Why Nihilism?

It began as one of those political discussions in the bar.  The conspiracy theorists, who especially enjoy talking amongst themselves in bars, sit in a hunched group.  Presumably, they’re talking about what’s in their doomsday root cellars, nodding sagely at each other. I don’t participate in political discussions.  I think it’s a waste of time.  If you’re looking for someone’s opinion, turn on the news.  I don’t think there’s much left of the world.  If you disagree, watch a child with a fidget spinner.  This child needs only one sense, his eyes, and he sits, slack-jawed as a piece of plastic spins.  Pediatric Soma. Really, in light of this development, Nintendo looks like quantum physics. More than anything else, even the civil war our country is experiencing over politics, I am distressed by the overwhelming….well, the overwhelming stupidity of the public. I don’t mean stupidity as it relates to one’s IQ; I mean the kind of intellectual laziness that continues to grow exponentially.  You’ve all seen the interviews on the street where the college kids don’t know when the world wars happened, much less who was fighting.  No one read, no one writes, no one can spell, blah blah, blah.  All this led me to….

“I’m a nihilist.” I said into my drink at the bar.  “I hate everything.” (Everyone lapses into lines from The Big Lebowski.)

“No you’re not,” said my friend.  “You’re an elitist.”

“I’m going to start a blog about it.”

“I won’t read it. If you’re a nihilist, you won’t care, because nothing matters.” He smugly raised and eyebrow at me. (You know who you are, and I know you’re reading this.)

I began to read Nietzsche. I began to read about moral, political and existential nihilism. And a great, great deal of it made sense.  If nihilists question the meaning and existence of virtually everything-how is it not appealing to be one?

**** Don’t think for one second I don’t recognize the hubris of even attempting to write about philosophy- all I can explain is what makes sense to me.****

For me, nihilism rejects everything for which there is no proof.  In our current political climate, is there any proof of anything? (The conspiracy theorists can just sit down now.) I’m not talking about proof of nefarious emails nor proof of Pythagoras’s theorem. I’m talking about all the things so many of us take for granted.  Proof in the goodness of man. Proof that everything will turn out for the best. Moral nihilists propose that morality isn’t inherent, that it’s a construct of man. If that’s true, it has served us well, and carried us through law and order and progress. If it’s not true, and inherent morality exists, I defy you look at our world and demonstrate it.

 

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