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I want to state two points first:

  1. I do not find suicide as a possible solution for me. The last thing I would do is to kill myself, because I want to live forever.
  2. This is a philosophical question, “There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide” (Albert Camus)

My question:

How can I function after losing the basic sense of security that always kept me free from this dread and convinces me whenever I see reality gets someone, that I'm special? Therefore my destiny can't be like that neighbor who got blind or lost his arms. I lack the only thing that grants people this feeling of security, which is, self-esteem.

I define self-esteem as "the feeling that one is a valuable participant in a meaningful universe". Thanks to nihilism, there is no chance of participating in a meaningful project in order to gain self-esteem and mask the dread.

Now, if there were any reply to my question, it would probably include quotes from existentialists and how to deal with the absurd. I see these existentialists deceptive and misleading, as what they grasped only of the absurd is a literal superficial version enough to be made into some concept from which they gained their self-esteem, leaving others open to dread when they speak of their facts.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Swami Vishwananda, Frank Hubeny, Mozibur Ullah, Conifold, Geoffrey Thomas May 5 '18 at 13:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    It's possible to possess self-esteem (as you define it) but still acknowledge that tragedy could strike anyone at any moment. The universe can be meaningful in some ways but random in others. – user32250 May 3 '18 at 2:53
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    I disagree with Camus: There are many serious questions about life and merely to ask whether life is worth even living is a the kind of hyperbole one might expect from a writer like Camus. It's definitely eye-catching. – Mozibur Ullah May 3 '18 at 3:30
  • The world that we live in is not the bare world of random and unpredictable events. Even there, every day the sun rises and sets; every year, we get winter, spring, summer and autumn; we live within the human artifice, the human mediated world, and within that habitus we find our meaning even when we 're moaning about the lack of meaning ... – Mozibur Ullah May 3 '18 at 3:33
  • You obviously don't grasp the difference between existentialists and absurdists, and your dismissal is a jumble. Why not, at a bare minimum read about them, before dismissing them? The sublime is as interesting as the absurd. Try this on how nihilism takes hold, and what generates the sense something is missing aeon.co/ideas/… – CriglCragl May 3 '18 at 3:42
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    @Craiglcragl: I've read Camus Myth of Sisyphus and his Outsider and I've seen the latter performed; I've also read Becketts Waiting for Godot and also seen that performed; I've also read Sartres No Exit and seen that performed too... – Mozibur Ullah May 3 '18 at 4:11
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This question of yours is full of dogmatic epistemic assertions:

I lack the only thing that grants people this feeling of security

Thanks to nihilism, there is no chance of participating in a meaningful project in order to gain self-esteem and mask the dread

Yet, you left yourself a little wiggle room here, emphasis mine:

if there were any reply to my question, it would probably include quotes from existentialists and how to deal with the absurd

Your appear to be unwilling to commit yourself completely to the dogmatic assertion that no meaning/truth/agency is possible, as evidenced by your use of the word 'probably.' This suggests to me you are still yet holding out the tiniest hope that someone can challenge your conclusions with something other than an existentialist argument which, for whatever reason, you find unconvincing.

More damning evidence that you haven't yet crossed the event horizon of the nihilistic black hole is the fact that you even asked the question in the first place. A true believer in the meaningless and randomness of existence wouldn't bother with asking this question, or any questions at all, really, because what's the point?

Since you have asked the question, expressed hope, and since I have something other than an existentialist argument, I'll explain how I get around it.

Nihilism, like all dogmatic philosophies, can be undermined by way of radical skepticism.

If you are to reject the dogmatic assertions about non-evident matters, like meaning, truth, agency, etc., on the basis that there seems to be no way to get knowledge of those things, even if they existed, then you must also reject the dogmatic assertions that meaning, truth, agency, etc., don't exist and that knowledge of them is impossible on exactly the same grounds.

By rejecting dogmatic assent on both ends of the claim, you opened up just enough room for possibility to slip through. Thus, you allow meaning, truth, agency, etc to remain on the table as live possibilities.

This mode of argument is not self-deception or superficial grasping; it is called equipollence and it is the skeptic way.

  • Related, I think this is also a rather unsophisticated reading/interpretation of nihilism. – simpatico May 3 '18 at 15:49
  • Nihilism isn't a philosophy, never mind a dogmatic one. It is the state of having not been convinced by any of them. – CriglCragl May 9 '18 at 0:14
  • I disagree -- that state is aporia, skepticism. – simpatico May 9 '18 at 1:04

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