0

What is the link with nihilism and hypocrisy? I know that Nietzsche mentions hypocrisy. I think to the effect that the old values helped it flourish, that it is now debased, with at least the suggestion that his overman would develop the idea.

Also, there seems hypocrisy involved in much nihilism. If you really believed the world did not exist, or there were no real values, then surely that would have wild and far-reaching changes to your behaviour (or even presence of any behaviour).

I'm especially interested about the link between value (both of the act and the the actor) and hypocrisy, in what sense it is a valuable behaviour or style.

  • Usually when Nietzsche says 'nihilism' he is not referring to the philosophical position that asserts that the world is meaningless; rather, he typically means something more like a cultural malaise that has come from deficient modes of valuation. So I'm not sure the Nietzsche connection is relevant. – transitionsynthesis Oct 18 '19 at 6:01
  • dunno what you mean by "the world is meaningless" @transitionsynthesis there is a link there anyway – user38026 Oct 18 '19 at 9:38
  • how is this opinion based? – user38026 Oct 18 '19 at 15:04
  • Nihilism as a philosophical position says there is no meaning... That is not what NIetzsche means by nihilism. That's all I was saying. There may be a link between Nietzsche's discussions of nihilism and hypocrisy, but, again, it's not what you are asking about in the rest of your question. – transitionsynthesis Oct 18 '19 at 16:48
  • @transitionsynthesis no i'm asking about nietzsche and hypocricy, i just opened the term up to consider other 'nihilisms' – user38026 Oct 18 '19 at 16:58
1

Be careful with the world 'nihilism', which has at different usages in different contexts:

  1. Colloquially (as in the dictionary), nihilism means an express rejection of religious and moral principles, stemming from a belief that life is intrinsically meaningless.

  2. Philosophically, nihilism is a form of extreme skepticism which maintains that nothing in the world has existence, and that (thus) no meaning or value can be assigned to any object or action.

  3. In Nietzsche's works, nihilism points at a condition in which traditional religious and moral positions are rendered substance-less, so that they are at best vapid parroting and at worst forms of social oppression.

You'll notice that usage #1 is the polar opposite of usage #3: that people who are called nihilistic reject what Nietzsche refers to as nihilism. It can be quite confusing.

In Nietzsche's sense, nihilism always has an implicit hypocrisy, the kind of hypocrisy we all know and love in religious and secular moral philosophy: religious fanatics who shout about God's divine love in the same breath that they call for the destruction of sinners and apostates; conservatives who get so worked up about law and order that they actively try to destroy liberty... But Nietzsche never rejected moral reasoning out of hand; he called for a higher level of moral reasoning that transcended the empty dictates of the social and religious worlds.

| improve this answer | |
  • i'm not sure i'm confused, but thanks :) – user38026 Oct 18 '19 at 15:04
  • 1
    You may not be, but a lot of people are... 😀 – Ted Wrigley Oct 18 '19 at 15:07
0

Also, there seems hypocrisy involved in much nihilism. If you really believed the world did not exist, or there were no real values, then surely that would have wild and far-reaching changes to your behaviour (or even presence of any behaviour).

You raise a number of questions, not just one. I'll tackle this part of your post.

'Nihilism' has no single, clear meaning but if you take it to involve a belief that the world does not exist, or that there are no real values, I can't see that either belief has any necessary implications for behaviour. My experience is exactly the same whether I believe the world to exist or not to exist. If the desk on which I write is real or non-existent, my experience of feeling resistance is just the same.

And if there are no real values - values existing objectively, wholly or partly independently of my own mind - there are no implications for behaviour. If there are no values, then nothing matters and 'wild and far-reaching changes' to my behaviour would be as pointless as anything else.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy