There is no purpose


Why are we not nihilists?

We believed there was TRUTH™ we no longer believe in such an abstraction.

For ages, humanity believed moral edicts had come from the gods, not all of them, but most. We no longer believe so, at least the reasonable ones among us. WLC still believe in DCT and he has many minions supporting him.

For ages, humanity believed there was a grand purpose to life, tied to whatever deity was in vogue, we have realized life is absurd. No purpose. No deity. We live. We shit. We die. and in between we have sex.

Were they who codified our rules of behaviour right when they, for observance, argued they had come from the gods? If not, why haven’t we developed an earth-bound morality.

Our justice systems run on archaic principles.

What is to be done?

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

60 thoughts on “There is no purpose

  1. john zande says:

    why haven’t we developed an earth-bound morality.

    We have. That’s all we have. Not everyone, though, calls it that.

    Follow @Roxanne_cams I think you’ll like her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Violet says:

    When I first deconverted I had many conversations with My Atheist Life (RIP). He was already a hard-core nihilist, I was leaning toward existential nihilism. Since I am a strong atheist there’s not another position that makes much sense to me. People seem to think of nihilism as a philosophy without hope, or that it’s pessimistic or whatever, but it seems to me to just be reality. You can still be happy and have hope in other things…just perhaps not in the idea that life is overall meaningful. We are, after all, animals….we may have been given a higher cognition, but I’m not sure that’s an actual gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      When the idea for this post occurred to me, I thought about him. We had several conversations on the topic with him.
      And as you say, nihilism is not abject hopelessness. It is, as Camus would say, to rebel against absurdity. Only two things are possible: suicide or rebellion.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jim- says:

    Everyone has a bible and that is most people’s point of origin. It takes effort to see the vast evidence available to do something better and sensible. I had a observer on my site that got offended yesterday when JZ told her to Google it. People want easy answers and they want someone to tell them. She emailed me privately and she’s going away now. But he’s right on. You can’t spoon feed this stuff to anyone. Until knowledge is a valuable commodity it’s going to be a battle.

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  4. “We live. We shit. We die. and in between we have sex.” I gotta tell ya’, brother, since I reached middle age, I don’t have sex all that much any more. I still take a lot of shits, but there’s little sex going on in between them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. renudepride says:

    I agree that a completely new system of values needs to be introduced to humanity. What they should be and how this happens are questions beyond my mental pay-grade. Naked hugs, my Kenyan brother!

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  6. Ethics, morality, purpose, and hope do not require religion. Indeed, they are often clouded and diluted by religion. The meaning of life is a universal, secular pursuit which has been absconded by institutional religion. To be non-religious or even anti-theist does not require one to reject these things.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Bob, the pursuit for meaning for truth, as much as they are human endeavours, have in all ages been clouded with religion.
      I am not advocating for a rejection but a revaluation

      Liked by 1 person

      • As a moral nihilist, I believe that all ethics and morality are arbitrary constructs; however, such behavioral guidelines and restrictions are absolutely necessary for civil conduct. Why? Because we humans exhibit as much negative, destructive behavior as we do positive, constructive behavior. Therefore, I would welcome any revaluation of our ethics and morals which might accentuate the latter.

        Yes, religion does cloud our human endeavors; but, it is neither ubiquitous nor should it be used as an excuse for condemning such endeavors as Existential Nihilism does. My pursuit of truth is not clouded by religion. Why? Because I see religion as intellectually valueless, socially divisive, and personally irrelevant. If I and many others can come to this conclusion, then so too can anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Violet says:

          Agreed, except for that last sentence. Because if a person comes from heavy indoctrination, they really can’t come to any other conclusion than “god did it.” At least the vast majority can’t, unless they have some trauma that causes them to question and reject the very foundations they’ve built their lives on. So the playing field is not level when it comes to people being able to see religion as irrelevant.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s not that the majority can’t come to that conclusion, but rather that they won’t come to that conclusion. Such people gravitate towards religion because it absolves them of personal responsibility (i.e. God is in control), offers them an artificial certainty about life, and provides them with the perceived safety of group dynamics. It is fear that drives them – the profound human fear of isolation in a dangerous world. In my view, it is a kind of cowardice.

            I was heavily indoctrinated in my youth. My mother was fascist in her adherence to Catholicism. She sent me to a highly regimented parochial school when nuns were allowed to inflict physical and emotional punishment upon non-conforming children. I did everything that was expected of me, and was even an altar-boy, only because I was forced to. However, at no time did I actually believe what was being taught. When I was old enough to start making my own decisions, I left religion permanently.

            There was nothing special about me. I was just an ordinary kid. Still, I valued my individuality and trusted my own judgement sufficiently to be brave enough to reject religion. That’s what it takes, and all of us have that latent capacity.

            Had I not developed my own personal sense of ethics and morality, as advocated by some nihilist thinkers, my escape from religion might not have been possible – for it would have robbed me of the very thing I needed most to leave.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Well…yes and no. Many studies have shown that certain personalities are more prone to believing in religion due to the methods they use to perceive the world (https://www.16personalities.com/articles/religion-and-personality-type). I have the traits of the personality most likely to believe in religion and so do many other deconverts. We really and truly believed what we were taught, and some of us bought into it hard-core for many decades.

            I know a few people were subjected to heavy indoctrination but never believed….people like yourself who had a more skeptical mind from birth. You just couldn’t fool those people into believing a fairy tale.

            To say that it’s a choice for everyone does reflect your personal perspective, because for you it was a choice. For others with different personalities and different ways of perceiving the world, it’s really wasn’t a choice. Personally I think there’s room for both perspectives…that it’s a choice for some and not a choice for others.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Good discussion, Violet. We’ve covered religious indoctrination, human psychology, the nature of morality, and ended up somewhere in the middle of the Determinism vs Free Will debate! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            LOL. I guess I’m nothing if not expansive. My religious indoctrinators hated this trait in me! Several WP theists also didn’t care for it in my conversations with them. At least you appreciate a “good discussion.” 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Robert, I would be curious to know what you do for a living…I suspect it’s something quite analytical. You don’t have to respond to this question if you’re uncomfortable leaving such personal information on a public blog.

            You might imagine that my chosen profession didn’t involve too much data analysis (though I did help run several studies over the course of my career). I’m a RN and spent the majority of my career in human psychology, working on locked psychiatric units that specialized in everything from victims of war crimes and torture, to child psychology, to addictions, to abnormal psychology of adults aged 18-50.

            As you might imagine, I put great emphasis on psychology in most of my conversations, probably much more so than other people.

            Liked by 2 people

          • That’s a fascinating background, Violet. Perhaps you didn’t do much data analysis, but your profession certainly requires great analytical skills. Psychology and sociology are big interests of mine which I’ve been studying since college.

            Your intuition is also quite keen. My primary career was in computer programming and consulting (I’m now retired) which rely on logic and detailed analysis.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Thanks for indulging my curiosity! I suspected it was some kind of engineering. My father was a computer programmer too, at IBM…they called his position “software engineer.” Despite my father’s extremely analytical and intelligent mind, he is also religious (but is not nearly as zealous as my mother…I like your word “fascist” for her).

            Like you, him and my mother went to harsh catholic schools with super-heavy indoctrination. Unlike you, he unfortunately didn’t manage to escape the brainwashing. That demonstrates how there are so many variables in psychology one just never knows how it’s all going to fit together in the end.

            I had to give up working a few years ago due to illness, but my love for psychology will forever be etched in my brain.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, I think psychology is an underappreciated field. There’s so much left to learn about our behavior. It deserves more attention, IMO.

            There are two basic types of programmers. “Systems” people (a.k.a. low-level programmers) write code that runs the operation of computers, networks, and connectivity. “Application” people (a.k.a. high-level programmers) write code specifically for end-users (i.e. business, government, etc.) which perform functions such as ordering, payroll, inventory, healthcare management, etc. Systems people typically required a higher level of education and were paid more. “Engineer” usually referred to systems staff, but the term was also used for senior applications people and I think IBM used it that way. I was an applications programmer.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Interesting synopsis on computer terms, which I’ve always found confusing. I’m pretty sure my dad did application stuff…he was a team leader and the biggest thing he worked on in his career was the AS400. My husband is a sysadmin and keeps a variety networks connected and running smoothly for our school district. They both have similar analytical minds, and ironically, are both quite creative people (those two things don’t always go together, but it’s pretty cool when they do).

            Psychology still lags behind the medical field when it comes to having hard science to back up its therapies…so in some ways it’s still more art than science. Due to its very nature, it’s hard to design solid, repeatable studies to support its theories, but this is happening more and more now. Huge strides have been made in the last 20-30 years in the understanding of our brain chemistry and neurological function, and how those things affect our thoughts and moods. New theories are emerging on personality and how to enhance our individual strengths and minimize our weaknesses. There is so much potential in this field and so much left to be discovered!

            I will note that scientologists don’t agree with my positive assessment of psychological research….but then they have their own sketchy theories to consider, which have no basis in science whatsoever. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Indeed, Scientology is very sketchy and no more relevant to me than is religion.

            The AS/400 was my primary platform also (it was quite excellent, BTW), but I started on its predecessors (S/38, S/36, S/34) in addition to much larger mainframes. I mostly wrote in RPG, CL, and COBOL.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            This is not a public blog V! Shhh. This is Mak’s kitchen 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Interesting story Bob. Very interesting. Were you exposed to non religious thought at that age?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Not directly. No members of my extended family or circle of friends were atheist or agnostic that I’m aware of. If some were so inclined, they kept it to themselves. Religion was rarely if ever a topic of debate. It was simply accepted as a cultural norm, and everyone practiced it to varying degrees. My mom was a fanatic, but my dad just wasn’t interested.

            I became aware of and interested in secular thought in high school. Initially, I self-identified as atheist but soon switched to agnostic after developing a fascination for science and empiricism.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Thanks for this. Interesting. Very interesting indeed.

            Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          I agree with your first paragraph but disagree slightly with the second.
          Our pursuit of truth is an as-if-construction. Consider this question: What is a mammal?

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          • There is no ambiguity in empirical pursuits (which I prefer), only varying degrees of certainty and uncertainty. The biological definition of a mammal is quite clear. If this doesn’t work for you, what would?

            Like

  7. notabilia says:

    On the topic you expound upon, nobody has done more intensive, brilliant, integral exposition than horror writer Thomas Ligotti in his 2010 non-fiction book “the Conspiracy Against the Human Race.”
    Ligotti may be a horror novelist, which is certainly not to everyone’s taste, but he has gone further than anyone yet into the realms of nihilism and pessimism. Enter this work of accessible philosophy and research only if you dare.

    Like

  8. shelldigger says:

    What is to be done? Abandon the old for something of a better fit.

    I think, as atheists, we are already working on that.

    Liked by 3 people

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