Nihilism

I am doing a project with a friend and we have to go out and talk to people about Nihilism and ask them some questions. Is there any questions you guys have to maybe help us with this project.

also is there any place in the bible that talks about Nihilism?

So we have talked about Nihilism in class but I was more looking for questions to ask a person on the street about it. So, for example, What is hope? How do you find hope? and
Why do you think most people need meaning in life?.
I need more questions like these to ask people.

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The idea of Nihilism as a world view in the Bible will be hard to find. I think that you find a number of verses that struggle with the why me question but this is usually discussed in the context of appealing to a deity, in the case of the Hebrew it would be Yahweh in the case of the pagans a pagan god.

I think I am safe in saying that the idea of a Cosmos devoid of a deity(s) in the ANE would be hard pressed to support.
My thoughts. I am sure others will comment and I will leave the question to them.

I like to ask them what do they mean by Nihilism? This is a bit of a trick question. It is similar to asking, “What do you mean when you say there is no meaning?” I talk to them about how it is possible we are having a conversation if there is no meaning. The words I am using to communicate an idea to you are being transmitted to you are you are decoding my meaning. Language is only possible because there is meaning. Therefore, the position that meaning doesn’t exist is not a tenable position. To be honest, if they cannot admit that it might not be worth continuing the conversation, because they are not being intellectually honest. At least, it might not be worth continuing the conversation in that direction.

If they will admit that meaning exists, then you can have a conversation as to why something as important as life is completely devoid of meaning. If you can find meaning in a conversation, a novel, a painting, how would the mind which produced those things have no meaning?

Hope this helps. I am sure that others are able to provide some additional insight.

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is Nihilism where you end up when you take Atheism to it’s logical conclusion?

Gotquestions has an article.

In the RZIM core module; and Ravi talks about it as well; one of the 4 worldview questions is the ‘Meaning’ category.

Origin:
How do you think the universe came into existence?
How do you think human life began?

Meaning:
What is the purpose of human life?

Morality:
How do you determine good and bad?

Destiny:
What will happen at the end (at death)?

One possible book in the Bible you might find some thoughts on this is Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes.
Ravi Zacharias talked on the problem of pleasure at his recent Liberty University, and talked on the phrase ‘under the sun’; meaning that without God; the pursuit of pleasure ends up empty.

you might also enjoy (if you haven’t already seen them); theBibleProject 3 videos on the wisdom series;

in terms of your project; your questions are excellent; I especially like the one ‘Why do you think most people need meaning in life?’. that will really get people thinking about the topic.

I liked @Joshua_Hansen point about language and words carry meaning; which our brains can comprehend. I’m reminded of a Lennox quote in one of his books; basically he says “if your brain is the product of mindless unguided processes; how can you trust it to do logic”.

Lennox discerns in this a self-defeating materialism. In books such as God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? he argues that the scientist’s confidence in reason ultimately depends on the existence of a rational and purposeful Creator. Otherwise, our thoughts are nothing more than electro-chemical events, the chattering of soul-less synapses. “If you take the atheistic, naturalistic, materialistic view, you’re going to invalidate the reasoning process,” he says, “because in the end you’re going to say that the brain is simply the end product of a blind, unguided process. If that’s the case, why should you trust it?”

The materialist view inevitably gives birth to a form of determinism that appears to mock our essential humanity. Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and atheist, expresses the modern scientific outlook thus: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its tune.” Yet biological determinism, Lennox explains, robs human beings of any claim to dignity and freedom. Free will, we are told, is an illusion.

just a few thoughts; hopefully helpful. all the best with your project… :slight_smile:

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