universe we observe has precisely the properties we should
expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no
evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
– Richard Dawkins
NOT the 'belief in nothing'.
Nihilism IS skepticism coupled with reduction,
and furthermore it is the realization that there is/are
2. wrong or right - just cause and effect
3. sacred principles, along with taboo, heresy
... and that:
4. artificial morality and values are subjective,
elastic, fungible and impermanent
5. that which is self-evident requires no belief,
for it has an independent, objective existence
6. faith, and everything necessitated by it.
And Nihilism uses:
7. Occam's Razor
9. natural selection
10. sustainable idea-sets have minimized internal
Furthermore even if
it can be shown that one element has flaws this
does not demonstrate that any or all of the
remaining points are flawed as well.
5) Self-Evident. For
example, one does not need faith in the objective
principle or the word-symbol 'gravity' to know
that if you jump off a cliff you will fall to the
bottom, or that if you punch a wall it will hurt
your fist. This concept segues into the idea of
pain and sensations which although they can be
distorted, they are still consistent and these
neurological signals are the same throughout the
animal kingdom. A needless fixation on the basic
chemical and electrical properties (or beyond)
does not invalidate the fundamental purpose they
serve for the biological organism.
9) Natural Selection.
One path is selected over another for a reason.
"Natural selection is
a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high
degree of improbability."
R. A. Fisher. Nor through divine guidance since
this is unsupported by any evidence and rejected
using the principle of Occam's Razor. Rather
natural selection outcome is a product of
surroundings and the unceasing struggle of
adaptation and the search for success. This
process should not be confused with a value,
which is an arbitrary choice by a human mind such
as saying the color blue is better than the color
purple. Whatever mind-games the philosophers want
to play, one can debate where it leads and why,
but none of that matters. Occam's Razor again -
because natural selection reflects the framework
that not only we as biological entities exist
within but the entire universe operates upon that
principle as a result of being a finite system.
Everything either succeeds or it fails.
What if I don't
agree with everything?
Within any set of ideas exists a reasonable
allowance for dissent. In other words to be a
nihilist you don't have to agree with every
single detail merely the basic tenets.
Nihilism is the refutation of God, the refutation
of morality, refutation of law, refutation of
justice, and the refutation of all artificial
order. Furthermore I carefully chose the word
'refutation' because it means illuminating them
as false and erroneous. This as opposed to say
'disbelief' meaning refusal to believe,
although non-belief could be more appropriate. All that
is happening at minimum is merely illuminating the assumptions
and false underpinnings of what is commonly taken for granted
such as the anti-logic of religion, the injustice of
modern-justice, and other manifestations of social hypocrisy.
You can think of nihilism as clarity through reduction.
What is nihilism? A purified definition of nihilism
is reduction to that which is ineluctable, which is a short way
of saying that nihilism is about dealing with those elements and
facts that cannot be avoided, vitiated or abrogated, while
accepting that all else is shades of illusion. Nihilism is an
understanding of what morality is (a byproduct of social living
that’s warped through the abuse of power), where good and evil
come from, and the influence of those forces. Morality defines
everyone's actions; it defines the legal structure that
punishes, the limitations on our thoughts and ideas, the range
of response to any given situation. Think of why they have too
many cattle in India and the concomitant range of disease and
Who are the
Anyone who follows and
comprehends the tenets of Nihilism. At present it's mostly an
informal and often individualistic expression largely due to
widespread misunderstanding, public misconceptions, or simply a
lack of awareness. However that will change, starting here.
difference between Nihilism and Anarchism?
Anarchism is against
authority, the idea being
that all authority is repressive and should be
abolished. To a Nihilist authority in some form is unavoidable
and repressive government is just a
symptom of a much deeper problem, secondary to what really matters. If all one is
concerned with is tyrannical rule, if that's all
you want to solve, go for it but you won't ever
make any permanent change because you're pulling up
the weeds and leaving the roots in the ground.
Nihilism is fundamentally much more significant
because it strikes at the roots, it strikes at
perception and morality.
difference between nihilism and atheism?
Atheism says 'don't believe
in God' while nihilism says 'don't believe in anything', so
nihilists are atheists but atheists are not necessarily
Do you have to be
an atheist to be an nihilist?
The simple answer is 'yes'.
However, in some cases the answer is 'no'
because basal nihilism, the emotion and
introspective reasoning characteristic of what's
broadly termed social nihilism, plagues disparate
groups to include the religious and the atheist
just an excuse for hedonism?
Nihilism is rejection of guilt, the moral nose
ring, because it fuels environmental theologies
and an endless series of self-abasement
ideologies. Nihilism is dropping guilt and
becoming human; it's the acceptance of instinct
that minimizes mental illness and repressed
aggression. Ultimately the choice of hedonism is
open but nature has an uncanny ability to punish
the foolish, then neighbors will find a way to
deliver comeuppance to the rest compelled to
flaunt the limits of reasonable behavior. You may
be able to do anything you want but that doesn't
mean you necessarily should. Besides, hedonism is
unhealthy because it's slavery to compulsion.
Likewise it's acutely obvious as the population
gets fatter and weaker that imbalanced
pleasure is just postponed pain. So
understanding cause and effect within our
biological limitations and defining appropriate
conduct is a reflection of self-respect and
sanity. And pleasure is a biologically evolved
response to certain behavior and stimuli, that
genetic imperative which is the real owner of the
human soul. News flash: your MTV rebel is just a
Won't people (like
Nihilists) lie, steal and kill each other because they don't
believe in moral values?
It's a common fallacy that without religious moral codes people
will behave in a dishonest, violent and otherwise anti-social
manner. Yet, the most pious and devout believers still lie,
cheat, steal and kill; an open non-believer could do no worse!
And the dishonest and anti-social behavior of believers
exploiting religious morality are all the more pernicious
because they do it under the cover of righteousness! The
fact is that religion, and the morality it attempts to impose,
is actually parasitical upon natural human social behavior and
the rules that automatically emerge from the process of healthy
socialization learned during life. Places with the lowest levels
of faith and religious morality are some of the most affluent
and successful, northern Europe for instance, and indeed the
most religious societies are typically the most repressive,
impoverished, and stifling.
Isn't this just
Revolution in the traditional sense does nothing
more than repeat the failures of the past; this
plan is to avoid those same mistakes. What is
commonly called revolution is a ruse designed to
dupe the people into releasing pent up anger in
officially approved directions usually against
themselves or against the few people smart enough
to actually change things for the better - just
ask those 'revolutionary' Communists, or more
accurately study what they've done. But
contemporary language has serious limitations on
the ability to express proper nihilistic meaning;
the desire is for more than revolution because
the intention is to circumvent the cycles of
Where do you stand on
In order for violent
disobedience to have credibility you have to try peaceful
disobedience first. In other words, you have to give authorities
the opportunity to address your concerns, i.e. the reason for
the disobedience. Once you've tried and demonstrated that
peaceful protest and/or disobedience aren't working then violent
action becomes justified. The effectiveness of either type of
disobedience is more problematic, much of it depends on the
situation, and success in either case requires organization and
don't think this web site is really nihilistic
because the definition I've read states
everything is meaningless, life is futile and
nothing can be known."
1. Most of this confusion originates from overly
simplistic definitions written by non-nihilists
who have little interest in nihilism itself and
no desire to make it internally consistent or
functional. That is a problem with many
dictionaries and why the better ones have more
than one definition. Nevertheless, to grasp
nihilism one can't stop at the dictionary! I
think it's a wise reminder at this point that
just because someone says something doesn't make
it factual and just because many, even a majority
of people, believe something that doesn't make it
real. Determining fact from fiction is a much
more challenging process than merely accepting or
rejecting idle statements; the most effective
decisions are based upon experience.
Our human mind
allows us the illusion of existing within two
distinct worlds, that of everyday reality or that
of fantasy and philosophy. The first is pragmatic
and the second is idealized. The fictionalized,
idealized philosophy world may be of use at times
to better understand the nature of things,
perhaps by creating a simplified model of
practical reality but ultimately by virtue of the
fact we all exist within a physical human body
we're constrained in significant yet universal
ways that forces us all back to that world of
practical reality whether we like it or not. The
nihilism you've read here does vary to certain
degrees from simplified dictionary definition of
existential nihilism and also the very myopic
view that many contemporary pundits take on
nihilism and its potential which ignores
historical precedent, such as the 19th century
Russian Nihilists, and also the flexibility
within all living idea-sets. (see above 'what
if I don't agree with everything').
So one could say
that the typical contemporary, dictionary view of
existential nihilism is a fuzzy philosophy that
fixates on fictional extremes in the typical way
metaphysics does while the active 'political'
version is a more refined, pragmatic extension of
basal nihilism. The bottom line is that one can't
put any singular, one-dimensional interpretation
of nihilism into practice, or indeed into any
realistic situation. They say that politics is
the art of the possible and if that's true then
political nihilism is the art of pragmatic
nihilism. If you want to live nihilism rather
than just fantasize about it then you have to
take the nihilism here, or at least something
very, very close to it.
One obscure complaint against this website goes like
this: since the website is ‘something’ rather than ‘nothing’ it
isn’t nihilism. Skipping the specious nature of the argument
itself, a specific but hidden emotional sentiment is what’s
actually being conveyed. This sentiment is an anger manifest
from being told that in life some things are either impossible
or inappropriate; in other words the appeal of ‘nihilism’ here
is using it to justify any and all personal action – (of course
in practice this means ‘my’ action not ‘yours’!) In this case
nihilism is seen as a license to ‘do whatever I want to do’ but
any kind of structure or analysis applied to that belief
inevitably undermines the argument hence the anger vented at the
CounterOrder/Nihilism’s Home Page. Oh darn … and life is fair except when
How is it
possible to know anything at all?
You can't, but we can make guesses that usually
suffice. These guesses are based upon experience
stemming from the illusion of time creating a
sense of past and knowledge of previous
occurrences. Most everything else is a
statistical construction, nonetheless most things
around are so predictable and normative that this
guessing is equivalent to knowing. "Our
experience hitherto justifies us in believing
that nature is the realization of the simplest
conceivable mathematical ideas."
- Albert Einstein
What is the
meaning of history?
Since it's impossible to know beyond the fleeting
moment of the present, history assumes a highly
subjective quality. This is one reason why
Napoleon said "History is a
collection of lies statesmen have agreed upon."
History exists not as an absolute chronology of
events which is an absurdity because most of it
can never be known for certain, but rather for
the lessons we learn from those past events and
messages we extract from it, if any. Reference
What is ANUS?
Neither Freydis, Nihilism’s Home Page, nor
CounterOrder.com are affiliated with
acronym for American Nihilist Underground Society. They
currently promote an unusual mixture of heavy metal music and
Further, ANUS, the
Center for Nihilist and Nihilism
Studies, and multiple connected Internet sites, most of
which are false-fronts, are part of a deceptive effort to present an
Internet presence that is larger and more important than it
really is. The proponents behind these websites are not
nihilists, nor are they likely any of the other labels they’ve
claimed in their panoply of terminology, they’re simply race-based
ultra-nationalists and the rest is window-dressing. This is the reason
why it's so difficult to determine from superficial elements
just what exactly ANUS and associated groups really represent.
And it appears that they want to own and co-opt every kind of
post-modern phraseology they can find so they can manipulate it
towards their agenda. That’s not to say that their actual ideas
and conclusions behind the smokescreen have no merit or
shouldn’t be debated, rather that their approach is
intentionally disingenuous and that raises serious questions as
to the honesty and integrity of the source. Being ideologically
motivated they are willing to place belief ahead of facts
because for them to mislead is acceptable if it promotes their
Is religion really that awful?
One very common question goes like this: If there’s no ‘meaning’
to life then doesn’t it make sense to do whatever makes you
happy and not think about things that don’t make you happy? In
other words since ignorance is bliss why learn anything? Another
version essentially replaces the word ‘ignorance’ with
‘religion’ – if there’s no ‘meaning’ to life and religion makes
people happy, why rain on their party trying to disabuse them of
seems more rhetorical than serious to me, but nonetheless as
often as it’s asked it would seem to merit an answer. The explanation
could go on for pages but to be succinct it boils down to two
points. First of all stupidity is not healthy for anybody.
Seeing through superstition and illusion is a critical task
because it prevents the individual from being exploited in life.
Second, the religious, believing they hold a monopoly on truth,
are compelled to force everyone else to believe the same things they do
which means conflict is inevitable. Nihilism and religion cannot
co-exist because the believers cannot allow it.
What is the successful end-state for Nihilism?
/ What happens when Nihilism wins?
Nihilism doesn’t necessarily have any end-state except perhaps
when it finally leads to something greater, like a stepping
stone to be superseded. So it’s not really an issue of winning
in the traditional sense of things, there’s no final victor
because life isn’t like that. Dwelling on the hypothetical
end-state of Nihilism may cause people to miss the significance
of the process for by expanding and interjecting the ‘extreme’
position into the mainstream it makes reaching a functional and
factual conclusion on the part of the public far more likely to
occur. It’s about influencing the center of mass by expanding
the poles of debate. For example think of the long-shot
candidates that enter an election not with the realistic intent
of getting the most votes but rather to influence the debate and
compel the public to address their issues of concern when they
would otherwise be ignored and swept under the rug by the
dominant political parties.
Should I Vote?
Is the glass half full or is it half empty? Deciding whether to
vote or not is the same sort of question – the answer depends on
your perspective and sentiment at the given moment, but the
short answer is yes; let me explain in greater detail
< here >.
My Teenager is depressed/suicidal, what should
Quite a few e-mail letters sent to me are from
parents asking for help dealing with their teenager suffering
from depression characterized as nihilism and futility. Here’s a
general response that adds some context to the problem along
with some practical optimism:
All teenagers go through at
least one phase of serious depression, and of course traumatic
occurrences can suddenly make it all worse, but regardless of
the labels used to describe it I think much of it originates in
a lack of personal efficacy and the subsequent feeling that they
lack any power or control over events that affect their lives.
In this regard Maria Montessori was really on the right track,
but everything she developed was for kindergarten and younger,
once they get to be teenagers there's not a whole lot anybody
can say or do to alter their perceptions of events around them.
This problem is compounded by the fact that teenagers have no
true conception of how things work in the adult world, a realm that's
radically different from the school and home life which is all
they've encountered so far.
The bottom line is that we
all exist within a very dynamic universe where everything is in
constant flux, although at any given moment it may seem the same
as the moment before. So, even if it all looks bleak now it
could well be the complete reverse tomorrow, and in the meantime
there's unlimited potential for personal reward to anyone
engaged with the world around them and willing to watch, learn,
and participate in it. Isolation, either physical or mental,
usually generates feelings of resentment and depression. As I
have discovered on my own adventure in nihilism, even though you
may feel alone you really aren't.
How should I reference this website for my
Author and e-mail address:
Website name: Nihilism: The CounterOrder
Date: (shown at the very bottom of every page)
The common atheist
espousal of disbelief in the supernatural or
especially that which can only be proven is often
closer to nihilism. Indeed many people using the
term atheist would better fit in the category of
nihilism but for lack of awareness of the proper
terminology. Anarchism is a similar problematic
phrase because what most anarchists really want
isn't no-government it's self-government, the
individual sovereignty of autarchy.
Furthermore nihilism is not a 'belief in nothing'
which is a self-evident absurdity but actually:
holding that all values are baseless and
nothing can be known or communicated.
that destruction of existing social or
political institutions is necessary for
Obligatory philosophical questions
for the curious and desperately insecure alike, here's nihilism
be the spurious cop-out explanation everything is
meaningless. 'Political' nihilism or nihilism in
the only form that has any continuity states not
that existence is meaningless merely that the
contemporary meaning is inaccurate. In that
spirit here is an attempt to rectify some of
What is the meaning
From as far back as any evidence can be discerned
the fundamental algorithm for everything around
us is the ability to be copied and extenuated.
Anything that can fulfill this role will spread
and 'succeed' to varying degrees based on
multiple factors such as copying fidelity or
cleverness in avoiding hazards or outwitting
opponents etc. One can reject this paradigm but
only at the cost of 'success'. No thing and no
entity has ever managed to avoid it nor can it be
avoided because it's an integral law of the
How is success
Success is basically the degree
the organism has adapted to the surrounding environment and
prospered. Strategies for success include increased intelligence
and enhanced power, leading to wider spread, greater numbers,
and magnified influence.
How did we get here?
don't think it really matters since we clearly
ARE here but the most likely scenario is comet
vectored seed chemicals developed in interstellar
clouds warmed by ambient radiation. Basically the
hypothesis known as Panspermia. Earth's life
evolved from that inglorious but crucial start.
What is our purpose?
This is a better question and the answer is
ultimately a personal decision limited to the
confines of contemporary moral topology and the
ideological sandbox. However I believe that the
only answer with any strategic viability is for
Why do we die?
The succinct answer: so that new
things can grow, to prevent stagnation and eventual extinction.
On a microscopic level the question of why we die, or more
specifically why our cells die, is a fascinating and
surprisingly complex issue. An accessible documentary on the
topic of cell death is Death by Design (1995) by Brunet &
Is there life after
The human life is a
vehicle for genetic continuity and in this case
life is very nearly immortal because the genetic
material (is supposed to flow) on indefinitely,
vacillating between the male or female container
and perhaps ironically evolving and changing as
little as possible. This is why civilization
developed and why (barring extraneous influences)
life mates with similar life.
Will the 'self' live
This is the above
question distilled into the more traditional
intent of the question which is to determine if
one's own consciousness or 'self 'will continue on
in any form after the physical death of the body.
The exact same consciousness? No. I see no
evidence for that anywhere. However the
fractional consciousness, which is partially a
product of genetic material, will continue in your
descendants and through the greater population through the
spread of influential thoughts and ideas.
the point (of anything / everything)?
may be pointless when measured using human values but this is
because the universe didn't come into existence for human
enjoyment. Rather, human life adapted to fit pre-existing
conditions that the universe already contained. The universe
exists independently of human life - the natural order is not
anthropocentric. Many times we get the 'wrong' answer because we
ask the 'wrong' question. We shouldn’t ask “why is everything
pointless” but instead “why do we believe it’s pointless?”
What if I don't like
People are basically the same
today as they were millennia ago, but technology and the speed
at which novel ideas spread has certainly changed. Religiosity
has been selected into the gene pool and religion, and its false
answers, won't be instantly disappearing anytime soon – but it
can be replaced. The reason people are attracted to mystical
solutions is the built in need dating from the dim archaic
primate primeval, the overpowering urge to genuflect to dominant
powerful males out of fear. Meet God.
But I can continue,
what else is there to tear apart and uphold as
illusion or delusion?
The most meaningful
question someone can ask is
is consciousness?, or who am I? The reductionist answer is that all
consciousness and sentience is a temporal illusion of
accumulated sensations. Awareness and consciousness is the
product of a continual state of interaction with the people,
forces, thoughts and objects around us. Existence is to feel, to learn and
accumulate information and interpret it, thereby creating a sense
of what is. Isolation is a form of death, yet it is a death that can
usually be recovered from once no longer isolated.
Some people have asked for
biographical information on the primary author of the
CounterOrder (Nihilism's Home Page). The reason for the lack of this material is because
my autobiographical writing is too quickly labeled as conceit by
opponents and trivia by supporters. Regardless it rarely seems
especially cogent to the arguments and ideas I'm providing and
especially unnecessary given the brevity maxim - when in doubt
leave it out. But now I'm in a generous and dangerous mood so
I'll give it a shot.
Who's writing this?!
The vast majority
what you read here is written by me,
I go by Freydis after an intriguing
early American (but not native) historical figure. What you're
reading is the accumulated effort of many years both on and off-line.
What does Freydis
do out there?
A little of this a
little of that! Ah! I've spent more time in
school systems and public employers than in
private workforces but I never really fit in
anywhere I go. That's not to say I don't try or
that I don't get along with people which I do but
the point is I think differently and have a level
of perception that often puts me at odds with
authority and simpleton peers alike.
What are your
What, my Ph.D. in
life-pain is not enough? Credentials are a
terrible sham, they are just ways of abbreviating
necessary analysis - hey this clown has a nifty
diploma on the wall, he must be smart! It may
suffice for the deep insights courtesy of the
mass-media but in real-life people should be
judged by what they produce not how many asses
they've kissed or tests they've taken. So, yes
truthfully I do have official skills and
credentials but, so what? And no I'm not a
philosophy major but I have been in the upper
education system way too long studying everything
from engineering to political science. Word to
the wise - libraries are a lot cheaper and
more effective too.
What 's your
The real reason most readers want
to know about the author is simply to gain some kind of
perspective on the intentions behind the website and its
Although it may appear professional
and calculated today, this website you're reading never began
with any strategic goal in mind. Nihilism's Home Page
(the CounterOrder) originated simply as a means of getting a lot of things off my
mind by writing them down and then posting them online to see
what kind of feedback I would get – part sanity check and part
desire to work out the errors.
CounterOrder.com has grown to include a large volume of material
from essays and analysis to art and beyond and even a worldwide
membership roster that is in many ways a testament to the
evolutionary rather than goal oriented nature of events.
you want things to change you’ve got to alter the perspective
first and after that you’ve got to inject the new ideas into the
culture. So if any goal can be ascribed to this effort it would
be that much of what I’m trying to do is build a methodology
that allows people to be what they are naturally without the
need for superstition and fantasy to provide a false sense of
And no, I’m
not trying to dupe anyone, there’s no subterfuge involved here
(besides a smattering of humor). Indeed if anything I’m trying
to inoculate people against getting duped because living
without a critical and skeptical view of things is a guarantee
for exploitation and the awful panoply of life-hazards and
authority driven repression that goes with it. In order for the
group and the individual to survive and prosper we have to be
free enough to explore and criticize especially when and
where it’s socially uncomfortable to do so; eventually an
evolutionary divergence emerges from the chaos.
How did Nihilism’s Home Page (the CounterOrder) get started?
studying nihilism in 1993 after I discovered the term by
happenstance while browsing through an encyclopedia of
Sociology. The realization of nihilism as a word and a concept
was eye-opening to say the least; it matched my views and
feelings on the world and the more I studied it the more
fascinated I became. Reading, thinking, and writing at a
frenetic pace by 1998 I had accumulated a substantial collection
of handwritten notes. With the arrival of the Internet as a
functional medium the progression to a website was a natural
outcome. The rapidly expanding content of my Social
Engineering Notebook split into
Holology and the
Nihilism's Home Page website you’re reading now. Much of
the core content and many of the symbols and aesthetic design
elements originated from drawings created during extended
periods of High School boredom. It’s amazing how minor events
and decisions can have such a significant impact over time.
the scale and depth has grown significantly since the beginning
the main reason was simply to put my ideas into the public realm
to see how people would react, positive or negative, and then to
gain some constructive input as to the validity of those
concepts. I didn’t expect it to be so positively received nor
did I expect as many people to agree with it! I called it
Nihilism not because I set out to be a nihilist but because
that's the best description I could apply to it in totality;
after all, nihilism is where you go when you can't find anything
to believe in.
Where did the Nihilism symbol come from?
I sketched the
rudimentary design for the Nihilism symbol when I was in High
School, later when I developed the website I converted the
sketch into a digital design using an obscure font for the
reversed ‘N’. There’s no hidden meaning in the design, it’s
merely intended as a quick, simple, and appealing means of
identifying Nihilism and Nihilists.
Will you (Freydis) write a book?
Yes I did. I wrote and published
Nihilism - 21st Century
Revelations from a Devastating Mind by Freydis.
The book is no longer in print. I also published two full color
large-format compilations of my original graphic and artwork,
also no longer in print.
Will you (Freydis) write more books?
Probably not. I have the material for a third art book
... maybe some day.
Special thanks to all who've
written in with questions. Keep it up: