Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Final Report 1

The word “Nihilism” comes from the Latin “Nihil”, meaning “nothing”. The most- used definition of nihilism is “The rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.” There are two main types of nihilism, there’s moral, and existential. Moral nihilism is the belief that there is no absolute right or wrong, and that morals are arbitrary. Killing a man in cold blood matters just as little as stealing a cookie from a cookie jar. Existential nihilism argues that there is no meaning or purpose in existence at all. When we die we will just be forgotten, having left no real imprint on the universe.

   First I want to talk about moral nihilism.  When we look back, we find that society has always found meaning in morality, which used to be considered inherent in the universe based on belief in God. However, when more and more of the population started giving up on the idea of God in general, when we started becoming a secular society, some also started seeing past an objective sense of morality. Religion had been the one to lay the rules down, and when we abandoned it we abandoned the foundations for those rules. However, the grand majority of people still cling to these rules, and live with the same moral codes given by God, but without belief or faith in the divine. And even while a nihilist might reject these rules, most still live by them, because who really wants to go to prison? But a large amount of people are starting to not see the reason behind having these codes of morality. They are looking at the different moral codes of different cultures, and noticing the subjectivity in all of them. And so, it is becoming an increasingly growing philosophy that morality as a whole is completely subjective. And since society chooses morality, and is the only enforcer for it, the word “moral” is becoming synonymous with the word “lawful”. You follow the rules set by society on how you should live, that is being moral.


  1. I think your embedded image was swallowed by the void, as we will all eventually be. As for nihilism, it's an interesting jump from moral subjectivity to "might makes right".

  2. And in fact, to follow up on Steven's comment, successful communities survive and flourish (and impose moral strictures) because they discover the value of inter-subjectivity as a check on wanton subjectivity. (see the Julia Sweeney comment in the post below).