This Won't Make Sense
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on” – Samuel Beckett. Eternalism makes seductive promises: that you are loved, that right and wrong can be known for certain, that your suffering has meaning, that you have a special role in creation. But after being continuously disappointed, you start to realize these sweet lies are poison, for such grand promises cannot be kept (The Emotional Dynamics Of Nihilism). Discovering that you have been betrayed by eternalism, and have lost out on the promises it made, is a horrendous emotional blow. You slowly start to change.
You start to think a different way. Your opinions start to be more nihilistic. “God is dead. Nothing matters. All is meaningless.
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Nothing is true” (Marmsyz). These are the sorts of ‘commandments’ often associated with nihilism, the ‘belief’ that there is no meaning or value to life, so there’s no need to have goals. Moral values (life, honesty, freedom) and principles (kindness, loyalty) are disregarded (Ethical Nihilism). A nihilist literally stands for nothing. It’s root, nihil, means “nothing” or, if you want to split hairs, “that which does not exist.
” Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, is most often associated with nihilism. To him, there was no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it. He suffered from migraine without aura in his childhood, had a psychiatric illness with depression, was sent to a mental asylum when he saw a horse being beaten up, and finally ended up in a profound dementia with stroke (Wolters), so we can’t really know if he is a reliable source. Nihilism is most often classified into Epistemological nihilism, which denies the possibility of knowledge and truth, and is linked to extreme skepticism, Political nihilism advocating the prior destruction of all existing political, social, and religious orders as a prerequisite for any future improvement, Existential nihilism, the most well-known view, affirms that life has no intrinsic meaning or value, Ethical nihilism (moral nihilism), which rejects the possibility of absolute moral or ethical values – good and evil are vague, and related values are simply the result of social and emotional pressures (Nihilism). As previously mentioned, Ethical nihilism denies moral principles and ethical values.
It can be seen as an atheistic, materialistic religion. Human beings are not seen as responsible for what they do, therefore, each individual makes up the difference between good and evil. Since the nihilist denies possessing free will, the ethical nihilist can neither be praised nor blamed for his good or evil behavior. Moreover, ethical nihilism suggests that an individual needs to breathe if he wants to survive, he needs to trust people if he wants to be trusted; therefore, morality is subjective and self-determined. They don’t deny that people can have their own moral values, but they do deny the existence of universal moral values (Slick).
Here’s where it gets tricky. A moral nihilist, like any other normal human being, would say that murder shouldn’t occur because it has a negative end result. By doing so, they assign a moral value to the action, in this case a negative one. This contradicts their entire principle. If they say murdering hurts people and it should not be done, they are giving it an universal value, something they claim they don’t do.
Another way you can see moral nihilism would be to not assign any moral values to any action, whether it increases or decreases harmony in society. It is not a perfect solution, but can justify their principles to a certain degree. In this case, murder would not be right nor wrong, instead, it would only be inconvenient for the victim. But another problem comes up in this situation: if we continue with this logic even after the crime has been committed, the murderer can’t be convicted for his crime because a judge wouldn’t be allowed to decide whether what the murderer did was right or wrong, that’s the criminal’s ‘job’. This was all too much information and very headache-inducing. But hey, we are all living in a spinning ball of flames waiting to die at any second, so who cares what we choose to believe in.
Whether you are a full-on nihilist or a passionate Christian, you are going to die either way, so screw it, believe in what you want to believe in. Just don’t kill anyone and try to blame it on nihilism.