Nihilism vs Faith

When you allow yourself to explore all philosophical and religious angles, you will come face to face with the world of nihilism. And after exploring all the different options, nihilism becomes quite attractive because it demands nothing. The author of Ecclesiastes would agree. So don’t argue. It’s biblical.

When you give it an honest effort to see what is out there and you start to recognize that all worldviews and perspectives are equal, you start to realize that everything is just made up. There is absolutely no standard in which to tell what is good, bad, wrong, right or meaningful. Sure, we impose standards by faith all the time, or we force standards and pass down values. But these are just our conceptions as well. There is no way to have an all-encompassing standard that we can all appeal to. There is certainly no way to ascribe an objective meaning to anything.

Eventually, you will have no choice but to agree with the author of Ecclesiastes. Everything is meaningless.

If this is true. Which no one can prove is not. What is the point of doing anything?

The question of “what is the point” or “does anything have meaning” is a loaded question as well. Why do we need meaning? Why do we need a point? Is there even such thing as truth? Asking that question is also a sign that we have ascribed to a faith somewhere. A faith that meaning and points are necessary.

So hear I am. A Christian. Someone who struggles to find any meaning in anything yet my life is packed full of meaningful experiences, relationships and outcomes. I wouldn’t be so arrogant to suggest that this meaning is an objective meaning that applies to everyone. Yet I find deep significance in being connected to the people I am connected to, doing the things I am doing and fighting for the things I’m fighting for.

The only cure for nihilism is faith. If you have faith in anything, you are not a nihilist. Faith in humans, faith in God, faith in goodness, faith in anti-oppressive practice, faith in the future or faith in an outcome. As soon as you believe something, you cease to accept that things have no significance.

I find myself struggling between nihilist tendencies and faith tendencies daily. There is really nothing of substance to base either on. So I just live in this awful tension of believing “everything is meaningless” and “everything is meaningful.” Whoever wrote Ecclesiastes would understand.

I guess even to be a nihilist would take an element of faith. So, I find myself at a stand still. Nihilist or man of faith – but they seem to the be the same thing or at least end with the same results.

2 Comments

  • I resonate with your post today Nate. That is a real struggle for sure!

  • I stumbled upon this article as randomly as it gets. Great read! Unfortunately it doesn’t bring me any closer to any REAL answers! Peace and love too you nevertheless.

    Joe Lafferty

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