167: Nihilism

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Why can't you have normal existential angst like all the other boys?
Title text: Why can't you have normal existential angst like all the other boys?


It is argued by some that atheism leads to nihilism. One rebuttal would be to reject the premise that there is no purpose outside of fulfilling divine intention, but Randall instead rejects the premise that nihilism ought to be burdensome. As a result, Beret Guy resolves that, if everything is ultimately meaningless, then it would be more fun to spend one's meaningless existence having fun rather than constantly moping. The presence of squirrels may relate to Beret Guy's head's resemblance to an acorn.

As reinforced by the title text, the complete lack of angst on Beret Guy's part is off-putting to other nihilists.


[Beret Guy and Cueball approach a tree while talking.]
Cueball: There is no God. Our existence is without purpose.
Beret Guy: Oh, definitely.
Beret Guy: We are adrift in an uncaring void indifferent to all our mortal toil.
Cueball: Exactly! In the end, nothing we do matters.
[Beret Guy climbs the tree.]
Beret Guy: Totally.
Cueball: We just... Why are you climbing that tree?
[Beret Guy is now completely submerged in the tree.]
Beret Guy: Because the future is an adventure! Come on!
Cueball: But--
Beret Guy: Hey! I found squirrels!


This is the first xkcd comic featuring Beret Guy.

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That's his logic for dong random stuff?Guru-45 (talk) 16:33, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

He is saying that climbing a tree is as reasonable a response to nihilism as acting all mopey and depressed. 03:21, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
And also suggesting that it is the better option (or at least the one he'd rather be doing) of the two. 22:00, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

And he is soooo correct. I wish I knew now what a waste of time worrying about certain things happening or not happening would wind up being. I wish I'd spent more time climbing trees or doing other things that made me feel happy or that I had fun doing instead of worrying about how I would look to others doing so. Life should come with a users manual or at least a FAQ or something. I know, I know there's lots of books out there that attempt to do that but I mean one that you KNOW is true because it was written for YOU. 10:37, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

You are basically talking about a religious text since many of those claim to be written for your salvation/enlightenment/well-being. A lot of people claim that something must be true because it reflects their experiences perfectly. -- Flewk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

You might as well not bother being nihilistic. It's not like you'll accomplish anything by it. 21:03, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

I found this while reading about absurdism, my own philosophy. I would assume that the beret guy is in fact an absurdist, which is slightly different from nihilism. Would this be correct?

Yes and no. Maybe. Are there even definite definitions of Nihilism and Absurdism? Meaning: Nihilism is frequently associated with Nietsche, who, in his own understanding, fought Nihilism. But thats how I read stuff, and I am sure there's at least 10k people who would disagree. -- 20:07, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

Unless otherwise shown, I always read Beret Guy's dialogue in a happy voice :) Psychoticpotato (talk) 22:52, 20 May 2024 (UTC)