Nihilism is for Quitters!
Do you struggle with ‘hope’? For some this can be a real challenge. For others, hope can fade in and out. Sometimes it’s easier to come by than others. I started this series (like a lot of folks), “The Last of Us” on HBO. It’s a new series made from a zombie killing video game that many gamers find to be really well done. The hope is that the show will be just as well done.
It’s another story about civilization as we know it being ended with a problem bacteria that turns humans into zombies. Those who aren’t turned are either living oppressed in the police state that people feel that such an event would lead to; or they are part of the police state itself. Either way, it’s not a very hope-filled picture of the future.
The show is the latest in a nihilistic season of art and culture. Put simply, nihilism is a movement that holds that life is essentially meaningless. Nihilistic people tend to reject religious and moral principles as being worthless in a meaningless world.
Obviously, I’m not a fan. The reasons a pastor would reject a meaningless life aren’t complicated. But what strikes me is how easily this kind of belief system leads to uncivilized and immoral behavior. If life means nothing, why not just look out for #1 all the time? We can just quit pretending to care.
In that sense, I’d argue that morality and faith in a larger, loving presence is actually a more challenging approach to life. You can’t just default to the easiest and most self-serving response. You have to put some thought, heart, and care into it… and into others.
What do you think?