Nihilism is perceived as a bleak philosophy for one to incorporate in one's repertoire. I mean, what else would there be to expect on a belief that all ideologies are baseless and that nothing matters? Rudimentarily speaking, with how vast the universe is and the inability for us to explore beyond the scope of our solar system, it almost seems like a cruel joke and false pretense to believe that all this space was created just for humanity.
Nihilism fosters a baseline of practicality that's consistent with reality; we will never truly be able to appreciate the universe and are only granted a glimpse in our short life. It's no surprise that nihilists have a proclivity to garrison themselves against the world, equipping skepticism and pessimism as their outlets of release for this hoax. However, the privilege of being a conscious, sentient being can redeem the attributes of nihilism, making it possible to truly enjoy your position in this world.
One fear that is innate in most organisms revolves around death. We picture death as an eternity of darkness dormant in a shell of nothingness. From this video I watched by Kurzgesagt, an AWESOME YouTuber who inspired this article, close your eyes and count up to one second. You did that? Good! That's how long eternity feels like.
The way humans perceive death is relative to a conscious mind; one that would actively ponder who they would have amounted to in life or regret the things that they never got to accomplish. Furthermore, death is perceived as though it's void would be experienced. There is a brief moment of darkness, but in reality, death would feel like hibernation. Do you recall what it felt like during embryonic development? No one does, because it was a time when we weren't conscious! Thus, the feeling of death is one you do not experience and won't be a state of torment.
Another factor to acknowledge is that humanity has only been a part of the universe's equation in the short span of 250,000 years. This is when the first modern humans were believed to exist in Ethiopia. The fact of the matter is that the Earth has existed approximately 4.54 billion years ago, meaning we're a mere paragraph in the planet's memoir. In fact, Earth is only one of many volumes the universe has written for it has existed for 13.7 billion years.
In truth, the brevity of our existence emphasizes how arbitrary we are in the grander scheme of things; it's liberating to know that any minor inconvenience (or even tragedy) doesn't matter. Every lie you've told, person you've hurt, although it plays a significant role in shaping who you are, will never torment you forever.
Our brains cannot fathom how large the universe is. Even if we were to travel at the speed of light, it would take us four years to reach the nearest planet that is like our own. The energy demands that would be necessary to maintain such a speed would be impossible.
It feels unfair that we're bound to this planet; it seems like we're not special. On the contrary, we hold a unique position in this world, a property whose absence in death gives our life meaning: the conscious mind. Our ability to think and questions the "whys" and "how's" of the world is something we haven't observed anywhere else in the universe. In other words, we bring the conscious to the universe. We provide this realm with emotions, culture, philosophy, and a means to quantify and comprehend its vast beauty. In truth, we have the most unique perspective in the universe solely based our evolutionary path.
Overall, nihilism is a morbid way to perceive how insignificant our existence is. However, the humbling nature of existing in such a vast universe would innately liberate us from our negativity and focus on investing our brief time in consolidating a tangent of peace. The scaffolding of our lives is what we intend to build for ourselves; we choose to serve for the causes that give us meaning. We choose the impact we wish to have on posterity and will continue to live on in the souls that we've touched.