Best 209 of Nihilism quotes - MyQuotes
David E. Cooper
I rather shared Nietzsche's conception of the kind of individual that an ideal education should be cultivating. 'Authenticity' is not Nietzsche's term, but as used by some existentialists, it nicely captures what Nietzsche admired - the resolve of an individual person to forge his or her own 'table of values', to be emancipated from strait-jacketing conventions, traditions, and ideologies. As embodied in the 'Overman', authenticity is the antidote to 'bad' nihilism.
you make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disorder, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, all disorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought, history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passions and systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something out of it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth. There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust, stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses. what can you do about it, my poor friend?
Martin Luther King Jr.
Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.
You see—I hope you never get there yourself—but some of us get to the point in life where we realise that nothing matters. Nothing fucking matters.
The Sexual Revolution is a complete rebellion against authority, natural and supernatural, even against the body and its needs, its natural functions of child bearing. This is not reverence for life, it is a great denial and more resembles Nihilism than the revolution that they think they are furthering.
As joy dwindles with the years I wistfully recall When the christmas tree Looked ten feet tall And the presents under it Seemed endless And more Than mere wrapping paper.
Many were incarcerated with the aberrant prosaic possibilities of ataraxia. Only the mentally sensitive few were cognizant of the nuisance to serenity and an actuality that lacked a balance betwixt havoc and sangfroid. The intellectual capabilities of the excellent idiosyncratic talents of a man with an agog outlook for de minimis fringe entities had left the portal ajar for the enlightened few, to get a glimpse of the obsecure reality that most had decided to claim socratic ignorance to evade inquiries.
Because to exist meant making copies and copies of your own DNA with less and less accuracy with time, to lose the spring in your skin, to inhale a poisonous gas that both allowed your next breath and exploded you from the inside at an insidiously slow pace. To exist was to give way to entropy. To live, in no uncertain terms, was to die.
the rebels of 1905, at the frontier on which they stand united, teach us, to the sound of exploding bombs, that rebellion cannot lead, without ceasing to be rebellion, to consolation and to the comforts of dogma. Their only evident victory is to triumph at least over solitude and negation. In the midst of a world which they deny and which rejects them, they try, man after man, like all the great-hearted ones, to reconstruct a brotherhood of man. The love they bear for one another, which brings them happiness even in the desert of a prison, which extends to the great mass of their enslaved and silent fellow men, gives the measure of their distress and of their hopes. To serve this love, they must first kill; to inaugurate the reign of innocence, they must accept a certain culpability. This contradiction will be resolved for them only at the very last moment. Solitude and chivalry, renunciation and hope will only be surmounted by the willing acceptance of death.
But death is the ultimate blissfulness To be a candy or a corpse The world holds you on its tongue And no one can save you
The attack against dogmas as such, therefore, strongly resembles the struggle against the general legal foundations of a state, and , as the latter would end in a total anarchy of the state, the former would end in a worthless religious nihilism.
I am superhero! I am the Nihilist! My superpowers include logical detachment, emotional invincibility, and the ability to blend in anywhere. I work alone and am never compromised by romantic entanglements, and I don't have a costume because who the fuck cares?
I might have been vaguely inclined to dismiss the stone angel as meaningless, and to go from there to the meaninglessness of all. But after I saw what Krebbs had done, in particular what he had done to my sweet cat, nihilism was not for me. Somebody or something did not wish me to be a nihilist.
A writer who rejects happiness is like an astronomer who rejects the stars.
The enemy of liberal capitalism today is not so much socialism as nihilism.
Hitting bottom isn't a weekend retreat, it's not a goddamn seminar. Stop trying to control everything and just let go!
Better to find one thing to live for than a thousand things to be against.
P. D. James
I mean, when a chap keeps on saying that life isn't worth living you take it that he's just stating the obvious. When he backs it up with action you begin to wonder if there wasn't more to him than you thought.
I’m an eunuch’s dick.
Atheism ... goes back to the Ancient Greek (a — a negative prefix, theos — god), evidencing the antiquity of the outlook of those who saw no presence of God (or gods) in their everyday lives, or who even denied the very existence of God (or gods). There are different types of atheism, but atheism in one form or another has existed in every civilization. [T]he concept "atheist" partially coincides with such notions as "skeptic," "agnostic," and "rationalist" and it borders with such notions as "anticlerical," "God fighter" (theomachist), and "God abuser" (blasphemer). It is wrong to identify an atheist as one who denies God, though this is what opponents of atheism usually claim. If such people exist, it would probably be more correct to call them the "verbal" murderers of God, for the prefix a- means denying as elimination. ... I would like to stress that the prefix a- does not necessarily mean rejection. It can mean "absence of." For example, "apathy" means "absence of passion." Thus, the concept "atheist" does not necessarily mean nihilism.
It was sometimes feebly argued, as the political and military war against this enemy ran into difficulties, that it was 'a war without end.' I never saw the point of this plaintive objection. The war against superstition and the totalitarian mentality is an endless war. In protean forms, it is fought and refought in every country and every generation. In bin Ladenism we confront again the awful combination of the highly authoritarian personality with the chaotically nihilist and anarchic one. Temporary victories can be registered against this, but not permanent ones. As Bertold Brecht's character says over the corpse of the terrible Arturo Ui, the bitch that bore him is always in heat. But it is in this struggle that we develop the muscles and sinews that enable us to defend civilization, and the moral courage to name it as something worth fighting for.
Most of her friends owned laptops and seemed to spend more time with their phones than anything else. Steffy kept her latest playlists and apps updated frequently. She was a member of what Peter called, The Gadget Generation. She could not imagine what it must have been like before such a time. The unbearable isolation that must have been present. How did people deal with it? When she asked a few older people in the town, they simply said she had too much spare time on her hands. It appeared thinking was a crime in the world she lived
By engaging with film illusions both actively and passively – as I attempt to do in this book – we strengthen the capacity of our minds to reason, imagine and think through ideas in a way unrestrained by some static conception of objective Truth. In so doing, the nihilistic gap existing between the real world and the whole variety of film worlds perhaps widens, but it also serves to offer a free, open space into which our interpretations may spill, mingle and propagate in uninhibited, nihilistic liberty.
A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.
The Universe will now be set right. Made over to fit my unique view of what should be. Let Nihilism reign supreme!
One explains things until things have no meaning anymore.
Frederick C. Beiser
The great German idealists from Kant to Hegel saw this idealism or nihilism as a reductio ad absurdum of any philosophy, and so they struggled by all conceptual means to avoid it.
One day about a month ago, I really hit bottom. You know, I just felt that in a Godless universe, I didn't want to go on living. Now I happen to own this rifle, which I loaded, believe it or not, and pressed it to my forehead. And I remember thinking, at the time, I'm gonna kill myself. Then I thought, what if I'm wrong? What if there is a God? I mean, after all, nobody really knows that. But then I thought, no, you know, maybe is not good enough. I want certainty or nothing. And I remember very clearly, the clock was ticking, and I was sitting there frozen with the gun to my head, debating whether to shoot. [The gun fires accidentally, shattering a mirror] All of a sudden, the gun went off. I had been so tense my finger had squeezed the trigger inadvertently. But I was perspiring so much the gun had slid off my forehead and missed me. And suddenly neighbors were, were pounding on the door, and, and I don't know, the whole scene was just pandemonium. And, uh, you know, I-I-I ran to the door, I-I didn't know what to say. You know, I was-I was embarrassed and confused and my-my-my mind was r-r-racing a mile a minute. And I-I just knew one thing. I-I-I had to get out of that house, I had to just get out in the fresh air and-and clear my head. And I remember very clearly, I walked the streets. I walked and I walked. I-I didn't know what was going through my mind. It all seemed so violent and un-unreal to me. And I wandered for a long time on the Upper West Side, you know, and-and it must have been hours. You know, my-my feet hurt, my head was-was pounding, and-and I had to sit down. I went into a movie house. I-I didn't know what was playing or anything. I just, I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and, and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and, you know, the movie was a-a-a film that I'd seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and-and I always, uh, loved it. And, you know, I'm-I'm watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film, you know. And I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself. I mean isn't it so stupid? I mean, l-look at all the people up there on the screen. You know, they're real funny, and-and what if the worst is true. What if there's no God, and you only go around once and that's it. Well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience? You know, what the hell, it's-it's not all a drag. And I'm thinkin' to myself, geez, I should stop ruining my life - searching for answers I'm never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And, you know, after, who knows? I mean, you know, maybe there is something. Nobody really knows. I know, I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that's the best we have. And then, I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.
I am against nationalism, and I am against patriotism. They are both the dark side. It is time not simply to redefine a kinder-and-gentler patriotism, but to sweep away the notion and acknowledge it as morally, politically, and intellectually bankrupt. It is time to scrap patriotism.
Our galaxy is some small part of universe, and it’s just a fluke that bunch of chemical reactions can somehow support a life system. You see, we aren’t special. There’s no watchman looking over us, there’s no sin or deed. It’s just that you balance universe every second, and you cannot change a thing about it.
If this was the true self it was marvelous and what’s more it seemed never to change but always to pick up from the last stop, to continue in the same vein, a vein I had struck when I was a child and went down in the street for the first time alone and there frozen into the dirty ice of the gutter lay a dead cat, the first time I had looked at death and grasped it. From that moment I knew what it was to be isolated: every object, every living thing and every dead thing led its independent existence. My thoughts too led to an independent existence.
Possibly, some cynic, at once merry and bitter, had desired to signify, in this pantomimic scene, that we mortals, whatever our business or amusement--however serious, however trifling--all dance to one identical tune, and, in spite of our ridiculous activity, bring nothing finally to pass.
But then there's loneliness. However you might philosophise about it, loneliness is a terrible thing, my dear fellow… Although in reality, of course, it's absolutely of no importance!
All good things were formerly bad things; every original sin has turned into an original virtue.
Don't ever trust a punk who lived.
They retained only the faintest recollection of what they had lost and had no desire to believe that they had once been innocent and happy. They derided the mere possibility of this former felicity of theirs and termed it a day-dream. They could not even picture it to themselves in images and forms, but strange and wondrous to relate, having lost any credence in their former happiness, calling it a fairy tale, they so longed to be innocent and happy once more, all over again that, childlike, they fell down before this, their heart's desire, deified it, built temples, and began to worship their own idea, their own 'desire', and tearfully bowed before it in adoration, while at the same time utterly discounting its feasibility or the possibility of its realization. However, had it ever become possible for them to return to the state of happy innocence they had lost, and if someone could have shown it to them again and asked if they wanted to return to it, they would certainly have refused.
Crazed with helplessness, I cursed God and wept, wondering if He wept also. But then, what use are His tears, if His help was denied me?
Your drive to produce hard-edged opinions stoked by hostility is likely a sign that you've been brainwashed by the pedestrian influences of pop nihilism.
They see a void. I see everything that fills it.
Essentially that which is only matter, and the sciences that can, through verifiable methods, explore that which we know exists, through the means of...you know, touching, tasting, seeing, and so on...as well as using other instrumentation and so on...is very useful. The question winds up being: ultimately one of: 'Is that all there is?' And going and saying there wasn't even an understanding of matter as we understand it today prior to [...] about the time of Descartes...um, I don't know if the historical argument's the best one to make in that case. But one thing I can say is that thinking that all that exists is that which we can perceive with the five senses is in no way provable –and then if we talk about, 'Well, what is the essence of something?', then we run into a whole other mess. But if we're talking in the context of modernism, where people have gone and become wholly materialistic, the answers become incredibly simple. Incredibly simplistic. And ultimately, I'm not convinced of their accuracy; not only am I not convinced of their accuracy, but I'm not convinced that it's good for humankind in general: because ultimately we're going to wind up killing ourselves off, if all we believe in is that which is material.
What is causing this mysterious perpetual air of inconvenience to slowly engulf the evening. It is not merely emptiness but an awakening in itself about nothingness. Leave behind what was never yours and accept the fact that momentary pleasures and hideous treasures will perish too soon; so will your pride be snatched away by nothing. Mathematicians often say an instance tends to infinity. But, in actual sense, is anything even close to infinity? Nullify yourself and disappear into zero, for that is what we call the beginning; the beginning of the end.
Pour être connu, il suffit en somme de tuer sa concierge.
....I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket." -Ivan Karamazov
Robert C. Solomon
Nietzsche says very clearly all the way through his career that if you want to define human nature the first thing you must say is that human beings insist on value--we see the world through value colored eyes. We do not know how to look at things neutrally, value-free. So, it's not a question of giving up all values, it's simply a question of which values.
Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to 'dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones! The Brothers Karamazov Ivan to Alyosha, on the suffering and torture of children, " Book V - Pro and Contra, Chapter 4 - Rebellion.
We can’t handle absence anymore, anything is better than the blankness; the quiet of nothingness. People fight to put images of love and hate – both equally nauseating – between themselves and the blank space that surrounds us. It’s the only escape, and yet we feel the pressure of the blankness pressing in against us, forcing the violent display ever closer, forcing us to demand images brighter, more graphic until they scorch our senses badly enough that we no longer feel the void and the images become our reality. But it’s ok. Most people don’t need to fear absence anymore – we’re blinded, permanently. There’s no need to seek out the light show that protects us either; inoculation precedes the sickness now. Sedation isn’t an option, it’s a shared reality. Most people don’t see the beauty of the system, how perfect our salvation is.
There must be no final truths; only burning questions.
(...) pick up your axe, start at the roots don't miss the trunk, never forget: to end life truly and finally start at the roots or end there.
we met one strange summer in a regular tangle of sticky webs you had the air of angels sweet but I-- drowned with the damned spirits in lava oceans fearing your-- foreign static frequency and grey-green eyes (I swear they are even if you-- think otherwise): storms calm ones, calmer than my-- raging coals, empty and dead you speak of souls like you believe always an optimist in pessimistic skin of ivory and titanium mesh...
Happiness is a fortress.