Buddhism and Nihilism


I’m a bit confused as to what they mean by this. Looking at the segment on Buddhism, it does sound like nihilism. But then again I don’t think I can fathom what such a state might be like. I mean I don’t think it’s indescribable, and I’m not sure what they mean by born again.

Unless you’re a complete psychopath, you have empathy, which makes the first two points (-Giving produces no beneficial results, -Good and bad actions produce no results), false. You do good because it makes you feel good to make others feel good. And doing bad things makes you feel bad, so you avoid doing bad things. Both those first points are refuted many times every day by every person who isn’t a psychopath (which is the most people).

The last two points (-After death, beings are not reborn into the present world or into another world, -There is no one in the world who, through direct knowledge, can confirm that beings are reborn into this world or into another world) are simply true statements that aren’t nearly as cool as they seem. They might as well make 21+21=42 the fifth point, if they’re just going to state basic facts.

Pay attention to your life to see what’s real, and stop looking for others to tell you what to do. It’s trivially easy to refute most of the bunk you post, so take a stab at doing it yourself.

Not sure why you want to “fathom” such a state. It’s pretty clearly saying here that those who think is true won’t come to any good ends.

The Buddha then states that those who hold these views will not see the danger in misconduct and the blessings in good conduct and will, therefore, avoid good bodily, verbal and mental conduct; practicing misconduct instead
The worst thing that my culture passed on to me is the idea that there is some answer out there, that there is some book or person or philosophy that if followed would result in my best life. There is no such thing. There are things like "don't press your hand onto a hot stove" and "don't step on someone's toes". You can build an ethical system starting there.


Well there was the segment underneath it that was talking about the state I meant. That’s sort of what I meant by can’t fathom. Buddha explains why it’s not nihilism, yet it still seems like it from what he says.

And when I answer that, will you say it’s something else that you meant?

Be careful of the theology box that you buy. Or in Xian’s case, be careful of wasting your time trying to find one that fits.

Not really. It’s more like how Buddhism says that it’s not nihilism because it says there isn’t a “self” that it destroys. But the segment about nirvana doesn’t help their case, and also there were some in the Zen tradition that argue value is imaginary and not real so nothing is “worth it” (which sounds exactly like nihilism).

Don’t waste your life ‘pondering’ each tiny detail of every philosophy you dig up. Any philosophy you choose to live by will have to be acceptable to you, so you already have what you’re looking for in your head.

Sit down and write out exactly what you think the perfect philosophy of life should say. Make it as detailed and comprehensive as you like. Then do not go to the internet and look for one that is close to it, rather, turn your computer off and live according to what you wrote!

Here’s a starting point…

Xian’s Philosophy of Life

  • Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
  • Think of future generations when making decisions.
  • Be grateful for what you have.
  • If you can't change it, don't worry about it.
  • If you can change it and it needs changing, change it.
  • Have fun.
  • Eat right and stay fit.
  • Have cheat days regarding the last point.
  • [add more points and/or change the points above.]
There is no need to look anywhere else for your philosophy of life once you've written your own. You can look around for new ideas to add or modify yours, but at least you'll have yours.

Well actually this helped me out a little:



But you are kind of wrong there Rat, the point here is getting at what is the truth not what you want to live by. In the case of Buddhism it’s about who you really are or your true nature. That you are not your thoughts or desires but something more.

It’s also sort of compounded by the Heart Sutra which seems pretty nihilistic on it’s own, saying that our thoughts, emotions, and desires, etc are invalid.


None of it has any bearing whatsoever on how you act. You determine every action you make. Stop looking for something that you already know. Turn off the computer and just do what you think is right.



None of it has any bearing whatsoever on how you act. You determine every action you make. Stop looking for something that you already know. Turn off the computer and just do what you think is right.

Except that’s not what it’s about at all, it’s about getting at the truth and not what makes you feel better. Like the link (and the article says, though I tried to stay away from much of it since I already have a problem with Buddhism and I don’t need something saying it will rewrite everything in my head), says it gets at the heart of the truth of reality. It says that our thoughts, emotions, etc are invalid and don’t exist in the way we think they do. How am I supposed to live normally knowing that.

It all has a bearing on how I act because the world I thought I knew to be “real” is more of an illusion (and I can’t really argue with Buddhism on it). Value, which I thought to be something real, it just something in my head, an imaginary metric that is used to judge the world. Who knows what else I take to be real but in reality isn’t. Thoughts? Emotions?

If I were to build a philosophy based on what is acceptable to me that would be confirmation bias and ignoring reality as it truly is.