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Debate Info

5
8
Life lacks intrinstic meaning Life has intrinsic meaning
Debate Score:13
Arguments:26
Total Votes:14
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 Life lacks intrinstic meaning (5)
 
 Life has intrinsic meaning (7)

Debate Creator

WinstonC(1232) pic



Existential Nihilism: For and Against

Existential Nihilism is the assertion that life lacks intrinsic meaning. Does life have intrinsic meaning or does it lack it?

Life lacks intrinstic meaning

Side Score: 5
VS.

Life has intrinsic meaning

Side Score: 8
1 point

Life is the only possible thing with intrinsic meaning. It is the only possible thing with intrinsic value. That is because life is the generator of meaning and value. The mistake that nihilism makes is that, in an attempt to be objective, it looks beyond life for the source of meaning and value. It's similar to saying that you must prove the veracity of existence by looking beyond existence, which they also often do.

One might as well look to see who is pushing or pulling your car only to determine that a cars movement is illusory.

Side: Life lacks intrinstic meaning
Harvard(660) Clarified
1 point

So, essentially, you've rendered the concept of Nihilism invalid?

Side: Life lacks intrinstic meaning
Amarel(5139) Clarified
2 points

I haven't. It was invalid from its foundation. But that's appropriate for a philosophy that specializes in invalidation.

Side: Life lacks intrinstic meaning
Jace(5075) Disputed
1 point

Conscious life conceives of and projects both meaning and value. Neither existential nor value nihilism seeks to repudiate such evident phenomenon. Rather, both identify the phenomenon of meaning and value as being necessarily reliant upon the conscious projector rather than as adhering within the objects themselves. The meaning and value one affords to water are not attributes adhering intrinsically in the water, but exist only as projections of consciousness onto the water.

Nihilism does not look 'beyond life' (whatever that means) anymore than identifying language as a subjective construction of consciousness would. Nor is it clear what you mean by 'looking beyond existence', so that's similarly hard to repudiate. Similarly, I have no idea what you're on about with the car.

Further, nihilism is responsive to long standing ideologies which allege an objective basis for meaning and value, whether that be in naturalistic or divine origins (generally speaking). If anything looks 'beyond life' for its answers it would seem to be the class of arguments that relies on reference to completely unfounded entities or the anthropcentrizing of human concepts like evolution to have agency and will.

Side: Life has intrinsic meaning
outlaw60(15500) Clarified
1 point

the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.

That what you believe in Jace ? If so how did you end up on this earth and sitting behind a computer ?

Side: Life lacks intrinstic meaning
WinstonC(1232) Clarified
1 point

Hello again Jace, I'll reply on the other column so that we can have a cleaner discussion. Obviously much of what you're saying here is directed to other people.

Side: Life lacks intrinstic meaning
Amarel(5139) Disputed
1 point

Nihilism does not look 'beyond life' (whatever that means)

Nihilism does not look 'beyond life' (whatever that means) anymore than identifying language as a subjective construction of consciousness would.

Stating that life has no intrinsic value is like claiming that languages have no intrinsic definition. There is no reference for definition beyond languages just as there is no reference value beyond life.

Nor is it clear what you mean by 'looking beyond existence', so that's similarly hard to repudiate.

When a nihilist challenges some primary or undeniable truth concerning existence (such as the deniability of the fact of experience) they require proof or evidence, which are reliant upon the existence they wish to challenge. Thus the only way to challenge existence with evidence, is by seeking it from outside of existence.

If anything looks 'beyond life' for its answers it would seem to be the class of arguments that relies on reference to completely unfounded entities or the anthropcentrizing of human concepts like evolution to have agency and will.

It is not necessary for you to be right in order for them to be wrong. You can both be wrong in different ways.

Side: Life has intrinsic meaning
1 point

I strongly agree with the idea that consciousness is the source of meaning in reality. This was actually my position before I even encountered existential nihilism due to my interest in consciousness and qualia. Since meaning in life is dependent on the existence (or possibility of future existence) of conscious entities, life's meaning is clearly linked to consciousness. So far my view is the same as that put forth by existential nihilists.

Where my reasoning diverges, however, is in asserting that this entails that the meaning of life is subjective. Rather I argue the opposite; that for this reason the meaning of life is objective. The purpose of life is conscious experience. While I broadly am saying the same thing as existential nihilists my polar opposite conclusion has some very different ramifications. It also leads onto why I disagree with moral nihilism.

Side: Life has intrinsic meaning