Nihilism: Belief In Nothing, Why Nihilism Consider As Negative

Nihilism comes from the word Nihil which means nothing. Nihilism is a philosophy, a philosophy of nothingness. Nihilism philosophy denied the truth, meaning and knowledge. Nihilism philosophy says that life is meaningless, all human values are baseless. The word Nihilism started to get popularity in the 18th century.

what is nihilism

Nihilism was popularized by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Buddha has also mentioned the concept of Nihilism in Theravada and Mahayana Tripiṭaka. When Buddha was alive many people consider himself a Nihilist. The word Nihilism was first used by German socialite Friedrich Jacobi.

What Is Nihilism?


Nihilism is the belief in nothing. People are asking what is the meaning of life? whereas a Nihilist will say Is there any meaning? Nihilist doesn’t care about meaning in life. Is there really meaning or are we just creating it out of fear? For a Nihilists life is meaningless. A nihilist lives his life without any meaning and purpose. All suffering, emotions either good or bad all are meaningless.

Sometimes we all feel Nihilism in our life like life has no purpose and meaning. The Nihilism feeling starts with a simple question why. Why do we live? Why we are here? Why I am alive? keep asking these questions until you reach a point where there is no answer. You will arrive at nothing.

Even the greatest philosopher and scientist can not give the answer of Why? But for a nihilist, there is no why. For a nihilist, there is no question, no answer what is there is Nothingness.

Nihilism originates from the Latin word nihil which means nothing and ism means the ideology. Many times people compare Nihilism with Pessimism but both are very different. Pessimists believe in the worst outcome where Nihilists does not believe in anything. Pessimists believe in the negative side of life.

Pessimists believe in evilness but nihilism does not believe. The nihilist neither believes in good nor bad. Nihilism is based on the idea of no meaning and no purpose. A nihilist person does not care about anything.

Nirvana And Existential Nihilism

By Buddha, Nirvana is a state of mind where nothingness, non-attachment and total end of death exist. The same concept of nothingness, In which Existential Nihilism is based. Nirvana is not an object which you can hold, It is a state where nothingness exists. When a person drops the idea of ‘I am’ they become free. Nirvana means blown out. Nirvana is separating the fire from yourself. Other words for Nirvana are moksha and mukti.

Nirvana is a state where a person becomes free from suffering. For achieving the Nirvana state a person has to get rid of greed, anger and delusional. The same concept of Nothingness exists in Nihilism. Existential Nihilism also says that nothing exists. Nihilism says life has no meaning and no purpose. Both Nihilism and Nirvana are similar but different. Nirvana comes from the east whereas Nihilism has come from the west.

Existential Nihilism And Friedrich Nietzsche

friedrich nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche is the philosopher which makes the Nihilism word famous. For Friedrich Nietzche, there is no structure and order in the world, the order and structure exist only in the human mind. Only a Nihilist can discover that all human values are baseless. “Every belief, every considering something true,” Nietzsche writes, “is necessarily false because there is simply no true world”. Nietzche said there is no such thing as truth.

Friedrich said that Why? has no answers. For Friedrich Nietzsche morality is pointless and values are meaningless. Everything we have valued means nothing.

Friedrich Nietzche is one of the greatest thinkers of all time. In spite of Friedrich Nietzsche’s controversial work he proved himself to be a very deep thinker. In his lifetime Nietsche has written several books which change many people’s lives. According to Nietzche finding yourself is the most important thing in life.

Friedrich Nietzche said no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. Our instinctive and intuitive reaction is to evade all suffering and pain. Technology has made things so easy that we have forgotten that suffering is an integral part of life.

According to Nietzsche, it’s the only time when we are willing to face the challenges of life that we are spiritually growing. Nietzsche said for maximizing our potential we need to take the difficult path which takes us to isolation. You should refuse to take an easy path and you should decide to embark on the quest for gaining your freedom to be yourself.

Nihilism Vs Pessimism

Optimism is full of hope and happiness. Look a child you will know what is optimism, you can see the hopefulness and happiness in his eyes. Just opposite of optimism is pessimism. A pessimist only sees the negativity in life. Pessimism is hopelessness.

Optimism will see the glass half full and pessimism will see the glass half empty but for a nihilist, he does not care if there is a glass or not. For a nihilist nothing matters, In the end, we all have to die.

Many people take Nihilism as Pessimism. People think that pessimism and nihilism is the same thing. But there is a lot of difference in it. A Pessimist believes in the negative outcome whereas a nihilist does not believe in anything.

A Pessimist can always worry about the negative outcome. A pessimist can be dark and depressing. But nihilism is something else, a nihilist does not care about. A nihilist does not have any meaning and purpose in life.

If you are with a pessimist you can easily know that he is a pessimist but this is not the case with nihilists. You can be with the nihilists but never know that he is a nihilist.

Existential Nihilism

existential nihilism

Existential Nihilism is a philosophy in which life does not have any value or meaning. According to existential nihilism, all the human species is insignificant. According to the theory every individual human is born separately with asking the same question why am I here?

In all Nihilism, Existential Nihilism is the only one who gathered the attention. Existential Nihilism is not nihilism, existentialism or absurdism. All our feeling and suffering are senseless. We are just meaningless animals in a meaningless universe.

Friedrich Nietzsche in his book The Will To Power has said ” Nihilism appear at that point, not that the displeasure of existence has become greater than before but because one has come to mistrust any ‘meaning’ in suffering, indeed in existence. It now seems as if there is no meaning in the existence as if everything were in vain.”

Nihilism Quotes

Everything in the world displeases me but, above all, my displeasure in everything displeases me.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.

Albert Camus

God is Dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we – we still have to vanquish his shadow, too.

Fredrich Nietzsche

The point is there ain’t no point.

Cormac McCarthy

The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.

Albert Camus

A nihilist is not one who believes in nothing , but one who does not believe in what exists.

Albert Camus

That is the most extreme form of nihilism: nothingness (the “meaningless”) eternally! 

Friedrich Nietzsche

Nihilism is an honest evaluation of what a universe without God would look like. Nietzsche was right about that. Where he went wrong was in thinking this was true of the actual universe.

Jon Morrison

How obtuse these nihilists are! Because I will die someday, does that mean I shouldn’t enjoy my life now?

Marty Rubin

The only thing that gave me an illusion of happiness was wine! That is why I drank! It also mitigated the torment of being alive. It made my sluggish mind alert and intelligent! At times, in my youth, it stilled my hunger!

August Stridberg

Nihilists embrace life’s existence by the acceptance of nothingness.

Martijn Budel


Why is nihilism bad?

Nihilism is not bad. It is in the perspective of a person how he sees nihilism. Nihilism means nothingness. A nihilist has no meaning and purpose in life but it does not make nihilism bad. Most of the person takes nihilism because of this meaning but actually, nihilism is not bad.

Do nihilists believe in God?

No, nihilists do not believe in God. Nihilists can believe in nature.

What is an example of a nihilist?

A belief that there is no meaning and purpose is nihilism. A nihilist person does not believe in anything.


The Nihilism word was introduced by the German socialite Friedrich Jacobi. Nihilism becomes more famous after Friedrich Nietzsche. Nihilism is a belief in nothing. A nihilist person does not believe in anything. For a nihilistic person, life is meaningless and purposeless. According to nihilism, meaningless animals are living in a meaningless universe.

Nihilism originates from the Latin word nihil which means nothing and ism means the ideology. Even the greatest philosopher and scientist can not give the answer of Why? But for a nihilist, there is no why. For a nihilist, there is no question, no answer what is there is Nothingness.

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