Liberalism is similar to nihilism, both in that it’s an extremely rational position that is totally self-defeating and should be dropped.
Most atheists, nowadays at least, are materialists. And, like it or not, the fact of the matter is that materialism SHOULD logically lead to nihilism. I could make an argument for it, but that takes time and I think most of my audience sees it.
It has to. There is no other option. If nothing exists but the material world, meaning does not exist. If life has no meaning, you’re a nihilist. Thus, the only rational materialists are the nihilists.
To be sure, most materialists are not nihilists. These materialists are, of course, not following their original premises to their logical conclusions. In effect, they need to be inconsistent to be rational.
Which, of course, creates a paradox. As all should know, nihilism is an inherently self-defeating position. So the rational materialist must be irrational to be consistent. This paradox should lead to people abandoning materialism, but most people don’t reach it, choosing instead to accept some other absurdity in their reasoning process before this point to explain why materialism doesn’t really imply nihilism. But we all know better. The emperor is butt naked.
This is the position we’re at with liberalism. A truly consistent liberalism – the political philosophy that the final end of politics should be the maximization of human freedom – would ultimately have us all agreeing with Justice Anthony Kennedy:
At the heart of [political] liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
Of course, just like with materialism, this is both the only possible conclusion to reach and an utterly incoherent one that forces us to either accept that things can be true and false at the same time (impossible, in theory) or else reject liberalism. But most people don’t do this, choosing instead to place their belief in unprincipled exceptions in order to keep up the illusion that everybody else is doing their liberalism wrong. And if you disagree, what do you know.
You’re a religious bigot who believes in magical sky daddies You probably would be okay going back to, like, the Roman Empire or something, and can be safely ignored as crazy.
And so while everybody around us goes around merrily killing everybody who isn’t free like we are the conservatives are left squished outside of the Overton Window trying to figure out why everybody is just fiddling louder as Rome burns.