DiscardedYKTTW Paradoxical Nihilist YKTTW Discussion
Someone who believes that all of existence has an intrisic higher meaning but acts like a Straw Nihilist.Needs Examples Tropeworthy? Description Needs Help
The Paradoxical Nihilist believes that all of existence has a higher meaning. Despite (or perhaps because of it) they'll act in a highly nihilistic manner, claiming that the acts of pitiful mortals are all insignificant in comparison to the higher meaning of existence. This kind of higher meaning can take many forms. If their idea of a higher meaning is religious in nature then they're a Fundamentalist. They may be a believer in fate and that it's impossible to fight it. On the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism this places rather oddly. A Paradoxical Nihilist will be highly idealistic in the sense that they think that things will get better when this higher meaning is achieved while at the same time will be highly cynical because they believe that any attempt to make things better by mortal efforts will always be doomed to failure. Compare Straw Nihilist. Contrast the Anti Nihilist. Yes they exist in real life. There still shouldn't be real life examples. Manga
- Naruto Neji Hyuuga is a good example: he constantly talks about how pointless everyone is any how anyone who tries to fight his own fate is doomed to fail. Even more notable, he says this while trying to fight his own fate, as Naruto points out. This trait disappeared following his Morality Adjustment. Apparently, Naruto beat it out of him.
- Grimjack's Uncle Jack. As a Fey he can see into the future and knows how he will die. Not only that it's hinted he has observed the ending of the entire Multiverse. A young grimjack asks why he doesn't change anything if he knows so much. He responds by saying that ''"nothing we do matters, not in the long run. Nothing we achieve or destroy matters. Love,friendship, family, honor, wisdom, knowledge,power,-- none of it really matters, because none of it lasts. It's all mortal, every endeavor, every accomplishment. Even our Gods become food for worms. Some day even the worms will end, and there shall be nothing".'' It explains why he's still living with his brother's family mooching off and hardly working or doing anything for that matter. He also drinks a lot to forget how he will die. Eventually his older brother finds out he slept with his first wife and smashes his face repeatedly on the stone fireplace, one eye popping out, his jaw splitting open falling on the floor.
- The Big Bad from Sunshine (2007) uses this as an excuse to kill the astronauts going to recharge the dying sun.
"We are dust, and to the dust, we shall return. It is not our place, to challenge God!"
- Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" is about a Hollywood Atheist who thinks she can seduce and convert a Bible salesman. The Bible salesman turns out to be a Straw Nihilist who steals her prosthetic leg and leaves her paradoxically asking about higher concepts of fairness and justice.
- In The Antichrist, Nietzsche tried to portray St. Paul as this character type who twisted Jesus' words to mean Happiness in Slavery. (He saw Jesus Christ himself as being an example of The ‹bermensch -- one who lived his life by his own rules and made it joyful, without having any regrets.)
- The famous-within-the-fandom 'Death And Dust' speech from Stephen Colbert. Even stranger because the character is (usually) a die-hard Catholic. Shortly after the 2000 Florida recount, having decided that all the debate and argument is irrelevant and who's President doesn't even matter:
Stephen: You see, nothing means anything. Mankind is just a random collection of self-replicating protoplasm, floating in a godless universe where the stars blindly run and however frantically we may try to deny it, all our efforts amount to nothing more than death... and dust.
Stephen: [cheerful] Oh, and I'm having a Christmas cocktail party...