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Nihilism 090414184222-phpapp02


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  • 1. NihilismThe loss of meaningLate 19th and early 20th century
  • 2. Duchamp’sThe Fountain
  • 3. German artist George Grosz
  • 4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
  • 5. NihilismWhat is it and why did it arise?
  • 6. Nihilism• Arose as a reaction to the despair and isolation produced by a growing atheism and reliance on science and human rationality (naturalistic and materialistic worldview)
  • 7. Industrialization had left many people feeling dehumanized and isolated
  • 8. The brutality and inhumanityof WWI had left many without hope
  • 9. Impact of WWI– despair over man’s inhumanity and brutality
  • 10. People found themselves feeling alone and adrift in aseemingly absurd, cruel, and uncaring world
  • 11. What is nihilism?Not a true philosophyDenial of everything truth knowledge morality beauty meaning purpose
  • 12. Nihilism rejected• The complete confidence in Enlightenment rationality• Confidence in science and empiricism• Traditional philosophy and philosophical assumptions• Religion• The notion of a universal truth
  • 13. How does nihilism addressthe worldview questions?
  • 14. Prime realityNo ultimate reality or truth No God
  • 15. External reality• Cold and indifferent universe • Chaotic • Unpredictable • Absurd • Harsh • Lonely• The universe is a determined (Closed) system• Humans cannot “act significantly”
  • 16. Human beings• Humans are physical beings ONLY • (no soul or spirit)• We are solitary and alone• Humans have no free will • (seen as a delusion)
  • 17. Death• Complete extinction• Death is the ultimate absurdity in an absurd and indifferent universe
  • 18. Knowledge• There is no knowledge• The human intellect and rationality cannot be trusted.• If the human mind is just physical matter, why should we trust it?
  • 19. Moral ethics• There are no universal moral standards• Man must live according to his passions and instincts• The primary focus is on power• “Reason cannot establish values” Nietzsche
  • 20. History• Endless cycle of meaningless events in a meaningless universe
  • 21. Friedrich Nietzsche - 1844-1900 German philosopher son of a Lutheran minister
  • 22. Nietzsche’s major ideas• Believed that Christianity produced a “weak, slave” mentality• Believed that a race of “supermen” would ultimately rule over the weak and inferior• Believed that the ideal human being was beyond the concept of good and evil
  • 23. • Proposed that man must embrace his essential nature • Live according to his instincts and passions • Power and force• For Neitzsche,women were seen as weak and too emotional to ever act in authentic ways.
  • 24. “In our whole unhealthy modernity there is nothing more unhealthy than Christian piety. To be physicians here, to be inexorable here, to wield the scalpel here- that is our part, that is our love of man….”
  • 25. “God is dead. We have killed him.”Nietzsche believed that humanity had “killed”the idea and importance of God by ceasing tobelieve. Religion and the notion of God hadbecome irrelevant.
  • 26. Nietzsche’s endless repetition of life: the same thing over and over again with no meaning or purpose.
  • 27. According to nihilism,humans would have to facethe void of a world without God, truth, purpose or meaning. “The abyss”
  • 28. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad“But his soul was mad. Beingalone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, byheavens I tell you, it had gone mad." “The horror…the horror” Kurtz’s last words
  • 29. “The Scream” by Edvard Munch
  • 30. • Dada art
  • 31. Hate
  • 32. Purpose found in destruction. What is reality?
  • 33. Blaspheme the Holy Spirit and dare God to send you to Hell