Purpose of Nihilism

2021 Apr 23 See all posts

Purpose of Nihilism

I wonder what's the purpose of nihilism. It's a negative philosophy, which serves as a purging. Specifically, it purges a worldview of dogmas. It destroys the worldview that there is some meaning to human life. That's where it ends. It doesn't guide us from there, doesn't move us forward. Its utility lies in the fact that it helps us see clearly, and truth can feel freeing.

To give an example - Atheism is a negative philosophy, does it feel freeing to not rely on God? Yes, it does. It feels freeing to drop the baggage of dogmas and not to pray to an imaginary entity when some problem arises. Somethings are not in my control, and for most cases, it's a good enough consolation.

So what do nihilists do? How do they live? They live as they please. Yes, objectively, meaning doesn't exist and it is a function of our consciousness. We live in an objective world, but the view we have is a highly subjective tunnel. Colours are useful as we can decorate our homes accordingly. We continue to cultivate the concept because it has value to us, it doesn't matter if colours arise from stimulation of photoreceptor cells by different wavelengths of light. It doesn't matter that it doesn't exist objectively. If colours don't lose their value, why would we deprive humans of their value just because universe is as indifferent to a human as it is to a stone.

However, being emotionally affected by nihilism is a poison. It can drain the will to life, and the visceral reaction to "nothing matters" is to do nothing. We are subjective beings and must live so. We must paint, and carve out some direction. We have nothing better to do. It's the only way life feels like worth living.