I am an Axiological Atheist so I am Anti-Nihilist Atheism
Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and
especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value.
Axiological (good can be known or communicated and things have value)
Nihilism (value is baseless and nothing good can be known or communicated)
Axiological atheism: is a constructive Value centered ethics driven atheism which rejects the existence of gods in favor of a “higher absolute,” such as humanity and society. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to faith or god myths. Axiological or constructive atheism conveys messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness. Axiological or constructive atheism life meaning in humanity, ethics and values surpasses one of the most common criticisms of atheism that denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation or renders life meaningless and miserable. Axiological Atheism can be thought to involve ethical/value theory reasoned and moral argument driven atheism, anti-theism, anti-religionism, ignosticism, apatheism, secularism, and humanism. Axiological Atheist, can be understood as a value theory or value science Atheist. As such axiological atheism’s ethically reasoning is constructive and pro-humanity. We who believe we are thinking rational, leading to opposition or hate of religion may that be limited to the nonfactual or oppressive ideology and not the people. Beyond just not being something lets be something, rational thinking should challenge myths but also prove our love for humanity and care for all living beings. In most cases, Axiological atheism would assert the traditional concept of “Atheism” answers only a single question: Is there a creator god or not? That is an important question, but if your answer is “no”, it is only a starting point and not a way of life. You may have reached that viewpoint based on your respect for logic, evidence, science,and personal experience which too are vital values. Yet, after you have reached that initial “no god” answer, all the other important questions in life, all the options for mental and emotional wholeness and social and environmental harmony, ethics and morality, personal fulfillment, social values, philosophy and psychology remain open. That is where “Axiological Atheism” holds a connection to both further challenging the god concept and devaluing religion and adding a value meaning and ethical axiological ideology to guide universally desirable secular ethical way of being or a value driven life lived in this reality. What is Axiology, Formal Axiology & Axiological Profiling? Axiology is the name for “value theory.” It is derived from the Greek word “axios” meaning “worth.” Formal axiology is the logic-based science of value anchored in a “hierarchy of meaning” from the most meaningful or richest value to the most destructive or greatest value loss. The logic specifies 18 different levels of richness. Hartman’s “hierarchy of value” is the mathematical measuring standard for human evaluative judgment and decision-making in life and in all social sectors of life in our culture. When people make value judgments, they use both their mental and emotional capacities to arrive at their decision. Some people have very solid and reliable decision-making abilities – while others routinely make wrong or inaccurate choices. Axiological profiles measure the quality of the respondent’s judgment and decision-making by gauging both their mental clarity and their emotional orientation & conditioning. Dr. Leon Pomeroy in his book, The New Science of Axiological Psychology (Pomeroy, 2005), has shown that formal axiology is also empirically valid. Thus, in our axiological assessment profiles we have the solid support of both scientific methods: the deductive logic-based axiomatic method and the inductive, empirical method. Dr. Pomeroy spent over 20 years collecting statistical data for his book cross-nationally, from numerous and diverse eastern and western countries and cultures, and proving that cultures all over the world make value judgments in the same way. Neuro‐Axiology: merges Neuroscience understanding how the brain works with Axiology’s formal science that makes possible the objective measurement of value how humans make value judgments. (You will ALWAYS choose what you think adds the MOST value to your life.) Accepting the standard of neuroscientific model of consciousness means that everything we think, feel, remember, and do is a function of the brain. This includes the emotion of empathy. We are not empathic because it makes sense to be empathic – meaning that most humans don’t simply reason their way to empathy. Nor do we simply learn empathy (although brain development is an interactive process with the environment, so we can’t rule out environmental influences). For the most part, we have empathy because our brains are wired with empathy as a specific function. Like every function of the body you can think of, if it is not essential for survival than some subset of the human population likely has a disorder or even absence of this function. We recognize the biological limits of empathy or absence of empathy as the disorder, psychopathy. It is estimated that about 1% of the general population are psychopaths, while about 20-30% of the US prison population. Dr. Robert S. Hartman discovered that people hold back a 40% latent reserve of cooperation and productivity until they have been valued as human beings. Axiology is the science of how humans value and make value judgments as well as how they relate to ethics (not moral values often religious or culture relative). The basics of Axiology are in its 3 Classes of Value and 6 “Advisors”. The following are the Classes of Value: 1. Systemic: plans, rules, best practices, procedures; ideas or expectations 2. Extrinsic: practical or situational; measurable, tracked; tasks (tangible) 3. Intrinsic: personal or transcendent; infinitely valuable; irreplaceable; human beings (intangibles). The following are the 6 Advisors which consist of 2 views of one inward and one outward and one must remember people are neither their thoughts nor their advisors. 1. World View: Empathy-Intuition “people”, Practical Judgment “tasks, & Systems Thinking “plans & ideas” 2. Self View: Self-Esteem “who you are”, Role Awareness “what you do,” & Self Direction “where you go”. The word “Axiological” (to the term “Axiological atheism” is meant to denote an atheistic “Value” rejection of the existence of gods or supreme beings and in favor of a “higher absolute” such as humanity or universal ethical principles. The perception of moral obligation removed from ethical sensitivity to universal justice [is] thus unintelligible as “higher absolute”. As a form of atheism, Axiological favors humanity as the absolute source of holistic ethics and care values which permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to a god’s moral obligation which is anti-humanity and not needing to connect to equal justice. Axiological Atheism can be seen as ethically reasoned antitheism and antireligionism where it is all about axiology values that underlie the universal truths. A few examples of universal truths such as there is no such thing as just rape, no honorable thoughtful unwanted torture, and no just humanistic caring abuse of the innocent. You can offer excuses but the true values violations hold true. Axiologists are broadly concerned with all forms of value including aesthetic values, ethical values, and epistemic values. In a narrow sense, axiologists are concerned with what is intrinsically valuable or worthwhile—what is desirable for its own sake. All axiological issues are necessarily connected to ontological and epistemological assumptions. Axiology in Axiological Atheism can be seen as applying science of morality, referring to its ethically naturalistic views basing morality on rational and empirical consideration of the natural world. The idea of a science of morality has been explored by writers like Joseph Daleiden in The Science of Morality: The Individual, Community, and Future Generations or more recently by neuroscientist Sam Harris in the 2010 book The Moral Landscape. Harris’ science of morality suggests that scientists using empirical knowledge, especially neuropsychology and metaphysical naturalism, in combination with axiomatic values as “first principles”, would be able to outline a universal basis for morality. Harris and Daleiden chiefly argue that society should consider normative ethics to be a domain of science whose purpose amounts to the pursuit of flourishing (well-being). “Science” should not be so narrowly defined as to exclude important roles for any academic disciplines which base their conclusions on the weight of empirical evidence. The term “science of morality” is also sometimes used for the description of moral systems in different cultures or species. The axiological movement emerges from the phenomenological method. The axiologists sought to characterize the notion of value in general, of which moral value is only one species. They argue against Kant, that goodness does not exclusively derive from the will, but exists in objective hierarchies. They emphasize the extent to which it is through emotions and feelings that human beings discern values. The notion of right action is understood derivatively in terms of the values which emotions reveal. Evolutionary psychology seems to offer an account of the evolution of our “moral sense” (conscience) that dispenses with any reference to objective values. It’s apparent elimination of objective values on the grounds of their being unneeded in explanation has led the skeptical writings of J.L. Mackie and Michael Ruse. By contrast, Robert Nozick has resisted this interpretation of evolution (1981) arguing that an evolutionary account of the moral sense can no more dispense with values than an evolutionary account of perception can dispense with perceptual objects objectively present in the world. Axiologists in contemporary ethics are Platonists such as Iris Murdoch and Neo-Kantian theorists such as John Rawls and Robert Nozick. Tenets of Secular Ethics involve a width and diversity of their philosophical views, but secular ethicists generally share one or more principles: • Human beings, through their ability to empathize, are capable of determining ethical grounds. • Human beings, through logic and reason, are capable of deriving normative principles of behavior. • Human beings have the moral responsibility to ensure that societies and individuals act based on these ethical principles. • Societies should if at all possible, advance from a less ethical, less empathy, and unjust form to a more ethical, more empathy and just form. 1 2 3
Nihilistic atheism: judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning and “true morality” is unknown, and secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has no truth, and no action is known to be preferable to any other. Thus it is incompatible with religion or the concept of a god (won’t accept god, or a moral code based on belief in god) is for people to pursue their “will to power”. Nihilistic atheism presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or ontological/metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist. It is alleged that atheism necessarily leads to nihilism because atheism necessarily results in materialism, scientism, ethical relativism, and a sense of despair that must lead to feelings of suicide, but such claims are often but professed by those holding atheophobia beliefs. All of these tend to be basic characteristics of nihilistic philosophies. most atheists are not really nihilistic. However, atheism has long been closely associated with nihilism, this may be so whether or not particular atheists even deserve such an attached title, and may have been or still be done both for good and for bad reasons, but usually for bad reasons in the writings of critics of both.1 2
Roughly, axiology believes in some amount of objective value and meaning in life, the other nihilism on the other hand denies value especially objective value or most meaning in life thus the two are in a sense against each other.
Axiology, (from Greek axios, “worthy”; logos, “science”), also called Theory of Value, the philosophical study of goodness, or value, in the widest sense of these terms. Its significance lies (1) in the considerable expansion that it has given to the meaning of the term value and (2) in the unification that it has provided for the study of a variety of questions—economic, moral, aesthetic, and even logical.
Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Roughly, nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.
Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist. Existential nihilism argues that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong. Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes. As an example, if someone kills someone else, such a nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, or bad independently from our moral beliefs, because of the way morality is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy. What is said to be a bad thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good: as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the individual live, which was arbitrarily given a positive weighting. In this way a moral nihilist believes that all moral claims are void of any truth value.
As a believer in axiology as well as an axiologist, myself I find it hard to follow nihilistic argument about there being no objective value and then the nihilist believer wishes to use logic as a objective tool in their defense. If one has not objective value as it seems nihilism wishes to project, how is it not then hindered by this same belief, for to me if there can be no objective standard of value there can be no logical arguments possible when nihilism is in play. Furthermore, it would seem without a way to assess and establish an objective value you can’t even prove that what you the nihilistic arguer are arguing about is in any way meaningful.
Objective: Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
Logic: A particular system or codification of the principles of proof and inference. logic is necessarily true. A priori truths, like math, are objective.
However, some say they are proud to be a nihilist, but I have to wonder does pride have any meaning in a nihilism conception or is it just a valueless colloquialism? Or are you just expressing moral nihilism not universal nihilism?
Universal Nihilism can be thought of as the view that nothing exists. In order to say something can exist it must be able to be demonstrated to have the ability to exist for a certain amount of time by reason or evidence. In order to say that something cannot exist for no time at all by reason or a demonstration of evidence of absence, to say that it doesn’t exist at all. Square circles exist for no time at all from logical reasoning. Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. Not to be confused with Absence of evidence. In this regard Irving Copi who was a was an American philosopher, logician, and university textbook author writes:
“In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.”
Philosopher Steven Hales points out that if one’s standards of certainty leads them to say “there is never ‘proof’ of existence”, then they must also say that “there is never ‘proof’ of non-existence either”.
A negative value judgment (nihilism) is still a kind of value judgment (axiology). Therefore, to me it seems for nihilism try as it may to deny value, is actually affirming a belief in an objective negative value not a neutral or non-value position.
The RULES of logic are objective. So the crux of the problem for many philosophers is only some connection to induction can give them the roots they need to deduce.
Induction, though, is considered unreliable, since it is not “provable.” Therefore, philosophers talk about A Priori Knowledge. The most important piece of a priori knowledge they insist on is the rules of logic. In order for one to use deduction, one must have knowledge of the rules of logic. How does one gain knowledge of it? The answer is through induction. So, they have to come up with methods of pretending that the rules of logic are not dependent on some amount of induction. Which means it is not dependent on perception. Which means it is not dependent on reality.
Induction is the mental process of taking particular facts or instances and generalizing them to form new ideas. It is also called abstraction.
The “soundness” of an abstraction is measured by its adherence to reality. If someone thinks they can “breath underwater” the abstraction does not adhere to reality.
-If X is true.
-Then, X is true regardless of whether or the observer concludes X is true or X is false. X is true regardless of whether or not the observer has arrived at a conclusion. That is objective logic. Objective logic is the basis for how knowledge works. 1, 2
- Some significant questions in axiology include the following:
- Nature of value: is value a fulfillment of desire, a pleasure, a preference, a behavioral disposition, or simply a human interest of some kind?
- Criteria of value: de gustibus non (est) disputandum (i.e., (“there’s no accounting for tastes”) or do objective standards apply?
- Status of value: how are values related to (scientific) facts? What ultimate worth, if any, do human values have?
- Axiology is usually divided into two main parts.
- Ethics: the study of values in human behavior or the study of moral problems: e.g., (1) the rightness and wrongness of actions, (2) the kinds of things which are good or desirable, and (3) whether actions are blameworthy or praiseworthy.
- Consider this example analyzed by J. O. Urmson in his well-known essay, “Saints and Heroes”:”We may imagine a squad of soldiers to be practicing the throwing of live hand grenades; a grenade slips from the hand of one of them and rolls on the ground near the squad; one of them sacrifices his life by throwing himself on the grenade and protecting his comrades with his own body. It is quite unreasonable to suppose that such a man must be impelled by the sort of emotion that he might be impelled by if his best friend were in the squad.”
- Did the soldier who threw himself on the grenade do the right thing? If he did not cover the grenade, several soldiers might be injured or be killed. His action probably saved lives; certainly an action which saves lives is a morally correct action. One might even be inclined to conclude that saving lives is a duty. But if this were so, wouldn’t each of the soldiers have the moral obligation or duty to save his comrades? Would we thereby expect each of the soldiers to vie for the opportunity to cover the grenade?
- Æsthetics: the study of value in the arts or the inquiry into feelings, judgments, or standards of beauty and related concepts. Philosophy of art is concerned with judgments of sense, taste, and emotion.
- E.g., Is art an intellectual or representational activity? What would the realistic representations in pop art represent? Does art represent sensible objects or ideal objects?
- Is artistic value objective? Is it merely coincidental that many forms in architecture and painting seem to illustrate mathematical principles? Are there standards of taste?
- Is there a clear distinction between art and reality? Ref
- Ethics: the study of values in human behavior or the study of moral problems: e.g., (1) the rightness and wrongness of actions, (2) the kinds of things which are good or desirable, and (3) whether actions are blameworthy or praiseworthy.
What are values?
The question ‘what are values?’ is deceptively simple.
What are ‘values’ compared to concepts like ‘morals’, ‘ethics’, ‘principles’ or ‘beliefs’? These are abstract and philosophical concepts open to much debate. However, there are several generally acceptable definitions that have enough precision to provide schools with a common ground for exploring their approaches to values education. Values are the priorities individuals and society attach to certain beliefs, experiences, and objects in deciding how they shall live and what they shall treasure. (Hill, 2004) principles and fundamental convictions which act as general guides to behaviour, the standards by which particular actions are judged as good or desirable. (Halstead, Taylor and Taylor, 2000) Types of values Values as ‘principles and fundamental convictions’ are abstractions until they are applied in the contexts of daily life. Values are made real or ‘realised’ when their meaning is expressed through choices made and behaviours acted out. Emeritus Professor Brian Hill suggests that there are a number of values domains that derive from the contexts in which we live our lives and conduct our relationships. Most commonly, talk about values turns out to be talk about matters of morality. But the beliefs we live by, and the objects and activities we treasure, involve not only our moral approach to life but other interests and purposes which make for a rounded life, as illustrated in the diagram. For convenience, it is useful to speak of these various aspects as types or domains of value, ie areas of life in which we operate according to certain values that are appropriate to the activity in question. Our values are the selves we are becoming. There are many different ways of cutting the values cake, of course, so there is bound to be overlap in any categorisation. So talk about ‘domains of value’ is a convenience; not a fixed set of exclusive categories. Ref
These values domains are shown in the diagram:
Axiology is the theory of value or worth. It asks the question: what is good and bad? Axiology is made up of two sub-parts: ethics, which is the theory of the goodness or badness of human behavior, and aesthetics, which is the theory of the goodness or badness of visual appearance or audible sound (expressed in terms of beauty or ugliness). Ref
Naturalistic Ethics: For the Naturalist, the baseline of value is that which is natural – that is, that which is in conformity with nature. One need not look beyond nature (The biopsychosocial model ) to some immaterial ideal for a standard of right and wrong. Rather, goodness will be found by living in harmony with nature. Evil, for the Naturalist, is a departure from this natural norm either in the direction of excess or defect (i.e., having, or doing, too much or too little of something which is naturally good). Naturalistic Aesthetics: In seeking good appearance, or sound, the Naturalist will look to nature as the standard. Thus, for the Naturalist, art should imitate nature. If a Naturalist is painting a portrait of a person who has a facial scar, the Naturalist will paint the scar because reality includes imperfection. Ref
Pragmatic Ethics: Much that was said in the discussion above about pragmatic epistemology could also be said here about pragmatic ethics. The Pragmatist believes that value claims must be tested and proven in practice. In the Pragmatist’s view, things are value-neutral in themselves. There is nothing that is always good, nor is there anything that is always bad. The value of anything is determined solely in terms of its usefulness in achieving some end. In answer to the question, “Is that good?”, a Pragmatist would probably reply, “Good for what?” Thus, the Pragmatist believes that the end justifies the means. That is, if something is useful for achieving some end or goal, then it becomes good. To state this another way, a means gets its positive value from being an efficient route to the achievement of an end. Thus, a means is not valued for its own sake, but only in relation to its usefulness for achieving some end. Results or consequences are the ultimate measure of goodness for a Pragmatist, since the usefulness of a means to an end can only be judged after the fact by its effect on the end. Thus, for the Pragmatist, there can be no assurance that something is good…until it is tried. Even then, it is only held tentatively as good since a thing is good only as long as it continues to work. Evil, for the Pragmatist, is that which is counterproductive. It is (usually) a breaking of civil or criminal law. There can be a dispute about which means are more effective for achieving an end. Indeed, there can be a dispute about which ends should, in fact, be pursued. Thus, the Pragmatist looks for guidance from the group. The reasons for this are metaphysical: reality is experience, but it is the experience of the whole. For the Pragmatist, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This means that the whole is more valuable than any of its parts. In the field of value judgments, the group’s wisdom is more highly esteemed than the wisdom of any individual within the group. Pragmatic Aesthetics: In keeping with the Pragmatist value theory, there is no appearance or sound which is, in itself, good or bad. Appearances or sounds take their value from their relationships to group goals. Thus, in the realm of art, values will be determined by the majority view and in relation to the social benefit of the art in question. Ref
Existentialistic Ethics: As with knowledge, the individual must create his/her own value. There is no escape from the necessity of creating values. Just as the world is defined by the choices regarding knowledge that an individual makes, so the individual must express her/his own preferences. In making choices, or defining values, the individual becomes responsible for those choices. The individual cannot deflect praise or blame for those choices onto others. If the choices were freely made, then responsibility for them must be accepted. While heredity, environment, and society might influence what choices an individual makes, there is a zone of freedom within each individual that cannot be conditioned or predetermined. An Existentialist is not necessarily a non-conformist, but if an Existentialist conforms to the values of a group it will be because that person has freely chosen to do so – not because they have been pressured to do so by the group. Evil, for the Existentialist, is being false to self. It is a breaking of one’s personal law. Existentialistic Aesthetics: The question of what is good in appearance or sound will be determined, in Existentialist terms, solely by each individual. Value, like reality and truth, must be created by the person. It is not *found* preexisting, or determined by group concensus. Thus, how value is portrayed will be a matter of individual preference. What is good art for you may be bad art for me, and vice versa. Ref
Axiology “Goodness-for” questions/assertion: Judge assesses and value judges because of qualities in or lacking in the claim.
*Axiology (understanding what is good or valuable as well as what is evil or unvaluable like how the stories about theist theistic gods are often racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic intersexphobic, xenophobic, etc. Thus, they are directly against humanity and thus are evil and unvaluable. Unvaluable; as in the god concept you have is evil and demonstrably harmful and thus is highly unvaluable to humanity)
-Why are your objects of proposed value subjective psychological states or objective physiological external world states for your claim?
-Why do your purposed descriptive words fit qualities for valuation (such as “powerful”, “knowing”, and “present” in the Omnipotent: all-powerful, Omniscient: all-knowing, and Omnipresent: all-present god assertion) your claim?
-Why is your value-for, worth-for, and/or goodness-for claims different than other similar claims?
“what value do you think what you are saying has and to what level of proof do you feel truth needs as well as how do you insure Accuracy” (asking to find the truth or as usual expose the lack of a good Axiology)
Let me explain why as an axiological atheist (value theory atheist) even the belief in the concept of god is ethically vile to me. God belief is inherently immoral to me it is the belief that supports an all powerful being who willfully allows suffering, something that no ethical person would tolerate if they had the ability to do otherwise. Moreover, a common attribute of god belief is support of this claimed greater being of high intelligence and self will forcing its will and standards on other beings of high intelligence and self will. This force is unethical and abusive to the rights of humanity. Furthermore, many who subscribe to this force abusive relationship god claim an even more revolting ethical atrocity called hell where eternal horror and suffering is dished out by direct will of the claimed stronger immoral god being against the defenseless undeserving subjugated humanity. Thus, being one, who values rights and ethics, it sickens me to even speak of such willful misconduct of justice. Your god concept is vile… (axiology value judgment).
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