122+ Best Nihilism Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Nihilism is a belief that all political and religious organizations are bad, or a system of thought that says that there are no principles or beliefs that have any meaning or can be true. Profoundly inspirational nihilism quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

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Famous Nihilism Quotes

Everything in the world displeases me but, above all, my displeasure in everything displeases me. Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s impossible to fathom the sadness of those who are left behind, but if life gives one more suffering than death, shouldn’t we respect their right to end life? We are so bad at mourning in our society. Maybe it’s a failure of respect. Some call those who choose their own death sinners or failures or losers who give up. Is living until the end really a triumph in every case? As if there can be any true winning or losing in this game of life. Baek Se Hee

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. William Shakespeare

Do you know why the world is moving? Or why things are the way they are? It’s because the vast majority of people don’t ask themselves one simple question. And then what? I want to crack this exam. And then what? I want to elope with her. And then what? I want that luxury car. And then what? I want to be famous. And then what? Do you understand what I want to expound? We all progress, taking one step at a time. We all progress with one goal under consideration. But no matter how many steps we take, there still remains a deep yearning for something that we can’t explain. A nihilist knows that it is a vicious circle. A nihilist knows that it is all pointless. Yes, true nihilism is spirituality inverted. But thank God, nihilists don’t rule this world. And thank God, nor do the spiritualists. Else the whole world would be asking, And then what? Abhaidev

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. Albert Camus

It is just a simple question And then what? But its consequence? Manifold! Abhaidev

What are you looking for? There is no Truth. There’s only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust,stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses what can you do about it, my poor friend? Blaise Cendrars

One might think of the discovery and conquest of the farthest ends of the earth, the expanses of space, the labyrinthine recesses of the soul, and the depths of the self. And it is part of the dialectic of modernity that these depths are characterized, not only by positive values such as love, constructive desires, and gaiety, but also by the yawning abysses of horror, fear, and destruction. Conquest is always accompanied by destruction, the optimistic mood of discovery by the anxiety of existence. Hubertus Kohle

What can be broken, should be broken. Dmitry Pisarev

To say human life had no meaning was the easy part. But Hanio was struck all over again by the huge amount of energy required to live a life filled with so much meaninglessness. Yukio Mishima

There is no other world. Nor even this one. What, then, is there? The inner smile provoked in us by the patent nonexistence of both. Emile M. Cioran

People doom and damn themselves with their own perverse and pessimistic beliefs about reality. David Sinclair

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. Friedrich Nietzsche

I dream of a moment when, without my asking, my actions will betray completely this part of me that asks for nothing. Yukio Mishima

I think human consciousness, is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

The truth is, I was never a nihilist at all. I just wore nihilism like a shield to protect my unrelenting tragic optimism. Sean Norris

The point is there ain’t no point. Cormac McCarthy

If you ever find yourself being born, scramble back inside as quick as you can. Life’s all downhill from there. Jeremy Szal

The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism. Albert Camus

At most, You exist for 80/90 years, and you don’t exist for 80/90 Years. Do you think your existence makes any difference to the period you don’t exist? Assuming you were born for a noble and great purpose to do some great things is an idiotic self consoling assumption. Your existence is worth absolutely nothing. Anupam S. Shlok

There is no one as dangerous as he or she who has nothing to lose. Rebecca Solnit

It’s a matter of will. A matter of drama. I have to think of myself as an actor. What is real and what is drama anyway? It is simply a matter of convincing myself and everyone else to believe. What’s this blather about the real truth? Sergio Troncoso

Destroy or be destroyed there is no middle way! Let us then be the destroyers! Mikhail Bakunin

Without a future, even the present becomes unbearable, and for this reason we do not dare, as a rule, to tell the incurably sick of their condition. Nothing is so unbearable for man as to have no future. Joseph Ratzinger

We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. Friedrich Nietzsche

The hot sun struck the backs of their close shaven necks. It was a peaceful, uneventful, glorious Sunday afternoon. Yet, Kiyoaki remained convinced that at the bottom of this world, which was like a leather bag filled with water, there was a little hole, and it seemed to him that he could hear time leaking from it, drop by drop. Yukio Mishima

All good things were formerly bad things; every original sin has turned into an original virtue. Friedrich Nietzsche

Bernard adds Remember Nietzsche? That we must use culture to overcome the death of god and defeat Nihilism? Well, we just did that via a Beatnik style poetry reading. Remember friends, we must defeat Nihilism a day at a time. Down with Nihilism! Cheers to that! Ryan Gelpke

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

I then take the opportunity to ask him about the lemon rule and he laughs, tells me its quite simple You know how Nietzsche was all about creating your own morality and use your misfortune to learn from them? You know the tale of being hunted by the sleep paralysis demon and the eternal recurrence? To which he answered Amor Fati, love your fate no matter what? I nod. Well I took the old saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade and took it as an interpretation of his Amor Fati concept. That’s why we will all have a lemon with us tonight on the pub crawl. And if you lose it, in other words you hate your fate and are a nihilist, you have to drink. Ryan Gelpke

Nihilism is not only despair and negation but above all the desire to despair and to negate. Albert Camus

Once the world has been transformed into something meaningful, some feel they can die without regret. Others feel that they exist in a world without meaning, so what’s the point of living? But where do these two sets of feelings converge? For Hanio, both paths led to the same thing death. Yukio Mishima

A nihilist is not one who believes in nothing, but one who does not believe in what exists. Albert Camus

The game has no beginning or end; it has been going on from beginningless time anadi kal se, as Jains always say and will continue for an infinite time to come anant kal tak. Nor does it reflect the purposes of some divine creator; there is no rhyme or reason to it  the game simply is. Lawrence A. Babb

Those who believe in nothing are very, very jealous and angry at those who believe in something. Dennis Prager

He who hates himself is not humble. Emil M. Cioran

God is Dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we we still have to vanquish his shadow, too. Friedrich Nietzsche

The point, Squire, is that where they used to be confined to State institutions or to the mudrooms and attics of remote country houses they are now abroad everywhere. The government pays them to travel. To procreate, for that matter. I’ve seen entire families here that can best be explained as hallucinations. Hordes of drooling dolts lurching through the streets. Their inane gibbering. And of course no folly so deranged or pernicious as to escape their advocacy. Cormac McCarthy

No system has ever as yet existed which did not in some form involve the exploitation of some human beings for the advantage of others. John Dewey

There’s this space in our lives that we attempt to fill with more space and the nothingness grows larger while our lives get smaller, a fact we can’t seem to accept very well. So, we take walks and we work and we go to movies and basketball games and church and we Exist in our nothing lives and when we die a speech is made and we are forgotten once again, only more permanently this time. Scott C. Holstad

Say what you want about the deaf. Jimmy Carr

Man, you see, swings between nihilism and spirituality. Man, you see, swings between utmost bliss and the feelings of utter despair. It’s a rollercoaster, our lives. One can’t just go higher, higher all the time. Abhaidev,

The problem is not suffering itself or oblivion itself but the depraved meaninglessness of these things, the absolutely inhuman nihilism of suffering. John Green

Let me tell you a secret about the human condition. Nihilism leads to spirituality. And spirituality leads to nihilism. It is never in between for long. It is always a see saw in action. Yes, my dear child, one can’t remain mystical all the time, for hopelessness creeps into even the most positive of minds. But this hopelessness, this cynicism too is not permanent. Man, you see, swings between nihilism and spirituality. Man, you see, swings between utmost bliss and the feelings of utter despair. It’s a rollercoaster, our lives. One can’t just go higher, higher all the time. Abhaidev

Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I had always suspected myself of being almost purposeless, of not really having any single serious reason for existing. Now I was convinced, in the face of the facts themselves, of my personal emptiness. Louis Ferdinand Celine

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. Friedrich Nietzsche

Those who have a desperate need for others are more vulnerable to the exploitation of bad people than those who are perfectly fine in their own company. Selim Güre

Since there is no wrong or right, you just reap what you sow. Peter Murphy

Exit God, exit religion, exit divine purpose; enter cosmic insignificance, enter universal purposelessness, enter ever fleeting pleasures and ever present suffering life does indeed seem very bleak. No myths, no prophecies, nothing to console the thinking individual. What’s left is a heartless, cosmic meat grinder that is perfectly indifferent to its inhabitants. Without the vital lies we tell ourselves, our lives are utterly useless. Selim Güre

Habit A shackle for the free. Ambrose Bierce

What is worse is that one wonders how, to morrow, one will find strength enough to go on doing what one has been doing the day before, and for so much too long before that, strength for the whole mad business, for a thousand and one vain projects attempts to escape crushing necessity; attempts which are always stillborn. Louis Ferdinand Celine

Though nihilism has been relentlessly criticized for overemphasizing the dark side of human experience, it might be equally true that this overemphasis represents a needed counterbalance to shallow optimism and arrogant confidence in human power. Nihilism reminds us that we are not gods, and that despite all of the accomplishments and wonders of civilization, humans cannot alter the fact that they possess only a finite amount of mastery and control over their own destinies. John Marmysz

Suffering is one very long moment. Oscar Wilde

To think is to say no. Emile Chartier

You may defy the universe. You may say, Let it be irrational, I am not. Let it be merciless, I will have mercy. By whatever curious chance it has produced me, nowt that I am here I will according to human values. I know the universe will win in the end, but what is that to me? I will go down fighting. Amid all the wastefulness I will persevere; amid all this competition, I will make sacrifices. Be damned to the universe! C.S. Lewis,

Courage is impulsive; it is narcissism tempered with nihilism. Ayelet Waldman

They were doomed, I knew, and I was glad. John Gardner

All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word no. To no there is only one answer and that is yes. Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing. Man lives more by affirmation than by bread. Victor Hugo

Thinking about this cage he lived in, this prison where it felt like he’d spend the entirety of his life, cradle to grave, measuring the distance between his most modest hopes and all the cheap regret he actually ended up living. You passed your time in the cage, he figured, by clinging pointlessly and desperately to an endless series of unfinished sorrows. Stephen Markley

Belief and seeing are both often wrong. Robert McNamara

If silence is golden, then Zen may be called an alchemy that transforms all things into gold by purifying them in the fire of the negation of all words and letters, names and concepts, logical methods and theoretical systems. Keiji Nishitani

One cannot be a part time nihilist. Albert Camus

Forget that you’re a gram and feel yourself a millionth part of a ton. Yevgeny Zamyatin

Hitting bottom isn’t a weekend retreat, it’s not a goddamn seminar. Stop trying to control everything and just let go! Brad Pitt

When she asked him why he’d shot her daddy, he just shrugged and said that he’d been planning on shooting six people when he rode into town. She looked up at him, eyes wide, batting her eyelashes, feigning awe, looking on him the way that Joshua must have looked on the walls of Jericho, and asked him why six; and he said back to her because his pistol had six bullets in it. With another shrug, as though that answered everything. And then he turned to face her, with his livid scar and gap teeth and breath that stank like the devil and hell, and the words flashed sudden through her mind, clear as if they’d been laid out on parchment: this is what the face of a free man looks like. Phillip Andrew Bennett Low

Free men are aware of the imperfection inherent in human affairs, and they are willing to fight and die for that which is not perfect. They know that basic human problems can have no final solutions, that our freedom, justice, equality, etc. are far from absolute, and that the good life is compounded of half measures, compromises, lesser evils, and gropings toward the perfect. The rejection of approximations and the insistence on absolutes are the manifestations of a nihilism that loathes freedom, tolerance, and equity. Eric Hoffer

Our world is an illusion, we are nothing, nothing can be changed, but the process of life itself has some value. The movement is everything, the ultimate aim is nothing! Religion, science, creativity, and culture, in this concept, are just games with illusions and symbols. The most correct answer to the question how much is twice two? is how much do you need? Thus, the concepts of truth, good, and evil become meaningless. Certain illusions are no better than others. Andrew Orange

Nihilism is best done by professionals. Iggy Pop

How many times, by God’s bloody prick, have I longed to be able to detonate planets, to destroy the sun itself, to pluck it from the universe and crash it into the earth, annihilating all Creation and replacing it with a lightless void of violence. Ah, that would be a crime! A cosmic crime, dwarfing the petty misdemeanours we are committing here, limited as we are to snuffing out a few meaningless souls. Marquis de Sade

A great deal of time and intellectual force are lost in the world because the false seems great and the truth so small and insignificant. Maria Montessori

I felt, in brief agonies of disillusionment, the gigantic blackness of this overwhelming universe, in which my days and the days of my race were as nothing to the shattered stars; a universe in which each action is vain and even the emotion of grief a wasted thing. H.P. Lovecraft

The negative always wins at last, but I like it none the better for that. Mason Cooley

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Friedrich Nietzsche

Show me a population that is deeply religious and I will show you a servile population, content with whips and chains, content to eat the bread of sorrow and drink the waters of affliction. Hubert Harrison

Alaska has long been a magnet for dreamers and misfits, people who think the unsullied enormity of the Last Frontier will patch all the holes in their lives. The bush is an unforgiving place, however, that cares nothing for hope or longing. Jon Krakauer

Suffering is a byproduct of evolution by natural selection, an inevitable consequence that may worry us in our more sympathetic moments but cannot be expected to worry a tiger even if a tiger can be said to worry about anything at all and certainly cannot be expected to worry its genes. Richard Dawkins

Moral Psychology is a manifestation in the philosophical discipline of ethical nihilism. Sebastian Rödl

Nihilism is not an existential quandary but a speculative opportunity. Ray Brassier

I was born in a town that was straight out of a fairy tale. Many people died there, and when I walked away, I held hands with my other self. To me it seemed like we were the only two people in the world. Neither one of us possessed a real name. Naoki Urasawa

If all men lead mechanical, unpoetical lives, this is the real nihilism, the real undoing of the world. Reginald Horace Blyth

Eventually, all our graves go unattended. Conan O’Brien

Technology is not an image of the world but a way of operating on reality. The nihilism of technology lies not only in the fact that it is the most perfect expression of the will to power but also in the fact that it lacks meaning. Octavio Paz

Even as a child, when I lacked for nothing, I wanted to die I wanted to surrender because I saw no sense in struggling. I felt that nothing would be proved, substantiated, added or subtracted by continuing an existence which I had not asked for. Henry Miller

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

I was born in a town that was straight out of a fairy tale. Many people died there, and when I walked away, I held hands with my other self. To me it seemed like we were the only two people in the world. Neither one of us possessed a real name. Naoki Urasawa

If you want to scare people, you talk about evil. Noam Chomsky

Nihilism conditions us to actualize ourselves. It denies nothing of the inherent meaning to existence, and does not create a false objective reality based on our perceptions of what we wish did exist. Instead, it charges us to choose what we wish existed, and to work toward making it occur in reality. Brett Stevens

Philosophy would do well to desist from issuing any further injunctions about the need to re establish the meaningfulness of existence, the purposefulness of life, or mend the shattered concord between man and nature. It should strive to be more than a sop to the pathetic twinge of human self esteem. Nihilism is not an existential quandary but a speculative opportunity. Ray Brassier

Article Two The overwhelming majority of people never think and those who think never become the overwhelming majority. Choose your side. Elif Shafak

The enemy of liberal capitalism today is not so much socialism as nihilism. Irving Kristol

I am weary of my wisdom, like a bee that has gathered too much honey. I need hands that reach out. Friedrich Nietzsche

The saying no self, no problem probably comes from Zen. In their cultures, where Buddhism is kind of taken for granted, as well as karma, causality, former and future life, and the possibility for becoming enlightened, then it’s safe to skirt the danger of nihilism, which would be, I don’t exist because Buddha said I have no self, and therefore I have no problem because I don’t exist. That would be a bad misunderstanding. But in those cultures, it would not be as easy to have that understanding as it would be here in the west, where we really are nihilistic. Robert Thurman

This cup wants to become empty again, and Zarathustra wants to become human again. Friedrich Nietzsche

Regimes collapse when people are no longer afraid and think they’re no longer alone. Gordon G. Chang

Beautiful things always intimidate me. More than that, they drag me down. How can that be? Is it a superstition that beauty elevates mankind? Yukio Mishima

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

What’s the point of talking and thinking about the future which for the most part doesn’t depend on us? If the opportunity arises to do something great, and if it doesn’t at least you’ll be glad you didn’t chatter about it beforehand. Ivan Turgenev

Famously, there’s not really anywhere to go after nihilism. It’s not progressing toward anything, it’s a statement of outrage, however brilliant. Alan Moore

It is all a dream a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities. Mark Twain

The powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on that most rarefied delicacy impunity. Naomi Klein

Life is not fair. You can keep regretting it but absolutely nothing will change. You can keep trying but If it has not worked for you till now, most probably it will not work in the future as well. Anupam S. Shlok

I think there is an element of nihilism about, but I don’t think most artists feel their work is meaningless. Leonard Baskin

Forgiveness is giving up on the treacle of what has failed and moving towards that which is more ideal. It takes us from a negative logic of detesting something, to a space of emptiness, from which we can reconnect with creative logic and instead of acting out our fears of the negative, reach toward what may be beautiful. Brett Stevens

Religious concepts are parasitic upon moral intuitions. Pascal Boyer

We need an Age of Philosophers, of Enlightenment, an Age of Reason and Intellect, of Logic and Ontological Mathematics. Only then will we have the launchpad that can make Gods of us, and bring to fruition a Star Trek world where we travel through the galaxies to the heavens themselves. There’s nothing in the dreary, nihilistic, atheistic vision of scientific sophistry peddled by the likes of Sam Harris that could ever transform the human race. Humanity needs the right experts to lead it, not the wrong ones not the charlatans, gurus and glory hunters. Mike Hockney

The Stars are setting and the Caravan Starts for the Dawn of Nothing Oh, make haste! Omar Khayyam

God is Dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. And we we still have to vanquish his shadow, too. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Just to say Well, God is dead in one breath is to say, in another, that nothing means anything. This is the moment of nihilism. Nihilism is the affirmation of meaninglessness. Simon Critchley

The iniquity of oblivion blindly scatters her poppyseed and when wretchedness falls upon us one summer’s day like snow, all we wish for is to be forgotten. W.G. Sebald

Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing. Victor Hugo

A horribly bitter taste came into his mouth the futility of everything, the eternal pain of existence. Émile Zola

That is the most extreme form of nihilism nothingness the meaningless eternally! Friedrich Nietzsche

Suddenly, one day, out of nowhere, an enormous abyss opened up beneath our feet and I was staring into a face I didn’t recognize. Woody Allen

Continental thinkers have been obsessed with bourgeois man as representing the worst and most contemptible failure of modernity, which must at all costs be overcome. Nihilism in its most palpable sense means that the bourgeois has won, that the future, all foreseeable futures, belong to him, that all heights above him and all depths beneath him are illusory and that life is not worth living on these terms. Allan Bloom

Alcohol removed the chains holding in check my wish for revenge over having to conform to the stupidity of everyday life. Alcohol turned Jekyll into Hyde. But Jekyll was merely a façade. Hyde was there all along. Hyde was hatred for the world. And Jekyll the attempt to hide it. Keijo Kangur

Those are my enemies they want to overthrow and to construct nothing themselves. They say All that is worthless and want to create no value themselves. Friedrich Nietzsche

I rejoice that I could once think better of the world’s improvability than it deserved. It is a mistake into which men seldom fall twice, in a lifetime; or, if so, the rarer and higher is the nature that can magnanimously persist in error. Nathaniel Hawthorne

What every artist should try to prevent is the car, in which is our civilized life, plunging over the side of the precipice the exhibitionist extremist promoter driving the whole bag of tricks into a nihilistic nothingness or zero. Wyndham Lewis

There is an emptiness in life that cannot be described, about which one cannot speak. We must pass over it in silence. Simon Brass