Nihilism is defined by google as “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless”. It sounds like quite a dramatic word, but even the idea that life is predefined would fall under nihilism.
My own interpretation of the universe is that it is all predestined. Our current thoughts, feelings and actions are all consequences of our pasts and the pasts of others. If we understood all physics in the universe and we knew where every proton, electron, and so on, were in the universe then we could predict where they will be etc.
Despite that ultimate, depressing view of the universe, I still do believe we can be happy. Why? Well because people are happy. I mean not everyone but there are happy people in the world.
I’ve been wondering, if ultimately life and the universe is void of meaning or purpose then what is the point of happiness or contentment? The answer is extremely simple.
Just because someone has an ultimate view which is nihilistic does not void them of perception. If the world is meaningless and predetermined then there ultimately would not be happiness, sadness, freedom, or oppression. But we do perceive these concepts and there is no denying that, no matter what your ultimate view is.
Our entirety is about perceptions and so we should be living to those rather than any grand overarching ideas we have of the universe.
And for anyone that believes, like me, that everything is predetermined, who thinks “well it’s up to life to make me happy then, I mean it’s all predetermined”. Well who’s to say that your ultimate destination isn’t to be happy? Who’s to say that it isn’t your destiny to go out there and make the world a better place or make your life better?
Unless you can say with 100% accuracy what your destiny is then you may as well live to your perceptions.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is just because someone’s view is ultimately nihilistic, it doesn’t mean you can’t have principles, it doesn’t mean you can’t strive for happiness.
I come across this dilemma all the time. I may play some games for a while; I might get a little addicted to them. Then, one day I will wake up and think what is the point?! There’s no point to it. After a few days I will snap back in to the moment and realise something. It’s not about an ultimate meaning, it’s about perception in the moment. If you do something and you feel gratified for doing it then that is great, regardless of if there is a purpose or meaning behind it.
Another example of thinking too much is relationships. Ultimately, all relationships end up in someone being upset. If you meet someone in your 20’s and you’re together for the rest of your life, well, sorry to say, but one of you is usually going to die first leaving the other upset and feeling lost. That does not mean that the relationship was not worth it. It is about your perceived happiness at the time.
The likelihood is, if you live for your happiness at that moment, there may well be a time in your life where the positives outweigh the negatives.