Hi, I'm Ariel, and I'm an Optimistic Nihilist
What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What am I meant to do in this existence? Optimistic nihilism answers your burning what-is-life questions.
Although I was raised Christian, I began to realize as a young adult that my "devotion" to religion was nothing more than me doing what I was told to do. So, having found myself back at the drawing board, I had to wonder, what's life about then? Where do we go after we die? All these times I've prayed was I just talking to myself? After a while of searching, I found that I kind of already knew the answers. I couldn't grasp the concept of heaven and hell because I simply don't believe there is an afterlife. All those times I prayed, I was just speaking my hopes and gratitudes into the universe (which isn't necessarily pointless). And I couldn't find my meaning in life because I was never assigned one (my obsession with Percy Jackson had me convinced I was supposed to be some main character heroine😂). Instead, I realized my life would only be as purposeful as I made it.
Put that all together and I had an optimistic nihilist on my hands.
In short, Nihilism is the belief that life has no inherent meaning. In my personal belief, I was not assigned a destiny at birth, there is no deity that watches over me or favors me, and when I die there will be no reward for being good or punishment for being bad. In fact, I don't believe in life after death at all. Personally, I think human life was just a happy accident. We have no pre-destiny or particular reason for being. There has been an eternity time before us, and there will be an eternity after. You and I are but drops in the ocean of life.
Sounds grim right? Well, at first glance, yes, it is a scary idea -- that we're just animals on a floating rock amid the infinite expanse of time and space😳-- but that's where optimistic nihilism comes in. An optimistic nihilist thinks life's lack of inherent meaning makes it more special. In a life where no meaning or pre-destiny is assigned to you, you can make whatever you want of it. And that's incredibly special! As happy accidents floating on a rock in an infinite space, we're infinitely lucky to just be here, to experience this unique drop of time in the ocean of humanity.
In this life, where I can choose my purpose, where I won't be punished or rewarded after death, and where I am often reminded of just how short and fragile my existence is, I choose to be positive, ever-evolving, kind, and to treasure every moment like it's my last.
Thanks for reading right through! It means so much to me :) If you'd like to look further into the concept of Optimistic Nihilism I suggest watching this gorgeously animated video by Kurzgesagt. It's one of my favorite channels for all things philosophy and science. If you're really down a what-is-life rabbit hole, I suggest you also check out their video called "The Egg"! It's super deep and it'll make you think. Luckily for you, I've written a post about my takeaways from it for you to digest! You can find it here.
As always, feel free to chat with me over on insta (@ariels_view)!