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23388825 No.23388825 [Reply] [Original]

Can you be a philosophical pessimist and be content with life, or are you bound to end up like Mainländer? I am a pessimist in common terms and it has turned me into a self-loathing, lazy, depressed passive nihilist. Mind you, this isn't a self-help/motivation thread. I want to accept my pessimistic self, and I'm wondering if introspecting and understanding pessimism through philosophical lens would help me with it. What must I read?

>> No.23388856
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23388856

Schopenhauer, specifically Book 3 of the first volume of The World as Will and Representation

>> No.23388881
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23388881

>> No.23388946

>>23388856
>Schopenhauer
That's a big name. Is it okay to jump directly to him?

>> No.23389005

>>23388946
Penguin put out a nice little collection called "Essays and Aphorisms," that's a good way to ease your way into his philosophy. He writes pretty clearly though, so if you've read philosophy before you shouldn't have too much trouble

>> No.23389037

>>23388946
You can jump right into him. I remember reading a lot of collected short writings out of a book named “the pessimists handbook,” old book I stumbled upon. I think it is probably out of print or expensive now, pdf might be online. I enjoyed it very much, you should check it out

>> No.23389059

Academically, I am a philosophical pessimist. As to the events that lie ahead of humanity. Man made climate catastrophe. Nuclear war. Next, civilization gradually collapses to the point of returning to full-blown barbarianism, the debrises of the Aryans, heavily degenerated after gorillion generations of mutting with the non-whites, fighting with disadvantage against savage hordes of turbomutt zomboids. Generation by generation, population will shrink, just until the last few humans die away on a planet taken over by wild beasts and land mollusceans of opulent size.
Those events will happen and they will certainly happen, but that doesn't mean I can genuinely enjoy life they lie far away anyways, and marry a woman that meets the criteria of an Aryan appearance and Aryan personality, and breed 30 children with her in hopes that the future disposes of enough Aryans so that civilization can be continued. Neither am I a full-blown racist, as slaves to whites, blacks can contribute marvelously to a society's culture and economy.

>> No.23389116

Do not bite the bait.

>> No.23389123

>>23389059
You are not a philosophical pessimist. You have no understanding of it.

>> No.23390342

>>23388825
Why would Nietzche even differentiate between active and passive Nihilism? In the end it's all Nihilism. Or was he speaking from a societal perspective?

>> No.23390368

>>23390342
It's been a while since I've read N but I seem to remember his concept of what we call "active nihilism" being the same as existentialism, i.e. we create our own value/meaning in life. I don't think N differentiated between the two types of nihilism, he just called passive nihilism "nihilism"

>> No.23390373

>>23390368
Just to add on, the difference between active nihilism and existentialism is debated, some argue that by creating your own meaning you are definitionally not a nihilist anymore, those people would say that there is no such thing as active nihilism and that there's only existentialism and passive nihilism (what they would simply call nihilism)

>> No.23391168

>>23389005
>>23389037
Thanks.

>> No.23391177

>>23390342
He wasn't that interested in the metaphysics of it, even if objective values might exist they are not as important as personal values in the phenomenal world.
So the metaphysics might be the same or not but what matters are your values. He called himself a nihilist that overcame nihilism, that's the main difference.

>> No.23391194

>>23388825
Why did you start off with the assumption that life is meaningless?

>> No.23391232

Nietzsche is an atheist desperate to find a way to make atheism cool and not leading to boredom, depression and suicide after a few orgies. Nietzsche's idea is ie that atheism is not debased hedonism if atheists live in their own bubble disconnected from the world, ie they create their own fantasy land wherein they are the uberman for ''creating their own values affirming life, ie values advocating for hedonism but this time with a moral stamp on it''.
In other words, Nietzsche acknowledges that atheism is a mental illness leading to suicide, and the only cope he found is to sink further in mental illness by creating your own asylum wherein you are the hero.

>> No.23391342

>>23391232
>the only cope he found is to sink further in mental illness by creating your own asylum wherein you are the hero.
Sounds like religion.

>> No.23391344

>>23391194
Is there an objective meaning to life?

>> No.23391395

>>23391232
He wasn't a hedonist and he didn't put a moral stamp on human values.
>>23391342
There are similarities. People need belief systems and religion is one powerful belief system. People seem to think that Nietzsche just didn't care about value when in fact that was his central project. He wanted to create something that was even grander than the religions of the past.

>> No.23391427

I got out of passive nihilism by reading Persuasion & Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter. The book is deeply nihilistic and ultimately pessimistic. There is no silver lining stated outright in the book, and the author killed himself shortly after writing it. But when you read the book, there are certain implications from the writings of the author, which I think helped me escape nihilism, namely, that it remains an option to live one’s life or perhaps even die in such a way that life itself will have been worth it. Shortly after I read the book, I attended a funeral and I realized that the terms in which we spoke about the deceased were who they were, what they did, and that in some sense this was a monument to their existence in the first place. That is not a non-value. That it can be said to exist, or even appear to exist, means that meaning is possible and the route to it is how you live. Several years later, I became convinced of Christianity and I’m now a Christian.

>> No.23391462

>>23391342
You've never had a religious experience and it shows.

>>23391344
It's found in only one of the most influential books of all time (technically an anthology spanning millenia of authorship, but taken as a unified whole one cannot but help but think it has one author).

>> No.23391646

>>23391462
>religious experience
As in?

>> No.23391659

>>23390342
Active is resentful and passive is decadent, they are to be overcome

>> No.23391668

>>23391232
>live in their own bubble disconnected from the world, ie they create their own fantasy land
Really with posts like this you don't even need to read Nietzsche.
You don't need to know what he said about Christianity.
You don't need to understand terminology like slave morality, ressentiment, will to power, or overman.
You don't need to read about Gay Science or Zara-Who-What.
You can just read what people who hate Nietzsche say themselves, these Christian apologists, and that tells you everything he said about them.

>> No.23391757

>>23390342
>>23391395
>>23391668
What if the "Übermensch" decides to end life because "he" thinks it is the right thing to do. Ofcourse he doesn't resent life or the people that stop him, he is simply following his own morals. Would Nietzsche still consider him to be Übermensch?

>> No.23391788

>>23391757
>>23391757
These sorts of dumb hairsplitting questions are unasked and unanswered. There are many kinds of ending one's life. Someone who dies in battle for instance, defending one's homeland, or invading another's are different from one another, someone who commits suicide because he is an alcoholic is different from someone terminally ill who doesn't care for further treatment that would prolong his humilation, someone sentenced to death for an transgressive action has ended his own life as well. There is your answer, who does what is what matters, not the generalization.

>> No.23391842

>>23391757
One general thing is that Nietzsche didn't think Uebermenschen actually existed at the moment, he didn't consider himself to be an Uebermensch. He has a few somewhat related concepts: free spirits, philosophers of the future, great men, the Uebermensch...
Napoleon for example was a great man according to Nietzsche but he was not an Uebermensch. The job of the philosophers of the future isn't even to become Uebermenschen themselves, it's to bring about the Uebermensch. It's unclear to me whether he thought the overman would ever exist, some have argued that it's an ideal that's intentionally unachievable.

>> No.23391850

>>23391842
The Uebermensch has already existed. The Titans of Greek mythology are a great example of Uebermensch, but there are other examples in ancient literature.

>> No.23392008

>>23391850
>The Titans of Greek mythology
Why the titans and not the gods?

>> No.23392036
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23392036

>>23391788
>>23391842
I was talking about ending all life. But even if we talking about killing oneself, why wouldn't "I simply thing that is the right thing to do" suffice? Or does Nietzsche insist that the Ubermensch has to "live" and find life worth living? If so, how does he justify the superiority of it?

>> No.23392037

>>23391850
the titans are not overmen
the titans dismembered dionysus
from the wreckage of the titans was humanity born

>> No.23392042

>>23392036
>I was talking about ending all life.
that's just the nihilism of world-denial
obvious you did not do the reading

>> No.23392916

>>23392042
And my question is on what basis does Nietzsche imply that "life affirming" is greater than "life denying"?

>> No.23393213

>>23392916
He was sickly and affirmed that health was superior. Meanwhile you are trying to convince (yourself primarily) that the opposite should be true, that it is better to be completely dead if you cannot have that robust and healthy life, that nobody else should have it since you can't—again it's very obvious you did not do the reading

>> No.23393958

>>23392916
If you mean some objective, metaphysical justification, Nietzsche didn't care about that. The first passage people should read imo is "how the true world became a fable" at the beginning of Twilight of Idols.

>> No.23393968

I mean, the metaphysical/cosmological form of a pessimist is a gnostic, since they believe that the good world is beyond (or sometimes latent within) the current shitty world. Gnostics can be very attractive for this reason, since they are often extremely antinomian haters and destroyers of the status quo. You could even argue that rather than being "metaphysical pessimists," modern pessimists are really de-metaphysicized gnostics. Nietzsche has one of the most gnostic temperaments ever.

Most pessimists are very bleak and don't offer much. I remember being terribly depressed by Camus when I was going through my nihilistic crisis because he didn't seem to offer anything. Michelstaedter struck me as another Nietzsche, and I think he is dangerous to recommend because he killed himself very young. Evola's reading of Nietzsche (Evola was also a personal friend of Michelstaedter) was that he went mad because he was all "tearing down," with nothing to be revealed by the tearing down. Again Evola basically read Nietzsche as someone who had discovered "this-world-denying" gnosticism in a very powerful way, a way that is innate to human beings, who always unconsciously long for the "reunion of the one with the One" (Plotinus), but who wasn't able to think beyond this merely destructive side of the process toward the higher truth on the other side of it.

I would be careful about just reading more pessimists. You might like William James' book, The Varieties of Religious Experiences. Specifically you might be able to read your experiences in dialogue with his description of the "twice-born soul" that seeks a "conversion" experience.

>> No.23393979

>>23392916
I'm not anyone in this reply chain but I think Nietzsche's claim is something like, there is no rational argument from within passive nihilism for why you should become a life-affirming superman, rather, once you catch a raw glimpse of what it is like to be such a man (which you already are innately, and thus always can be), you will realize that your previous state was like a sleeping state or a state of retardation. It's a perspectival shift or a gestalt shift, from a state of disease to a state of health. Once you have it, someone asking you to justify it would be like someone asking you to un-see the sailboat in the magic seeing eye picture. The sailboat just IS there.

This isn't very satisfying. His solution is basically either that everybody should become like this, and the world will become a kind of anarcho-commune of pagan demigods who walk around challenging each other to duels and eating wild-picked fruit while the juices stream down their chin or whatever, or that a select community of elites like himself will do this. But it's obviously metaphysically nihilistic and isolating, and he went mad as a result.

There are beautiful elements in it but they are sort of a hypertrophied over-emphasis of things within the German romantic tradition, it's prometheanism taken to its absolute extreme, to the point of being antisocial. The positive side is in stuff like how he thinks that all sociality should be the sociality of radical individuals choosing one another's friendship, not the sociality of mutual dependents or exploiters. The negative side lies in the fact that the "height" of what he could imagine, the highest world he could imagine if everyone listened to him, was either this pagan jungle of Robert E. Howard heroes lustily sculpting sculptures of themselves lustily sculpting the best sculpture, or an ugly dystopian "noble lie" scenario in which industrial civilization is headed by a caste system of aristocratic warriors because it's somehow an inevitable biological fact that 90% of society will be mediocre shit and only 10% can be Nietzsches.

>> No.23393995

>>23393979
I doubt that Nietzsche went mad as a result of his philosophy, he was sick since he was a child and his father and younger brother both died at a young age. I just never see this in our contemporary world, yes I see people with weird thought patterns and this might cause something like mild depression or anxiety but the more severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia always have a clear physiological cause.
There were also several people throughout history who had a much stronger will to power than Nietzsche and yet they didn't become mad, people like Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon etc. And on a wider scale the whole ancient world thought in similar ways as he did and most people weren't mad.

>> No.23394019

>>23393213
>that the opposite should be true,
No, I never claimed that. All I asked was on what bases can Nietzsche objectively claim so?
>>23393958
Thanks.

>> No.23394040

>>23393213
>>23393979
>>23393995
The main problem I have with Nietzsche is that he dimmises buddhism as "life-denying" when in reality it is the closest to his overman. Maybe he read a bad translation of buddhists, but I feel Nietzsche imposes his own desires onto the Übermensch. Even with Christ. Nietzsche being value about his Übermensch is no different than religious person's idea of God.

>> No.23394467

>>23388825
Life just isn't worth living bro.

>> No.23394519

>>23394040
Nietzsche effectively assumes Schopenhauer is correct about Buddhism, and he is rejecting Schopenhauer. But he also praises Buddhism on a number of points when contrasted with Christianity. He is not primarily interested in Buddhism on its own terms but referencing it to explain his own positions. I don't think the overman is necessarily a faith-based or religious concept either, as there is no soteriological import to it. I believe he describes this ideal as someone who would appear devilish or demonic to those not at the same level—the overman does not come to save the flock from wolves, he is not a good shepherd.

>> No.23394522

>>23394519
Okay, this might be a really dumb question. But is the Übermensch any different from Hannibal Lecter like sociopath?

>> No.23394527

>>23393995
>And on a wider scale the whole ancient world thought in similar ways as he did
Not really. The ancient world was pregnant with stricy moralism and religion

>> No.23394532

>>23394519
Yeah, in fact, the overman does not really exist. Nietzsche just clung to his own ideas about literally any histotical person who tickled his fancy

>> No.23394552

>>23393979
Voyage to Arcturus portrayed the Nietzschean community in this way, basically placing it on par with the ideal christian heaven in terms of pure pipe-dream level fantasy

>> No.23394555

>>23388825
optimistic nihilism is an oxymoron

>> No.23394614

>>23391462
>It's found in only one of the most influential books of all time (technically an anthology spanning millenia of authorship, but taken as a unified whole one cannot but help but think it has one author).
Thank you, I shall now devote my life to the study of the Vedas.

>> No.23395041

>>23394555
Nietzsche did try to, even if it's weird.

>> No.23395457

Overman is jusst Nietzsche's self-insert fantasy.

>> No.23395999

>>23389059
>crying about race and blacks again

Schopenhauer who I recognized as the father of pessimism never gave a shit about this or blacks in general, he recognized they suffer as much as everyone else and he pited them for being too stupid to break free from slavery in africa. Talk about real pessimism, not your schizo race fantasy.

>> No.23396441

>>23394555
World State - Nihilism
Attitude - Optimism

>> No.23397421

>>23396441
>I have a positive attitude towards nothing.
Wow.

>> No.23398316

>>23394552
As in, a criticism of it or is it played straight?

>> No.23398635

>>23388881
Peak reddit ideology

>> No.23399118

>>23398635
>Anything that I can't refute is reddit.

>> No.23400519

I dont see why its necessary to attribute particular attitudes or emotional states to beliefs if you already think they are irrelevant. In nihilism, there shouldn't be positivity or negativity, only neutrality.

>> No.23401468

>>23400519
That would depend upon how you define who a nihilist is, or if humans can really be nihilists. A passive nihilist might acknowledge nihilism yet still be guided by his biological fears or instincts. I don't think a active nihilist like Overman can exist, but Nietzsche argues otherwise.