(1)A Latin word which means "nothing" or "nothingness"; hence nihilists, who do not believe in anything and deny existence.

(2) A KMFDM album.
(1) Nihilism can be philosophical.

(2) Nihil was released in 1995.
by ShoopKiller September 26, 2004
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AN AMAZING FRIEND. it's so reliable & very helpful when it comes to stressful situations. it might not always be there to help, but what matters is that it tries.
i love u nihil /p <3
by you know exactly who <3 November 19, 2021
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1. An area of philosophy that posits that no social construct has true value and that human existence is inherently meaningless
I studied nihilism in my free time. That’s why I started doing cocaine.
by True_Lust July 22, 2019
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A philosophy based on extreme skepticism. In it's most basic form (Before it was clouded by ideas involving politics, social rhetoric, sex, drugs, rock and roll etc.), which we can refer to as "epistemological nihilism", simply denies the possibility of knowledge of truth. Previous epistemological philosophies failed in obtaining truth because all possible vessels for obtaining truth cannot be proven truthful themselves. Empiricism fails because one must assume that their senses depict an accurate portrayal of their secular existence (or that a secular world even exists, for that matter), which fuels their observations; sensations also depend on senses to provide the observer with the source of the sensation. Rationalism fails because without a secular experience, real or imaginary, one's lack of experience prevents them from being able to reason. ie, they cannot reason without the use of empirical devices. Therefore, rationalism cannot gain one knowledge without empirical methods, which are already based on assumptions (faith) of senses; assumptions cannot lead to the knowledge of truth. Intuitionalism fails because it also has the potential to utilize empirical (and rational) devices; It allows one to alter their truth based on new experiences. This leaves room for "error" and keeps "truth" from being absolute or even certain.
Empiricist: Can't you see the truth?
Person: No, I'm blind.

Rationalist: I think, therefore I am.
Person: You used speech to make that proclamation; One must use sight or hearing to interpret.

Nihilist: Nothing can be certain.
Person: You can't prove that.
Nihilist: You're catching on.

Nihilism is the only epistemological philosophy worth following.
by talkingmouth May 2, 2006
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Some of these definitions of Nihilism are complete rubbish.

--A Brief Introduction To Nihilism

"Every belief, every considering something-true," Nietzsche writes, "is necessarily false because there is simply no true world" (Will to Power notes from 1883-1888). Nihilism is the philosophy of total negation. In short, it states that all values are baseless and meaningless. Nothing in the universe can truly by known or communicated. The nihilist believes in nothing, has no loyalties and has no purpose in life. Some are left with only an impulse to destroy. Though, Friedrich Nietzsche is the philosopher most associated with nihilist, he is not a nihilist. Nietzsche was an existentialist who made nihilism infamous by helping shape and define it. He believed that the corrosive effects of nihilism would end up destroying all moral constructs, religions, and metaphysical convictions. Nietzsche believed that nihilism would be the most destructive force in history. Nihilism will attack reality itself and cause the greatest crisis humanity has ever seen. A study of several failed of civilizations by Oswald Spengler in The Decline of the West (1926) confirmed Nietzsche’s fears. Spengler has observed that nihilism has acted in history to undermine political, religious, and artistic traditions leading to that civilization’s collapse. After Nietzsche’s compelling critique, nihilism has preoccupied artists, social sceptics and philosophers. The type of art usually produced from the inspiration/horror of nihilism often deals with coping with nihilism emotionally. Trent Reznor comes to mind when I think of existentialist/nihilistic music. Some of his songs like “Terrible Lie” or “Happiness In Slavery” definitely carry nihilistic overtones. Dada was a cultural/art movement which endorsed nihilistic themes. It described itself as the anti-art.

There are many types of nihilism, and I do no justice to this philosophy by attempting to summarize it in one paragraph. Existential nihilism deals with extreme pessimism and scepticism. In short, it states that life is meaningless or without purpose. For an existentialist, abandoning all illusions of meaning or worth in life is the source of ultimate freedom at the price of existential horror and despair. Jean-Paul Sartre stated: “existence precedes essence.” He believes that we are thrown into an absurd world with no way to know why, yet we’re forced to create meaning. We exist, and we attempt to figure out why afterwards. Moral nihilism states that there is no true moral code. It states that there is no such thing a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and abandons the moral constructs of any society. Once one starts the process of asking “Why? - What are morals based upon? What is the meaning of it all?” they come but to one end: the collapse into despair when they realize there is no real answer. From cosmic purposeless to pathological destruction nihilism is truly a terrifying un-belief.
"Nihilism is . . . not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one's shoulder to the plough; one destroys" (Will to Power - Friedrich Nietzsche).

I can really hear the nihilism in T. Reznor's music.
by Beautiful_Pathology May 18, 2006
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Contrary to popular definitions, Nihilism is not synonymous with cynicism or despair. Instead, Nihilism is a worldview in which one believes only in what one's observations and experiences seem to prove true, and that which can be otherwise proven true. That said, Nihilism varies according to the nature of the individual nihilist, but there are a few key ideas which are kept by nearly all of them:
1. The beginning of the universe was, within certain parameters, a basically random event, and the same holds for all events occuring since. It follows, then, that final purpose in things is false. Life, then, is an end-in-itself.
2. There exists no absolute truth regarding the value of any deed over another, such as right vs. wrong. Value systems, ethical codes, etc. are thus of no use to the Nihilist, except if they serve his best interests, increase their quality of life, or if they simply fall in line with what behavior would come naturally.
3. From the above it follows that responsibility, obligation, and the like are also falsehoods. Nihilists are thus inclined to ignore or sneer at societal norms and conditioned mentalities.
4. The first priority of every nihilist is his own well-being, satisfaction, and survival, and every action is ultimately done in the name of these things. However, he does not consciously pursue these ends; instead, he acts upon what feels natural and makes sense to him, and these naturally result. However, the above assumes that the Nihilist is in unity with himself, and possesses an undamaged psyche. In reality, some people are self-destructive by nature, and, if they took up a Nihilistic worldview, would seem to have a death-wish as the motive behind their actions. Since self-destructive individuals are common in modern society, this is probably how Nihilism has come to be seen as another word for despair.
1. Nihilism is not necessarily a self-absorbed worldview, since one may find altruistic deeds to lead to greater well-being.

2. Some Nihilists may even follow traditional dogmas, if they are proven to work for the best.
by IntestinePoet July 15, 2007
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