Choosing Nihilism

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Most people live their lives as if they were asleep. They live in a dream-world so to speak. Most people live their lives obeying imaginary concepts, thinking about the past or the future, pretending to be someone else, or simply being oblivious to the harsh, indifferent universe they are inhabitants of of.

But there are a few people in the world who awaken from this dream-world. They awaken and they see that they are surrounded by a dark, unforgiving universe that is indifferent to their feelings. They realize that they are tiny specs, on another tiny spec, floating in a vast, seemingly endless expanse of time and space. They realize that death is more than likely the end of everything – that religion is like a bedtimes story told to people to calm them down and keep them happy. They realize that their lives are most likely meaningless, that life is filled with undeserved suffering, and that they are essentially always alone.

One becomes nihilist or depressive. When one reaches this state there are usually two options. They search for a new meaning – something to try and justify their existence and support their will to live; or they kill themselves.

The former option is the one I have chosen – the one that many people have chosen. I may be a nihilist, but my nihilistic beliefs are what keep me alive.

I have accepted that my life, and every life and every existing thing, is without inherent value – it is all meaningless. I have accepted that life is mostly undeserved suffering, that there is no reward for our pain, and that pain only ends with death. Death is the end of consciousness, the end of ‘you’. There is no afterlife, no reincarnation, no ‘other existence’. Death is non-existence – it is truly the end. I have accepted that hundreds of years from now no one will know who I was or what I did. I have accepted that the sun will explode in 5 billion years, destroying the earth and everything that has ever happened on it.

I have accepted that there are no morals or ethics that are objective – that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are merely subjective human words. There is nothing inherently good, bad, moral, immoral or evil about anything – things just are the way they are.

I have essentially accepted the meaninglessness of my own existence. This is what keeps me alive. It gives me freedom to do what I want. It allows me to live my life unbound by petty morality, social norms, ‘altruistic’ behavior and other notions that keep people in chains.

Being a nihilist has allowed me to break many attachments, and to realize that the secret to tranquility lies in apathy.

When one awakens from, as Kant called it, a ‘dogmatic slumber’, they usually come to see the world as a terrible place with no hope and no meaning. The goal then,  in order to please the human ego, is to find new meaning to live for – a new code, a new set of laws, a new belief system. I have simply chosen nihilism because it is the most flexible.

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Nietzsche: The Ubermensch (Part 2)

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As I discussed in my last post, Nietzsche believed that nihilism was going to sweep across Europe following the ‘death’ of Christianity and objective morality. In order to prevent Europe from sinking into nihilism, Nietzsche believed that man must re-invent himself. Man must become an Ubermensch (German for Superman or Over-man).

An Ubermensch is a man who is able to overcome the herd perspective and is capable of creating a new perspective without dogmatically forcing his perspective on others. By herd perspective, Nietzsche is referring to dogmatic beliefs that are widely held and accepted by society. Many of these beliefs go unquestioned, and thus we live in a sort of ‘herd’ similar to sheep (the term sheeple is probably the best representation of this). By overcoming the herd perspective, a man can free himself and achieve new heights.

The Ubermensch is supposed to act as the answer to the problem of nihilism. Since God is dead, that means there is no objective truth or morality. Thus, an Ubermensch acts as his own ‘God’, abandoning the herd instinct and determining his own morality. He is neither slave nor master, as he does not impose his will on others. He is a master of self-discipline. He must be willing to embrace suffering and learn from it. In a way, the Ubermensch is the next step in human evolution. It’s a new intuition, perspective, and greatness for mankind.

As Nietzsche wrote ‘Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?”

The Ubermensch does not focus on life after death or on other worlds. Rather, an Ubermensch focuses only on his current life. He loves life, and thus embraces it. Nietzsche believed that religion, specifically Christianity, was bad because it taught people to focus more on the idea of an afterlife than on their current existence. Thus, an Ubermensch is the opposite. He does not focus on the afterlife, he only focuses on his life now, on his current existence.

Despite the struggles and suffering that will inevitably come as a result of such an existence, the Ubermensch does not look for ways to ease his suffering. Instead, he embraces the suffering and uses it to his advantage. As Nietzsche said, ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger.’ An Ubermensch must use the pain and suffering they feel to better themselves. They cannot turn away or try to subdue the pain. Rather, they should use the pain they feel as motivation to take control of their lives.

We always try to give a meaning to our suffering. For example, a Christian will suffer and believe that once they die, the will go to Heaven – a place of eternal peace. Similarity, a Buddhist or Hindu suffers because they believe that eventually they will break samsara (the cycle of rebirth) and this ascent to Nirvana or Moksha (also a place of eternal bliss or peace). Basically, when we suffer we try to tell ourselves that it is for a reason. But with nihilism, it would mean that our suffering is meaningless. We suffer for no reason, and there will be no positive outcome from our suffering. We suffer and that’s that. There is no meaning, no end goal.

The idea of an Ubermensch was supposed to give meaning to suffering. In other words, mankind will suffer because by suffering they can become the Ubermensch. Thus, suffering no longer seems meaningless.

There is no objective way of achieving the Ubermensch. It is an individual process, and thus can differ from person to person. A person becomes an Ubermensch by themselves – they create their own path towards the overman. Personally, I like to image that there are two cliffs.

On one side is man, and on the other side is the Ubermensch. Below is a dark, seemingly endless abyss. The goal for the man is to reach the other side. How he does this up to him. Maybe he builds a bridge, or perhaps he attempts to jump. Perhaps he goes down to the bottom of the abyss and climbs back to the top on the other side. There are numerous ways to reach the other side – none of them are really ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It all depends on the individual. In order to become an Ubermensch, the individual must do it themselves.

Again, there is no ‘one’ way to become an Ubermensch, however Nietzsche did give some advice on how to achieve it. This included abstaining from alcohol and religion and accepting that our desires dictate our lives – and therefore we should use envy as a guide to try and get what we want. By abstaining from things that numb our pain (such as alcohol or religion), we can see the world as it truly is and thus overcome it.

The Ubermensch is supposed to act as the cure for mankind’s current illness. Perhaps the greatest test for the Ubermensch is the Eternal Recurrence, which I will explain in part 3

No Lives Matter

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Human lives do not matter. Nothing that has life matters. Nothing matters in general. The concept of significance or importance is merely an abstract human creation. We think that humans lives matter but they really do not. The life of human matters no more than the life of an insect, or a plant, or any other living or non-living thing.

Let’s say that you are given a gun, and you are told that must make a decision and kill either another human being or a ladybug. Most people I am sure would choose to kill the ladybug and spare the human. But why? Well, most people would argue that the life of that human is worth more than the life of that ladybug. That a human life is more important than a ladybug’s. But again, I must ask the question ‘why?’

Who knows what terrible things that human being that you’ve just spared has done. Every human lies, cheats, steals or does some sort of ‘bad’ thing in their lifetime. Every human inevitably hurts others sometime in their lives. That human whose life you just spared will probably go on living their destructive 21st century lifestyle, which includes polluting the earth – which will have disastrous consequences for millions of living creatures later on down the line. That same human will probably get into fights, and hurt others, and may possibly even kill others – whether directly or indirectly. Even a saint has sins – but does a ladybug sin? Not likely. In all honesty, that ladybug will probably never hurt anyone. Ladybugs do eat other bugs, such as aphids, but the ladybug never eats to excess – the ladybug doesn’t own slaughterhouses, or consume at an unprecedented and unnatural rate. The ladybug doesn’t waste food or pollute its own body with disgusting chemicals and unnatural products.

If you were to the compare the damage that a one lady bug does in one day versus the destruction that one human does in one day – the human will always win. Now, a lady bug only lives two to three years. A human, in good health, can live up to 80-90 years. Again, I must ask, when comparing the life of the ladybug and the human – which do you think will cause more destruction and harm in their lifespans? The lady bug that will live two years or the human that might live a century? Once again, inductively speaking, it would be the human.

So I must ask, why spare the human? The human, any human, will do far more damage in their lifetime than any ladybug. The ladybug is defiantly more ‘innocent’ than the human. Yet almost everyone will choose to save the human and kill the ladybug. Most people will say this is because the human life matters more. My argument is that the human life does not matter more. Really, neither of their lives matter. But, in the long run, the human will inevitably do more damage than a ladybug. Thus, if we are to go off of ‘which life has more worth’ – I would say the ladybug has more worth because the ladybug is simply an instinctual animal of nature – even the biggest, most aggressive ladybug could never do the amount of damage and harm that an everyday, average human does. Most of the damage that humans do is unconscious too – we pollute the world, harm others, and cause conflict over silly arbitrary ideas. This means that even if a person is ‘nice’ or ‘good-natured’, they will still more than likely act in a manner that is destructive towards the planet.

Did you know that the earth would actually prosper if the human species went extinct? If other species of animals go extinct (say the bees, birds, plankton and fungi), then the earth would die out. But if humans go extinct then the earth would flourish! Tell me, if humans are so important than why would the earth be a better place without them? I mean, if humans are so important than surely the earth would need them to survive, yes? But that is not the case. On the contrary, the earth desperately needs to get rid of humans. Plankton and fungi, which don’t even have consciousness – these organisms are more important to the earth than human life. I am sure that, if the earth was a conscious being, it would view humans as nothing more than a virus – a deadly, fast growing plague destroying its body.

There is quote from the movie The Matrix that, in my opinion, accurately describes the human species.

“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.”

This is such a good quote because it is entirely true. Human beings are viruses on this planet. I do not think that any living thing matters, but I especially believe that human lives do not matter.

And yet we see all these people championing human lives – believing that humans are good creatures that must be saved and protected. But once again I must ask why? What good has humanity done? Humans may be smart but look at all the destruction they’ve caused from their inventions. The Industrial Revolution, the making of Nuclear Weapons. Things such as poverty, racism, sexism – these are human creations. In the wild animals, don’t discriminate like humans do on a daily basis. Human beings have created millions of ways to discriminate, oppress, hate, hurt, and kill each other. We created systems that consume, consume and consume with no limits – with no boundaries and with no conscience. We have made a race of humans that are enslaved by petty, arbitrary ideas. A race of humans that kill and harm others over these silly little ideas. The idea of which God is right, or which political system works best, or which nation is superior. Petty little ideas that don’t matter, yet many humans are willing to do terrible things just achieve what they think is ‘right’.

The human race has destroyed much more than it has created. I cannot say, or believe, that human lives matter – or that humans lives are worth anything. I do not think that humanity is worth saving either. The death of humanity will more than likely be some sort of suicide – we will be destroyed by our own creations, by our own actions. As I’ve said before, humanity has dug its own grave and deserves to be shot in it.

However, I do not advocate for ‘human genocide’ or ‘killing’ or anything like that. I may dislike humans but I do not think that means that we must try to somehow ‘stop’ or ‘prevent’ the human race from existing. If that was the case than I’d be no better than everyone else – wanting to force my preconceived idea via force on people. No, I simply believe that human lives are not worth anything. That humanity is not worth saving. If an alien spaceship came down and started exterminating mankind – I would not fight them or try to stop them. I would simply find a tall mountain, climb to the peak, then sit down and relax and watch the alien species destroy everyone else (until my own destruction comes that is)

There is nothing special about humanity. The idea of something being ‘special’ or ‘unique’ is once again a human concept. Humanity is simply more conscious than other creatures. Therefore, because of that consciousness, we think we matter more than others. We think that, since we can think better than other animals, this must mean we matter more. But we do not.

I am afraid that I have come to the conclusion that human life has no value, and that any person who believes human life should be protected or preserved is a disillusioned idiot.

It Doesn’t Matter

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished or what differences you’ve made in this lifetime. In the end, you and everyone else, along with every other existing thing, will eventually fade into non-existence. It’s inevitable. The size of the one’s grave really doesn’t matter, because someday the grave itself will no longer exist.