Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
manas
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by manas » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:29 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:25 pm
Perhaps it is. There are some moral rules on which there is no consensus, such as euthanasia. But others seem objectively true, or at least unobjectionable. For example, "One should not torture people for no other purpose than sadism". This seems to be objectively true, at least as objective as morality gets. If there are people who do it, or cultures that promote it, they're wrong.

One of the main problems today is that some people do say that there's nothing wrong with this if it's a cultural norm from some other culture and we have to respect it. We can even be berated for being against needless and sadist torture. Ironically, the people berating generally live very confortable lives by comparison. "Liberation for me, but not for thee".

This is a perversion of tolerance that serves only the self satisfaction of solipsists. It is also a sympthom of a sickness of the Westerm mind, i.e., postmodern nihilism.

EDIT: I have to add that this was not directed at you, Binocular, but at the radical relativists that do the berating.
:goodpost: Thank you, Modus Ponens, for clarifying that point.

On another related issue: there is a prejudice in Postmodern ideology, against claiming that one particular spiritual Path, might actually hold the highest and most important truths. (After all, remember how many wars were fought over that?) I must admit, this used to be a source of doubt for me. No matter how many times I would find yet another reason to be convinced of the Buddha-Dhamma, this prejudice - which I admit, had poisoned my own mind, having grown up in this culture - seemed to hold me back somewhat. It's no longer an issue, but I now feel disgust for a philosophy that used to sow that doubt in me.

In saying that I believe the Buddha-Dhamma to hold the highest and most pertinent truths, I'm not saying that all other Paths are useless - some folks find their belief in / worship of a 'Supreme Deity', helps them lead a more virtuous life, for example - nor do I intend to try to force my view on anyone else. But if asked, I'm not going to go along with that ridiculous pc-notion that 'all paths lead to the same goal', because that's an untruth that should be repudiated, and another example of Postmodernism's destructive thought-legacy.

binocular
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by binocular » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:07 am

manas wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:29 pm
In saying that I believe the Buddha-Dhamma to hold the highest and most pertinent truths, I'm not saying that all other Paths are useless - some folks find their belief in / worship of a 'Supreme Deity', helps them lead a more virtuous life, for example - nor do I intend to try to force my view on anyone else. But if asked, I'm not going to go along with that ridiculous pc-notion that 'all paths lead to the same goal', because that's an untruth that should be repudiated, and another example of Postmodernism's destructive thought-legacy.
So if the situation occurs where you're put on the spot to take a stance on "All paths lead to the same goal", what will you do, what are you willing to sacrifice to defend what you believe is the truth?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

manas
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by manas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:48 am

binocular wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:07 am
manas wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:29 pm
In saying that I believe the Buddha-Dhamma to hold the highest and most pertinent truths, I'm not saying that all other Paths are useless - some folks find their belief in / worship of a 'Supreme Deity', helps them lead a more virtuous life, for example - nor do I intend to try to force my view on anyone else. But if asked, I'm not going to go along with that ridiculous pc-notion that 'all paths lead to the same goal', because that's an untruth that should be repudiated, and another example of Postmodernism's destructive thought-legacy.
So if the situation occurs where you're put on the spot to take a stance on "All paths lead to the same goal", what will you do, what are you willing to sacrifice to defend what you believe is the truth?
Such a situation is unlikely to arise, because I don't know many people, and I try to avoid controversial topics like that one. But if somehow or other I was specifically asked that question, and couldn't find a way to brush it aside, I would answer honestly, as I'm sure most members here would. The 'all paths lead to the same goal' notion is so silly and easy to disprove, once you analyze it.
:anjali:

As an aside: one person walks due east, the other due west, and they eventually meet in the same place - on the other side of the planet, where they bump into each other and fall over. :tongue:

binocular
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:16 am

manas wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:48 am
The 'all paths lead to the same goal' notion is so silly and easy to disprove, once you analyze it.
But the political momentum this notion has is such that it bulldozes over people.

Anyway, I, too, don't believe in "All paths lead to the same goal", but as things stand, I think this is a battle not worth getting into, too much unnecessary carnage.
:guns:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:41 pm

Hello.

Stephen Hicks wrote an excelent book about postmodernism, focused on its political and philosophical components, rather than its artistic component. The audiobook version is freely available on youtube and on the author's website. Chapter 1 gives a good summary, but I'll link to the whole book too.

Chapter 1:


Full Audiobook:


Añjali
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

Saengnapha
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:54 am

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:38 am
I think somehow that a Buddhist is more likely to be a Nihilist until he finds Nibbana. The following is my rational:

The problem as Shakespeare put it: "to be or not to be, that is the question" so the unenlightened mind is inclined to think in terms of exit or does not exist, there is a meaning or there is no meaning. In Ven. Nanananda's book the magic of mind, he explained the following:
If, in the ignorant worldling's reflection, `selfhood' appears as something self-evident, it is due to this predicament in which he finds himself. The self-image follows him like a shadow that can neither be outstripped nor escaped. Hence one can sympathize with the 'self'- created problems of both the Eternalist and the Nihilist. The Eternalist's discomfiture in the face of impermanence is easily understood but perhaps not so easily the Nihilist's. He is dismayed to find the `self' which he vehemently denied dogging him close behind, when he turns back to introspect. Thus whether one takes up the viewpoint `I have a soul' or the opposite viewpoint, `I do not have a soul' he is bound either way"
Is not the nihilist above is what Buddhists do? A Buddhist knows somehow that the self image is a delusion and probably when he started to practice he was challenged to find it or give an account of it, and at the same time, he is told that the there is a state of being that is more real called Nibbana, and his seeking of Nibbana becomes exactly what Ven Nanananda's described as the nihilist behavior, to quote it again:
He is dismayed to find the `self' which he vehemently denied dogging him close behind, when he turns back to introspect.
This is the dilemma that all religions offer up. It is built into its edifice. This is what J. Krishnamurti began talking about in the 1920's with his "Truth is a Pathless Land" decree.
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.

justindesilva
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by justindesilva » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:07 am

Not only the west , even in the east post modernism has converted buddhism in to nihilism. The general buddhist is made to ubderstand that anicca means that our body after death is converted in to nothingness and anicca is annihilation. Even nibbana is explained as annihhiation. Where as death and even nibbana are truly conservation of energy which can be explained svientifically.
It is my feeling that people who embrace modern science should be availed of sutta such as agganna sutta and a few other sutta and kalama sutta also Rohitassa sutta out of many others to compare facts of buddhism. These suttas clearly ecplain the cosmic nature of our own existence. What is lacking is a system of education in to modern education with an snalysis of buddhism.
There is no centrallised school for us to open up a discussion to show that buddhism is a discussion of damma or natural phenomenon which embraces suffering and its cessation. Cessation of suffering is not nihilism or annihilation but is changing the mode of existence with momentarily changing cosmic world.
In fact I wish to contribute to this my research if a medium is made available. We have to show the west and the world that what matters in buddhism is Morals which lies with conservation of energy.
It can be shown clearly that even the five precepts of buddhism means conserving existing energies rather than anihillations or nihilism.

rightviewftw
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:04 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:37 pm
I agree that nihilism is dangerous,
:popcorn:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:37 pm
...postmodern nihilism
:jawdrop:
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:37 pm
I do not know an apealing alternative for non buddhists
imho they should learn general semantics if needed and establish doubt in regards to nihilism, knowing as a view.
Same with the eternalist really, just cultivate the doubt and try establishing it as impossible.

Wouldn't expect many Christian or Muslim friends:)

The doubt will probably be appealing to the skeptic nature of a naive realist, i expect it to be easier in general for that reason.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:42 am

manas wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:01 pm
Nihilism
It depends what you mean by "nihilism". People find meaning in all sorts of things - family, work, religion, politics, arts, sciences, etc and I suspect that has always been the case.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Miguel
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Re: Nihilism has poisoned modern society; as Buddhists, we should reject it.

Post by Miguel » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:26 pm

All of the fundamental claims of post-modernism ("there is no truth", "there is no morality", "there is no reality", "there is only relations of power", and so on) function as thought-stoppers, also called thought-terminating clichés. There is an excellent book on the psychology of brainwashing, as practiced in Maoist China, that dedicates some lines to the description of how these kind of phrases serve the purpose of blocking critical and individual inquiry on certain matters deemed unacceptable by certain structures of power. It is kind of expensive, since I think is out of press: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0807842532/re ... g=UTF8&me=

Nihilism has certainly poisoned modern society in pushing it away from positing questions of meaning (after all, one of the most frequent leitmotivs of modern "thought" is that life is meaningless, and that claim is repeated again and again) and making people turn to frivolity and fleeting material pleasures, which clearly cannot make them live a meaningful life. It is not hard to see that the academic intelligentsia (the Frenchy turtle-neck-wearing intellekshuals) have become de facto the new high priesthood.

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