Nihilism scares people. As a topic, it ruins conversation. As a concept, it wakes us up in the middle of the night. What if nothing means anything, and there is no inherent reason for us to have any values? What if language is deceptive, and truth does not exist? Slayer explored this dark place in our minds, and it is not surprising that the music of Slayer inspired the book Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity, written by Brett Stevens and released by Manticore Books.
The book delves into several topics that make "normal" people uncomfortable. The publisher describes it this way:
Most people see the world in binary categories. They believe that there is either an inherent moral good that we must all obey, or there are no rules and life is pointless anarchy. Nihilism argues for a middle path: we lack inherent order but are defined by our choices, which means that we must start making smarter choices by understanding the reality in which we live more than the human social reality which we have used to replace it in our minds.
Unlike the control-oriented systems of thought that form the basis of contemporary society, nihilism reverts the crux of moral thinking to the relationship between the individual and the effects of that individualís actions in reality. From this, a new range of choice expands, including the decision to affirm religious and moral truth as superior methods of Darwinistic adaptation to the question of human survival, which necessarily includes civilization.
According to the author, the pieces written in this book were inspired by Slayer. "Long walks in the wilderness created the raw material, but then I went home and blasted it out on the keyboard while listening to Slayer by candlelight," said Stevens. "The raw energy and feral, atavistic primitivism of Slayer matches the type of warlike spirit needed to peer into this abyss."
Stevens claims that the best Slayer album for writing is South of Heaven, but that his own listening took a different path. "For most of these pieces, I listened to Slayer bootlegs for the really organic feel they instill," he said. "But there were also lots of spins of the first two albums and EP, just because those always make me want to tear the world apart and then rebuild it."
No word on whether any computer keyboards were sacrificed in the making of this book.
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