Monday, June 02, 2008

Alternative to nihilistic scepticism

I like nihilistic ethics but the extreme negative scepticism that goes along with it is something that I don't care for. Not because I support any sort of status quo that the denial of truth attacks, but because I believe that the denial of conventional truth is only the first step. After you decisively break from whatever your own status quo is and question everything, perhaps getting into a jaded, cynical, ironic, and sarcastic state, the question comes up of what exactly do you believe is true after you've declared that all these things are false? Usually it's said by people who represent what you're attacking who dare you to come up with something as thought out and sophisticated as that which they've collectively spent decades building up, but not always. There's a fear out there that if an individual goes beyond just objecting to things and tries to find out what's still positive out there that things will get really sticky really fast, because there aren't any easy answers to that question. It's true, I absolutely agree with that. But unless people are willing to take the leap into the unknown, where a whole bunch of people may come up with a whole bunch of incomplete and half hearted versions of what the positive answers are, they'll always be dependent on what they're criticizing, even if they've personally gone beyond it. There's no easy way to get from a state of total scepticism, which is necessary and healthy at a certain point, to positive ideas, positive in the sense that they aren't negative statements about things, and initial efforts no doubt look stupid and flawed, or hokey, but in my opinion it has to be done, the risk has to be taken, in order to get to some area that will eventually, could eventually, lead to an alternative to that which you're breaking away from.

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