Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nihilistically Nihilistic Nihilism?

Richard Fernandez

Richard Fernandez, who used to write under the pseudonym "Wretchard the Cat," has an intriguing post on nihilism titled "The Seven Gambit" -- a post I became aware of via my maverick friend Bill Vallicella -- and Fernandez writes:
Nihilism isn't the absence of a belief. It is something subtly different: it is the belief in nothing. The most powerful weapon of terrorism is therefore the unyielding No. "No I will not give up. No I will not tell the truth. No I will not play fair. No I will not spare children. No I will not stop even if you surrender to me; I will not cease even if you give me everything you have, up to and including your children's lives. Nothing short of destroying me absolutely can make me stop. And therefore I will defeat you even if you kill me. Because I will make you pay the price in guilt for annihilating me." (italics mine)
Fernandez applies this analysis to militant Islamism, which -- I suppose he infers -- extrapolates from Allah as Absolute Will to Allah as Nihilistic Force, and perhaps that's the case, implicitly, though I doubt that even Islamists carry this point to its full nihilistic conclusion since they do have a political aim, the establishment of a Caliphate to dominate the world and enforce Islamic law.

But that nihilistic point accounts for a lot since militant Islamists seem capable of any atrocity in the name of Allah, as if Allah's hands were unbound by any moral principles . . .

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At 4:41 PM, Blogger Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Mr. Hodges,

I have been an avid reader of Mr. Fernandez for many years. He is both insightful and wide ranging in his writings. The comments on his site are consistently the best I have found on the web.


At 7:05 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

He is indeed insightful, and he has a life-history of varied experiences to draw upon for illustrating his points.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:22 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Frightening stuff.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, God as absolute will, ungrounded in a moral nature.

Jeffery Hodges

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