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Nihilism, Provisional Existence, Forfeiture of meaning - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class July 27, 2011 Nihilism, Provisional Existence, and Forfeiture of Meaning Jackson's The Lottery and LeGuin's The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas reveal how people can choose to be evil, because they feel that this is justified and life has no meaning anyway…
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Nihilism, Provisional Existence, Forfeiture of meaning
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Nihilism, Provisional Existence, Forfeiture of meaning

Download file to see previous pages... The tribes of these stories are considered as nihilists, because they lack spiritual maturity and focus on the meaninglessness of life; they desire provisional existence, because they lack meaningful future goals and empathy for others; and they have forfeited spiritual meaning, since they have given up hope in changing their lives and enhancing their spiritual development. Tribalism affects nihilism by enforcing collective obedience to authority, thereby sacrificing their pursuit of spiritual maturity. The lottery is viewed as a joint ritual, where all people, young and old alike, participate in its processes and outcomes. People know how their prosperity is hinged on one human being's suffering every year, but they have looked away from their ritual's hideous process and result. Instead, they rationalize that the lottery is required for their existence, wealth, and continuity. Old Man Warner underscores that the lottery cannot be eliminated, like the other towns did, because “there's always been a lottery” (Jackson). He desires for the continuity of traditions. He further focuses on the benefits of the lottery: “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson). He fails to morally analyze this ritual that he has embraced, since he can participate in it. He stands for the moral stagnation of his tribe. In The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas, people assert that their happiness and development are products of one “child's abominable misery” (LeGuin). Without this child's suffering, the “prosperity and beauty and delight” (LeGuin) of Omelas will no longer exist. As a whole, these tribes follow the laws and conventions that enable them to enjoy a “good” life. The main problem here is that through blind obedience to authority, they are sacrificing their spiritual growth. By denying to embrace suffering as a whole and transferring it to a single person, they fail to accept their suffering and find meaning in it. But these tribes no longer believe that there is value in collective suffering. Instead, they would rather accept a person's suffering to replace their own. Nihilism, moreover, does not reflect on outcomes and Frankl rejects this kind of life: “We must not despise our lives and treat our lives as if they were of no consequence at all” (Breakthrough Writing “Man's Search”). These tribes, nevertheless, reject the consequences of their actions as meaningful. They simply accept their rituals as it is, because “it is.” Tribalism, furthermore, develops nihilism, because these tribes no longer regard the meaning of life. Frankl believes in the value of being “worthy” of one's “sufferings,” for it provides “spiritual freedom” that makes life worth living for (72). The people in The Lottery does not see any meaning in life, as demonstrated in how they exist each day for rudimentary needs. The men focus on materialistic affairs, while women are relegated to the domestic domain and follow gender-stereotyped roles: “...men began to gather, surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes...women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters...exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands” (Jackson). No one gives a second to reflect on the morality of their actions, because they are focused on their daily survival. Everyone treats this day as any ordinary day with a sense of “disenchantment of the world” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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