The Existential Vacuum and Nothingbutness

We are losing the traditions, religions, and obvious mystery in our world that used to tell us what to do and show us our place, but now we must deal with the terrifying ordeal of deciding that for ourselves. I must figure out what I want the future to look like, and what the hell I want to do with my life. The absolute freedom is paralyzing.

Nothingbutness Our increased understanding of ourselves and the world as nothing but matter makes it clear that there is no inherent overarching meaning in the world aside from that which comes subjectively -- from human values.

Materialism, science, technology, and intelligent AI all lead us towards a more material (probably accurate) and machine-like view of the world that makes it easy to view things through a nihilistic lens, but still it will be up to us what to make of it -- I am being asked what life means.


Man's Search for Meaning In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development inasmuch as the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism). -- Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, pg. 106, loc. 1309-12