09 03 13 - 05:31A reader writes:
Could you please explain why Nihilism is considered a problem. I for one consider it as enlightening.
Thank you for writing to ask. The answer is both simple and complex.
The simple answer is that people do not like that which threatens their current lifestyle. If a better way is pointed out, they become defensive.
The more complex answer is that nihilism threatens the patched-together hodge-podge of ideas that are sustaining the industrialized world in these centuries after the French Revolution. In their view, there's either an inherent value -- God or humanism -- or there's nothing but a bleak emptiness and moribund death-worship.
To a nihilist, this is nonsense. Humanism is pretense; at least religion can be said to have some mystical thus non-physical component to it, but humanism is just an outright forgery based on the idea that we're all "equal," which modern people bleat like a mantra. What they really mean is that they don't want our society to have a goal, purpose or values system, because they want to keep doing whatever it is they're doing, and it's usually selfish.
When we look back on this age from the future, it will be seen as a new Dark Age of total ignorance and fear regarding a fundamental fact: not all of us are important, or even good. Humanity itself is not that impressive. Most people are mentally lazy, morally weak, emotionally unstable and petty.
Our society has made a religion out of the equal person and nihilism threatens that. With nihilism, that religion is debunked, and what we have instead is no values system except reality itself. That makes a lot of our activities, which are unrealistic, look extraneous at best and stupid at worst. That will also threaten a lot of people by pointing out that they are in fact a problem and parasites, not equal people making equal choices.
Nihilism is the ultimate heresy. Society requires conflict to grow, thus sometimes it requires heresy. For this reason, no one should oppose nihilism, but they do in the worst way possible, which is pretending it does not exist and lashing out at it with insane and paranoid accusations whenever they can. This is a sign both of how much it threatens them and how much it is needed.