Wednesday, 21 May 2008


Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical position which argues that existence is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Nihilists generally assert some or all of the following:
Objective morality does not exist; therefore no action is logically preferable to any other.
In the absence of morality, existence has no higher meaning or goal.
There is no reasonable proof or argument for the existence of a higher ruler or creator.
Even if a higher ruler or creator exists, mankind has no moral obligation to worship them.
The term nihilism is sometimes used synonymously with anomie to denote a general mood of despair at the pointlessness of existence.[1]
Movements such as Dada, Futurism,[2] and deconstructionism,[3] among others, have been identified by commentators as "nihilistic" at various times in various contexts. Often this means or is meant to imply that the beliefs of the accuser are more substantial or truthful, whereas the beliefs of the accused are nihilistic, and thereby comparatively amount to nothing (or are simply claimed to be destructively amoralistic).
Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent the rejection of God, and therefore are nihilistic.
Nihilism differs from skepticism in that skepticism allows for the possibility of religion, but demands empirical evidence for religious claims.[citation needed] Additionally, skepticism does not necessarily come to any conclusions about the reality of moral concepts nor does it deal so intimately with questions about the meaning of an existence without knowable truth.

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