Nihilism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "nihilism" Showing 1-30 of 413
Chuck Palahniuk
“I see in the fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars, advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives, we've been all raised by television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't and we're slowly learning that fact. and we're very very pissed off.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Samuel Beckett
“I can't go on, I'll go on.”
Samuel Beckett, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On: A Samuel Beckett Reader

Charles Bukowski
“I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care.”
Charles Bukowski, Women

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality and the recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot

Chuck Palahniuk
“If you could be either God’s worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Brent Weeks
“Do you know what punishments I've endured for my crimes, my sins? None. I am proof of the absurdity of men's most treasured abstractions. A just universe wouldn't tolerate my existence.”
Brent Weeks, The Way of Shadows

A.A. Milne
“There must be somebody there, because somebody must have said "Nobody.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Joseph Heller
“Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window, and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Albert Camus
“If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel

Viktor E. Frankl
“But today’s society is characterized by achievement orientation, and consequently it adores people who are successful and happy and, in particular, it adores the young. It virtually ignores the value of all those who are otherwise, and in so doing blurs the decisive difference between being valuable in the sense of dignity and being valuable in the sense of usefulness. If one is not cognizant of this difference and holds that an individual’s value stems only from his present usefulness, then, believe me, one owes it only to personal inconsistency not to plead for euthanasia along the lines of Hitler’s program, that is to say, ‘mercy’ killing of all those who have lost their social usefulness, be it because of old age, incurable illness, mental deterioration, or whatever handicap they may suffer. Confounding the dignity of man with mere usefulness arises from conceptual confusion that in turn may be traced back to the contemporary nihilism transmitted on many an academic campus and many an analytical couch.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Alan Moore
“Why do we argue? Life's so fragile, a successful virus clinging to a speck of mud, suspended in endless nothing.”
Alan Moore, Watchmen

Cormac McCarthy
“The point is there ain't no point.”
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

John Fowles
“I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing.”
John Fowles, The Collector

Eugène Ionesco
“That's how we stay young these days: murder and suicide.”
Eugène Ionesco, Man With Bags

Cornel West
“Nihilism is a natural consequence of a culture (or civilization) ruled and regulated by categories that mask manipulation, mastery and domination of peoples and nature.”
Cornel West, The Cornel West Reader

Bret Easton Ellis
“Disappear Here.
The syringe fills with blood.
You're a beautiful boy and that's all that matters.
Wonder if he's for sale.
People are afraid to merge. To merge.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

Betty  Smith
“It's come at last," she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache. When there wasn't enough food in the house you pretended that you weren't hungry so they could have more. In the cold of a winter's night you got up and put your blanket on their bed so they wouldn't be cold. You'd kill anyone who tried to harm them - I tried my best to kill that man in the hallway. Then one sunny day, they walk out in all innocence and they walk right into the grief that you'd give your life to spare them from.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Flannery O'Connor
“If you live today, you breath in nihilism ... it's the gas you breathe. If I hadn't had the Church to fight it with or to tell me the necessity of fighting it, I would be the stinkingest logical positivist you ever saw right now.”
Flannery O'Connor

Alan Moore
“I sat on the bed. I looked at the Rorschach blot. I tried to make it look like a spreading tree, shadows pooled beneath it, but it didn't. It looked more like a dead cat I once found, the fat, glistening grubs writhing blindly, squirming over each other, frantically tunneling away from the light. But even that isn't the real horror. The horror is this: in the end, it is simply a picture of empty meaningless blackness.”
Alan Moore, Watchmen

Friedrich Nietzsche
“It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely in the "hands of God"; and when it maintains this proportion with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make four, we others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb THIS pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness into the heart of things (the old God, deus myops, still lives among them!); we others — we read something else into the heart of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, more painful, more mistrustful wisdom.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Seraphim Rose
“Atheism, true 'existential' atheism burning with hatred of a seemingly unjust or unmerciful God, is a spiritual state; it is a real attempt to grapple with the true God.… Nietzsche, in calling himself Antichrist, proved thereby his intense hunger for Christ.”
Seraphim Rose, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

Fernando Pessoa
“Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter. Sit still with me and meditate on how useless effort is, how alien the will, and on how our very meditation is no more useful than effort, and no more our own than the will. Meditate too on how a life that wants nothing can have no weight in the flux of things, but a life the wants everything can likewise have no weight in the flux of things, since it cannot obtain everything, and to obtain less than everything is not worthy of souls that seek the truth.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Education of the Stoic

Ivan Turgenev
“I look up to heaven only when I want to sneeze.”
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Albert Camus
“We are living in the era of premeditation and the perfect crime. Our criminals are no longer helpless children who could plead love as their excuse. On the contrary, they are adults and the have the perfect alibi: philosophy, which can be used for any purpose - even for transforming murderers into judges.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel

Ashim Shanker
“His hatred for all was so intense that it should extinguish the very love from which it was conceived. And thus, he ceased to feel. There was nothing further in which to believe that made the prospect of feeling worthwhile. Daily he woke up and cast downtrodden eyes upon the sea and he would say to himself with a hint of regret at his hitherto lack of indifference, 'All a dim illusion, was it? Surely it was foolish of me to think any of this had meaning.' He would then spend hours staring at the sky, wondering how best to pass the time if everything—even the sky itself— were for naught. He arrived at the conclusion that there was no best way to pass the time. The only way to deal with the illusion of time was to endure it, knowing full well, all the while, that one was truly enduring nothing at all. Unfortunately for him, this nihilistic resolution to dispassion didn’t suit him very well and he soon became extremely bored. Faced now with the choice between further boredom and further suffering, he impatiently chose the latter, sailing another few weeks along the coast , and then inland, before finally dropping anchor off the shores of the fishing village of Yami.”
Ashim Shanker, Only the Deplorable

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“I must add... my gratitude to you for the attention with which you have listened to me, for, from my numerous observations, our Liberals are never capable of letting anyone else have a conviction of his own without at once meeting their opponent with abuse or even something worse.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot

Christopher Hitchens
“Like the Nazis, the cadres of jihad have a death wish that sets the seal on their nihilism. The goal of a world run by an oligarchy in possession of Teutonic genes, who may kill or enslave other 'races' according to need, is not more unrealizable than the idea that a single state, let alone the globe itself, could be governed according to the dictates of an allegedly holy book. This mad scheme begins by denying itself the talents (and the rights) of half the population, views with superstitious horror the charging of interest, and invokes the right of Muslims to subject nonbelievers to special taxes and confiscations. Not even Afghanistan or Somalia, scenes of the furthest advances yet made by pro-caliphate forces, could be governed for long in this way without setting new standards for beggary and decline.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Enemy

Mihai Eminescu
“Stiam prea bine ca fondul sufletului meu e desgustul, apatia, mizeria. Eu nu sunt facut pentru nici o femee, nici o femee nu e facuta pentru mine, si oricare ar crede-o ar fi nenorocita. Nu iubesc nimic pentru ca nu cred in nimic si prea greoi pentru a lua vreun lucru precum se prezinta, eu nu am privirea ce infrumuseteaza lumea, ci aceea care vede numai raul, numai defectele, numai partea umbrei . Satul de viata fara sa fi trait vreodata, neavand un interes adevarat pentru nimic in lume, sunt moraliceste desalat ... Nu cred nimic, nu sper nimic si mi-e moraliceste frig ca unui batran de 80 de ani.”
Mihai Eminescu, Dulcea mea Doamnă/Eminul meu iubit. Corespondenţa inedită Mihai Eminescu - Veronica Micle

“Nothing matters very much and most things don't matter at all.”
Arthur Balfour

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