some point on the road. False assumptions can be created very easily even by thinking rationally. And we know where false assumptions can lead ...

    My conclusion: Pessimism does not entail unhappiness; neither optimism, happiness.
  • john27
    89
    My conclusion: Pessimism does not entail unhappiness; neither optimism, happiness.Alkis Piskas

    Well now thats a hot take if I've ever seen one.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    My conclusion: Pessimism does not entail unhappiness; neither optimism, happinessAlkis Piskas
    :up:
    I've often styled myself a cheerful pessimist since my expectations are almost always worse than whatever actually happens. (Epictetus). This stance, however, is not optimism. A happy warrior is not an optimist (Marcus Aurelius).180 Proof
  • baker
    3.3k
    Pessimism does not entail unhappiness; neither optimism, happiness.Alkis Piskas

    The working term is defensive pessimism.

    It's strange though, because in psychological research, defensive pessimism appears to be implicitly conceptually conflated with good work ethics.
  • Nicholas Mihaila
    15
    Just for the record, if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, it absolutely does not make a sound. Rather, it makes a series of vibrations in the air. IF and ONLY IF someone is there to hear it, the vibrations become what we understand as sound.SatmBopd

    Oh, c'mon. That's just semantics, and I don't even buy it. That would mean that if a person who stood next to a speaker producing a particular sound walked far enough away from said speaker, the speaker would stop producing the sound even though nothing changed physically. Reductio ad absurdum?

    In regards to your main point, I have never seen things the way do you so there is only so much I can understand- do not want to come off as insensitive - but I have always found innumerable ways to either be happy, or better yet, not even need to be happy to be fulfilled and content.SatmBopd

    You're very fortunate.

    It does not matter how all encompassing or inevitable a source of suffering is, if I can situate myself in opposition to it, and muster the strength to even try to confront it, then I have something engaging to do.SatmBopd

    That's true. This is where most of my time has been spent actually. I'm referring to the "list of things that contributed to my unhappiness." This idea of finding meaning through opposition is a tenet of stoicism. I like it.

    Stoicism is another option, although I don't think it is quite as cool as heroism.SatmBopd

    Ha ha! Right after I typed that.

    Whatever hopes were shattered at their death are rekindled with the beat of every waking heart and in the eyes of little children. If they only knew that the sun still rises, as beautiful as it did for the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Tang.SatmBopd

    For some reason i interpret this as more depressing than hope inspiring. Maybe it's the continuation of disappointment or failure vs a chance at redemption.

    If you really think nothing matters, there is a very VERY VERY small chance that you would tell me that nothing mattered. If its all just the same, why not tell me that everything matters?SatmBopd

    I agree with your reasoning, but as I said in the OP, it's not a true nihilism. Nihilism is a decent-enough starting point, but I have to qualify it.

    You value nihilism as long as you want to uphold it, which is not nihilism.SatmBopd

    "The following is an experiment in nihilism. Already I have contradicted myself! How can one believe in disbelief? I might be a nihilist except that I don’t believe in anything."

    - Mitchell Heisman
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    I've often styled myself a cheerful pessimist since my expectations are almost always worse than whatever actually happens. (Epictetus). This stance, however, is not optimism. A happy warrior is not an optimist (Marcus Aurelius)180 Proof
    :up:
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    The working term is defensive pessimism.baker
    Of course, it can be defensive optimism, people lowering their expectations as a method of emotional protection (i.e. be prepared for the worst, etc.) But it can well be also consequential, based on reason, and indicate facing reality. For example, from the time when drugs (narcotics) started to be promoted in the 60's until today, we have been witnessing an enormous increase in their use and devastating effects. During these 70 years could --and can still-- people not be pessimistic about the evolution of events regarding drugs? Being optimistc on the subject --that this situation will be soon over, as if by magic or miracle, etc.-- means only turning a blind eye to and suppressing the problem. It goes the same with violence, suicides and all the plights our societies are going through today.

    As for psychologists and their research, well, I don't trust them. They run mainly on prototypes. They sail on shallow waters and build houses on shaky foundations.
  • SatmBopd
    27
    Yeah. I at least hope some of that helped. Maybe stoicism has some potential there.
  • Nicholas Mihaila
    15
    But this is exactly what should make us free and should be considered as a leverage for happiness, not an obstacle. That free us from all the idiot unnecessary social stress we have. Life itself is nothing but a joke. We humans just take it too serious.dimosthenis9

    I've heard about this perspective before. Honestly, it makes sense. It's just very counter to my nature. It does help, but I don't think it's the whole solution for me.

    People with high IQ are certainly known as more happy.Alkis Piskas

    Are you sure? I've never observed this. Genius IQ's in my family are normal, but so is depression. Maybe it's beneficial to an extent and then detrimental thereafter (in terms of achieving happiness).

    From what I remember, he was a pessimist, right?Alkis Piskas

    Yes

    Ha ha, I like that. :)
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    People with high IQ are certainly known as more happy.
    — Alkis Piskas
    Are you sure? I've never observed this. Genius IQ's in my family are normal, but so is depression. Maybe it's beneficial to an extent and then detrimental thereafter (in terms of achieving happiness).
    Nicholas Mihaila
    Yes, I am sure. But note that I have not made a research on the subject. What I said was from my own observations and evaluations of a lot of people I have known well through time and known personalities with high IQ (geniouses or not) the work and life of whom I know well and which can tell a lot about their emotional state.

    But even if I am mistaken in some cases, this is very far from waht you are stating! Never observed this??? Impossible! I have a high IQ and I am considered by people as well as by myself quite joyful! Now, you know about at least one case! :grin:

    And since you mentioned geniuses, do you believe that known personalities like Einstein, Feynman, Richard Dawkins, etc., about whose work, life, and peraonality we know enough well to judge, were/are unhappy?
  • Nicholas Mihaila
    15
    I'm certainly not saying there aren't counterexamples. It just seems likely that there's some inverse correlation with IQ and happiness beyond a certain level. You piqued my curiosity though. I'm gonna see if I can dig up some data to shed light on the subject.
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    It just seems likely some inverse correlation with IQ and happiness beyond a certain levelNicholas Mihaila
    I would be interested to know about that. Do you have some examples or rationale on that?
    Besides the examples I have, (I think that) I explained why a rational person has more chances to be happy than an irrational one. I didn't mention the reasons because I find it is something abovious if one examines what rationality is. We use logic to solve problems, undestand life, and do all sort of things that need analytical ability. Isn't someone who undestands a problem he has in a better position to solve it and get rid of it than someone who can't? Aren't intelligent people more imaginative, more humorous, have better skills in life, etc.? Aand aren't they considered more happy than those who don't have these qualities?

    You piqued my curiosity though. I'm gonna see if I can dig up some data to shed light on the subject.Nicholas Mihaila
    It's an interesting subject, indeed.
  • Nicholas Mihaila
    15
    Do you have some examples or rationale on that?Alkis Piskas

    It's clearly shown that there's a positive correlation with intelligence and happiness up to a certain point (about 130). The reasons behind that should be obvious. At the upper echelon, however, it's much less clear. I think rationality can be a double-edged sword in this area. Consider religious beliefs, for instance. Religiosity has been clearly linked with happiness and fulfillment, but religiosity also varies inversely with IQ. At some point its shortcomings become so overwhelmingly obvious that you can't help but reject it, no matter how psychologically useful it may be. Those who possess very high IQ's are also more likely to be socially isolated and experience certain types of mental illness.
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    Religiosity has been clearly linked with happiness and fulfillment, but religiosity also varies inversely with IQ.Nicholas Mihaila
    Yes, I guess so. But religiosity --deep religious beliefs w/o rational support-- often works like a crutch. It helps people escape reality. I know also some people who avoid or even refuse to hear bad news or stories and want only positive things in their life. They are overoptimistic. They seem happy, but they aren't. These people can very easily turn into anger and hate when they are facing the truth. The truth that actually resides in them but it is covered, negated.

    At some point its shortcomings become so overwhelmingly obviousNicholas Mihaila
    I believe you refer to religiosity ...

    Those who possess very high IQ's are also more likely to be socially isolated and experience certain types of mental illness.Nicholas Mihaila
    I don't think so. Rationality can never lead to mental illness. Irrattionality can, if it's not already present.
    This is why we are talking about "sanity" and "insanity", referring to mind.

    BTW, happiness has a lot to do with ethics. An unethical person can never be happy. Criminals are certainly not. Criminality is insanity. And ethics have to do with reason and logic. I am not talking about "constructed" morality, religious or other. But ethics based on rational foundations. (See "philosophy of ethics".)
  • baker
    3.3k
    Those who possess very high IQ's are also more likely to be socially isolated and experience certain types of mental illness.
    — Nicholas Mihaila
    I don't think so.
    Alkis Piskas

    Superior IQs are associated with mental and physical disorders, research suggests
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bad-news-for-the-highly-intelligent/

    High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289616303324

    Why highly intelligent people suffer from more mental and physical disorders
    Your brain's heightened sensitivity can make you perceptive and creative. But it's a double-edged sword, researchers find.

    https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/why-highly-intelligent-people-suffer-more-mental-and-physical-disorders/

    And so on.


    Rationality can never lead to mental illness.

    If you have to function among people who are less rational than you, you will probably run into a lot of problems.

    An unethical person can never be happy. Criminals are certainly not.

    Do you have any research that supports that?
  • Alkis Piskas
    530
    Superior IQs are associated with mental and physical disorders, research suggests ... etc.baker
    OK. I have not studied the subject. There must be certainly some truth in all that. But I am not interested in or going to study the subject. But I am willing and interested to hear about a rationale and examples in life --typical and enough of them-- that prove that high IQ is connected to unhappiness. For the moment. this sounds just a crazy idea, to me.

    And when I say that "rationality can never lead to mental illness" I mean it and I know it because I have studied the human mind quite a lot. I also explained why earlier in here. There are a lot of other factors that lead to mental illness.

    I have also explained why "an unethical person can never be happy.". As with mind, I have studied the subject of ethics quite extensively.
123Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.