On a recent podcast I did with Rollo Tomassi and Rian Stone, hosted by Anthony Johnson from the 21 Convention, I found myself annoyed at having my perspective called out as being one of nihilism. As I reflected on why this was, I found myself returning to the definition of nihilism, which is the philosophical position that life lacks inherent meaning. Calling someone a nihilist seems to be the insult du jour as of late, I won’t pretend to understand why, but it’s on the surface a very effective rhetorical gambit while engaged in a debate concerning ethics or morality. After all, what someone considers meaningful is often tied to higher aspirations and lofty ideals such as morality, creating a better world or the likes.
However, in general it seems to rear its ugly head when one’s analysis of a prescribed course of action is a negative one. For instance, if one calls an approach mired in idealism as being idealistic given the present climate, one is likely to be called a nihilist due to one’s perceived denigration of aspirational ideas, when in reality if one aspires to something unrealistic, it is a dream not a plan of action.
As people have argued, there are many things that give people meaning in their life, there are men who find meaning through working 80 – 100 hours a week, day in and day out in a specialized area attempting to climb the dominance hierarchy. There are men who reject this pursuit in favor of more time with family, their interests or many other things. Continue reading