A Nihilist’s Guide to Meaning

The author of this web content starts off by discussing their personal beliefs about the purpose and meaning of life. They express their acceptance of the idea that the universe is fundamentally meaningless, but they also adopt a playful and humorous attitude towards life. However, they admit that some writers have made them reconsider their views on meaning and explore the concept further. The author then delves into their own understanding of meaning, explaining that it is a subjective feeling that arises in response to certain objects, events, and experiences. They also discuss the contextual nature of meaning and how it can evolve over time. The author suggests that the perception of meaning is closely tied to the connections and influences something has on other meaningful things, and that pursuing meaning can be adaptive for individuals. They caution, however, that people can be fooled into perceiving meaning where it doesn’t actually exist. The author also contrasts meaning with pleasure, highlighting the trade-offs between the two and the objective nature of meaning. They use the example of an “experience machine” to illustrate how meaning requires an outward orientation to the real world. Finally, the author discusses various forces that can create or destroy meaning, such as having children, helping others, and community involvement.


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