“Nothing really matters, you know,” one might say.
“So?” I might ask.
I do not believe that anything really matters, in any sort of metaphysical sense. I find all efforts to establish some objective or authoritative guidelines for how humans should behave – call these ethics or morals – unconvincing. They often lack logic and even when the internal reasoning is consistent, they are based upon unproven assumptions (such as the existence of a supreme power or some objective notion of justice).
Ethics and morals assign value to lives, freedom, rights, and property, and imply that we should all agree or work towards agreement on this system of valuation. I see no inherent value in anything. Things are what they are. That’s neither good nor bad. It simply is.
Having said all that, I do not believe that this lack of things mattering really matters in determining what one “should” do. It’s just that what one “should” do is always subjective, and when people refuse to admit that, arguments tend to rely on what I would affectionately refer to as moralistic bullshit.
I do have very strong opinions on what I should do. I try to see the world as it is, think about how I’d like the world to be, and then take action to make the world more like the one I’d like to live in than the one I’m currently stuck in.
What’s lost in the question of whether or not anything matters in any intrinsic sense is the question of what matters to whom. Many things matter to me. The lives of individual humans matter to me. The lives of animals matter to me. The suffering of the masses matters to me. Black lives matter to me.
I understand that different things matter to different people. When something matters to me, I try to explain why it matters to me and sometimes try to convince other people that it should matter to them as well. When something matters to someone else (but not to me), I try to understand why it matters to them and then I reconsider whether or not it matters to me.
So you could say that I’m a nihilist. I said as much in the title. But you could also say that I’m a subjectivist socialist anarchist libertarian. Whatever. It doesn’t matter, anyway. We’re all gonna die.