According to Nietzsche, nihilism is the radical repudiation of value, meaning, and desirability. It is the belief in the ultimate meaningless of life. For instance, what does it mean to negate meaning, and what does ‘meaning’ mean? That may sound not very easy, but it’s pretty easy to understand the basics. It is essential to know that a nihilist believes there aren’t any absolutes. There is no absolute meaning or purpose in life.
Life has a purpose which can be signified or explainedDavid Roochnik
According to David Roochnik, ‘meaning’ can mean different things. To signify or to intend or have a purpose. For life to have a sense, people need to identify themselves. Over decades humans have been craving the need for meaning. Where does this desire come from, and how did it originate?
The time one has left
If you make it to the age of 100, you will have 5200 weeks at your disposal. If you are 25 and die at 70, you only have 2340 weeks left. As it does sound like a lot of time, it is actually quite the opposite. After that, your physical body will start decomposing. That being said. After you die, every humiliation will be forgotten, none of your mistakes will matter, and every evil thing you ever did will vanish.
That is because the universe has existed for billions of years. All human life will eventually disappear, but most planets will stay and exist. Because there is essentially no purpose in life, we are free to do whatever we want and how we would love to fill in our time. We can enjoy so many different things around us while we are here. For instance, tasting delicious foods, discovering magnificent places, learning amazing things, and enjoying the company of your friend. We are the central organs of the universe by feeling and thinking.
Science is a Key Element in this Philosophy
The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more we see it’s meaningless. This thought is intended for the ears and consciences of our mechanists who nowadays like to pass as philosophers. They insist that mechanics is the doctrine of the first and last laws on which all existence must be based. For instance, the ground floor.
Try to picture yourself the value of music if we estimated its importance to how much of it could be counted, calculated, and signified in formulas. How ridiculous would such a ‘scientific’ estimation of music be? What would one have comprehended, understood, or grasped of it? Nothing, really nothing of what is ‘music’ in it.
Different types of Nihilism
Nihilism centers around objective meaning. For instance, the sense of value and truth meaning. When one accepts all, it is considered existentialism nihilism. There are a few noticeable aspects of this subject. Firstly, one denies purpose in life, and second, one denies all intrinsic to the universe of the world. Therefore, a nihilist would state that life is depressingly meaningless and absurd. Nietzsche himself was most interested in existential nihilism.
Life is limited and worthless. Feelings that you experience are the product of actions and choices that have already happened. For instance, an existential nihilistic person would say that our reality was constructed for us. Life, as we know, has been created without any reason or meaning. The destiny of a human is to wait for death each and every day because that is certain.
We are our choicesJean-Paul Sartre
This ideology states that everything is pointless. Not only life but also the universe and everything. All of this has no objective or holds no intrinsic value. Everything is meaningless, and there is an empty void inside us that we need to fill by distracting ourselves or finding love. This void, known as the nothingness, shows each individual as an isolated being tossed into an unknown and unresponsive universe. Humankind will never understand why they are invented to acquire meaning.
There are a few mentions about cosmic nihilism in the ancient books, but many of us are still confused whenever this is a thing. It is also known as cosmicism or cosmic horror. Personally, I think it is important to mention this. Still, in my life, I haven’t met even one individual who solely believed in cosmic nihilism.
Cosmicism declares that no helpful God is watching over humanity and that society and the individual are more petite than insignificant in the endless scheme of the cosmos, stretching out to infinity. Human beings are to the universe what an anthill is to humans, something of no concern or importance. Therefore, we are nearly unnoticeable and invisible compared to everything.
According to this study, nothing is morally good, bad, or wrong. This is because there are no moral truths. Moral nihilism basically rejects ethical claims because they are generally false.
Epistemological nihilism is a form of skepticism in with all knowledge is considered untrue or unknown. Knowledge is what lies in the overlapping center of truth and belief. This is because people value certainty.
- Truth (Objectivism)
- Belief (subjectivism)
This can be divided into two different aspects: academic skepticism, that knowledge of the world is impossible to comprehend for us humans, and Pyrrhonian skepticism, which questions if knowledge is possible by doubting everything.
The History of Nihilism
Nietzsche suggests that the feeling of pessimism is the root of nihilism. This phenomenon originates way back to the beginning of life. This pessimism towards the meaning of life can be seen in many ancient writings and poetry.
The best for man was not to have been born and not to have seen the light of the sun. Once born, the second-best for him is to pass through the gates of death as rapidly as possible.
Theognis of Magara states that the most striking achievement of the Christian world picture is that it could enslave people, cripples, fools, the simple, and the all-powerful, and make them all confident superheroes. This is by simply taking a step backward from the world into another dimension of things: heaven. The meaning of life was Christianity.
Ivan Turgenev, a Russian author of the novel ‘Fathers and Sons’, introduced nihilism. In this novel, Turgenev stated the following: “Nihilist is a man who does not bow down before any authority, who does not take any principle on faith, whatever reverence that principle may be enshrined in.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (Knee-cha) was born in 1844. Nietzsche is well known for his large mustache and two thought-provoking statements:
- What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
- God is dead! And we have killed him.
Nietzsche was a profit of selbstüberwindung, known as self-overcoming, in the process of which an Übermensch great soul arises on their circumstances and difficulties to welcome whatever life fires at them. His teachings were all about how we can become who we really are.
Nietzsche came up with four aspects that we need to implement in order to live purely. Firstly, we need to own up against envy. There is nothing wrong with envy and we should not hide it. Therefore, we should use it as a guide to what we really want. secondly, one shouldn’t be a Christian.
There have been two great narcotics in European civilisation: Christianity and alcohol.Friedrich Nietzsche
Thirdly, never drink alcohol. Nietzsche himself drank only water and occasionally some milk. He descended both Christianity and alcohol for the same reason: both of them numb pain. Nietzsche stated the following: “How little you know of human happiness, you comfortable people. The secret of a fulfilled life is; live dangerously!”. Lastly, god is dead. We killed him.
If you want to know more about how you can beat your SWS, see this article: ‘Sine Wave Syndrome‘. above is a summary of all different types of philosophies if you want to learn all about them. Knowing all kinds of philosophy may aid you to enhance your ability to solve problems, can help you to improve your communication skill, persuasive powers, and writing skills. Knowing different ways of thinking helps you to relate to something in your life which provides you some sort of clarity that will make you feel better overall.