I wanted to invite you all to realize the utter seriousness of the nihilist position. Without any objective standards, the self is completely free to create its own moral standards. When I was an atheist, I also used drugs and had an extremely dangerous socialist lifestyle. I was a nihilist who thought it was ok to drive stoned and sell LSD. This lifestyle almost killed me as I started doing heroin, believing that it was ok to abuse my body that way.
Keeping my testimony in mind, my argument is as follows:
1. The presumption of morality follows from its utter seriousness and from an intuitive knowledge of morality. People assume that there is an objective moral standard when they reason about morality. This is wisdom. If people do not accept some sort of moral standard, they will die. The value of human life is always presupposed in this way. This is an act of faith, to presuppose the value of human life. It is a type of metaphysical reasoning about the end and nature of human life.
2. Presupposing the value of human life requires some sort of metaphysical underpinning. What makes human life valuable, more valuable than molecules of carbon? THIS MUST BE SOUGHT OUT IF PEOPLE ARE TO REMAIN INTELLECTUALLY HONEST.
If we realize that we presuppose the value of human life when we talk about ethics, the task of learning has to be recovering what is the nature of that presupposition. Most cultures and societies have believed that life is sacred because it is made that way by God. As soon as this point is reached, we realize that once we presuppose the value of life we should inquire of that and try to make sense of it. What in our thinking is most important for us to hold on to, our beliefs about atheism or our value we put on human life. Nihilism naturally flows out of the atheist worldview. We must seek to understand why we value life and we we hold to a standard of moral even as our intellectual understanding denies this.
Atheism entails nihilism. If we are consistent in our philosophy, we must make it a first priority in our thinking to try to understand how we can intuitively perceive a system of objective morality that is in conflict with our thinking. If we fail to do this we will live in cognitive dissonance and intellectual dishonest.
What we do in the end with our lives will remain to presuppose objective morality, even if we cannot defend it. This is wisdom, even for the most staunch atheist (I don't want any of you to go through what I did). Please, don't stop presupposing objective morality, I don't want any of you to die. But you are being philosophically inconsistent when you do.
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