What is nihilism?

I have been wondering as to what nihilism is, why was it introduced, why did it gain traction, and is it a bad thing?

It depends on whether or not suicide is a bad thing. Little children don’t think their lives are useless – they are taught that later, or maybe sooner by cruel parents. God wants us to be childlike to come to him.
 

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Nihilism is the end result of the application of skepticism to everything, that is until you realize that there is no reason why skepticism cannot or should not be applied to skepticism itself. Then you can turn from deconstruction to construction with a fresh new start, especially if you overcome the delusion that life can be lived solely as an objective observer.

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Life is what we make it.

Who cares?

(Sorry, but that was my first thought, in a Dad joke sort of way)

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Nihilism has associations with Christianity. I remember reading Francis Schafer write of destroying the philosophical basis of one of his students, and stating it would be cruel if we did not have something better to offer. And I often hear Christians state something to the effect that life is meaningless outside of Christ, with is somewhat nihilistic. But, philosophy is one of my weakest knowledge areas, so will await more learned responses with great anticipation.

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Nihilism states that life is meaningless because there is no objective meaning to life. The reason that I and many others think Nihilism is wrong is because a subjective meaning of life works really, really well. Life has meaning because we invent that meaning.

As @mitchellmckain states, Nihilism is the overextension of skepticism. If we want to learn about the physical universe or objective facts then skepticism is very useful. However, if we want to learn about the subjective human experience then skepticism just doesn’t work. We humans are this wonderful mix of objective, rational thought and subjective emotion, and there is no reason why one should rule over the other. We can do both.

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