Monday, March 19, 2018

The Bright Side of Nihilism

I haven't studied Nihilism anywhere near enough to effectively blog about it, but I'm going to go for it anyway. As I understand it, Nihilism is a belief that there is no inherent meaning to a person's life. People aren't born with any grand purpose, and there is no God telling us what we ought to do or be, according to my understanding of Nihilism. Many people see this as soul-crushing. Some believe that Nihilism, if it's true, makes life completely meaningless. But that's not the way I see it. I and many others see Nihilism as an opportunity to create our own meaning of life. If our lives don't have any inherent purpose, we can still give them purpose. Under Nihilism, we can decide what we want our lives to be about. That's not soul-crushing; it's liberating.

Of course, it's also academic. There is a God who created us for specific reasons, and He does have great plans in store for each of us who are willing to follow Him. In gaming terms, there is a Main Quest that we are supposed to try to achieve, yet I choose to believe that God grants us the freedom to choose which Side Quests we also follow and to even make up our own, if we want to. God may have a particular career or calling in mind for you, but you get to choose your hobbies. (You can also choose your own career and you can reject callings, regardless of what God says, if you really want to, though you'll probably miss out on blessings if you do.)

I like the middle ground way of thinking because it gives me the best of both worlds. Knowing that God has a plan for me lets me know that I'm part of something bigger than myself, and knowing that, even within His plan, God gives us a lot of freedom lets me know that the purpose of my mortal life is still largely up to me. God has a plan that gives all our lives meaning, but what meaning our lives have beyond that is up to us to decide.

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