Comments on “You’ve got nihilism wrong”


What’s wrong with

Brad's picture

What’s wrong with existentialism? Just curious, but it seems to be the most realistic all things considered.


rissa timmons 's picture

Nihilistic enlightenment is simply a realization, that’s all it is, and that realization is that objective meaning is nonexistent.
That’s it! that’s all it is, nonetheless, objective meaning does not eliminate meaning but merely renders it subjective. There exists aspects of my own life which are meaningful to me however, those particular meanings are again, subjective, which means I personally get to determine what is meaningful to me despite the universal fact of existences destitution of purpose, reason, value, or the slightest tincture of meaning whatsoever.

Existentialism vs. a paper towel tube

James's picture


If meanings were subjective, I could live a meaningful life by beating myself over the head with a paper towel tube a few times every day, simply because that’s what I’ve decided is meaningful for me.

And if meanings were subjective, that strikes me as a pretty good choice! It would require a lot less time, effort, and risk than many of the more conventional ways of finding meaning.

The reason I don’t do that is I know it would not be very meaningful, no matter how much I tried to decide it was. There’s no realistic context in which I would find that action meaningful.

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This page is in the section Nihilism: the denial of meaning,
      which is in Meaning and meaninglessness,
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