Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Terminology Tuesday: Nihilism

Nihilism: The rejection of objective moral values and structures, literally “nothingism.” The nihilist is a skeptic about moral traditions and obligations and does not regard them as binding. A distinction should be made between the attitude of the reluctant or sorrowing nihilist, who finds nihilism terrifying but true, and the celebrative nihilist, who view nihilism as liberation from oppressive rules. Friedrich Nietzsche sometimes described nihilism as a fate that haunts Western culture. At other times, he seems more celebrative in his calls for the construction of a new morality. For those who believe morality requires a transcendent basis, Nietzsche is seen as a guide pointing beyond nihilism.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 82.


  1. Brian February 23, 2010

    Nihilism is the only worldview that follows logically from Atheism

  2. sal June 30, 2010

    I've been talking to a Nihilist trained in philosophy and we get along well b/c we understand the basics. As a student of philosophy myself, I can say there has never been a truer word spoken on Nihilism than what Brian has stated above.

  3. G. Kyle Essary April 16, 2013

    I'm not sure that an atheist can escape nihilism without resorting to some either some sort of idealism…but I'm not sure the idealist can escape theism.

  4. Neal Korfhage April 17, 2013

    I think a timely question to ask the nihilist would be, "Is Nihilism itself meaningless?" Why would it make sense to become a Nihilist if Nihilism itself is meaningless?