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Nihilistic Beauty

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  • Nihilistic Beauty

    Have you ever heard of the band Death Cab for Cutie? They have a very beautiful song (lyrics below). Sometimes I wonder if people actually see beauty in life like this even though they know that they will fade to nothingness when they die. Did the writer of this song see beauty in nihilism? Do you see beauty around you? And if so, is this enough to sustain you and keep striving toward creating something beautiful in life. Could beauty itself be a moral standard?

    Love of mine
    Someday you will die
    But I'll be close behind
    I'll follow you into the dark
    No blinding light
    Or tunnels, to gates of white
    Just our hands clasped so tight
    Waiting for the hint of a spark
    If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
    Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
    If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
    Then I'll follow you into the dark
    In Catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
    I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
    And I held my tongue as she told me
    "Son, fear is the heart of love, " so I never went back
    And if Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
    Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
    If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
    Then I'll follow you into the dark
    You and me have seen everything to see
    From Bangkok to Calgary
    And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
    The time for sleep is now
    But it's nothing to cry about
    'Cause we'll hold each other soon
    In the blackest of rooms
    And if Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
    Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
    If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
    Then I'll follow you into the dark
    Then I'll follow you into the dark

  • #2
    I am familiar with this song. I view it as a depressing reminder of how death ultimately would be viewed without Christ, even in a particularly optimistic interpretation (which this song would be.)
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      The Buddhist Mandala is about detachment and impermanence. It is a beautiful piece of sand art that is ritually destroyed when finished.

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      • #4
        I am entertaining the idea that perhaps the stalemate between the atheist and theist is not so much due to each party believing they have the epistemic truth on things, but rather cognitive dissonance.

        For instance, I think the underlying logical substrate of the theist goes something like this :

        How and Why are these Buddhists not killing everyone and raping all the Women if they espouse such a Nihilistic outlook?

        My hunch here, is that perhaps Beauty itself could be a moral compass...of sorts.

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        • #5
          Also, here is a very interesting article written by a Unitarian Universalist warning of the demonic dangers of Mandalas:

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejo...ing-books.html

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          • #6
            Beauty as a Moral Compass. Beauty as a Moral Standard. That's a thing right?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Machinist View Post
              Beauty as a Moral Compass. Beauty as a Moral Standard. That's a thing right?
              Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Back to the subjective?
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                Beauty as a Moral Compass. Beauty as a Moral Standard. That's a thing right?
                It is in Islam---but not in nihilistic context. ---Ihsan = Beautiful actions (excellence) for God.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                  I am entertaining the idea that perhaps the stalemate between the atheist and theist is not so much due to each party believing they have the epistemic truth on things, but rather cognitive dissonance.

                  For instance, I think the underlying logical substrate of the theist goes something like this :

                  How and Why are these Buddhists not killing everyone and raping all the Women if they espouse such a Nihilistic outlook?

                  My hunch here, is that perhaps Beauty itself could be a moral compass...of sorts.
                  In Shintoism, there is a Divine-spirit in all created things (animate or not). So there is a sense (articulated from a Muslim perspective) that all things are from God and all things return to God.
                  The Mandala ritual is an expression of this concept in Buddhism. Contemplation of the impermanence of things/life is a way of remembering the Divine and its permanence

                  (Killing/raping---Human nature as sinful is a minority concept confined mostly to the Christian paradigm.)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seer View Post

                    Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Back to the subjective?
                    to a degree perhaps--but it can also have cultural standards/norms and sometimes these aesthetics can be universally appreciated.

                    For example, Islamic art does not encourage imagery---and so Islamic architecture/landscaping used other means to express beauty such as geometric patterns in architecture and water and natural elements in landscape.

                    Zen Buddhists developed their own unique ways of expressing Beauty within restrictions ---such as Ikebana (art of flower arranging), Chado (art of tea ceremony), Kodo (art of tasting smell).....etc....

                    Calligraphy (art of beautiful writing) is also another element in common....

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                    • #11
                      Rumi is a poet universally appreciated....

                      ..

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by siam View Post

                        (Killing/raping---Human nature as sinful is a minority concept confined mostly to the Christian paradigm.)
                        You agree that all men sin - correct?

                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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                        • #13
                          OK, so I was onto something here.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seer View Post

                            You agree that all men sin - correct?
                            You mean Miss the Mark...Miss the Bullseye on the target.

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                            • #15
                              I think the comfort, if you can call it that, for the nihilist is there is no moral standard and therefore no wrong answers. However you choose to live is "right" in the sense that there are no ultimate consequences. It doesn't matter if you live as a saint or a sinner, because we will all meet the exact same end: death and oblivion. For whatever reason, nihilists don't seem to find this necessary truth very comforting at all and futilely try to convince themselves that there must be more, but if their worldview is true, then there really is nothing more. "I'll follow you into the dark" indeed.
                              Last edited by Mountain Man; 04-28-2021, 07:36 AM.
                              Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                              But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                              Than a fool in the eyes of God


                              From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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