Nihilism vs. Existentialism. 13. Which leads into existentialism. Nihilism means that life has no meaning. Posted by. Where it parts company with existentialism, however, is in the level of resulting despair and the conclusion that therefore perhaps the best course of action is suicide. Exploring the similarities and differences between Absurdism, Existentialism and Nihilism. Though nihilism isn’t existentialism, and existentialism isn’t nihilism, these two philosophies are often confused. Close. If the idea that values are without foundation in being can be understood as a form of nihilism, the existential response to this condition of the modern world is to point out that meaning, value, is not first of all a matter of contemplative theory but a consequence of engagement and commitment. 7 years ago. Can someone please explain the difference between Nietzsche's and Sartre's ideas about finding meaning in life? Optimism seeks to give life meaning, and so it would also seek to eliminate Nihilism. Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. Existential Nihilism Atheism is a broad ideology, embraced in part by many different branches of philosophy. Although existentialism is not by necessity nihilistic, nihilism does share a close affinity with existentialism because it depicts human life as ultimately trivial and meaningless. Nihilism vs. Existentialism. u/bokonisto. In result, you’re free to do whatever you’d like because nothing has meaning. Nihilism says you are. Philosophers like Soren Kierkgard, and Sarte explain existentialism as being completely free to make your own choices. This is very different from nihilism which is defined as the rejection of all religious beliefs and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism suggests that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. Another reason why these philosophies are often confused is that Friedrich Nietzsche is a central philosopher in both. Friedriche Niche introduces Nihlism as the belief in nothing. Simply stated, existentialism has a special regard to an individualist approach and the sense of free will. While a sort of nihilistic existentialism does indeed exist, it isn’t as radical as pure nihilism. In my opinion, the term, “optimistic nihilism” is an oxymoron. Archived.