Archived. Optimism seeks to give life meaning, and so it would also seek to eliminate Nihilism. Nihilism means that life has no meaning. Another reason why these philosophies are often confused is that Friedrich Nietzsche is a central philosopher in both. Simply stated, existentialism has a special regard to an individualist approach and the sense of free will. Close. Nihilism vs. Existentialism. 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. Existential Nihilism Atheism is a broad ideology, embraced in part by many different branches of philosophy. 7 years ago. 13. u/bokonisto. Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. Nihilism says you are. While a sort of nihilistic existentialism does indeed exist, it isn’t as radical as pure nihilism. In result, you’re free to do whatever you’d like because nothing has meaning. 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. 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. Can someone please explain the difference between Nietzsche's and Sartre's ideas about finding meaning in life? Nihilism vs. Existentialism. Friedriche Niche introduces Nihlism as the belief in nothing. In my opinion, the term, “optimistic nihilism” is an oxymoron. Though nihilism isn’t existentialism, and existentialism isn’t nihilism, these two philosophies are often confused. 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. Philosophers like Soren Kierkgard, and Sarte explain existentialism as being completely free to make your own choices. Posted by. Which leads into existentialism. 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.