Types of Nihilism

Types of Nihilism

  1. Moral Nihilism says true morality does not exist, and that good or bad actions are not different by the law of nature, but only by our understanding.
  2. Existential Nihilism says all goals, aspirations, influences and actions ultimately become meaningless.
  3. Metaphysical Nihilism tells us that the physical world is an illusion, and our senses just manipulated sensations and signals going into our brain.
  4. Political Nihilism goes against all kinds of political establishments and government laws.

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Nihilism is a thought process that argues that all aspects of life lack a specific meaningful essence.

Apart from life, Nihilism rejects meaning in beliefs, value structures, state power, or other systems, portraying all aspects of life as meaningless.

  • Nihilism originated during 300 B.C.E. where certain discussions by the Buddha related to our actions having no meaning or consequences in this world.
  • The Greek statesman Demosthenes also contributed to its origins.
  • The modern understanding of nihilism is associated with Friedrich Nietzsche, who said all aspects of life are subjective, not objective, also adding that this belief will lead to the destruction of all value structures.

Modern nihilism goes against western culture and values, saying that it has no roots and is meaningless.

Modern nihilism tries to take on tackling poverty, discrimination and the value of increasing happiness, as a way to increase meaning.

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RELATED IDEAS

Philosophy deals with concepts that are abstract and universal. Much effort goes into redefining definitions of ideas such as justice, equality, and freedom. These abstract ideas spread to ground-level activists and politicians who, over the years, materialize these ideas that reshape our lives.

Unless you are aware of them and notice the intellectual forces shaping and dictating how you view the world, you are helpless and will be influenced by them.

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IDEAS

An interpretation of living meaning is related topersonal meaning, which looks at the personal significance and the unique interpretation of life situations, objects and events that an individual experiences.

Example: Praying at a church or temple has a different, personal meaning for each one of us due to our unique life experiences and circumstances that shape our lives.

Marxism

Marxism is based on the collected ideas of Karl Marx, the German philosopher. He critiqued capitalism. Main ideas:

  • The capitalist mode of production alienates us from the results of our labor;
  • The tendency of capitalism to overproduce and crash as a consequence;
  • The labor theory of value. 

Famous Marxists include Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Slavoj Zizek.

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