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Are you a Nihilist?

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posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 08:15 AM

Nihilism (play /ˈnaɪ.ɨlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ɨlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.


There are different forms of Nihilism, but for this discussion I will focus on Existential Nihilism, which can be defined as follows:

Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory 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. According to the theory, each individual is an isolated being "thrown" into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning.[1] The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create his or her own subjective "meaning" or "purpose".



In my opinion, it is the more specifically we define our existence that tends to bring us the most meaning; the less specifically we define our existence, the less meaning we seem to derive.

Those that describe themselves as Nihilists often look upon their existence from an extremely objective and abstract interpretation. The more "external" they are to the reality around them, the more distance they can put between themselves and any type of purpose or meaning in their lives. This comes at a cost to the personal relationships they happen to share with other people and animals. While those relationships themselves might be meaningless, on planet Earth they do maintain some importance to those that know the individual.

I believe that everything in Life is relative to the variables that surround it. Your Life might lack universal significance, purpose and meaning, but it maintains relative significance, purpose and meaning.

Is that enough reason to care? You be the judge.
edit on 17/10/2012 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

When we arrived in life we found that it was filled with human follies of behaviour. The abstraction and indifference provided a pragmatic method of adjustment to the mind to allow the going along with it.

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 08:32 AM
if i have to act like the 'nihilists' in the movie the big labowski,then forget about it!!!

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 09:05 AM
No not at all.

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 09:37 AM
Yes, I am absolutely a nihilist.

Nietzsche helped with that.

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 09:50 AM
Certain branches of Protestantism are predicated on a concept called Total or Absolute depravity, which basically denies the possibilty of altruism in man, proposing instead that everything man does is an act of selfishness and that we can only hope and pray for the mercy and forgiveness of a god figure.

This to me is similar to Nihilism, but for the god aspect, which of course has yet to be proved to be real. Take away the faith in God and you have a nihilistic outlook.

The sometimes proffered notion that a nihilist believes in nothing is a paradox to me. I personally don't believe in nothing. That wasn't a grammatic error. I don't believe in nothing."Nothing" cannot exist, if it did, it would be something.

If you had a space filled with nothing, what would be the dimensions of said space. Most people actually believe in the concept of nothingess. Moreover the word nothing is used like a noun, as though it was something. we even attempt to quantify nothingness and use it as a scale. But if asked to give a practical demonstration of nothingness, explaining its characteristics and behaviours, nobody can,

My guess is that a nihilist believes in everything that can be proved but just doesn't like most of it it. It is perhaps a state of mind brought on from being a despairing Atheist instead of a functioning one
edit on 17-10-2012 by blah yada because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by AlexanderTurboLover

Nietzsche wasn't a nihilist himself. He diagnosed modernity, Christianity and idealists to be nihilistic. Nietzsche was one the few who wasn't a nihilist.

ETA: I used to be a nihilist, but no longer.

Thanks for the write up Ghost.

edit on 17-10-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 12:52 PM
If you start with something, then you can see that there is also nothing - if you start with nothing, then even the slightest something is so overwhelming and beautiful that you forget that you weren't really anything at all.

posted on Nov, 2 2012 @ 09:46 PM
I used to consider myself a nihilist. I felt that nothing had intrinsic value and that value was derived merely from the meaning we give to things. That all social conventions were contrived and meaningless. That nothing was "normal", things just were. Master-Slave morality led me down this road coupled with some Buddhist ideas. It is actually a fairly defensible philosophical position to be in. However I think it is an idea for young people who want to rebel against social norms.

I don't have children but it is hard to imagine having children,having a wife or something of that magnitude and remaining a nihilist. That said aside from the irony of using this moniker I no longer ascribe to that view.

I think people have been indoctrinated to become nihilistic through the use of humor and irony. What the youth today consider funny skirts this playing with social conventions. Imagine a T.V. show where a character runs up to a mother carrying a baby. They knock the baby to the ground and pants the mother with a quick one liner and then bail kind of in a jackass kind of vein. Its immature to find humor in the harm of a child imagined or not but through this type of exposure you are in effect desensitizing or even destroying a persons perceptions of right and wrong gradually and replacing it with a kind of moral relativism I suppose.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:12 PM
Darkness - Life doesn't mean anything, just enjoy and take, take, take..., or make your own reason of life and do, take, have whatever you want.

Light - The purpose of life is to be fully aligned with light , to give as the light does helping others.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 12:56 PM
I Am what I Am, people who categorized them selves in a belief system are ridiculous.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 01:07 PM
I will not claim to have any belief on anything, but I will indicate ideas that I think might be possible, or just "feel" correct... or a mix of both of those.

I do identify somewhat with nihilism...existential nihilism... but not totally within any particular description. The whole "thrown" concept, for example- has never hit any notes for me inside. It sounds too...violent?

BUT I do suspect there is no intrinsic value or meaning to anything or anyone, outside of that which we give it.
That does not mean that I choose to try to keep this outside or objective view. I choose to jump in the game and play it!

I have my own values and meaning I attach to things. I also take part in collective values and meanings.

I think it is the meanings and values we place upon things which determine and influence the experiences we shall have.

.. and we shall, each of us, experience. If we try to stay objective, then we shall just be letting others determine our experiences for us then. I personally like to play a part in the eternal creating!

edit on 3-11-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 03:51 PM
I don't know the purpose of life, maybe it's all an accident or maybe it all ment to be this way, I don't know.
I just don't know.

I try to search for answers science and meditation, hopefully one day get in contact with beings or entities with answers.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 04:03 PM

Originally posted by SparkOfSparks6
I Am what I Am, people who categorized them selves in a belief system are ridiculous.

It's not ridiculous at all. It is the easiest way to let people know of your perspectives opinions and if they happen to change over time then just get a new label.

If someone is a Christian or Hindu or Taoist these are big different perspectives of the world which will influence their lifestyle/choices.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 04:19 PM
Short answer yes. Long answer am I anything at all I'm not so sure. Lately I think I've ceased to exist entirely.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 08:10 PM
Well nihilism is rather bleak at times so I think anyone who adheres to it either moves to a hedonistic/epicurian/materialist type view over time unless you are able to make meaning of your life.

Intrinsic value though would be axiomatic so you either have nihilism or not. The dangers of nihilism are the fact that society places limits sometimes for our own good sometimes not but someone who truly adheres to a nihilistic world view is believed to be headed for their demise.

In a world where nothing matters or has any value we would be overrun by criminals. Could you even call it crime in a world with no value or individual rights when it comes to person or property.

On the political end nihilist seem to be the ones who want to escalate conflict for the sake of conflict and destruction. They have nothing holding them back and the lack of values causes resentment and contempt for any organized system. I think some of us on here are guilty of feeling this way at one time or another however this derives more from frustration than a true desire to see an end to everything I feel.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 11:42 PM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

dude, that was really good! I needed that. I tend to view the world VERY objectively,so much so, that I have only recently started to notice that my personal relationships are suffering.

posted on Nov, 3 2012 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by NihilistSanta

very true it can almost make one want to puke when you see it happening to youth.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:26 AM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

This is from wiki about Nihilism:

Jean-Paul Sartre, author of Being and Nothingness, wrote in his essay Existentialism is a Humanism, "What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself." Here it is made clear what is meant by Existentialists when they say meaning is "a consequence of engagement and commitment".

The theory purports to describe the human situation to create a life outlook and create meaning, which has been summarized as, "Strut, fret, and delude ourselves as we may, our lives are of no significance, and it is futile to seek or to affirm meaning where none can be found."[3] Existential nihilists claim that, to be honest, one must face the absurdity of existence, that he/she will eventually die, and that both religion and metaphysics are simply results of the fear of death.[2]

According to Donald A. Crosby, "There is no justification for life, but also no reason not to live. Those who claim to find meaning in their lives are either dishonest or deluded. In either case, they fail to face up to the harsh reality of the human situation".[3

It states that you are born as 'nothing' and that you frame and label yourself as a 'something' but that 'something' is a delusion.
When you have believed yourself to be a 'something' you will see lots of 'other somethings'.
Really - there is nothing.
edit on 4-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

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