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Messages - BillHopkins

1 ... 16 [17] 18
241
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Tradition
« on: April 18, 2012, 01:10:00 AM »
Many people hear the word "Tradition" and they take it to one of two bad places: (1) warmed over white nationalism or (2) spacey New Age doctrine.

It is neither. Tradition is the idea that (a) an informational order of existence comes before matter; (b) idealism and materialism are joined in this primal state; (c) this leads to a condition of what we might call "monism," in which both matter and information influence each other; (d) this creates a spiritual state that obeys rules identical to those of nature; (e) these rules have been long discovered, enshrined in an unvocalized and unsymbolized truth known as Tradition, and we can inherit this truth through esoteric practice and abandonment of the exoteric, personality-focused, and ego-dramatic modern world.

Here are the essential guides:

* Traditionalism, from American Caesar by William Manchester
* Aldous Huxley - The Perennial Philosophy
* Julius Evola - Men Among the Ruins
* Foundation for Deep Ecology Mission Statement

I'm interested. I've read the first three texts you list, but I don't understand how you get (c) from these readings. Evola, for instance, explicitly refers to the supernatural all the time, not some sort of monism. Indeed his criticism of Nietzsche was that the latter had no 'higher' fixed point of reference.

Also, what does it mean to say that "matter and information influence each other"?

242
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 18, 2012, 12:46:56 AM »
I've never seen atheism as anything more than a rather obvious and self evident truth. There is no personal, anthropomorphic or otherwise, super entity watching over you, caring about you or the decisions you make. The universe is indifferent. Anything beyond our scope of understanding is just that. I think many people just take this concept for granted and go from there.

The only significance I see for atheism as a viewpoint is in opposition to the retardation of "fundamentalist" religious idiots.

The uniqueness of atheism, and one of the elements that should be rolled over from popular usage of the term, is an awe for the natural world due to what science is revealing. All forms are intermediate, and the process rather than the substance is primary... I think there is much in this view to inspire a sense of transcendence.

As far as practical reasoning goes, I don't see many happy atheists. In fact, most of them seem to be very depressed without their wine.
As much as it pains me to admit this, I would have to agree. There is a tremendous disproportion of Asperger types and utilitarian liberals in the atheist camp. There also appears to be 1) a pervasive victim mentality, 2) a desire to turn atheism into either a club or political movement, and 3) a tendency to promote literal interpretations of religious concepts, even when there is no real valid reasoning (this is usually to make the inevitable debate impossible to lose). The last of these is, I suspect, part of a need to feel intellectually superior.

This argument that the case for Atheism is sealed by it's worse proponents is a straw man. It reminds of the Catholic preist bashing you hear from stupid, dogmatic atheists.

243
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:32:55 PM »
Atheism is the idea that reality is the universe operating according to a Logos. Our understanding of this Logos might need to be improved and modified from time to time (i.e. the move from newtonian physics to relativity), but this represents a PROGRESSION in our grasp of 'the mind of god'. The atheist is sustained 'spiritually' (or psychologically) by his aesthetic appreciation of reality that is being revealed by science. His evolved psychological tendencies to value beauty, goodness and truth are not left wanting by, for example, cosmology, evolutionary biology and botany. He is simply more able to function with metaphysical uncertainty than the theist. Alternatively he might favour pagan interpretaitons of reality when pressed for a more orthodox spiritual position.

But this is limited to the material world, is it not?

Nihilism is a rejection of inherent value. "Inherent value," to humans, means human values.

Those human values include materialism and the notion that what we see is all that is.

What we see is not all that is. I can't see electrons, I can't see the physical constants that dictate the order of the cosmos. I can't 'see' the patterns we as human beings impose upon the world, whether  really existing, or whether remnants of the hunter-gatherer mind. All i can see is what I am given. But I can understand so much more.

All this from 'profane' modern methodology.

As far as practical reasoning goes, I don't see many happy atheists. In fact, most of them seem to be very depressed without their wine.

We cannot choose what we believe. The goal is to use these beliefs to create.

You cannot go back and make the enlightenment dissapear. There are certain abysses we have gazed into. I do believe there is room to move, however, and to create poetry inspired by the most unexpected muses.

244
Interzone / Traditionalism and Metal
« on: April 17, 2012, 04:18:36 AM »
Metal potentially fits the role, at least for people who can appreciate the music:

Quote
Campbell believed that if myths are to continue to fulfill their vital functions in our modern world, they must continually transform and evolve because the older mythologies, untransformed, simply do not address the realities of contemporary life, particularly with regard to the changing cosmological and sociological realities of each new era.

Slayer, Voivod, Demilich, Beherit and all the rest have contributed in their own manner already.

Good point. Metal's aesthetic and sociocultural proprties make it a modern and updated participant in certain psychological forms (some or all of traditionalism, nietzshcheanism, romanticism, vir) deemed admirable based on a certain understanding of reality (nihilism).

What I don't get about the traditionalism advanced by Nasr and celebrated by a poster like Eleison on this forum is it's rejection of *too much* of the modern. That seems to be conservatism to me, not traditionalism, and in fact opens the flood gates to destructive forces of change in it's dogmatic insitance on inessential outdated factors. Conservatives "breed contempt" in that they are against evolution, in a general (non-biological) sense.

There are valid reasons for abandoning a certain practice or view, and the introduction of new elements may be necessary for a tradition (western civilisation) to continue into the future. Sticking to such a fringe worldview as Nasr's 'metaphysics' which can't even accept evolution by natural selection which has been vindicated in numerous sperate areas of science means you will be left utterly behind (perhaps to wollow eternally on the internet).

245
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 17, 2012, 03:56:22 AM »
Actually he sounds very interesting, no doubt because he comes from some sort of naturalistic position. Myth has a function. (And, I would argue, certain myths (traditionalism/perennialism) have more admirable functions than others (liberalism)).

Quote
Campbell often described mythology as having a fourfold function for human society. These appear at the end of his work The Masks of God: Creative Mythology, as well as various lectures.[25]

The Metaphysical Function: Awakening a sense of awe before the mystery of being
According to Campbell, the absolute mysteries of life cannot be captured directly in words or images. Myths are "being statements"[25] and the experience of this mystery can be had only through a participation in mythic rituals or the contemplation of mythic symbols that point beyond themselves. "Mythological symbols touch and exhilarate centers of life beyond the reach of reason and coercion.... The first function of mythology is to reconcile waking consciousness to the mysterium tremendum et fascinans of this universe as it is."[26]
The Cosmological Function: Explaining the shape of the universe
Myth also functions as a proto-science, bringing the observable (physical) world into accord with the metaphysical and psychological meanings rendered by the other functions of mythology. Campbell noticed that the modern dilemma between science and religion on matters of truth is actually between science of the ancient world and that of today.
The Sociological Function: Validate and support the existing social order
Ancient societies had to conform to an existing social order if they were to survive at all. This is because they evolved under "pressure" from necessities much more intense than the ones encountered in our modern world. Mythology confirmed that order and enforced it by reflecting it into the stories themselves, often describing how the order arrived from divine intervention.
The Psychological Function: Guide the individual through the stages of life
As a person goes through life, many psychological challenges will be encountered. Myth may serve as a guide for successful passage through the stages of one's life. For example, most ancient cultures used rites of passage as a youth passed to the adult stage. Later on, a living mythology taught the same person to let go of material possessions and earthly plans as they prepared to die.

Campbell believed that if myths are to continue to fulfill their vital functions in our modern world, they must continually transform and evolve because the older mythologies, untransformed, simply do not address the realities of contemporary life, particularly with regard to the changing cosmological and sociological realities of each new era.



246
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 17, 2012, 02:25:18 AM »
People should check out Joseph Campbell. If you have the service, many of his lectures are available on Netflix.

Why is he good?

247
Interzone / Feminism
« on: April 16, 2012, 01:02:47 PM »
To me, feminists appear to be essentially unattractive females revolting against a social system which is motivated commercially to perpetuate expectations of beauty and sexy-ness. Their anti-capitalist sentiments I appreciate but that unignorable element of their mission which is bound up with revolt towards a system which celebrates standards that they, being unattractive, can never atain, is curious.

Unattractive men don't get together in salons creating literature on the evils of masculinity. They become science fiction fanatics, or intellectuals concerned with the stars as opposed to revolt, exclusively


248
Interzone / Re: This guy is a 'traditionalist' and he is a wanker...
« on: April 16, 2012, 12:50:15 PM »
In future please take the time to address these points seriously, rather than simply use some superficial details as an attempt to create controversy.  Considering the nature of your post, I do not feel particularly inclined to offer you a serious reply, but for the sake of others here I will do so.

Thank you for your response Eleison. With all due respect, I find it hard to have sympathy for offending your taste for polite and complete commentary when the precedent around here is as follows:

http://www.deathmetal.org/forum/index.php/topic,14491.0.html

I will read your post more fully when i'm not so tired.

249
Interzone / This guy is a 'traditionalist' and he is a wanker...
« on: April 16, 2012, 08:31:13 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20nuTITfhko

I could be wrong but he seems to be an authority...

See particularly from 21:00

"in scientism there is no place for consciousness, no place for humans to feel like the universe is constructed for them and stroking their egos bla bla bla, evolution is psudo-religion, fap fap".."we have descended from the perfect archetype". No room for transcendence at all with stupidity like this. Give me evolution.

In fact, science can 'redisover the sacred', which is a phrase this guy parrots about regularly, by realising we are permeated with the same energy as suns and that, possibly, something has come from nothing.

250
Interzone / Re: Nietzsche and Nihilism, Metaphysics
« on: April 16, 2012, 08:22:39 AM »
Hmm, I just don't see how he was ever advocating blind ideology/morality/belief. To my mind, in that quote, he's simply saying that a life spent chasing pleasure in hedonistic fashion is as equally deluded and non-developmental as a life spent avoiding pleasure in ascetic fashion.

He's saying that we need to stop worrying about silly moral question like "do I have enough pleasure in my life? am I being good to my self?" or "do I have too much pleasure in my life? am I being a good person?"

He's saying that these questions are actually just selfish and egotistical and immoral either way, that if we want to live a pleasurable and moral life, we should see things from a perspective totally above and beyond them, and that we should live higher, more feral, more direct, more real, more meaningful, more willful lives.

But, yeah, I would definitely say that Nietzsche WAS concerned with discernment between true and false beliefs. Why? Well, because merely reverting back to false beliefs is only a temporary fix, and will eventually lead to nihilism yet again...

In the quote he's making the point about cultures which cannot give suffering (i.e. life) a meaninig. They reverts to the futile (ultimately) quest of trying to minimise suffering. You're right when you say:

Quote
if we want to live a pleasurable and moral life, we should see things from a perspective totally above and beyond them, and that we should live higher, more feral, more direct, more real, more meaningful lives.

But by giving death a meaninig, by being artists and creating meaninig, a culture IS living a more feral, direct, real life.

having said that, I don't believe a culture can simply create their naratives and myths from thin air. They have to be congruent with the best 'metaphysical' views of the day or they will be filtered out before they can gain any significant and long lasting level of transmission and retention in human minds.

251
Interzone / Re: Open-mindedness
« on: April 16, 2012, 07:57:10 AM »
it is never justifiable to believe in some proposition without sufficient evidence for such proposition

that;s the moral of that video.

There are always going to be certain areas of individual's lives where they don't apply this princple. It's psychology. It might even be beneificial in some circumstances. Sometimes you need to narrow your horizons long enough to follow one path to any significant degree without having to stop and reconsider basic premises. To ask people to examine every part of their being at every moment is similarly a bit rude. Prejudice gives life a certian purpose, flavour and mystery.

252
Interzone / Re: Nietzsche and Nihilism, Metaphysics
« on: April 16, 2012, 07:17:22 AM »
While this site gains its modern footing from Nietzsche, its fundamental viewpoint is Platonic monism. That negates nothing in Nietzsche and in fact enhances it. Traditionalism is the next logical step after Nietzsche; Traditionalism as influenced by Germanic Idealism (Kant, Schopenhauer) and Plato is the next step after that.

How is harking back to the past the next logical step after Nietzsche, who, like you say:

Quote
said that god is dead, and that we have killed him; that we are in a time of reevaluation of all values; that we have outgrown our old myths, and needed to invent new ones.

I would argue that people in a scientific world of the 21st century cannot go back to traditionalism, which is essentially a universalisation and abstraction of the common tenents of the worlds' old myths. It will be a sociological impossibility. Like trying to roll a boulder up a hill. If this is possibile traditionalism will have to incorporate more concepts from the physical sciences which is the 'metaphysics' of the 21st century.

Does this site exclude a viewpoint which is, essentially modern, in looking beyond traditional ways of viewing the world?

253
Interzone / Re: Nietzsche and Nihilism, Metaphysics
« on: April 16, 2012, 07:05:14 AM »
I don't mean to be obtuse here but how do you reconcile Nietzsche and nihilism with having any kind of spiritual or moral belief? I just don't understand this.

If you read the will to power, nietzsche's ideas on belief, and the positive connection with culture, are rampant in the first section. He never criticises belief, per say (simply the consequences of bad belefes). NIETzSCHE IS NOT CONCERNED WITH THE TRUTH OR FALISTY OF A BELIEF! Our scientist society is, though (ironically a product of chritianity's insitance on the logos/word), and this has led to nihilism. Nietzsche wants to OVERCOME nihilism. If this is dones with spiritual or moral beliefs, so be it.

This quote says it all:

"The "predominance of suffering over pleasure" or the opposite (hedonism): these two doctrines are already signposts to nihilism. For in both of these cases no ultimate meaning is posited except the appearance of pleasure or displeasure. But that is how a kind of man speaks that no longer dares to posit a will, a purpose, a meaning: for any healthier kind of man the value of life is certainly not measured by the standard of these trifles. And suffering might predominate, and in spite of that a powerful will might exist, a Yes to life, a need for this predominance."

254
Interzone / Re: Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 16, 2012, 06:51:49 AM »
Let's not misuse terminology, atheism is the belief that a theistic God does not exist.  All of the ideas you mention in your post are better described by other terms and would hardly be accepted by the vast majority of self-identifying atheists.

This is coming from someone who holds an understanding of perennialism/traditionalism that is compatible with a disbelief in all inherent values?
These MIGHT be compatible, but Evola and Guenon and the like would be rolling in their graves. Just because the view expressed there would not be accepted by most atheists doesn't mean they really are incompatible with atheism.

Anyway, do you disagree with me that atheism, a priori, does not lead to (1) and (2) in my post? Could be a good discussion.

I'm arguing that atheism doesn't necessarily bring with it liberal implications, from a conceptual/logical point of view. Empirically, atheism and liberalism have tended to accompany one another, (but not always (nazism, stalinism)), but this in no way means that atheism and liberalism are connected conceptually. People could be mistaken. Just like how empirically, traditionalism and nihilism have NOT tended to accompany one another, while this isn't due to some lack of real conceptual connection (so i read around here).

255
Interzone / Nihilism and Atheism
« on: April 15, 2012, 02:22:37 PM »
In response to the thread on Nihilism and Traditionalism, I have created a thread on Nihilism and Atheism. This is not to be in opposition to the views expressed on that thread, of course, but to include other nihilists who hold different metaphysical beliefs but similar aesthetic and pragmatic beliefs.

Many people hear the world 'atheism' and they take it to one of two bad places: (1) Scientism, or the belief that everyone must follow and abide by the challenging and counter-intuitive picture of reality that is emerging in the 21st century, or (2) Materialism, the belief that because there are no objective trasncendental values, everyone must worship matter and society must be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Atheism does not lead to either (1) or (2), a priori. Furthermore, an atheist may content that some of the pragmatic benefits of nihilism are more forthcoming than for the traditionalist nihilist. Atheism allows complete detachment from prior ordained knowledge in order to example any situation from the greatest amount of perspectives and to choose the most appropriate soultion.

Atheism is the idea that reality is the universe operating according to a Logos. Our understanding of this Logos might need to be improved and modified from time to time (i.e. the move from newtonian physics to relativity), but this represents a PROGRESSION in our grasp of 'the mind of god'. The atheist is sustained 'spiritually' (or psychologically) by his aesthetic appreciation of reality that is being revealed by science. His evolved psychological tendencies to value beauty, goodness and truth are not left wanting by, for example, cosmology, evolutionary biology and botany. He is simply more able to function with metaphysical uncertainty than the theist. Alternatively he might favour pagan interpretaitons of reality when pressed for a more orthodox spiritual position.

The understanding of the Logos need not to be restricted to the real of inert matter. It can also be applied the realm of animate matter. Certain ideas and ways of structuring society throughout history have led to 'higher' socieites, higher in the sense of aesthetic appeal. You do not need to believe in a transcendetal order to conclude that electro-pop guzzling, city ghetto dwelling environments are sub par. You simply observe psychological facts of human beings to determine that such environments do not lead to human flourishing. A similar pramatic stance holds in relation to religious belief. Just because the atheist does not accept a literal, metaphysical and anthropomorphic interpretation of reality like exoteric chrisitinaity does not mean he will ruin the organic basis of a soceity by demanding that everyone drop the beliefs which provide the internal glue for a group in individuals to live together and thus aver the need for totalitarian nanny states. He believes that the philosophy of liberalism holds erroneous conceptiosn of the person when it posits pure 'subjects' which are autonomous agents prior to society. He holds a communitarian political philosophy which traces the sources of the self to attachments to family, village, tribe, nation, and not universal humanity. Any criticisms of justice must necessarily draw upon the materials already present in a culture and the liberal advocate is in error when she suggests that there is some universal, rational standard from which to construct rights and obligations from. The Logos contains the word of the universe, it is silent about any 'rights of man'. A greater knowledge of the Logos as it pervades human psychology will increasing reveal, in antithesis to liberal modernity, that human beings are deprived of energy when they are deprived of roots, culture and communal responsibility. Most great art is produced by metaphysical belief in something, and a society cannot function long term above the level of animals if death is not given a meaninig. In opposition to Francis Fukayuma's proclamation that 'History has ended' in face of liberal democracy, the atheist observes that 9/11 happened and that fundamentalism vs liberalism will be the great antithesis that defines the 21st century, while capitalism/communism was the one which drove the 20th. The atheist acknowledges that fundamentalismm while misguided, respons to elements of the human condition left out by liberal democracy.

Atheism has been correlated with intelligence and this link must be embraced. A love of objective truth and a love of beauty need not be seperate.

Texts:

* The Will to Power, by Friedrich Nietzsche
* The Leap, by Bill Hopkins
* All great books of the ages

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