Talk:Nihilism

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Nihilism page.


restored much of intro[edit]

I just restored much of the original intro, which had originally been based on a slightly trimmed version of the Wikipedia intro. I did not restore all the details which had existed, but believe all these aspects which I restored are important to indicate to make clear that there are ranges of opinions which have been labelled "Nihilism" and it isn't actually one very simply or easily definable set of beliefs. I have not as yet done much work on gathering quotes for this page, but know that there are some positive things to be said for some ranges of actual philosophical thought which use the label, though like many, I generally use the term in relation to stances of opinion I find of very little value. I probably will attempt to find some positive expressions in regard to some interpretations or applications of the term, but I doubt I will do much to expand this any time soon. ~ Kalki·· 04:33, 1 April 2013 (UTC) + tweaks

Confession of bias: as someone who is willing to admit that I am quite definitely a "Julian Absurdist" and thus somewhat "biased" in what some nihilists might assert to be a "bigoted" way with my "fanatical" respect for Truth, and embrace of MANY ideas of natural vitality and beauty, and the ultimate importance of MANY forms of Awareness, Life, and Love, I will point out that Albert Camus developed many of his expressions and indications of the philosophical stances which have now become known under the very broad term Absurdism, specifically in response to what he perceived to be some problems and morbid and mortifying errors of some forms of Existentialism and Nihilism. So it goes… Yyjpg.svg Answer to Life.png Caput mortuum.svg Dont panic.svg Anonymous.svg Smiley.svg TARDIS-trans.pngSwirlyclock.png Sahasrara.svg .... Kalki·· 09:55, 1 April 2013 (UTC) + tweaks
Hi Kalki, I just followed two guidelines here:
  • An article with just four quotes should be considered a stub; until about 7 to 11 quotes are added
  • A stub article (in general) should have a short introduction; preferable 1 line, maximum 3 lines
Now we had a similar (short) discussion (see here) around the groupthink article, and I stand by these choices.
I still think a Wikiquote introduction shouldn't start with a detailed theoretical explanation of the topic. It should just give a short introduction of the most common meaning. People can read in the quotes what other (non)scientists have made of it. The introduction of one or more theoretical distinction(s), should be traced back to the source, and that source data should be added in one or more quotes. With these kind of terms there are often ranges of opinions which have been labelled like that. If that's the case the Wiktionary should give a listing of those different meanings of the term. -- Mdd (talk) 10:46, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I have always been willing to shorten and summarize MUCH of the longer introductions WP articles often have — but I am not willing to dispense with what I believe to be IMPORTANT information for the sake of some standard which should at MOST be a guideline and NOT an ABSOLUTE rule. That is what I believe many people increasingly fail to recognize about the policies which established these wikis. They were established with the idea that there should NOT be rigorous and stringent adherence to nor reliance upon ANY specific rules that might be DEVISED by anyone — there SHOULD be rather loose GUIDELINES which are regularly ADAPTIVE to circumstances, and INVOLVE and consider MORE than ONE point of view. That is ONE of the MANY problems I have long seen developing on the wikis, where there have been increasingly moves for the most popular of DEFINITE policies to be come SET and FIXED as "official" policies BINDING upon ALL — and I assert that such is actually a VIOLATION of the very PRINCIPLES with which the wikis were founded. I know that there are MANY subtleties in many issues that most people are not always easily able to discern or reluctant to acknowledge, but I truly believe that there is little of what I restored that should be removed. I did shorten the Wikipedia intro even further than I had originally — but I believe that any guidelines which were developed to discourage efforts to include MANY paragraphs of information, such as some of the WIkipedia introductions have, should not be treated as absolute formulas to constrain all intros to extremely minimal levels based upon some arbitrarily defined target. I believe such reliance upon DEVISED and ARTIFICIAL rules can be VERY detrimental to NATURAL and PROPER needs and leave people with VERY deficient perceptions of IMPORTANT information. I definitely admire many of your additive contributions, but I do believe you are sometimes inclined to trim and remove too much that makes access to some important information more difficult or likely for others to come across. I believe that the info I restored provides a sufficiently succinct summary of such IMPORTANT information as is NECESSARY to begin to adequately examine FURTHER indications in the quotes. I do NOT know who devised the rule "preferable 1 line, maximum 3 lines" but I certainly think it a quite inadequate standard to rigorously set a MAXIMUM of three lines. I would say that generally, there should be one relatively short paragraph, and conceivably at MOST two or 3 relatively short paragraphs — I can ACCEPT that on many articles one to 3 sentences WOULD be enough, but I do NOT accept that it should be set up as a "MAXIMUM". I VERY rarely attempt to make rules for other people — but when I do I generally try to avoid such stringent absolutism in regard to numerical or any other SIMPLISTIC measures. Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 11:23, 1 April 2013 (UTC) + tweaks

FOR COMPARISON: The INTRODUCTION to the article at Wikipedia consists of 3 rather substantial paragraphs — I initially removed much from these, and reduced them even further after your removals:

Nihilism (pron.: /ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or metaphysical/ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.
The term nihilism is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2] Movements such as Futurism and deconstruction,[3] among others, have been identified by commentators as "nihilistic" at various times in various contexts.
Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent a rejection of theism, and that rejection of their theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

This has presently been reduced to a single paragraph which I believe adequate, but I believe much further reduction would be detrimental:

Nihilism (pronounced: /ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) refers to sets of beliefs which negate one or more apparently meaningful aspects of life. Some are presented as forms of existential nihilism, which argue that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. More extreme forms can insist that knowledge is not possible, and that truth, beauty or reality do not actually exist. The term nihilism is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain general moods of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence which can develop with beliefs that there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.

I realize that there are ALWAYS needs for rules and guidelines but believe these should nearly always be adaptable and NOT firmly FIXED. I really have NEVER been a person who was much interested in formulating many artificial standards — or paying any more attention to them than necessary, and I know this causes me some problems, but I generally believe that adhering to all the sorts of absolutist rules people devise for themselves and others would even be more of a problem. I am certainly NOT a deluded Nihilist who asserts there are not or should not be any truths or rules respected or recognized — nor an authoritarian who believes I KNOW what the rules ARE and SHOULD be for ALL and refuses to acknowledge or respect any others — I am a quite honest ABSURDIST who realizes arriving at satisfactory states or regions of potential within actualities can be a complex and "complicated" procedure — and should be acknowledged to be such. BLESSINGS. ~ Kalki·· 11:44, 1 April 2013 (UTC) + tweaks