The date was May 21st, that was the day that I had a philosophical epiphany. I had come to the realization that I was a Nihilist. What’s even more ironic is that two days prior to this realization my ignorance of this very philosophy was abundant to say the least. It all started with a thread I created on a Philosophy forum titled the Nihilist Paradox. The gist of my thread was that if Nihilists believe in nothing then is it not contradictory that they uphold Nihilism? A friend of mine from the forums was quick to point out that this was a common misconception that people held about Nihilism which consequently would become a stereotype ascribed to all Nihilists. He stated that Nihilists ...view middle of the document...
To put it succinctly, I had come to find that Nihilism in actuality was the exalting of individual freedom to the highest level. It was the power of free will completely uninhibited by God or the institutions of man. Every choice and thus every consequence fell upon the shoulders of the individual alone. Nihilism then is the greatest liberation a person could feel, or the worst prison one could be confined to depending on their vantage point.
I found myself in limbo between the two sentiments. Then I read about Nietzsche in The Rebel: An Essay On Man In Revolt which was written by Albert Camus and my mind was emotionally and intellectually gripped. Reading Camus’ depiction of the vigor Nietzsche seemed to exude as he pushed his skepticism beyond the boundaries of the Earth and perhaps even human sanity itself left me in turmoil. Nietzsche had created a desert. He had killed God and subsequently his design. All that resided in this desert was the individual and their freedom. What sprung from this freedom were both truths and moral values as decided by the individual whose sum would ultimately lead to the individual taking the place of God itself. Nietzsche’s vision of such an individual would be personified in one of his most famous works Thus Spake Zarathustra as an entity known as the Ubermensch.
I lied awake that night as the words of Camus and Nietzsche reverberated throughout my being. Until my encounter with Nihilist thought the furthest I had pushed my skepticism was the refutation of God. I had been an Atheist for many years so I had already exiled God from my being. The question then became was I willing to take my skepticism to the extreme and reject all human constructs? Was I willing to join Nietzsche in the desert and start my being over from scratch? Or would I be a passive Nihilist and attach myself like a leech to some movement or institution adopting their causes and values as my own so as not to confront the world with a mind naked of ideology and vulnerable? The quandary swam through my head violently and ceaselessly throughout the night to the point where I awoke by falling to the floor. The very conflict that was causing me mental anguish had now physicalized itself. The conflict continued to plague me throughout the day when I decided that I would take a walk and clear my head so as to be able to come to a resolution on the issue.
As I walked my brain was playing ping pong with my present conflict and both the active and passive approach to Nihilism seemed to possess great acumen when it came to wielding the paddle.
“Abandon all human constructs are you crazy?” Part of me inquired incredulously. “What about your Libertarian beliefs? What about your assertions of limited government and the decriminalization of marijuana? Are you really going to be a hypocrite and abandon those ideals?”
The other part of me was just as aggressive in its sales pitch....