Comments on “The appeal of eternalism”


Eternalism reliefs death-anxiety

If there is a Cosmic Plan – if I’m part of a greater whole (monism) – I’m not afraid to die.

Reminds me of this quote:

“Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”

― Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

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This page introduces a section containing the following pages:

  • The promise of certainty

    What we want most from meaning is guarantees. Religions, political ideologies, and other eternalist systems promise certainty; but they cannot deliver.

  • The illusion of understanding

    It’s deluded to think we mostly understand issues of meaning (ethics, purpose, value, politics). Ideologies deliberately create and sustain that illusion.

  • The fantasy of control

    Eternalism promises complete control over life—but that is an impossible fantasy. Influence through collaboration and improvisation are possible, however.

  • The wheel of fortune

    Eternalism promises answers about good and bad—the meanings we care about most—but cannot deliver.

  • Eternalism as the only salvation from nihilism

    Eternalism's final promise is to keep nihilism at bay. There is a better alternative to both!

This page is in the section Eternalism: the fixation of meaning,
      which is in Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The previous page is ⚒︎ No cosmic plan.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book. Start with an appetizer, or the table of contents. Its “metablog” includes additional essays that are not part of the book.

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The book is a work in progress; pages marked ⚒︎ are under construction.