...so there it is. Four words. My only mantra, the only statement I can quote (since its anonymity isn't copyrighted) without a pang of reservation. All in all, it's safe.
Not a single philosophy/political party/ideology/religion exists to which I can subscribe. Not one. None of them have been able to sufficiently answer the majority of the questions I would ask it. Put through my own personal boot camp of logic and reason, none have passed, none measure up. If a philosophy can't withstand most of my questions, if its platform crumbles under my scrutiny, then I can't bring myself to "join" it. And so I find myself in a penumbra of cynical attrition.
Does this mean I've no conviction? Certainly not. Quite the opposite, actually. Cynicism is inaccurately adumbrated to nihilism, and although a cynic can be a nihilist, the two are not necessarily synonymous. The first definition in Webster's for cynic is, in fact: "an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence." The following two definitions characterize cynics as "fault-finding captious critics" and " people who "believe that human conduct is motivated by self-interest." Cynics love humanity and society, which is why we criticize it when we feel it isn't living up to its potential. Pound for pound, we cynics are optimists.
So why then, you may ask, do you follow secularism/atheism? Are those not philosophies?
Secularism and atheism are negatives, and in my opinion, a philosophy can't be built on a negative. Atheism (as I concede now from one of my previous posts) is simply a lack of belief. This isn't a philosophy, just the denial of an unproven assertion. A secularist is merely one who lacks religion. So, essentially, I don't "follow" these terms at all. I'm only bound to them for the purposes of taxonomy. A philosophy, even an individual one, at least suggests a code of conduct or a paradigm in which one conducts oneself. One consistently applies a philosophy to all issues, almost by rote. Since I don't do this, I must conclude that I've no philosophy. You may point out my aforementioned "boot camp" contradicts that statement, but since I even question my own approach to such things, I can dismiss that contest with impunity.
All of this is a follow up to my inquiries to you fine secularists about Randian Objectivism and the application of it by certain individuals. Objectivism is a perfect example of a philosophy that holds certain VERY logical tenets, but overall (I feel) is too Utopian and unrealistic to practically apply to the paradigm of human society. Ditto with all of the other philosophies; they've positive things to offer, but as a whole, I couldn't become a member, as they leave too many questions unanswered.
I know the comments will contest my lumping of religion and philosophy and ideology together, as well as my definition of philosophy itself, and I welcome them. I only ask that you do so respectfully.