Apparently, eleven years ago I was part of this interview with a nihilist:
Nihilism is to me a gateway to all philosophy. It is the rejection of inherent value: there is no sign or voice of the universe that tells us what to do. There is only a reality that consistently rewards certain behaviors and doesn’t reward others. So our fundamental statement of nihilism is that instead of picking up on some form of “knowing,” as Nietzsche calls our human conceit of imposing anthropomorphic reality onto nature, we should study life — study reality, and the cosmos — and from that derive our wisdom. In essence, what’s here is here because it has worked for millions of years and beyond, and so we should view it as a superior order and try to understand it instead of “judging” it and coming up with our own preferred, false, social and emotional reality. Nihilism conflates directly to Hindu reverence, Christian piety, a Zen master’s slap, Islamic submission and Buddhist selfless mindfulness. It is an eternal truth known to all who study.
Nihilism is also a rejection of the false artifacts of a dying society. When people tell us there are absolute Truths, what they mean is that they want to impose their own thoughts and ideas upon us under the guise of being truths in nature, when really truth is a human conception — reality is consistent, and we can describe it and label some of those descriptions as “true,” but those are approximations and we have to be careful to not let the message replace what it describes. We need truth, as a concept, but we can abuse it easily by looking at the effects of a chain of events, or our personal perspective or judgment of it, and claiming that it is the cause of that chain of events when really it is the effect and appearance, not the underlying structure.
Growing up in the West in its decadent phase, we find many false truths floating around us — and these have their root in bad psychological pathologies that others have, which manifest themselves in unhealthy lifestyles justified by false mental concepts. These ideas are shot through metal music and its lyrics, the interviews given by its performers, and the ideology it espouses, which in turn is derived from modern re-incarnations of ideas from European Romantic art of the 18th century C.E. I consider nihilism the way to get outside the bad psychology, re-connect with a love of life, and start moving toward a more rational future. This idea I call “futurist traditionalism,” although sometimes I like the term “eternalism” because these ideas will be true in any and every century because they are derivations from the mathematical implications of the condition of life itself, and are not moderated by technology, politics or fashion.
The point here is that no objective truths exist; there is only an objective world, and all observations about it are a form of human projection and estimation conjoined.
When someone says there is an objective truth, even “2+2=4,” they are speaking in a universal context when no such thing exists; possibly, there are domains of mathematics where two and two add up to something else than four.
We are looking at symbols that represent human knowledge that hopes to approximate reality, even though this knowledge considers only some of the facts involved and projects itself onto a scope much wider than the particular, localized, and specific which is the only domain that can truly be verified.
If they tell you, “the settled science says,” you can translate that to mean “some people think that these facts represent the following attributes of reality.” Groups of people — especially what most people think — seem to usually be wrong, and they use that wrongness to control others.
After all, no one wants to be proven wrong by some upstart who then gets all the power and the glory. Heck, no. We want to smash that Daedalus back down to Earth, where we can rule over him, because it is better to reign in the suburbs than be a peasant in Heaven. Or is it?
This is the essence of where conservatism goes wrong, and nihilism cures it. Instead of looking for an absolute truth to enforce on others, we accept that truth varies according to ability, and that some will see more than others.
At that point, we can break free from having to “achieve consensus” or “make a compromise” and instead be as elitist as nature demands. We can have higher standards, or go further in understanding than a group of humans can follow.
Social hierarchy exists because of this difference in ability. Some see more of reality than others, and a sane society gives these people more power, wealth, and status because of their greater utility as those who understand the world around us.
Even more, this frees us from a morality of having to include everyone and validate every opinion. We can say that some ideas are not relevant, instead of trying to disprove them in some universal sense that exists only in human conversation and not reality.
Nihilism severs us from the herd. We no longer try to contort our measurement of reality so that everyone can participate; instead, we acknowledge that accuracy is rare, like insight, and that preserving these things must be the primary goal of society.
Humanity has self-destructed through its pursuit of prole-rule and universal truths. We found out that instead of bringing everyone onto the same page, we just adjusted the page until it was simple enough that most people could not find a way to criticize it.
As we come out of the Age of Ideology — in which altruism, simplicity, emotion, and inoffensiveness were more important than clarity and realism — into a new age, we the big-brained humans should remember that we are our own worst enemies when we try for “we are all one.”
That sort of thinking appeals to the lower self-confidence among many of us. It suggests pacifism, or fear of conflict, instead of a drive to find out what is real. It creates a phantom reality based on human opinions and fears, and hides the real thing.
For us to survive, we must first and foremost become able to face reality, and that includes realizing that we all perceive it differently, but some notice more of what is out there than others, and have higher intelligence and ability, and we need to pursue that path instead of obscuring it.
Conservatives would fight against the idea that relativity and nihilism are cores of their belief system, but to be a realist is to recognize that there are no absolute truths, only interpretations. This is why we value tradition and hierarchy, and how we rise above the lowest common denominator.