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Posted by Ravi Mehta on Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 15:50:39 :
In Reply to: Re: Demise as a necessary consequent of Religion posted by Wordsmith on Friday, November 22, 2002 at 05:12:20 :
: : : : Religion encapsulates nihilism in a nice seemingly cohesive set of ideas, void of objectivity, metaphysicial value, or any THING else with which beings gauge existence.
: : : Show me a religion without an eschatology, and I'll show you a white elephant.
: : : Wordsmith : )
: : And yet, many religions provide practical rules, codes of behaviour, belief systems which allow adherents to move through life with a level of certainty and a sense of meaning - which I would argue is the antithesis of nihilism.
: Your "And yet" confuses me. Eschatology in
: no way sanctions nihilism.
: Wordsmith : )
First, nihilism does not necessitate an eschatology, in any sense of the term. By creating a Being who is 'above' human Beings (both metaphysically and perhaps physically), religion forces its believers to accept the notion that they cannot directly control their lives. That is to say, religion definitively creates a 'higher' Being to relieve human Beings of the obligation to be in total direct control. This is the most compatible aspect of religion with nihilism in that it does not allow human Beings to be in supreme control of Being.
Second, it is true that religion provides certain moral codes of conduct, but the reason for living by those codes of conduct lie not within those codes themselves, but rather on the threat that failure to do so will result in consequence. This is to say that one is not to sin because doing so will result in negative repercussions, most notably in the 'afterlife.' Moral codes are not followed for their own sake, but simply to avoid consequence. One word: Kant.
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