Sunday Terminology: Nihilism


Nihilism: The rejection of objective moral values and structures, literally “nothingism.” The nihilist is a skeptic about moral traditions and obligations and does not regard them as binding. A distinction should be made between the attitude of the reluctant or sorrowing nihilist, who finds nihilism terrifying but true, and the celebrative nihilist, who view nihilism as liberation from oppressive rules. Friedrich Nietzsche sometimes described nihilism as a fate that haunts Western culture. At other times, he seems more celebrative in his calls for the construction of a new morality. For those who believe morality requires a transcendent basis, Nietzsche is seen as a guide pointing beyond nihilism.[1]

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[1] C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 82.

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