Best 202 quotes in «nihilism quotes» category

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    If you ask me what I live for, I'll say catharsis. And hope. And writing. I'll never be a defeatist

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    I got to tell you, I think (deifying artists) was a huge error. You know, I think that allowing somebody…to believe that he or she is…the source of all divine, creative, unknowable, eternal mystery is just a smidge too much responsibility to put on one fragile, human psyche. It’s like asking somebody to swallow the sun. It just completely warps and distorts egos, and it creates all these unmanageable expectations about performance. And I think the pressure of that has been killing off our artists for the last 500 years.

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    Implicit … in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or “ism,” any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course, or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the gulag, or the jihad. ... A rejection of absolutism, in all its forms, may sometimes slip into moral relativism or even nihilism, an erosion of values that hold society together…

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    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.

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    I’m an eunuch’s dick.

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    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.

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    I'm going to die one day. And that fact alone should force me to live my life to the fullest. But I'm the opposite way around. I want to die because I am consistently eaten up by nothingness.

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    In a society without anguish, it is easy to ignore death,” says one of them. However, and this is the real condemnation of our society, the anguish of death is a luxury that is felt far more by the idler than by the worker, who is stifled by his own occupation. But every kind of socialism is Utopian, most of all scientific socialism. Utopia replaces God by the future. Then it proceeds to identify the future with ethics; the only values are those which serve this particular future. For that reason Utopias have almost always been coercive and authoritarian. Marx, in so far as he is a Utopian, does not differ from his frightening predecessors, and one part of his teaching more than justifies his successors.

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    I think the suicide rate is so high among writers because we force ourselves to stand still, take an outsider’s perspective, and realise how quickly a life passes by, and how futile we are. The exhilarating upside is that at a moment’s glance all your worries fade away, and you can work on making the most of it.

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    I often wonder and imagine What lies just beyond the fringe Of the human experience; What is it that we do not see?

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    In matters of conscience and basic convictions it is unlawful and pernicious for anyone to forcibly intrude upon another's beliefs; therefore, because I am a man of rational convictions, I will not go out and demolish churches, drown monks, or rip down icons from my friends' walls because in so doing I will not spread my convictions; human beings must be educated, not coerced, I am not the enemy, I am not the tyrant of the conscience of true believers.

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    In the chain of events, it is arbitrary to be sentimental about the passing of any one link.

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    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.

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    It is intoxicating joy for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and to forget himself.

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    It wasn't only the boosted experiences that bothered Rant. It was dipshit kids done up as soldiers and princesses and witches. Eating cake flavored with artificial vanilla. Celebrating a harvest that didn't occur anymore. Fruit punch that came from a factory. A ritual to placate ghosts, or whatever bullshit Halloween does, practiced by people who had no awareness of that. What bothered Rant was the fake, bullshit nature of everything.

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    It's better to be a total nihilist than to have beliefs that set you apart from other people.

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    It's still strange.

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    It was the anonymity. He wanted to be unknown, unpossessed by others' knowledge of him. That was freedom.

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    I’ve always been suspicious of the assumption that great intelligence would be an unqualified benefit— that the madness that so often accompanies it can be cavalierly dismissed. So I asked the question: Suppose there were an entire subpopulation of extreme geniuses, well beyond anything that would occur naturally. What would that really look like?

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    I was no longer capable of either enthusiasm or fear. Once an ecstatic idealist […], I had now passed - like the rest of my contemporaries who had survived thus far - into a permanent state of numb disillusion. Whatever part of my brief adulthood I chose to look back upon — the restless pre-War months at home, the naïve activities of a college student, the tutelage to horror and death as a V.A.D. nurse, the ever-deepening night of fear and suspense and agony in a provincial town, in a university city, in London, in the Mediterranean, in France — it all seemed to have meant one thing, and one thing only, ‘a striving, and a striving, and an ending in nothing.’ Now there were no more disasters to dread and no friends left to wait for; with the ending of apprehension had come a deep, nullifying blankness, a sense of walking in a thick mist which hid all sights and muffled all sounds. I had no further experience to gain from the War; nothing remained except to endure it.

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    I want to end my life like a human being: in Intensive Care, high on morphine, surrounded by cripplingly expensive doctors and brutal, relentless life-support machines. Then the corpse can go into orbit—preferably around the sun. I don't care how much it costs, just so long as I don't end up party of any fucking natural cycle: carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen. Gaia, I divorce thee. Go suck the nutrients out of someone else, you grasping bitch.

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    I whispered to my heart “Is everything meaningless?” “It doesn’t really matter,” It smiled. “Nothing matters.

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    Man is incapable of seeing past the end of his nose. He huddles upon the ground staring at his own feet. It is only when he considers his own mortality that he clings to whatever God or Buddha offers him hope.

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    Man is incapable of seeing past the end of his nose. He huddles upon the ground staring down at his own feet. It is only when he considers his own mortality that he clings to whatever God or Buddha offers him hope.

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    Maybe we really are made of the same clay, maybe we really are condemned, blameless, to the same, identical mediocrity.

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    Maybe I should have gone into politics. If you were a political activist, election season brought moments of intensity, whichever side you were on, and meanwhile here I was inarguably withering away,

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    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.

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    MASHA. Just think, I am already beginning to forget her face. People will not remember us either. They will forget. VERSHININ. Yes. They will forget. That is our fate, you can't do anything about it. The things which to us seem serious, significant, very important, - the time will come - they will be forgotten or they will seem of no consequence.

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    More profoundly, Nihilist "simplification" may be seen in the universal prestige today accorded the lowest order of knowledge, the scientific, as well as the simplistic ideas of men like Marx, Freud, and Darwin, which underlie virtually the whole of contemporary thought and life. We say "life," for it is important to see that the Nihilist history of our century has not been something imposed from without or above, or at least has not been predominantly this; it has rather presupposed, and drawn its nourishment from, a Nihilist soil that has long been preparing in the hearts of the people. It is precisely from the Nihilism of the commonplace, from the everyday Nihilism revealed in the life and thought and aspiration of the people, that all the terrible events of our century have sprung. The world-view of Hitler is very instructive in this regard, for in him the most extreme and monstrous Nihilism rested upon the foundation of a quite unexceptional and even typical Realism. He shared the common faith in "science," "progress," and "enlightenment" (though not, of course, in "democracy"), together with a practical materialism that scorned all theology, metaphysics, and any thought or action concerned with any other world than the "here and now," priding himself on the fact that he had "the gift of reducing all problems to their simplest foundations." He had a crude worship of efficiency and utility that freely tolerated "birth control", laughed at the institution of marriage as a mere legalization of a sexual impulse that should be "free", welcomed sterilization of the unfit, despised "unproductive elements" such as monks, saw nothing in the cremation of the dead but a "practical" question and did not even hesitate to put the ashes, or the skin and fat, of the dead to "productive use." He possessed the quasi-anarchist distrust of sacred and venerable institutions, in particular the Church with its "superstitions" and all its "outmoded" laws and ceremonies. He had a naive trust in the "natural mom, the "healthy animal" who scorns the Christian virtues--virginity in particular--that impede the "natural functioning" of the body. He took a simple-minded delight in modern conveniences and machines, and especially in the automobile and the sense of speed and "freedom" it affords. There is very little of this crude Weltanschauung that is not shared, to some degree, by the multitudes today, especially among the young, who feel themselves "enlightened" and "liberated," very little that is not typically "modern.

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    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

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    My consultants recommended several nihilists and existentialists but I rejected them all. A black turtleneck sweater does not a misanthrope make. Nihilists and existentialists tend to be bohemians, who invariably run in packs; despite their alienated stance, they have always struck me as a sociable lot who surround themselves with people because they are forever saying "Nothing matters," and they need someone to say it to.

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    Most people are just filler- like extras in the background of movies exist to make the scene appear fuller- they exist only to make earth appear fuller. But, really they are vapid, substanceless, in fact I avoid most people like the plague

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    No! No! I refuse to believe it. I'm sure you've often wished there was an after-life.' Of course I had, I told him. Everybody has that wish at times. But that had no more importance than wishing to be rich, or to swim very fast, or have a better-shaped mouth.

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    My quietness is a consequence of my deeply entrenched nihilism. I don’t believe there is any real value in my or anyone else’s speaking, and I think that all of human existence is fundamentally unimportant.

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    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.

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    Nothing exists, all is shadow and illusion

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    No, what one wanted, really, was the city or anyone in it to see how one suffered. Of course, this being New York, they'd likely just tell him Get over it . . . Was it possible that the last month had been a kind of judgement on him for ever daring to pretend that anything meant anything at all?

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    Nothing is more seductive than nothing.

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    O Que é o Niilismo para mim? O Niilismo, é o nada; É Como ir a maior praia do mundo se ajoelhar e com uma pequena pinça pegar um único grão de areia, colocar esse grão na palma das mãos. Ir até o mar, e então soltar o grão olhar para trás e perceber a grande diferença que aquele pequeno grão de areia fez. Isso é o Niilismo, e nós somos o grão de areia.

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    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.

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    ...only the one who knows and practices the iconoclastic fury of destruction can possess the joy born of freedom, of that unique freedom fertilized by sorrow. I rise up against the reality of the outer world for the triumph of the reality of my inner world. I reject society for the triumph of the I. I reject the stability of every rule, every custom, every morality, for the affirmation of every willful instinct, all free emotionality, every passion and every fantasy. I mock at every duty and every right so I can sing free will. I scorn the future to suffer and enjoy my good and my bad in the present. I despise humanity because it is not my humanity. I hate tyrants and I detest slaves. I don't want and I don't grant solidarity, because I am convinced that it is a new chain, and because I believe with Ibsen that the one who is most alone is the strongest one. This is my Nihilism.

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    One explains things until things have no meaning anymore.

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    Our planet is a freak which we shall destroy by our own wicked senseless activities in the next century. Our history will very soon come to an end. Now that God is dead, we are at last presented with the truth, yes, the truth remains, but it is on a short lead. Anyway, we are nothing and it matters not what we do.

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    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.

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    …ours is a world about which we pretend to have more and more information but which seems to us increasingly devoid of meaning.

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    Pearl would smile helplessly back with the sickening feeling that she was collaborating with God. Not the God of her mother's faulty and romantic vision, but the true one. A God of barbaric and unholy appearance, with a mind uncomplimentary to human consciousness.

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    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.

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    Perhaps in the end the suffering is all, it's all contained in the suffering. The final atoms of it all are simply pain.

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    (...) 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.

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    People spent their lives searching for something beyond the simple friction of skin on skin, but there was nothing. The void between two people could never be closed, and in trying to close it, they would only learn everything that was to be despised in the other.