Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lehi, Opposites, and Nihilism, 2 Nephi 2: 1-13

It occurred to me, while reading 2 Ne. 2: 1-13, that "opposition" here does not mean conflict between good and evil as much as it means "the existence of opposites" and the existence of meaning in reality at large.

I think this part of Lehi's instruction to Jacob is not a discussion of "how God set up the world" but, rather, a discourse on the very nature of reality, and, in  sum, how that relates to the reality of God.

Lehi's "God ceases to be God" and if "God is not then we are not" statement there reminded me of Nihilism.  It's been ages since I've read nihilistic literature, so I did a quick review and discovered that there are varieties of it.

So, in more modern philosophical jargon, this discourse of Lehi's would well fit into a discussion on the philosophies of  Nihilist Romanticism and Metaphysical Nihilism and how the adoption of those philosophies affect a person's life experience and disbelief in the idea or existence of God.

(Lehi does not address Fundamental Nihilism, but then  Nietzsche  pointed out Fundamental Nihilism's inherent inconsistencies that make it pretty impossible for anyone to put it into actual practice, so I'm not surprised.)

For further elucidation on the subject of Nihilist Romanticism, Metaphysical Nihilism, Nihilism as a form of religion and other variations on the theme, try this post written by a self-defined ethical skeptic.  (To find out what an ethical skeptic is, read through the contents of the right sidebar on the site--pretty interesting.)  And see if 2 Ne. seems to be related to that to you too.


BrieAnn Lund Johnson said...

You just wrote a post about Nihilism. Mostly. Two days ago, I recycled the Nihilist newsletter that had been sitting on my dresser for several weeks. It was given to me by a professor I worked with last semester; he was my introduction to Nihilism in real life rather than just theory. I think I remember telling you about him - that after a quick search to learn more about him, I'd seen WAY too much of him. While it's unlikely, I'm just sitting over here laughing at the thought that the same image may have popped up in your search, and that we could both be slightly traumatized for the rest of our lives because of it.

Mary Bliss said...

Ha. Very fortunately, I did not encounter that image in my search. :-)