Might makes Right

The only basis for morality is by force. Morals, whether derived from logic or not, cannot be enforced without force. If a individual feels that murder is wrong, then that is his own morals, but that does not stop someone else from murdering. When a large enough group of individuals agrees that something is wrong, that morality is defined in a law. Legal morality is based upon the ideas of a majority of the society in which it is drafted. As that society changes, the morality of it changes. Moral stances are backed up by force and the threat of force rather than by reference to an absolute morality. An idea that something is wrong or right does not become an “universal” moral rule until it is backed up by the people that believe it, and enforced by those people. If the people who believe in a certain moral rule do not exist, then the moral rule or law ceases to exist. A moral rule is fully dependent on the people who believe it and enforce it. Might makes right.

Even if a God exists, how is the morals that God imposes on the universe any different from a mortal human being’s own moral beliefs? The only difference is that God is all-powerful, and a mortal is not, which again proves that might makes right.

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~ by The Existential Nihilist on April 16, 2011.

12 Responses to “Might makes Right”

  1. I’m doing a class project that is due on 04/26/11 I am trying to completely disagree with the following statement from a nihilists perspective. I have two questions I would greatly appreciate input on. The first being do agree or disagree with the statement, ” The ultimate goal of every human being is to establish and maintain an intimate relationship (sense of closeness) with another human being.”? Could you explain why you disagree or agree.

    Thank you,

    • I disagree, I don’t believe there is an ultimate goal for mankind at all, the only goals that exist are the goals that we make ourselves. But if you want me to address your question specifically, I can say that from a biological perspective, the reason why we like having intimate relationships with other human beings is because we would be making strong social bonds which aid our own survival (i.e. they are more likely to help you if you are being attacked by a bear). As primates we are social beings, and being able to maintain relationships with other humans is viewed as fundamental to our own nature and survival. Since the only reason we make intimate relationship with other human beings is to increase our survival, then having an intimate relationship is only a means of getting a bigger goal, and not the ultimate goal of every human being.

  2. It is disagreeable to state that the basis of morality is force because morality is not born of force. Morality comes from some apriori that a person feels is true. The basis for this apriori is experience. Therefore, it is difficult to see how a force inspires morality because in the absence of others where is this ‘force?’ If this force is God, then there is the dilemma; ‘If God is almighty, then can God make a rock which he cannot lift over his shoulders?’ There is also the fact that if individuals agree on the concept of a moral God, but do not agree on what ‘moral’ is; then there is no such thing as a moral God. Here’s an example of the aforementioned, assume two persons agree on a moral God, however, neither knows that one person defines morality on the basis that humans must not eat animals and the other person disagrees. Later upon searching for food–one seeks animals and the other vegetation–they argue and arrive at a contradiction that illustrates that morality is beyond God. Actually, Mormons believe that very notion–that morality is beyond God (which is nice to know).

    On another note, the post elucidates confusion about people coming together to form laws. People come together to guarantee each others security. It is obvious that this post is cries out social contract, yet it lacks any mention.

    People seek each others company because it is their genetic duty. As it happens humans are not biologically asexual (like bacteria cells), so they need some sort of interaction with others to preserve their genetics. It is a sad truth that one cannot go without courting a woman because doing what Jove does–rape–lands one in prison. Furthermore, it is ‘utilitarianism’ why humans seek company not just some fight against nature (Bears).

    To have any real argument one must define morality, relationships, intimacy, and the notion of rightness. One can criticize Bridgette’s prompt because it is too broad for pedagogical reasons (which is a construction of the instructor to get people to write).

  3. I am extremely glad to find another out there who so strongly delves into the thoughts of existential nihilism etc. to not be the only one is suprising to me, i thought the world to have finally come to an end filled of societal and material means after the death of all our once great writers (Camus, Sartre, Lovecraft etc)lets discuss some things?

  4. In lack of another way to contact you:

    I just wanted to tell you that I am deeply impressed by your blog and your philosophical views.

    I agree with almost everything.

    I have to say, I had a similar “enlightening” when I was 15/16. (I’m 22.)

    It all started with me reading “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse when I was 13 lol.

    Anyways, just wanted to show you my respect and tell you that I’d love to get into more “direct” contact with you.

    If you want, you can contact me on any of the social networking sites listed here:
    http://about.me/agmilky

    Oh, and I also used a few of your quotes and texts on my tumblr (crediting you ofc):
    http://nihilistdream.tumblr.com

    Keep up the good work!

  5. “might makes right” I believe Sherman or Grant said that when they marched south?

    I like what you said here. I ruminated on this subject for a period of time when I was in my early twenties, unsure if this is right or not. Now I just accept it as undeniable fact. There came a point when I realized the consideration of the rightness or wrongness of this observation is an absurdity (Russell’s Paradox can be extrapolated to this). Still, I don’t often like it.

    I also begin to think that there is something to the majority opinion whether it is right or wrong. That French guy wrote about the “tyranny of the majority” in “Democracy In America”; which has a negative connotation to it. Imagine instead of tyranny we view it as dominance in an ecological sense of the word. Right and wrong are no longer applicable. Outcome becomes more important and it is useful to view your future as an individual in terms of outcome (not that it isn’t useful to know whether something is factually right or wrong).

    I try not to limit my understanding of things by thinking of them in terms of dualities; A or B, right or wrong, true or false. It is oversimplification at it worst to think like this. Everything is dependent on a multiplicity of other things and the answer is often actually several answers at any one time. Existence is multiplicity.

    The thinking in this piece was very nice. Sometimes I imagine that I know and understand everything all at once and have the ability to create or void at will. I then think of this thing called mankind and wonder what purpose it may serve in my schema. As a whole it may exist for some reason (a kind of organism) and each individual might serve some purpose in the existence of the specie as an organism that serves some purpose as another part in another part of the whole of existence. In this way I realize that the worship of this creature that is an insignificant piece of a piece means nothing to me, let alone it’s beliefs.

    Being one of these insignificant creatures is something different. Things matter to me in a more relative sense to my individual existence. But, I do not waste my time believing or contemplating the idea of belief to the extent that it becomes important to me because if some god existed in some form or another it would not care if I worshiped or believed in it. If these kinds of things were important to it, it would be a small god, a petty god to care about these kinds of things and not worthy of my approbation.

    As another point, certain things are currently unknowable to us. They may always be so. I would say that any idea of god that is currently propagated on this lonely little planet is without proof or evidence beyond the superstitions of people thousands of years dead. With this in mind I would have to say that all the worlds religions are a bunch of shit mixed with ignorance in about equal proportions. As an environmental consideration I pay attention to them but I don’t credit them anything beyond that.

  6. Sorry for the double post please disregard my previous message…

    “I believe that from the act of embracing the basic scientific facts about our identity, (which NO rational intellect can deny without acting irrational,) can be deduced a certain set of let’s call it universally applicable morals for all intelligent, self-conscious beings.

    1. We are all mortal and fragile organic beings.
    2. We do NOT know what comes after death and that the possibility of eternal nothingness is overwhelmingly great.
    3. All living things have to suffer and are forced to participate in the struggle for existence.
    4. People like to pursue happiness and “higher ideals” to escape that truth and that leads to illusory, self centered thinking, which eventually leads to amoral behaviour.
    5. The suffering individual shows the ability for compassion which is a basis for morality.
    6. Society must stop to artificially conceal or cancel out the suffering that nature or man imposes on it in order to destroy that illusion.
    7. People must be confronted with the cold and hard facts about existence and as often as possible in order to experience catharsis, only then will they be able to truly realize their precarious situation we all are in and eventually begin to value the beauty of life.

    Now the above points are no rules per se, they are merely statements which were entirely derived from logical, deductive thinking – they don’t need to be imposed/enforced on or by any rational intellect because they are perfectly rational themselves – any intelligent person who deliberately refuses to acknowledge them must therefore be amoral.
    Of course this is a very vague description of morality and it offers no way of ensuring moral behaviour amongst all humans but it might be a good start for defining a universally valid moral codex for all intelligent beings.

    PS: The awareness and enlightenment that science and reason can give us about ourselves is highly underrated imho.”

  7. I totally agree with this concept. Nobody ever seems to mention this.

  8. It would be hard to adequately reply to any of the aforementioned comments and hence I will express a broad view of what has been said. The essence of my nihilistic beliefs are even more extreme than this inaccurate presumption that there is a concept of morals and that they can be assessed. Morals don’t exist and they do not not exist. The argument is thus that we must have a critical re-evaluation of even the concepts we mistakenly form. Thus this absurd nihilist is saying that reality isn’t reality as long as we keep making any statements about it. Morality comes in a subsection of what we think exists only because we perceive “reality”. Hence my argument is that why bother anything? We are naively adding to the social construct of society by expressing our judgements of it. Not belief and not not belief and even the negation of those is my position. And of course an obvious critique of this is that my “belief” is self-contradictory as it also passes a judgement which is ultimately subjective in nature. To this I would respond that even the critique is under the scrutiny of my “belief” and that self-contradictory is a logical (yet subjective) effort of thinking in defining any truths which in this case is the truth that my statement is null. To further extend my belief I would answer this question of humans relating in a relationship. The argument is again that having and not having a relationship is both “anti-complementary” and the notion of having a reltionship as not having one should be re-assessed. Perhaps for those that might be confused, here is a short summary of my belief: not and not not is equally inconsequential as not neither and not both. Think about it carefully. Thanks for those giving considerationto make sense of this. Any replies and even criticism are welcome and appreciated.

  9. I must apologise for the grammatical errors in my first post. Typed it in a bit of a rush.

  10. I like to read your posts because you are an intelligent sounding writer but for the life of me, I cannot decide if you seriously believe these things or if you are just playing catchy word games for the ignorant and you really like to read your own wit. I sincerely hope you don’t believe this naive drivle you write here. If you do then you need to do some reading. There are other basis for perspective, nihilism is full of inconsistencies, there are logical faults in your statements and denial of self is absurd (espesially for someone with so much pride).

  11. The narcissistic ramblings of a person with a inflated sense of self-worth, attempting to validate superiority above the general population by propagating flawed perspectives and pretentious ideologies. Riddle me this, as an existential nihilist, life has no point right? So get off the Internet and wait for your own death instead of polluting people with your narcissistic drivel.

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