Nihilism

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Nihilism (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.əlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.əlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life[1] is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological, metaphysical or ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible or that contrary to our belief, some aspect of reality does not exist as such.

The term nihilism is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2] Movements such as Futurism and deconstruction,[3] among others, have been identified by commentators as "nihilistic" at various times in various contexts.

Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,[4] and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[5] and many aspects of modernity[3] represent a rejection of theism, and that such a rejection entails some form of nihilism.

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