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Lecture 1

PSCI 1200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Theism, Axiology, Immanence


Department
Political Science
Course Code
PSCI 1200
Professor
Randall Germain
Lecture
1

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Nihilist Worry 01/30/2014
The Nihilist Worry
Premise 1: if there’s a meaning of life, then there must be either a
transcendent (something in which our life is related to God) meaning of life
or an immanent (existing or cooperating with – attitudes, love etc) meaning
of life.
Premise 2: there’s no transcendent meaning of life
Premise 3: There is no immanent meaning of life.
Conclusion: There is no meaning of life.
Affirmationism: View that there is a meaning of life.
Nihilism: View that there is no meaning of life.
Transcendentalism: the view that there is a meaning of life because there
is a transcendent meaning of life.
Atheist: someone that believes in God.
Immanentism: the view that there is a meaning of life because there is an
immanent meaning of life.
Is there a meaning of life?
- Yes Affirmationism is there a transcendent meaning of life? Yes
Transcendentalism yes Immanentism
- No Nihilism
Arthur Schopenhauer – sufferings of the world
Pessimists, there’s nothing about human life. Which makes him a
Nihilist.
The problem of evil: the problem for those who believe in an
personal all-good, all-powerful, all knowing being, of reconciling the
supposed existence off such a being with the prevalence of evil in the world.
- If there was a god like this, then there should not be any trace of
evil in the world.
All goof? But there is evil.
All powerful? They have the ability to remove evil
All knowing? They have the knowledge and ways to remove evil.
Because there is no such thing as evil, there is no such thing as
god.
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Problem of evil
Arthur Schopenhauer – sufferings of the world
Pessimists, there’s nothing about human life. Which makes him a
Nihilist.
The problem of evil: the problem for those who believe in an
personal all-good, all-powerful, all knowing being, of reconciling the
supposed existence off such a being with the prevalence of evil in the world.
- If there was a god like this, then there should not be any trace of evil
in the world.
All goof? But there is evil.
All powerful? They have the ability to remove evil
All knowing? They have the knowledge and ways to remove evil.
Because there is no such thing as evil, there is no such thing as god.
Leibniz – Newton
Leibniz’s theodicy (p.51 in text)
Schopenhauer:
2 things that makes it impossible to believe its powerful
1: misery.
2: a man who is a burlesque of what he should be
Those are the two forms of evil
Moral evil and natural evil
Moral evil: evil committed by humans
Natural: not some individuals’ actions
The rejection of transcendent being of life = no evident
meaning of life.
Schopenhauer accepts premise 3, ends up accepting the conclusion
which makes him a Nihilist.
Reason for accepting it: get more out of life of what you don’t want.
Getting more out of life as you want as opposed of what you don’t
want.
Getting what you want is what you desire than frustration of our
desires.
Essence of pleasure/happiness is the satisfaction of our desires.
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