Nihilism is an underestimated ideology that is honestly very real. In Christian culture, nihilism if often regarded as merely the belief that there are no absolutes (and therefore a contradiction through stating an absolute) and no actual reason for anyone to live or even exist. This is a bigoted point of view on a very real understanding and experience of life.
Yes, nihilism is the idea that there is no objective value in any individual, group of individuals, or any objects/ideas held by an individual. Note that I said “objective.” A nihilist holds to the idea that any meaning is “subjectively” created by the individual. The main thing to understand here is the existential aspect of nihilism: the individual’s experience is the only reality.
How does this worldview make sense? How can any nihilist NOT commit suicide as their logical conclusion? You’re approaching it wrong. For a person who believes in meaning (i.e. a Christian) to become a nihilist, meaning becomes nonexistent as well as life at all, and therefore death seems like the only option. This point of view is actually valuing the lack of inherent value, therefore contradicting itself. Though there is no reason to live, there is equally no reason NOT to live. Reason or purpose shouldn’t be in you’re decision making process. The foundation of thought is entirely different than any theistic understanding of existence because of one’s idea of “meaning.”
You must also understand that nihilism is not merely rational, but emotional as well. Again, pay attention to the existential idea that experience is the only reality. Existentially, can you believe that God actually exists? The ideology in question between the nihilist and the Christian is faith. What is faith? The nihilist would say it’s the creation of subjective meaning. The Christian believes that God is the source of meaning and faith is holding onto that meaning; the nihilist doesn’t argue for an anti-God, but that meaning is nothing more than a fairy tale created out of one’s own fear of death.
Nihilism emotionally is a result of one’s sense of hopelessness, very real and very serious. The Christian would claim that hope is in Christ. The nihilist sees no hope in that at all. How then does a Christian engage a nihilist in this game of chess? Is it a stalemate? Do they simply agree to disagree? How does one who lives in hope bring said hope to the hopeless? Don’t give up on the nihilist. “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” (Psalm 62:5). May hope find the hopeless. Here are some words by Conor Oberst: “I want to scream out that it all is nonsense./All your lives one track, can’t you see it’s pointless?/But then, my knees give under me. My head feels weak and suddenly/it’s clear to see that it’s not them but me, who has lost my self-identity./As I hide behind these books I read, while scribbling my poetry,/like art could save a wretch like me, with some ideal ideology that no one can hope to achieve./And I am never real; it is just a sketch of me./And everything I made is trite and cheap and a waste of paint, of tape, of time.”