Nihilism

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Danielle Hodgson 3/2/2014 PHIL-1030-002 A World without Sacred Shining Moments To live in a world without sacred, shining moments is like breathing air without oxygen. It is these moments that fill us with hope and put meaning into our lives. In a modern sense, the world we once knew is now dull, without meaning or purpose. This idea is often regarded to as nihilism, which is the belief that “nothing really matters.” It is the lack of a firm grounding or belief system that guides our decisions. The authors of All Things Shining give indication that they dislike the idea of nihilism and believe that acts of heroism are the only sacred shining moments left in our secular age. The authors further suggest that their goals are to replace this complete absence of hope with new reason and abandon all despair, which will in-turn encourage others to pursue a meaningful life. In this world, there are heroes and pretenders. There are those who are quick to act, but are not deemed heroic. Whereas, there are those who are drawn by the world in a natural sense and are often referred to as heroes. These pretenders or pseudo-heroes tend to impose their will on the world. An example the authors use is Charles Foster Kane, a character in the well-established movie Citizen Kane. Kane is a self-righteous man whose one ambition is for the entire world to fall to its knees before him. Eventually, his lust for power and retribution lead to his ultimate demise when his own world is lost in a sea of chaos and uproar. His final words, “Rosebud,” prove to be the only relation to the life he once lived that actually held any true meaning (p. 4). The authors reveal examples in the text of who they believe the modern age views as heroes. Some examples are sp... ... middle of paper ... ...s and we should be appreciative of whatever those forces may be. However, the authors do not want to wholly commit themselves to worshiping divine beings. Instead they wish to experience the world and all its glory and wonder, but remain detached from Homer’s metaphysical perspective. In conclusion, the authors believe that nihilism, or the lack of grounding in decision making, is rampant in modern times. They believe that humans need to strive for something outside themselves to truly enjoy life. In the times of Homer, the Greeks strived to be in tune with the Gods. The authors believe that this religion largely prevented nihilism in this population, but it is important to note that they do not point at the specific religion itself. Instead, they point at the outward striving. Either way, the moral of this story is to believe in something rather than nothing at all.
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