Nihilism is the philosophy that life has no intrinsic meaning. Nihilism commonly then leads to conclusions like:
- Let’s just kill ourselves now.
- Let’s have a life of hedonism and enjoying yourself while you can.
- Actually, you’re probably going to enjoy yourself more if find some sense of purpose.
But the common narrative around nihilism tends to a personal sense of purpose – about the individual’s lack of intrinsic meaning or purpose.
With the election of Donald Trump, and its repurcussions regarding action on climate change, demonstrating how apparently stupid, selfish, ignorant or self destructive a huge chunk of our society is, I think a more deep seated nihilism is seating in.
That is – when talking about combating climate change, from the perspective of the human race as a whole, it’s seen as a good thing for humans to survive, or for things not to be unpleasant for us in the near future.
But given the apparent selfishness and stupidity of people, I do start wondering maybe it really doesn’t matter if it all goes to custard. Of course I care – but from a nihilistic perspective things might be easier for me if I just didn’t.
This College Humor video sums it up well: