Especially nowadays we hear this expression more and more often. In a world with more and more natural disasters and never-ending pandemic, it’s no wonder. I am sure, my dear readers, that you experience it in your surroundings too.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophia, is a peer-reviewed academic resource, where I often find answers to my questions. I quote: “Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy”.
Nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche, who lived from 1844 until 1900. Nietzsche was a German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic. His writings on truth, morality, language, aesthetics, cultural theory, history, nihilism, power, consciousness, and the meaning of existence have exerted an enormous influence on Western philosophy and intellectual history. Nitzsche argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history.
Interestingly, Nietzsche himself, a radical skeptic preoccupied with language, knowledge, and truth, anticipated many of the themes of postmodernity. It’s helpful to note, then, that he believed we could–at a terrible price–eventually work through nihilism. If we survived the process of destroying all interpretations of the world, we could then perhaps discover the correct course for humankind.
When I discover traveling around on social networks, the word boredom is being used more and more – especially by the young generation. “Boredom occurs when our engagement with the framework is suspended, and we notice the change to our experience brought about by our newfound inability to provide different times with different ignificances according to their relevance to a future goal” – so described by German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889–1976).
Guys, we cannot really “make” our lives meaningful by just ignoring the fact that everything sooner or later vanishes into a deep and dark hole of time? I can’t believe it. I’m reslly a huge fan of existing. I love Woody Allen and his comment: “Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak.”
I think there’s plenty of fun to be had – at least for those of us not in tragically dire circumstances. Think about yourself. Moreover, siding with thinkers like David Hume, I think there’s great contentment in seeing other people being helped, and great joy in behaving like a decent human being. Generally regarded as one of the most important philosophers to write in English, David Hume (1711–1776) was also well known in his own time as an historian and essayist.
I would even call myself an optimist. If you take time and check my previous columns at this corner, you will agree with me.
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