Nihilistic Liberalism

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.

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7 Responses to Nihilistic Liberalism

  1. Randy P. says:

    “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.”

    Ted Bundy was a forward thinker, it seems.

  2. John says:

    So if I understand this correctly, in the end the logical conclusion of liberalism is Pure Anarchy, right?

    Pure Anarchy in the sense of being pure chaos and no rules and an everything-is-allowed state of affairs that will lead to the end of civilisation and crime and murder and all that other bad stuff.

    Because if that’s the case, then…well.. that just blows my mind.

    And also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the full rejection of liberalism lead to a denial of freedom fo speech and a criminalisation of things such as masturbation or sodomy?

    At least that’s what I’ve heard so far from some sources, but I’m not really sure about those things logically following.

    • So if I understand this correctly, in the end the logical conclusion of liberalism is Pure Anarchy, right?

      The ultimate liberal utopia would be one man sitting on a patch of land alone, no constraints and no one to tell him what to do. A man finally completely free and completely equal.

      Pure Anarchy in the sense of being pure chaos and no rules and an everything-is-allowed state of affairs that will lead to the end of civilisation and crime and murder and all that other bad stuff.

      Well, it already leads to mass murder, as we have seen, in the Greatest Country in the World, no less.

      And also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the full rejection of liberalism lead to a denial of freedom fo speech and a criminalisation of things such as masturbation or sodomy?

      Freedom of speech doesn’t exist anyway. As for the criminilisation of masturbation and sodomy, it COULD mean that, but not necessarily. Of course, even in the liberal United States, up until the silly right to privacy was established in Griswold v. Connecticut, we could have made both of those things illegal at any time.

      • John says:

        ”up until the silly right to privacy was established in Griswold v. Connecticut, we could have made both of those things illegal at any time.”

        Interesting.

        If we wanted to, as a consequence of the rejection of liberalism, make private actions like masturbation illegal, then doesn’t that entail mass surveillance and a complete erosion of any and all privacy then?

        Wouldn’t that also lead to Western individualist societies becoming collectivist ones, similar to the Middle East, or worse, Eastern Asia?

        Where any actions are inspected and spied upon by your very neighbours and other people as a social check to keep people at bay?

        Kinda like Orwell’s 1984 dystopia?

      • If we wanted to, as a consequence of the rejection of liberalism…

        1) It’s not a consequence of the rejection of liberalism. Contraception was VOTED illegal by the states.

        2) Even if it was, this does not imply a mass surveillance state. It implies not promoting masturbation in children’s sex ed textbooks, for one, and not talking about all that masturbation you do in comedies and sitcoms.

        Why are you worried about a mass surveillance state in a society that rejects liberalism when we essentially have a mass surveillance state in a society that HAS it?

  3. John says:

    ”1) It’s not a consequence of the rejection of liberalism. Contraception was VOTED illegal by the states.”

    I concede that.

    But I was thinking that things would be made illegal by judicial fiat rather than democratic vote, and that we would have to punish people who masturbate, but I guess that solves the problem.

    ”Why are you worried about a mass surveillance state in a society that rejects liberalism when we essentially have a mass surveillance state in a society that HAS it?”

    I was talking about how if we make things illegal we would also have to punish people and deter such actions, and the only way a law like that could be implemented is via mass surveillance.

    And I was only refering to that case specifically because I am aware there is mass surveillance in liberal societies as well.

    • Hrodgar says:

      Plenty of things are made illegal without making an exhaustive attempt stop every instance of it. It is entirely reasonable to make something like masturbation and other forms of sodomy illegal but not put cameras in everybody’s homes or hire professional voyeurs or anything like that. I don’t expect that all that many folks would actually get convicted of it given how rarely charges would be brought and how difficult it would in many instances be to prove, but even very mild enforcement would likely serve to minimize boasting or joking about it, reduce the exposure of persons vulnerable to the temptation (such as 4th grade school kids), and so on and so forth.

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