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The Contender
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Nihilism is Valid

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/12/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 758 times Debate No: 87555
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
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This is the first debate in which I have been the instigator, so, my apologies for inclarity.

Nihilism, aka the idea that in the grand perspective, individuals are insignificant, is valid.

Burden of Proof:
There is no BoP in this debate. There is no proof in most philosophical questions. Whoever makes the best argument wins.

NIHILISM- defined above
THE GRAND PERSPECTIVE- from an unbiased point of view, on a large scale
INDIVIDUAL- A human being
INSIGNIFICANT- Inconsequential, not worthy of note
VALID- so constructed that if the premises are jointly asserted, the conclusion cannot be denied without contradiction

Round 1: Acceptance and Opening Statements
Round 2: Refutations
Round 3: Counter-Refutations
Round 4: Final Defence, Refutations, and Closing Statements

Opening Statement:
There is a reason we scold children for thinking the world revolves around them. this line of thinking is steeped in self-importance and narcissism. There are billions and billions of stars in our galaxy alone, and millions upon millions of galaxies. Life on Earth is nothing but a complex chemical reaction. There is no supreme being who cares for us. To quote Carl Sagan:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."


I accept to debate that Nihilism, as defined by Pro, is NOT valid.

By making the claim that we are insignificant as individuals, Nihilists are showing a bias against us as individuals and in favor of what they consider more noteworthy. Their point of view is not unbiased. Therefore, it is not valid to say that we as individuals are insignificant from an unbiased point of view.

Thank you for your time. I eagerly await Pro's refutations.
Debate Round No. 1


Life began billions of years ago, when a self-replicating molecule was created by a bolt of lightning. From that point forth, mutations began to occur, most of which were negative but some of which were positive, making individuals different from their predecessor. Differences were only important in how they altered reproduction. Fast forwards through billions of years of evolution. Here we are: individuals different than our predecessors. I, of course, do not speak for all Nihilists, but for me, this appears to be one many-staged chemical reaction. Why value one reaction more than another? Why value any one stage more than any other? What value does a single stage of a chemical reaction have?

We may be unbiased, but our goal as rational thinkers is to try not to be. We attempt to figure out what a completely unbiased mind would think of human society, and we reason it would not bat an eye at the entirety of our species' accomplishment, let alone any particular individual.


That we are a single stage of a reaction does not make us less significant than the reaction its self. From an unbiased point of view there is no such thing as significance; nothing is significant, nothing is insignificant. All there is... is stages and reactions. The significance given to these stages and reactions is the result of our biased minds. Your mind has a bias against us as individuals and in favor of what you consider more significant. That sort of bias will not contribute to your survival, nor is it valid because it can't be said that we are insignificant from an unbiased point of view.

Back to Pro now!
Debate Round No. 2


Exactly... "From an unbiased point of view there is no such thing as significance." We, as individuals, and insignificant, unimportant. Let me remind you, I asked "Why value one reaction more than another?" I consider significance a myth, a social construct, and nonexistent in the real world from an unbiased standpoint.

Back to Con!


From an unbiased point of view there is no such thing as significance OR INSIGNIFICANCE. Significance is that considered great enough to be noteworthy while insignificance is that considered too small to be noteworthy. Both of these, as you have said, are, "a myth, a social construct, and nonexistent in the real world from an unbiased standpoint." Thus Nihilism, which says in the grand perspective we are too small, insignificant, is not valid.

Back to Pro!
Debate Round No. 3


INSIGNIFICANT- Inconsequential, not worthy of note"
Quite simply, insignificance is the lack of significance. It is not too small to be noteworthy. It is just not noteworthy. And from an unbiased point of view, nothing on Earth is noteworthy.

In summary:
I have made claims that individuals, or even life in general, are insignificant. Con has countered with questioning the Nihilist lack of bias. I responded that the goal of Nihilism was to remove bias, an apt refutation. Con then attempted to claim that I play favorites with the universe. I replied with voicing my beliefs that significance is a myth. Con's final point was that insignificance is nonexistent, which he would have realized is invalid should he have re-read the definitions provided in Round 1. He has failed to successfully address my main point, that of the insignificance of everything.

I await your response.


Dbater forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by TheOregonian 2 years ago
@Hayd Done
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
I will accept if you a) change the character limit to 10,000. b) make the voting system choose winner c) make it four rounds d) make the voting period 2 weeks
Posted by CaptainScarlet 2 years ago
Do you mean to debate Existential Nihlism as a whole? You have appeared to narrow the terms of the debate only to "we are insignificant on a grander scale". But Nihlism (inc Existential Nihlism) is more than just that very narrow topic. I reject Nihlism as a philosophy, but I am able to agree that on a cosmic scale there is limited meaning or purpose to humanity. But that doesn't therefore meaning there is no objective meaning on our scale or at times in the past, present or future.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
Anything and everything is insignificant. Even the univers it self.... Time... Space. It is a relative.
Posted by TheOregonian 2 years ago
@Hayd not necessarily. But if we were to require one, I guess I would be the one burdened with it.
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
In order to have a debate you have to have bop
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