Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Or Kill Me => Topic started by: Cain on December 02, 2009, 05:56:55 pm

Title: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 02, 2009, 05:56:55 pm
I know this kind of trails off in the last few paragraphs.  But I've been sitting on it for a week already, and if I don't finish it, I can't move onto other things.  So now you know.

Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism.

It’s funny, but the more I read about Nihilism, the more I think Discordianism is one possible antidote to it.  I know this seems to contradict the title, so perhaps I should explain my terms a little, before I get ahead of myself.

Nihilism is a word that is thrown around a lot.  As such, it is often misused, and open to abuse.  Its very nature often makes it derogatory, though perhaps not unjustly, which also helps obscure the meaning.  However, it does refer to a very real and precise phenomenon.  Although the word itself dates back to Jacobi, in his attacks on Kant’s “critical philosophy”, the meaning by which it more usually understood goes back to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

The former referred to nihilism as a process of levelling, whereby individual uniqueness ceases to exist and being able to affirm one’s existence becomes impossible.  However, it was more fully developed by Nietzsche and, more recently, Deleuze.  In its modern meaning, nihilism is the disavowal of not only meaning in the world, a grand unifying ideal or scheme or plan, but all possible meaning for all time.  Some of the theorized psychological stances that may lead one to nihilism are an inability to accept pain, conflict and antagonism.  Because these are parts of our world, no matter how regrettable that may be, nihilism therefore becomes the quest for another, illusory world, where these imperfections do not exist, a transcendent and perfect realm. 

Nihilism is tied to religions, but not purely a part of them.  Though Nietzsche correctly diagnosed its presence at the heart of Judeo-Christian-Islamic culture, ceasing to believe in these religions alone cannot end it.  Instead, as faith in these religions becomes less pronounced, we have two sorts of nihilism, which Nietzsche called “strong” and “weak” nihilism, in his typical manner.  The weak version is pretty much as I explained above: the individual becomes passive and content with this world, giving up on passions and values and becoming almost without a will or desire at all.  In “strong” or radical nihilism, the situation is reversed.  Here the person cleaves so tightly to their passions and values, that they come to hate the world which cannot live up to them, and so, eventually, seeks to destroy the world they inhabit. 

Clever readers, which you all are, will no doubt see a certain symmetry here.  Like, say, that between contemporary Western life and radical fundamentalism?  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  The imperative of our current civilization is to moderate everything.  Moderate political positions.  Moderate exercise.  Moderate religious views to go with our moderate meals.  Everything has to be sanitized, made safe and comfortable and fluffy.  Showing any sort of passion or conviction, especially of a radical kind, is frowned upon and considered frightening (both due to the fear of failure and the fear of success of any radical program or measure).  We even seek to deny the discomfort from the effects of eating or preparing certain food, like with genetically modified onions that don’t make us cry, or diet coke.  You can have anything you want...so long as it’s not radical or extreme, so long as its effects are constrained.

And on the other end of the spectrum, we have the religious bigots.  The Islamic kamikaze bombers that will stroll into a crowd without hesitation, the Christian terrorists plotting to acquire WMD, the Jewish extremists willing to blow up a girl’s school, not to mention the likes of Aum Shinrikyo.  The fallen, apostate and sinful world around them sickens them so much...especially since they have a direct line to God and what he Really Believes.  Through violent yet ultimately impotent acts, they hope to divorce themselves from a society they despise.  This will for nothingness can and often is directed inwards as well as outwards.  The suicide bomber or mall shooter who commits “death by cop” is as much a nihilist as any other example here.  The one thing the radical nihilist most fervently disavows is the kind of life and society that passive nihilism produces.

Therefore we have two distinct types which, while sharing a common origin, cannot combine or synthesise in any way.  Equal and opposed, they can never meet, never resolve themselves.  Yet both define our modern world.  Is there any way to break out of this trap, to somehow perhaps go beyond nihilism into new, greener pastures?

I believe so.  Furthermore, I believe the answer lies in nihilism itself, in some way.

The problem is this: nihilism itself needs to be negated, which is no small task.  Or, to put it another way, anti-nihilism must be nihilism of a higher magnitude, to the degree that it can undermine its own premises.  However, anti-nihilism, or, if you prefer, this perfect nihilism must also contain one extra component: it must not only destroy old values but also force a reassessment of how we come to determine our values in the first place.  Anti-nihilism also must bring the focus back from imaginary metaphysical realms and transcendent planes of existence to this world, to find meaning in the reality in which we inhabit.

I think Discordianism can do this.

Firstly, most Discordians I know are not transcendent in their views.  They don’t see order and disorder as absolutes, abiding in another Universe through which pale reflections are painted onto this reality.  No, instead, most Discordians that I know believe that the order/disorder/chaos synthesis is instead a description of the world, and how it actually is, how it acts and reacts and how we perceive it.  This immediately moves Discordianism from the theological realm of transcendent theories to the philosophical realm of immanent ones.  Immanence holds, roughly, that there is no “beyond”, no “supplementary dimension” or other realm which determines our reality.  There only is reality and nothing more.

Anti-nihilism therefore affirms the world, by taking a hammer to these phantoms and illusions that plague us with seductive, yet ultimately empty promises of eternal and external values.

But more yet needs to be done.  The act of creation requires the destruction mentioned above, to clear the field of these nihilistic idols.  Discordianism not only approves of, but greatly recommends the act of creation, and indeed, some have suggested the two are the same thing.  And because Discordianism works from the frame of order/disorder and destruction/creation (=chaos), it is, in a very real sense, “beyond good and evil”.  This doesn’t mean, as some think, beyond “good” and “bad” as concepts or descriptions, but denies a moral ordering of the world.  The introduction of the idea of evil in particular has definite theological (and thus transcendent) overtones.  While order is often seen as bad by Discordians, it is more often than not on a subjective, by which I mean individual case.  Because Discordians mostly accept order is a natural part of the world, it is necessary in some sense.  Where, when and for whom however, are different questions and often based on the context.  Immanence, once again, is evident here, denying transcendence a foothold.

Chaos also denies teleology.  Eris does not order her apostles to set themselves free, she tells them they are free.  What they choose to do with this information is up to them.  Teleology is one way to secularize transcendent values, by posting a utopia in the future.  Against this, chaos suggests that there can be no eternal categories, absolute truths or timeless facts, and change cannot be reduced to one-directional evolution to progress.

And, perhaps most importantly, Discordianism meshes almost perfectly with the theory of Agonism.  Against most political theory, Agonism suggests conflict is a permanent feature of human society, and so the question is not how to eliminate conflict – as with theories as diverse as liberalism to fascism, who aim at consensus – but instead how to channel this potential for conflict so that it can be used in a positive manner.  Agonism is, despite the similarity in spelling and pronunciation, not the same as antagonism.  Instead of merely allowing hostility and conflict to flourish, which could, if unchecked, result in the destruction of the social system entirely, Agonism allows for conflict within bounds and with respect for one’s opponents as adversaries.   Recognition that conflict is, in a sense or in some part irrational, and cannot ever be entirely eliminated, is very similar to the Discordian synthesis of order and disorder into chaos – a dialectic without final resolution or end stage, because either the victory of order or disorder over the other would be disastrous. 

An Agonist society would be very similar to that relationship between order and disorder.  Such a society would lack a unity of principle, which could then be exploited by demagogues and would be tyrants.  It would also allow for the fullest expression of real difference and dialogue, a return of those values and passions that passive nihilism tries to deny.  Agonism reintroduces contest and dispute into a society deadened by consensus, the need for “bi-partisanship”, the “best interests of everyone” and the pathological desire to make everything safe and un-radical.

Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things.  Equally, it is easy to grow to despise everything around you, for not living up to childish and unrealistic ideas about the world, to the point that you cannot bear the gap between expectation and fact, and so let that frustration out in destructive and terrible ways.

I think a third way exists.  Through the sort of “creative destruction” that Discordianism promotes, old idols can be brought low and new idols can be created.  Until, they too, need destroying.  And so on and so forth.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 02, 2009, 06:11:08 pm
:mittens:

I think I agree with you about the trailing-off at the end thing, tho. For me I think I'm heading towards a different conclusion. Can't say exactly what that is, cos I haven't quite reached it yet but, thanks to you, I think I'm on my way.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 02, 2009, 06:12:47 pm
No problems.  I thought you might enjoy this, in particular.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 02, 2009, 08:15:58 pm
Oh, holy fucking cocksucking Christ.


Cain, this is an amazing piece.  I want to send it to everyone I know, especially the Bostonian Pinealists who keep bothering me.

The only reason I don't is the anticipation that you may edit the final paragraphs to your satisfaction.

Other than that, it is brilliant.



LMNO
-hopes he isn't laying it on too thick - but it is really good.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 02, 2009, 08:36:51 pm
Oh, holy fucking cocksucking Christ.


Cain, this is an amazing piece.  I want to send it to everyone I know, especially the Bostonian Pinealists who keep bothering me.

The only reason I don't is the anticipation that you may edit the final paragraphs to your satisfaction.

Other than that, it is brilliant.



LMNO
-hopes he isn't laying it on too thick - but it is really good.

I don't think you are. Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Freeky on December 02, 2009, 08:42:59 pm
Genius. i loved it. :D
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Captain Utopia on December 02, 2009, 08:46:53 pm
Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things.  Equally, it is easy to grow to despise everything around you, for not living up to childish and unrealistic ideas about the world, to the point that you cannot bear the gap between expectation and fact, and so let that frustration out in destructive and terrible ways.
To me both are equally comforting, superficial, unrealistic and addictive... which isn't surprising given the common root. Physical comfort vs mental comfort. Not to forget also, the devastation and destruction waged in the pursuit of a consumerist society.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Johnny on December 02, 2009, 10:25:05 pm

You give a good exposition of fragments from "Der Wille Zur Macht" (titles vary, Will to Power i assume?)

Some 80-95% of the world still categorize themselves within a religious denomination, but on terms of orthopraxis, rarely anyone follows that specific moral code, but instead come up with pseudo or hybrid value systems.

Religion used to regulate and be the measuring stick of everything; now its primarily split between religion, money (production and consumption) and "safety".

The term "strong nihilism" i would equiparate it with a synonim of "dynamism" of "not stagnating", you know, to really make justice to what is being attempted to be expressed; a nihilism only in the sense that erradicates all the nonsense, giving the groundwork of a "groud zero" whereupon there can be built a new system.

Nihilism needs to be embraced to later on be overcome. The "point of truth" taht should be reference is "life". For if in the process of questioning all values, one questions existence/life itself, and one determines life doesnt have an intrinsec value, then indeed it is a pure nihilism, as an end, and not as a means.

Quote
Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things. 

Yes! See this is the decay of which i was expressing myself about one of its symptoms in the lackluster emo rant i made!
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Johnny on December 02, 2009, 10:29:27 pm
If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

I second this, for the lecture i recently made of the BIP left me with a vague feeling that speaking thru metaphors is one way of expressing what discordia is, but there must also be a more concrete and rigurous, parallel side to it.

Im gonna chew on the subject for some days and come up with something to write.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Kai on December 02, 2009, 10:56:25 pm
This is excellent, Cain. Thank you for writing it.

Going to go ferment on it in the shower for a while.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Eater of Clowns on December 02, 2009, 11:06:37 pm
I intend to read this a few more times over the coming days to better digest it.  Excellent.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cait M. R. on December 02, 2009, 11:55:18 pm
Oh, holy fucking cocksucking Christ.


Cain, this is an amazing piece.  I want to send it to everyone I know, especially the Bostonian Pinealists who keep bothering me.

The only reason I don't is the anticipation that you may edit the final paragraphs to your satisfaction.

Other than that, it is brilliant.



LMNO
-hopes he isn't laying it on too thick - but it is really good.

I don't think you are. Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

I agree whole heartedly.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Brotep on December 03, 2009, 04:30:09 am
Nice.

Cain, what are your thoughts on where new age fits into all this?

It may also be worthwhile to have more in-depth discussion of socioeconomic status as a driver behind passive acceptance or violent rejection of the world.

What circumstances are most favorable for an anti-nihilist current that is nihilism's completion?
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Kurt Christ on December 03, 2009, 06:35:01 am
This is one of the best things of read in OKM in a while. Thanks, Cain.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 03, 2009, 01:08:03 pm
Going to go ferment on it in the shower for a while.

:lmnuendo:







I'm sorry, I can't help myself.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 03, 2009, 04:34:17 pm
Cain, this is an amazing piece.  I want to send it to everyone I know, especially the Bostonian Pinealists who keep bothering me.

The only reason I don't is the anticipation that you may edit the final paragraphs to your satisfaction.

Other than that, it is brilliant.

You're known to the Boston Pinealist crowd?  There is a Boston Pinealist crowd?

Well, any advice on where to improve it would be very helpful indeed.  Which paragraphs in particular should be junked etc  I can likely do it this weekend.  And thanks.


Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.

Genius. i loved it. :D

Thankyou.

Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things.  Equally, it is easy to grow to despise everything around you, for not living up to childish and unrealistic ideas about the world, to the point that you cannot bear the gap between expectation and fact, and so let that frustration out in destructive and terrible ways.
To me both are equally comforting, superficial, unrealistic and addictive... which isn't surprising given the common root. Physical comfort vs mental comfort. Not to forget also, the devastation and destruction waged in the pursuit of a consumerist society.

Could be, yes.  There is also mental comfort in cynical apathy, too, if you wanted to complete the comparison.  Still, their expressions are somewhat different (to borrow from Zizek, passive nihilism tends to result in structural violence, whereas radical nihilism seems to result in mostly subjective violence, ie violence performed by small groups or individuals).



You give a good exposition of fragments from "Der Wille Zur Macht" (titles vary, Will to Power i assume?)

Some 80-95% of the world still categorize themselves within a religious denomination, but on terms of orthopraxis, rarely anyone follows that specific moral code, but instead come up with pseudo or hybrid value systems.

Religion used to regulate and be the measuring stick of everything; now its primarily split between religion, money (production and consumption) and "safety".

The term "strong nihilism" i would equiparate it with a synonim of "dynamism" of "not stagnating", you know, to really make justice to what is being attempted to be expressed; a nihilism only in the sense that erradicates all the nonsense, giving the groundwork of a "groud zero" whereupon there can be built a new system.

Nihilism needs to be embraced to later on be overcome. The "point of truth" taht should be reference is "life". For if in the process of questioning all values, one questions existence/life itself, and one determines life doesnt have an intrinsec value, then indeed it is a pure nihilism, as an end, and not as a means.

Quote
Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things. 

Yes! See this is the decay of which i was expressing myself about one of its symptoms in the lackluster emo rant i made!

You're right, The Will To Power was an influence on this.  I've had a copy of that for about seven or eight years now, it's a great read.

And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).


If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

I second this, for the lecture i recently made of the BIP left me with a vague feeling that speaking thru metaphors is one way of expressing what discordia is, but there must also be a more concrete and rigurous, parallel side to it.

Im gonna chew on the subject for some days and come up with something to write.

Sounds like a good plan.  I've been trying to get more rigorous myself lately, by subjecting myself to some high grade philosophical texts.  I haven't got anything ironed out yet (probably wont for years to come), but it's a start.

This is excellent, Cain. Thank you for writing it.

Going to go ferment on it in the shower for a while.

Thanks again, and not a problem.

I intend to read this a few more times over the coming days to better digest it.  Excellent.

Thanks

I agree whole heartedly.

Thanks as well

Nice.

Cain, what are your thoughts on where new age fits into all this?

It may also be worthwhile to have more in-depth discussion of socioeconomic status as a driver behind passive acceptance or violent rejection of the world.

What circumstances are most favorable for an anti-nihilist current that is nihilism's completion?

The New Age strikes me as passive nihilism without the Christianity.  It's largely about transcendent values and "personal betterment" which typically involves assimilating yourself more efficiently into the post-political social structure (New Age crap is fairly popular among a certain type of managerial thinker, for example).  But I'll be honest, I don't know as much about the New Age movement to be able to talk about it in depth, only give surface impressions.

It could be.  However, I know from previous instruction in terrorism studies that most terrorists can come from anywhere on the socio-economic scale.  I would guess though that it is easier to buy into fundamentalism when you are poor (so the evidence seems to suggest) and that it is easier to live a consumerist lifestyle if you can actually afford to do so, so there is likely something to it.

I am really not sure.  I'll keep an eye out, but I suspect such groups would probably exist at the margins and fringes of society.

This is one of the best things of read in OKM in a while. Thanks, Cain.

And thanks again.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Hoopla on December 03, 2009, 05:36:31 pm
Cain, this is a brilliant piece of writing.  It encapsulates much of what has been jumbling around in my head for a while, but draws together what I considered to be several different topics into one seamless piece.  I don't really think it lost steam toward the end, I thought it wrapped up well.

Would you mind if I repost?  Obviously with full credit given to you, upfront.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 03, 2009, 05:38:29 pm
I was thinking of putting it up on my Facebook, and maybe my blog, as well.

If that's cool with Cain.


Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 03, 2009, 06:35:45 pm
Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.



Not exactly. I was using a much broader brush. Way I see it pinealism is a reaction or response to the absurdist, hippie humour which pervaded the original PD by people who only got the jokes and not the underlying philosophy. This, on the other hand, is a slap in the teeth, at the same time a tangent and a new direction. A more accurate direction if you ask me. I shit you not, this philosophical synthesis that you seem to be coming toward is the next step for discordianism (in my mind at least) I always saw the BIP as an attempt to re-examine the ideas of the PD in a more contemporary way but this is something completely different like an orchid growing out some hippie dung.

The "nihilist" monicker, although I totally get why you used it (I've done so myself in the past), might become a red herring eventually - too much baggage. But this essay is definitely a flag in the sand, a shifting of the goalposts if you like. It has the potential to radically change the whole movement. Or turn it on it's head or something.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Brotep on December 03, 2009, 06:54:15 pm
The New Age strikes me as passive nihilism without the Christianity.  It's largely about transcendent values and "personal betterment" which typically involves assimilating yourself more efficiently into the post-political social structure (New Age crap is fairly popular among a certain type of managerial thinker, for example).  But I'll be honest, I don't know as much about the New Age movement to be able to talk about it in depth, only give surface impressions.

I believe that passivity surpasses Christianity, with "everything happens for a reason" not as an endpoint, but a starting point.  That is, the synchronistic world of the new ager is filled with divine messages and "lessons".  It is an act of violence against the cruelty of the world, but through narrative.


Quote
It could be.  However, I know from previous instruction in terrorism studies that most terrorists can come from anywhere on the socio-economic scale.  I would guess though that it is easier to buy into fundamentalism when you are poor (so the evidence seems to suggest) and that it is easier to live a consumerist lifestyle if you can actually afford to do so, so there is likely something to it.

I am really not sure.  I'll keep an eye out, but I suspect such groups would probably exist at the margins and fringes of society.

Fair points.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Triple Zero on December 03, 2009, 07:28:32 pm
Way I see it this has the potential to annihilate pinealism once and for all. If we can collectively turn out a manuscript based on this then I'd be surprised if we couldn't lay the original PD to rest. This is the next step.

Are you thinking Pinealism = passive nihilism or something here?  I just want to make sure I am following the logic.

The way I took it (but seeing P3NT's reply that was also not exactly right), is two-sided. On the one hand, yes, Pinealism has a lot of passive nihilist elements as you just described them. And on the other hand, the Pinealism element in Discordianism is exactly the thing we do not need for the Perfect Nihilism direction.

Wait, no that's not right.

The passive nihilist elements of Discordianism reside in its Pinealist aspects. In order to become this Perfect Nihilism/anti-Nihilism, we should discard those elements of Pinealism. That doesn't mean, however, that we should discard all Pinealism--depending on your definition of the term, that is--because there are more than enough zany, crazy and weird aspects in Discordianism that do further, or could be useful in, an anti-Nihilist cause.

but that kinda depends, those things are probably not what most consider Pinealism. it's a bit of a broad term.

anyway, that article is some serious good stuff, Cain.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Johnny on December 03, 2009, 08:29:09 pm

Isnt pinealism just a regurgitation and subvariant of dada?


And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).

You are the second person that draws paralelles between my ideas and Deleuze, some woman from my schools doctorate gave me a compilation that has essays of Deleuze, Foucault and some other authors, its called something like "Biopolitics"... i need to dig deeper into the concept of immanence... the first reading i made of him was realllly hard to follow, and not just Derrida hard, but like hard hard.

Before here i never heard of agonism, ill look into it.

Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 03, 2009, 10:01:34 pm
Hoops, LMNO,feel free to use as you see it.  Everyone else, I'll be on later to make comments
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Johnny on December 04, 2009, 08:15:54 am
Sounds like a good plan.  I've been trying to get more rigorous myself lately, by subjecting myself to some high grade philosophical texts.  I haven't got anything ironed out yet (probably wont for years to come), but it's a start.

Lets get some synergy going! Theres is no tomorrow like today! (Or this month, you know what i mean)

Greek mythology overview regarding Eris
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=23202.0 (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=23202.0)

Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 05, 2009, 10:11:32 am
Bump! Cos I don't want Cain going to sleep on this.

Have a mull over these ...

P3nT's 3 tenets of "Perfect Nihilism"

1) Gravity is absolute, morality is not.

2) God may not be dead but he does need to stand in line like the rest of us.

3) The ultimate meaning of existence is for each of us to decide for ourselves.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: rong on December 05, 2009, 11:06:48 am
at first i was like tl;dr

and then i was like: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=11351.msg769281#msg769281

and then i thought: maybe discordianism is moderate nihilism.

i'm having a hard time seeing how pinealism fits in to all this.  i alwasy took pinealism as an "easy out" for coping with lack of original thought.  a self affirmation of beautiful snowflakeness so to speak.

now i'm thinking: i think i'll re-read and i'm interested to see where this thread goes.

nice job, cain.

Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 06, 2009, 01:53:56 pm
Not exactly. I was using a much broader brush. Way I see it pinealism is a reaction or response to the absurdist, hippie humour which pervaded the original PD by people who only got the jokes and not the underlying philosophy. This, on the other hand, is a slap in the teeth, at the same time a tangent and a new direction. A more accurate direction if you ask me. I shit you not, this philosophical synthesis that you seem to be coming toward is the next step for discordianism (in my mind at least) I always saw the BIP as an attempt to re-examine the ideas of the PD in a more contemporary way but this is something completely different like an orchid growing out some hippie dung.

The "nihilist" monicker, although I totally get why you used it (I've done so myself in the past), might become a red herring eventually - too much baggage. But this essay is definitely a flag in the sand, a shifting of the goalposts if you like. It has the potential to radically change the whole movement. Or turn it on it's head or something.

Wow, thanks.  And yes, I see more accurately what you are saying now.  I was thinking too...uh, inter-paradigmally, I think (is that even a word) instead of taking a step back.  It happens, at times.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 06, 2009, 01:58:04 pm
I believe that passivity surpasses Christianity, with "everything happens for a reason" not as an endpoint, but a starting point.  That is, the synchronistic world of the new ager is filled with divine messages and "lessons".  It is an act of violence against the cruelty of the world, but through narrative.

That sounds pretty fair.  I try to stay far away from the New Age crowd and so mostly rely on stereotypes to make fun of them, but if that stereotype is mostly accurate, and going by what you say here it is, then yes, it would certainly be a form of passive nihilism.  I know Slavoj Zizek, who works from a kind of Deleuzean-Marxist approach to politics and society, thinks that the New Age movement and Buddhism are coping mechanisms par excellence, in that they teach you how to cope with modern society and all that is wrong with it, and be happy with it, instead of getting discontent and changing it.

Also I did some thinking, and historically, Dada may have been on the very cusp of perfect nihilism.  It sought to destroy meaning and art, but through acts of creation.  And given the links between Dada and Discordianism, if we accept the latter could be a vehicle for perfect nihilism, then the former must reflect that in some way.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 06, 2009, 02:04:59 pm
The passive nihilist elements of Discordianism reside in its Pinealist aspects. In order to become this Perfect Nihilism/anti-Nihilism, we should discard those elements of Pinealism. That doesn't mean, however, that we should discard all Pinealism--depending on your definition of the term, that is--because there are more than enough zany, crazy and weird aspects in Discordianism that do further, or could be useful in, an anti-Nihilist cause.

but that kinda depends, those things are probably not what most consider Pinealism. it's a bit of a broad term.

anyway, that article is some serious good stuff, Cain.

Yeah, I see what you are saying, too.  The problem would be where people substitute Pinealism for "stuff about Discordianism I don't like".  Or where elements of Discordianism get associated with Pinealism unfairly.  Like Dada, for example.  The original Dadaists were brilliant, vibrant and crazy artists, whereas those who rip them off....usually do it pretty poorly, which then reflects badly on those Dadaist elements, despite the fact that's Dadaist aims (like negation), methods and style are usually pretty cool and mesh pretty well with Discordianism.

And thanks.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 06, 2009, 02:09:53 pm

Isnt pinealism just a regurgitation and subvariant of dada?


And your point is very similar to one made by Deleuze, who contrasts life and creativity (and resistance) with passive and radical nihilism (as an aside, it really is a shame he's dead, Deleuze would've loved Discordianism if he had heard of it, I'm certain.  Even a passing familiarity with his readings show he valued chaos, freedom and creativity, and he was an exceptionally talented thinker).

You are the second person that draws paralelles between my ideas and Deleuze, some woman from my schools doctorate gave me a compilation that has essays of Deleuze, Foucault and some other authors, its called something like "Biopolitics"... i need to dig deeper into the concept of immanence... the first reading i made of him was realllly hard to follow, and not just Derrida hard, but like hard hard.

Before here i never heard of agonism, ill look into it.



Sort of, but not really (see above).  Usually, I consider it uncreative and uncritical regurgitation of the PD and elements within.  Other attitudes may vary.

Yes, Deleuze and Foucault never intended themselves to be easily read, and often came up with entirely new concepts and terms to describe their ideas.  Biopolitics, in short, is the politics of security.  Wikipedia explains it better

Quote
For Foucault, biopower is a technology of power, which is a way of managing people as a group. For Foucault, the distinctive quality of this political technology is that it allows for the control of entire populations. It is thus essential to the emergence of the modern nation state, modern capitalism, etc. Biopower is literally having power over other bodies, "an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations". It relates to the government's concern with fostering the life of the population, and centers on the poles of discipline ("an anatomo-politics of the human body") and regulatory controls ("a biopolitics of the population").

Biopower for Foucault contrasts with traditional modes of power based on the threat of death from a sovereign. In an era where power must be justified rationally, biopower is utilized by an emphasis on the protection of life rather than the threat of death, on the regulation of the body, and the production of other technologies of power, such as the notion of sexuality. Regulation of customs, habits, health, reproductive practices, family, "blood", and "well-being" would be straightforward examples of biopower, as would any conception of the state as a "body" and the use of state power as essential to its "life". Hence the conceived relationship between biopower, eugenics and state racism.

With the concept of "biopower", which first appears in courses concerning the discourse of "race struggle", Foucault develops a holistic account of power, in opposition to the classic understanding of power as basically negative, limitative and akin to censorship. Sexuality, he argues, far from having been reduced to silence during the Victorian Era, was in fact subjected to a "sexuality dispositif" (or "mechanism"), which incites and even forced the subject to speak about their sex. Thus, "sexuality does not exist", it is a discursive creation, which makes us believe that sexuality contains our personal truth (in the same way that the discourse of "race struggle" sees the truth of politics and history in the everlasting subterranean war which takes place beneath the so-called peace).

Furthermore, the exercise of power in the service of maximizing life carries a dark underside. When the state is invested in protecting the life of the population, when the stakes are life itself, anything can be justified. Groups identified as the threat to the existence of the life of the nation or of humanity can be eradicated with impunity. "If genocide is indeed the dream of modern power, this is not because of the recent return to the ancient right to kill; it is because power is situated and exercised at the level of life, the species, the race, and the large-scale phenomena of the population."

Some of Deleuze's work that isn't Anti-Oedipus or A Thousand Plateaus is easier to understand though.  I recommend, if you can get them, the Routledge Critical Thinkers series books on both of them, as introductory texts.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cain on December 06, 2009, 02:13:09 pm
Bump! Cos I don't want Cain going to sleep on this.

Have a mull over these ...

P3nT's 3 tenets of "Perfect Nihilism"

1) Gravity is absolute, morality is not.

2) God may not be dead but he does need to stand in line like the rest of us.

3) The ultimate meaning of existence is for each of us to decide for ourselves.

Morality doesn't come from outside reality.

There is only here and now.

As reality changes, so does morality.  New situations require new judgements and new methods of thinking.

We should centre our judgements around ourselves ("this is bad for me" does not necessarily mean this is bad for all).  Beyond Good and Evil does not equal beyond good and bad for each subject.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 06, 2009, 02:16:14 pm
Everything is in the eye of the beholder  8)

*edit* Yeah I know - it can look like solipsism from one angle.  :cry:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on December 06, 2009, 07:32:58 pm
Read it; don't have anything to add to this discussion, but awesome work nonetheless.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: N E T on December 07, 2009, 12:43:16 am
Excellent work Cain.

Your piece reminds me of the best parts of the recent Adbusters issue with the theme of "Pop Nihilism: Advertising Eats Itself".

Food for thought:

Quote

But creativity is not a force that you can use to schlep superfluous objects to uninterested consumers – that requires repetition, persuasion and the power of mass media. True creativity is inherently destructive, and truly creative individuals always, without exception, seek to destroy the mediums they work within.

With the influx of creatives into the industry, agencies have opened their doors to an intellectual insurgency, every innovation pushing the medium closer to the edge. This is the essence of Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” save one critical difference: rather than supplanting outdated companies, the creative destructionists of advertising will force their medium into oblivion. This is the birth of advertising’s Dada era.


https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/84/pop_nihilism_adverting_eats_itself.html
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Verbal Mike on December 07, 2009, 12:16:46 pm
Great piece, Cain. I too had a strong urge to link this and post this everywhere while reading it. Are you still working on polishing it up? Otherwise I will X-post it to my blog, which is as inactive as it is new and spankin'.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Freeky on December 08, 2009, 12:48:29 am
Do you mind if I print this out? I'd like to be able to read it off the comp, and maybe leave it someplace where it can wrangle a few more receptive minds.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 09, 2009, 03:01:01 pm
Hey Cain, I showed this to an old friend, and she really identifies with your piece.  

I just thought you'd like to know that this makes sense to non-Discordians, as well.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 09, 2009, 05:42:37 pm
Hey Cain, I showed this to an old friend, and she really identifies with your piece.  

I just thought you'd like to know that this makes sense to non-Discordians, as well.

Accordions?
(http://www.friedart.com/images/AccordionPlayer_Paris.jpg)
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 09, 2009, 11:15:37 pm
A parable of perfect Nihilism?

A man hath two sons. To one son he giveth love and care and food and clothing and trinkets and baubles to satisfy his every desire and to the other he doth cast out into the world, naked and starving with nought but cuts and bruises and harsh words which still echoeth in his ears to remind him of his family and home.

The first son groweth up to be a tyant, a murderer and a pederast. He taketh from the mouths of babes to maketh himself fat and lazy in his iniquity.

The second son groweth up to be a good man, wise and humble in nature and in deeds. The second son doth save many a life by his own toil and sacrifice and yet expecteth he nothing in return.

And verily I say unto you - tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for judgement to be passed down upon either of these two tossers by any authority other than that of their fellow man.

The grand scheme of things sayeth - "Fuck 'em both, in measure equal"
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Payne on December 09, 2009, 11:57:01 pm
I am unfortunately not erudite enough to really get into the nuts and bolts of this, despite my best efforts. I DO however feel the same sense of excitement that P3nT seems to feel. This could be good. REAL good.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Template on December 10, 2009, 03:08:33 am
A parable of perfect Nihilism?

A man hath two sons. To one son he giveth love and care and food and clothing and trinkets and baubles to satisfy his every desire and to the other he doth cast out into the world, naked and starving with nought but cuts and bruises and harsh words which still echoeth in his ears to remind him of his family and home.

The first son groweth up to be a tyant, a murderer and a pederast. He taketh from the mouths of babes to maketh himself fat and lazy in his iniquity.

The second son groweth up to be a good man, wise and humble in nature and in deeds. The second son doth save many a life by his own toil and sacrifice and yet expecteth he nothing in return.

And verily I say unto you - you will have an easier time passing a needle through the eye of a camel than finding an objective judgement for either - both shall die, judged only by themselves and others.

The grand scheme of things sayeth - "Fuck 'em both, in measure equal"

I dunno.  I don't especially like this parable, but how could you miss that part?
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: typ3 on December 10, 2009, 04:26:35 am
A parable of perfect Nihilism?

A man hath two sons. To one son he giveth love and care and food and clothing and trinkets and baubles to satisfy his every desire and to the other he doth cast out into the world, naked and starving with nought but cuts and bruises and harsh words which still echoeth in his ears to remind him of his family and home.

The first son groweth up to be a tyant, a murderer and a pederast. He taketh from the mouths of babes to maketh himself fat and lazy in his iniquity.

The second son groweth up to be a good man, wise and humble in nature and in deeds. The second son doth save many a life by his own toil and sacrifice and yet expecteth he nothing in return.

And verily I say unto you - tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for judgement to be passed down upon either of these two tossers by any authority other than that of their fellow man.

The grand scheme of things sayeth - "Fuck 'em both, in measure equal"
No way. Well, not about Nihilism, but the concept of subjective good/bad. The concept of good and bad being absolutely subjective is intuitively incorrect for a reason. It's the same reason we still use the words - bad is by definition that that causes pain or anxiety. The reason that this is mixed up in definition, I could only guess, is from an echo to rationalize horrible religious acts -- which comes out to also make intuitive sense. Why religion? Because religion is the only thing that tells us that everyone is not equal, therefore an action from one group could be more good than the other, or conversely 'less sinful' than the other. Also, the justification of personified Gods in theistic religions.

Anywho...
Rules to use to measure 'good' and 'bad' of a subject:
 •Since we have no way of testing the existence of philosophical zombies (or a zombie percentage), we should assume all perception as equally valuable.
 •Deeming an action better or worse based on a 'what if' hypothesis is arbitrary since we cannot change the past.
 •Good and bad have diminishing value, depending on the original amount of pleasure/happiness or pain/anxiety experienced. Ex: Mortally wounding someone twice is not as bad as mortally wounding two people once.
 •A judgment that considers the indirect affects of a subject is incorrect, because it is arbitrary of the action itself.
 •Unintended affect and action defaults to the cause of nature, therefore a subject should not be judged on action unintended.

By compiling the average 'good' or 'bad' resulting from a subject on a group, and following these rules, a scale can be theoretically made. Aka an 'objective judgment scale'. The final number would then be modified according to the personal preferences of the affected subjects.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Johnny on December 10, 2009, 09:24:30 am
No way. Well, not about Nihilism, but the concept of subjective good/bad. The concept of good and bad being absolutely subjective is intuitively incorrect for a reason.

Fuck your retarded intuition, because that in itself is subjective, making all your point fall apart.

It's the same reason we still use the words - bad is by definition that that causes pain or anxiety.

Within my personal value system, things that cause anxiety can be both good and bad. When you have a first date or an interview and you are really anxious, it means that it is important. Of course if you have a stalker that wants to kill you, well, thats a negative causer of anxiety. Wandering thru life avoiding any source of anxiety will not get you any accomplishment. (This point im gonna extend on when i have the time, anxiety/strife/discord and its positive values)

The reason that this is mixed up in definition, I could only guess, is from an echo to rationalize horrible religious acts -- which comes out to also make intuitive sense. Why religion? Because religion is the only thing that tells us that everyone is not equal, therefore an action from one group could be more good than the other, or conversely 'less sinful' than the other. Also, the justification of personified Gods in theistic religions.

Capitalism and modernist tendencies also say this in different ways. Group identification/discrimination has dozens/thousands of manifestations.

Anywho...
Rules to use to measure 'good' and 'bad' of a subject:
 •Since we have no way of testing the existence of philosophical zombies (or a zombie percentage), we should assume all perception as equally valuable.

Arent you the humanist?

•Deeming an action better or worse based on a 'what if' hypothesis is arbitrary since we cannot change the past.

Ok, so if i shove a broomstick up your butt vigorously is neither good nor bad for no one.

•Good and bad have diminishing value, depending on the original amount of pleasure/happiness or pain/anxiety experienced. Ex: Mortally wounding someone twice is not as bad as mortally wounding two people once.

I dont even know what the hell do you mean.

•A judgment that considers the indirect affects of a subject is incorrect, because it is arbitrary of the action itself.

Are you saying that only intentions matter?

•Unintended affect and action defaults to the cause of nature, therefore a subject should not be judged on action unintended.

So, manslaugther should be taken out of the law books?

By compiling the average 'good' or 'bad' resulting from a subject on a group, and following these rules, a scale can be theoretically made. Aka an 'objective judgment scale'. The final number would then be modified according to the personal preferences of the affected subjects.

Good luck with that. And btw, thats just an ugly regurgitation of what Kant once said.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: typ3 on December 10, 2009, 10:04:23 pm
Damn! This is what I get for trying to reply in a philosophy discussion when I actually don't read philosophy. :x
I didn't even know who Kant was. My ideology was flawed and I decided to be a little silly at the bullet points (it was barely relevant to the discussion at hand). Obviously such a scale would never work in practical application. Looking back now, I couldn't possibly argue for what I was being serious on.

Anyways, mindset assimilated. I hope I can prove myself not to be a drooling fool next time I post. Please don't let this trash derail the thread. (goes back to lurking)
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on December 10, 2009, 10:28:21 pm
Damn! This is what I get for trying to reply in a philosophy discussion when I actually don't read philosophy. :x
I didn't even know who Kant was. My ideology was flawed and I decided to be a little silly at the bullet points (it was barely relevant to the discussion at hand). Obviously such a scale would never work in practical application. Looking back now, I couldn't possibly argue for what I was being serious on.

Anyways, mindset assimilated. I hope I can prove myself not to be a drooling fool next time I post. Please don't let this trash derail the thread. (goes back to lurking)

Don't beat yourself up over it. A position that's never been challenged isn't really a position I'd like to be in. Nearest thing we have to scientific rigor in philosophy.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: typ3 on December 11, 2009, 12:08:57 am
Damn! This is what I get for trying to reply in a philosophy discussion when I actually don't read philosophy. :x
I didn't even know who Kant was. My ideology was flawed and I decided to be a little silly at the bullet points (it was barely relevant to the discussion at hand). Obviously such a scale would never work in practical application. Looking back now, I couldn't possibly argue for what I was being serious on.

Anyways, mindset assimilated. I hope I can prove myself not to be a drooling fool next time I post. Please don't let this trash derail the thread. (goes back to lurking)

Don't beat yourself up over it. A position that's never been challenged isn't really a position I'd like to be in. Nearest thing we have to scientific rigor in philosophy.
Yea, I did get a little caught up in the whole newbie history/stigma when I posted that response. I usually do try to jump in discussions if I have an opposing viewpoint for that sake, but this particular one is chock full of flaws. I won't let it stop me next time though, just maybe give it a better flaw-check.
 
Edit: Goddammit guys, I said not to let this derail the thread. I got some fuckin LURKING in here to do. :argh!:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2009, 02:35:35 pm
Re-jack: OP.

I know this kind of trails off in the last few paragraphs.  But I've been sitting on it for a week already, and if I don't finish it, I can't move onto other things.  So now you know.

Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism.

It’s funny, but the more I read about Nihilism, the more I think Discordianism is one possible antidote to it.  I know this seems to contradict the title, so perhaps I should explain my terms a little, before I get ahead of myself.

Nihilism is a word that is thrown around a lot.  As such, it is often misused, and open to abuse.  Its very nature often makes it derogatory, though perhaps not unjustly, which also helps obscure the meaning.  However, it does refer to a very real and precise phenomenon.  Although the word itself dates back to Jacobi, in his attacks on Kant’s “critical philosophy”, the meaning by which it more usually understood goes back to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

The former referred to nihilism as a process of levelling, whereby individual uniqueness ceases to exist and being able to affirm one’s existence becomes impossible.  However, it was more fully developed by Nietzsche and, more recently, Deleuze.  In its modern meaning, nihilism is the disavowal of not only meaning in the world, a grand unifying ideal or scheme or plan, but all possible meaning for all time.  Some of the theorized psychological stances that may lead one to nihilism are an inability to accept pain, conflict and antagonism.  Because these are parts of our world, no matter how regrettable that may be, nihilism therefore becomes the quest for another, illusory world, where these imperfections do not exist, a transcendent and perfect realm. 

Nihilism is tied to religions, but not purely a part of them.  Though Nietzsche correctly diagnosed its presence at the heart of Judeo-Christian-Islamic culture, ceasing to believe in these religions alone cannot end it.  Instead, as faith in these religions becomes less pronounced, we have two sorts of nihilism, which Nietzsche called “strong” and “weak” nihilism, in his typical manner.  The weak version is pretty much as I explained above: the individual becomes passive and content with this world, giving up on passions and values and becoming almost without a will or desire at all.  In “strong” or radical nihilism, the situation is reversed.  Here the person cleaves so tightly to their passions and values, that they come to hate the world which cannot live up to them, and so, eventually, seeks to destroy the world they inhabit. 

Clever readers, which you all are, will no doubt see a certain symmetry here.  Like, say, that between contemporary Western life and radical fundamentalism?  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  The imperative of our current civilization is to moderate everything.  Moderate political positions.  Moderate exercise.  Moderate religious views to go with our moderate meals.  Everything has to be sanitized, made safe and comfortable and fluffy.  Showing any sort of passion or conviction, especially of a radical kind, is frowned upon and considered frightening (both due to the fear of failure and the fear of success of any radical program or measure).  We even seek to deny the discomfort from the effects of eating or preparing certain food, like with genetically modified onions that don’t make us cry, or diet coke.  You can have anything you want...so long as it’s not radical or extreme, so long as its effects are constrained.

And on the other end of the spectrum, we have the religious bigots.  The Islamic kamikaze bombers that will stroll into a crowd without hesitation, the Christian terrorists plotting to acquire WMD, the Jewish extremists willing to blow up a girl’s school, not to mention the likes of Aum Shinrikyo.  The fallen, apostate and sinful world around them sickens them so much...especially since they have a direct line to God and what he Really Believes.  Through violent yet ultimately impotent acts, they hope to divorce themselves from a society they despise.  This will for nothingness can and often is directed inwards as well as outwards.  The suicide bomber or mall shooter who commits “death by cop” is as much a nihilist as any other example here.  The one thing the radical nihilist most fervently disavows is the kind of life and society that passive nihilism produces.

Therefore we have two distinct types which, while sharing a common origin, cannot combine or synthesise in any way.  Equal and opposed, they can never meet, never resolve themselves.  Yet both define our modern world.  Is there any way to break out of this trap, to somehow perhaps go beyond nihilism into new, greener pastures?

I believe so.  Furthermore, I believe the answer lies in nihilism itself, in some way.

The problem is this: nihilism itself needs to be negated, which is no small task.  Or, to put it another way, anti-nihilism must be nihilism of a higher magnitude, to the degree that it can undermine its own premises.  However, anti-nihilism, or, if you prefer, this perfect nihilism must also contain one extra component: it must not only destroy old values but also force a reassessment of how we come to determine our values in the first place.  Anti-nihilism also must bring the focus back from imaginary metaphysical realms and transcendent planes of existence to this world, to find meaning in the reality in which we inhabit.

I think Discordianism can do this.

Firstly, most Discordians I know are not transcendent in their views.  They don’t see order and disorder as absolutes, abiding in another Universe through which pale reflections are painted onto this reality.  No, instead, most Discordians that I know believe that the order/disorder/chaos synthesis is instead a description of the world, and how it actually is, how it acts and reacts and how we perceive it.  This immediately moves Discordianism from the theological realm of transcendent theories to the philosophical realm of immanent ones.  Immanence holds, roughly, that there is no “beyond”, no “supplementary dimension” or other realm which determines our reality.  There only is reality and nothing more.

Anti-nihilism therefore affirms the world, by taking a hammer to these phantoms and illusions that plague us with seductive, yet ultimately empty promises of eternal and external values.

But more yet needs to be done.  The act of creation requires the destruction mentioned above, to clear the field of these nihilistic idols.  Discordianism not only approves of, but greatly recommends the act of creation, and indeed, some have suggested the two are the same thing.  And because Discordianism works from the frame of order/disorder and destruction/creation (=chaos), it is, in a very real sense, “beyond good and evil”.  This doesn’t mean, as some think, beyond “good” and “bad” as concepts or descriptions, but denies a moral ordering of the world.  The introduction of the idea of evil in particular has definite theological (and thus transcendent) overtones.  While order is often seen as bad by Discordians, it is more often than not on a subjective, by which I mean individual case.  Because Discordians mostly accept order is a natural part of the world, it is necessary in some sense.  Where, when and for whom however, are different questions and often based on the context.  Immanence, once again, is evident here, denying transcendence a foothold.

Chaos also denies teleology.  Eris does not order her apostles to set themselves free, she tells them they are free.  What they choose to do with this information is up to them.  Teleology is one way to secularize transcendent values, by posting a utopia in the future.  Against this, chaos suggests that there can be no eternal categories, absolute truths or timeless facts, and change cannot be reduced to one-directional evolution to progress.

And, perhaps most importantly, Discordianism meshes almost perfectly with the theory of Agonism.  Against most political theory, Agonism suggests conflict is a permanent feature of human society, and so the question is not how to eliminate conflict – as with theories as diverse as liberalism to fascism, who aim at consensus – but instead how to channel this potential for conflict so that it can be used in a positive manner.  Agonism is, despite the similarity in spelling and pronunciation, not the same as antagonism.  Instead of merely allowing hostility and conflict to flourish, which could, if unchecked, result in the destruction of the social system entirely, Agonism allows for conflict within bounds and with respect for one’s opponents as adversaries.   Recognition that conflict is, in a sense or in some part irrational, and cannot ever be entirely eliminated, is very similar to the Discordian synthesis of order and disorder into chaos – a dialectic without final resolution or end stage, because either the victory of order or disorder over the other would be disastrous. 

An Agonist society would be very similar to that relationship between order and disorder.  Such a society would lack a unity of principle, which could then be exploited by demagogues and would be tyrants.  It would also allow for the fullest expression of real difference and dialogue, a return of those values and passions that passive nihilism tries to deny.  Agonism reintroduces contest and dispute into a society deadened by consensus, the need for “bi-partisanship”, the “best interests of everyone” and the pathological desire to make everything safe and un-radical.

Nihilism is, in my opinion, the opiate of the 21st century.  It is so easy to fall into apathy, to wish to cocoon yourself in a little bubble of comfort and nice things.  Equally, it is easy to grow to despise everything around you, for not living up to childish and unrealistic ideas about the world, to the point that you cannot bear the gap between expectation and fact, and so let that frustration out in destructive and terrible ways.

I think a third way exists.  Through the sort of “creative destruction” that Discordianism promotes, old idols can be brought low and new idols can be created.  Until, they too, need destroying.  And so on and so forth.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Dr. Paes on December 15, 2009, 08:48:31 pm
I think I'm going to chew on this for a while. Great piece, Cain.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Jasper on December 15, 2009, 09:24:11 pm
These are exciting ideas.

Some of the points near the final quarter could be more studious of brevity.  This is the exception:

"Anti-nihilism therefore affirms the world, by taking a hammer to these phantoms and illusions that plague us with seductive, yet ultimately empty promises of eternal and external values."

One thing in particular that I felt was such a good point that it could be expanded upon was:

"...the victory of order or disorder over the other would be disastrous."

I'd like to hear more about how Agonism works into Perfect Nihilism, and ultimately how PN can conquer the faults of nihilism.

Overall, much in agreement with the resounding praise. 
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Pope Pixie Pickle on December 17, 2009, 09:25:57 pm
:mittens: Cain.

im going to need to re-read when the decongestant meds im on dont make me feel like i'm on amphetamines... but awesome OP is awesome.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Wondering Monk on December 20, 2009, 12:08:56 pm
this looks soopah interesting, I'm gunna make time to read this later.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Wizard on December 21, 2009, 03:40:10 am
 :mittens: Bravo man. Beautiful work.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Telarus on December 28, 2009, 02:32:58 am
:mittens: spread this on facebook thro the 23AE post.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Captain Utopia on June 22, 2010, 01:56:19 pm

Which stages of transformation, or catalyst, would be required to move from either of the described forms of nihilism to Discordianism?
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 03:23:40 am
Man, I don't know how I missed this!

I recently began going down a similar thought process: Discordianism and other types of meta-religions being the natural next transitional phase after Nietzsche's version of nihilism, such as is portrayed in "The Madman." The transition from nihilism to "moral self-sufficiency" and "self-assigned purpose," individually and collectively, would be nearly impossible without meta-religions ("self-aware religion" is a phrase I like to use. A religion where the followers are fully aware of its natural origin, and the "doctrine" of such religion acknowledges these natural roots itself) simply because, while "revealed" religion may be way wrong, we are accustomed to the general structure of traditional religious belief systems. We kinda need that type of structure, at least for now, while we acclimate ourseves to becoming self-sufficient. I mean, face it, if left to our own devices, as it stands now, we'd all just end up destroying ourselves (which I believe is what's currently happening). "Meta-religions" provide a desired structure, but puts the "power" in the hands of the people, instead of some imaginary absolute. "Meta-religion," or "self-aware religion" allow us to make the transition from cosmic pre-teen to cosmic young adult by allowing a gradual increase in responsibility (just like when a parent grants his/her teen an allowance and other responsibilities and the increase in decision making and such).

I mean, I'm just musing for now, but I'd planned to write a paper on it for my Philosophy of Religion class. If I ever get it done, I'll post it.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 01:14:59 pm
Quote
"Meta-religions" provide a desired structure, but puts the "power" in the hands of the people, instead of some imaginary absolute.


Be sure to keep in mind the Alpha Pack Leader psychology built into our brains.  Most people want to be in a tribe with a leader to follow.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 04:36:16 pm
Quote
"Meta-religions" provide a desired structure, but puts the "power" in the hands of the people, instead of some imaginary absolute.


Be sure to keep in mind the Alpha Pack Leader psychology built into our brains.  Most people want to be in a tribe with a leader to follow.

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.

And Cuddlefish (dimo, right?), I'm not so sure we need the religious/church framework. I certainly don't want it.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 04:39:43 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 04:43:19 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?

I do understand, but I still maintain they can follow themselves.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Adios on December 17, 2010, 04:46:26 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?

I do understand, but I still maintain they can follow themselves.

Then you still don't understand.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 04:57:39 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?

I do understand, but I still maintain they can follow themselves.

Then you still don't understand.

Okay.  :roll:
Then explain it.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:03:47 pm
And Cuddlefish (dimo, right?), I'm not so sure we need the religious/church framework. I certainly don't want it.

Here's the thing, I'm speaking in general terms. I don't need it either (or do I? Do you, really?), but I'm aware that I am an exception. The thing is, in general, most people are incapable of determining their own morals (among other things) without an institution to tell them how to "get shit dione." (Hell, most people can't make up their mind about their own personal lives without a Jeebus holding their hand). Not their fault, and maybe they're not aware of it, but it is the case. Think of meta-religions as a step up from a tricycle (revealed religion) to a regular bicycle with training wheels (meta-religion). Once people can get the feel for it, you can take off the training wheels ("moral-self sufficiency" and individual and collective "self-assigned purpose"). And, hell, we work on that hard enough, we might be able to ride the cosmic unicycle (perfect balance).
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 05:09:40 pm
And Cuddlefish (dimo, right?), I'm not so sure we need the religious/church framework. I certainly don't want it.

Here's the thing, I'm speaking in general terms. I don't need it either (or do I? Do you, really?), but I'm aware that I am an exception. The thing is, in general, most people are incapable of determining their own morals (among other things) without an institution to tell them how to "get shit dione." (Hell, most people can't make up their mind about their own personal lives without a Jeebus holding their hand). Not their fault, and maybe they're not aware of it, but it is the case. Think of meta-religions as a step up from a tricycle (revealed religion) to a regular bicycle with training wheels (meta-religion). Once people can get the feel for it, you can take off the training wheels ("moral-self sufficiency" and individual and collective "self-assigned purpose"). And, hell, we work on that hard enough, we might be able to ride the cosmic unicycle (perfect balance).

Okay, fair enough. In society as a whole the transitional meta-church could be a necessary step.
And  :thumb: for the stretched metaphor.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Adios on December 17, 2010, 05:10:36 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?

I do understand, but I still maintain they can follow themselves.

Then you still don't understand.

Okay.  :roll:
Then explain it.
Most people demand a leader. Any leader. They will refuse to be the one having to make the decisions. They will, however, be happy to bitch about the decisions that others have made. People have forgotten how to accept responsibility and how to think for themselves.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Telarus on December 17, 2010, 05:11:59 pm
The religious structure of Discordia does not serve the same (exact) purpose as the religious structure of other orgs.

There's a fine line between "I don't need a religious institution" and "I don't need social contacts with people who share my paradigm".
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 05:17:40 pm

Yes, but they can make themselves that leader.



What part of "they want a leader to follow" are you not understanding?

I do understand, but I still maintain they can follow themselves.

Then you still don't understand.

Okay.  :roll:
Then explain it.

Most people demand a leader. Any leader. They will refuse to be the one having to make the decisions. They will, however, be happy to bitch about the decisions that others have made. People have forgotten how to accept responsibility and how to think for themselves.

Okay, people behave that way, but is that from nature or nurture? It's probably reinforced by our biology, but not created by it.

However, if you're talking about that being the way our society raises people, and that working pragmatically with the society we live in, we need leaders, I'm not sure I can disagree (not because I agree, but because I have no evidence for my side). But I'm sure that many here (you too) would agree that it's possible to lead oneself, as we are examples in some sense.

I hope I'm making sense.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:21:06 pm
The thing is, whether it's natural or imprinted doesn't matter. It's there.

The goal would be to replace the imprint with a better one, making gradual changes over time. This is something that's been a learned behavior since the dawn of man, it will take a long time to get that spot out.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Phox on December 17, 2010, 05:23:03 pm
The thing is, whether it's natural or imprinted doesn't matter. It's there.

The goal would be to replace the imprint with a better one, making gradual changes over time. This is something that's been a learned behavior since the dawn of man, it will take a long time to get that spot out.

 :motorcycle:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 05:26:55 pm
The thing is, whether it's natural or imprinted doesn't matter. It's there.

The goal would be to replace the imprint with a better one, making gradual changes over time. This is something that's been a learned behavior since the dawn of man, it will take a long time to get that spot out.

Yeah. (Unless this breakdown Roger predicts goes a certain way...)
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:27:30 pm
Though, while I am no expert, I would be willing to postulate that, outside of the desire to eat, sleep, and fuck, it's ALL imprinting. And, if that were the case, our potential for change would be astronomical.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 05:28:16 pm
Okay, people behave that way, but is that from nature or nurture? It's probably reinforced by our biology, but not created by it.

Humans are pack animals.  Their survival depends on working together in groups.  For millions of years, we have naturally fallen into the pack structure of an alpha male heirarchy.  You can't negate this simply by saying it shouldn't be so.


For a real-world example, go to any group or organization that claims they don't have "leaders" and that "everyone is equal".  After the smoke and mirrors go away, the real leaders are obvious.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:30:12 pm
For a real-world example, go to any group or organization that claims they don't have "leaders" and that "everyone is equal".  After the smoke and mirrors go away, the real leaders are obvious.

Could it be true? Is LMNO the secret leader of the Illuminati?!?!?  :fnord: :tinfoilhat:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 05:31:11 pm
I can't believe it took you that long to figure it out.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 17, 2010, 05:33:50 pm
I'll take a break and think about this. I don't disagree with what you've said, but I still feel that a person can be their own leader. I'm simply not yet ready to concede the point.

For a real-world example, go to any group or organization that claims they don't have "leaders" and that "everyone is equal".  After the smoke and mirrors go away, the real leaders are obvious.

Could it be true? Is LMNO the secret leader of the Illuminati?!?!?  :fnord: :tinfoilhat:

 :lol:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:34:42 pm
I can't believe it took you that long to figure it out.

Not my fault. I thought you'd be... I dunno... bigger. And more mysikal
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:38:16 pm
I'll take a break and think about this. I don't disagree with what you've said, but I still feel that a person can be their own leader. I'm simply not yet ready to concede the point.

Listen, you don't need to concede that point. I agree with you. Where we're having a problem is that you beleive that this is possibe now, while I am asserting that it is a longer process ("removal of training wheels" in my metaphor in synonomous with your "people becoming their own leader")
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 05:38:27 pm
I can't believe it took you that long to figure it out.

Not my fault. I thought you'd be... I dunno... bigger. And more mysikal

That's because you've only seen me with my pants on.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:44:11 pm
I can't believe it took you that long to figure it out.

Not my fault. I thought you'd be... I dunno... bigger. And more mysikal

That's because you've only seen me with my pants on.

So you think.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: LMNO on December 17, 2010, 05:47:18 pm
Ah.  I didn't realize Nikki showed you the pictures.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Cuddlefish on December 17, 2010, 05:51:09 pm
Ah.  I didn't realize Nikki showed you the pictures.

oooh, BURN!
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Epimetheus on December 23, 2010, 07:28:27 am
I'll take a break and think about this. I don't disagree with what you've said, but I still feel that a person can be their own leader. I'm simply not yet ready to concede the point.

Listen, you don't need to concede that point. I agree with you. Where we're having a problem is that you beleive that this is possibe now, while I am asserting that it is a longer process ("removal of training wheels" in my metaphor in synonomous with your "people becoming their own leader")

Allow me to clarify my position, now.
I think an individual can make that switch fairly quickly.
I figure, like you seem to say, that a society will not make such a quick switch.
So I think we're all in agreement here.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Pæs on December 23, 2011, 06:19:25 am
Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.

FUCK YOU, FORUM.

BAH-BUMP.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: President Television on January 17, 2015, 11:38:26 pm
BUMP!
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on February 21, 2015, 01:13:49 am
I really like the OP Cain. I have considered the implications of Discordia in context of what I considered 'healthy Nihilism'. I see the potential for a Nihilism that is 'weak' when reason might indicate something in life to be unimportant and 'strong' when a major change is needed. Letting some vain things 'slide' and other crucial things never seem impossible because you know nothing is TRULY unchangeable.
 I think this would require an axis of sorts or ethos to guide the chao much like on a wheel. Wheels roll just fine on their own but DRIVING requires a firm guidance.

 I'm going to chew on the thought more before I go any further with it, but this was greatly thought provoking.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 21, 2015, 01:42:34 am
I like it when a good bump works its magic.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Karapac on February 21, 2015, 07:48:09 pm
This is goddamned brilliant, and if not for the bump I may have not dug it up. Thank you, bump fairies!

I don't exactly feel capable of contributing to this in much of a meaningful way, but I do have an example to add. One thing I think hasn't been brought up in this thread is that strong nihilism, as OP describes it, is not only tied to religion in the 21st century. Look at people I'll generalizingly call 4channers, where whether or not they browse 4chan is irrelevant. They don't blow things up for their beliefs (they just commit school shootings sometimes) but they think society as it stands now is disgusting and worth purging. They lock themselves away, with or without a circle of like-minded people on some website or another, where they form echo chambers for their hateful beliefs. They have a morbid fascination with gore porn and degradation of women - in fact they blame what they call feminism for ruining the world (see: MRAs who don't help men, but just shit on feminists). There was (is?) a whole movement cheering on Ebola (with a cute moe mascot to boot) to wipe out the world, or at least Africa, because this would somehow usher in an opportunity to rebuild the world as a better place. And it's all the Jews' fault.

I used to browse the chans a lot, still do sometimes, and I sure know that the "destroy everything" mentality used to appeal to me, in the darkest days. It seemed to be the only alternative to the toothless, coddling, moderate ways of mainstream society. But then I learned better. And Discordianism sure helped.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 22, 2015, 02:04:06 am
BUMP FAIRIES.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: President Television on February 22, 2015, 02:31:26 am
BUMP FAIRIES.

 :lulz:

That's me.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 22, 2015, 03:11:27 am
BUMP FAIRIES.

 :lulz:

That's me.

 :banana:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on February 22, 2015, 11:25:40 am
BUMP FAIRIES.

 :lulz:

That's me.

 :banana:

 :lulz:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Karapac on February 22, 2015, 03:55:26 pm
Do you go bump in the night?
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 22, 2015, 05:46:37 pm
Do you go bump in the night?

:lmnuendo:
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: axod on March 27, 2015, 04:07:09 am
The concluding "creative destruction" seems lamentably similar to Nietzche's "eternal repetition of the same".  The very concept inherently contradicts itself given how there cannot be a multiplicity of the numerically identical; like any nihilistic argument this can either temper or level thinking.  For me, a light scan was enough to WARRENT deep reading in the morning.  (already I can't get this device to do away with that uppercase word, please forgive my seeming curt)
Title: [quote author=Cain link=topic=23189.msg786826#msg786826 date=1259776615]
Post by: axod on March 27, 2015, 11:30:46 pm
My device is possessed by a gremlin that will not allow me to post what I want to this thread.  Either that, or there's clearly some reason beyond my grasp.  Suspiciously, I trust this is all just temporary.
Title: Re: [quote author=Cain link=topic=23189.msg786826#msg786826 date=1259776615]
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 28, 2015, 01:21:58 am
My device is possessed by a gremlin that will not allow me to post what I want to this thread.  Either that, or there's clearly some reason beyond my grasp.  Suspiciously, I trust this is all just temporary.

That's Faust fucking with you.  He hates new people.
Title: Re: Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism
Post by: axod on March 28, 2015, 09:46:30 am
(https://i.imgur.com/NUFuglk.gif)
Wow, I'm impressed, really, this is getting spooky.  At this point my attempts at successfully making an entry can only be rivaled by my most adroit preliminary essays at fornication.  Very discouraging, kudos.