Taking Charge of Your Health

Human existence is scary and confusing. A few hundred thousand years ago, we became conscious and found ourselves in a strange place. It was filled with other beings. We could eat some; some could eat us. There was liquid stuff we could drink; things we could use to make more things. The daytime sky had a tiny yellow ball that warmed our skin. The night sky was filled with beautiful lights. This place was obviously made for us. Something was watching over us. We were home. This made everything much less scary and confusing. But the older we got, the more we learned about the world and ourselves. We learned that the twinkling lights are not shining beautifully for us, they just are. We learned that we’re not at the center of what we now call the universe, and that it is much, much older than we thought. We learned that we’re made of many little dead things, which make up bigger things that are not dead, for some reason, and that we’re just another temporary stage in a history going back over a billion years. We learned, in awe, that we live on a moist speck of dust moving around a medium-sized star in a quiet region of one arm of an average galaxy, which is part of a galaxy group that we will never leave. And this group is only one of thousands that, together, make up a galaxy supercluster. But even our supercluster is only one in thousands that make up what we call the observable universe. The universe might be a million times bigger, but we will never know. We can throw words around like two hundred million galaxies or trillions of stars or bazillions of planets, but all of these numbers mean nothing. Our brains can’t comprehend these concepts. The universe is too big. There is too much of it. But size is not the most troubling concept we have to deal with. It’s time, or, more precisely, the time we have. If you’re lucky enough to live to one hundred, you have five thousand two hundred weeks at your disposal. If you’re twenty-five now, then you have three thousand nine hundred weeks left. If you’re going to die at seventy, then there are two thousand three hundred and forty weeks left – a lot of time, but also … not really. And then what? Your biological processes will break down, and the dynamic pattern that is you will stop beinge dynamic. It will dissolve until there is no you left. Some believe that there is a part of us we can’t see or measure, but we have no way to find out, so this life might be it and we might end up dead forever. This is less scary than it sounds, though. If you don’t remember the 13.75 billion years that went by before you existed, Then the trillions and trillions and trillions of years that come after will pass in no time once you’re gone. Close your eyes. Count to 1. That’s how long forever feels. And as far as we know, in the end, the universe itself will die and nothing will ever change again. Our videos induce existential dread in many people, and the last few minutes probably haven’t helped. So, for once, we want to offer a different way of looking at these things: an unscientific, subjective point of view, the philosophy of Kurzgesagt, if you want. Please take it with a grain of salt; we don’t know any more about human existence than you do. We counter existential dread with optimistic nihilism. What do we mean by that? Well, to summarize, it seems very unlikely that 200 trillion trillion stars have been made for us. In a way, it feels like the cruelest joke in existence has been played on us. We became self-aware only to realize this story is not about us. While it is great to know about electrons and the powerhouse of the cell, Science doesn’t do a lot to make this less depressing. Okay, but so what? You only get one shot at life, which is scary, but it also sets you free. If the universe ends in heat death, every humiliation you suffer in your life will be forgotten. Every mistake you made will not matter in the end. Every bad thing you did will be voided. If our life is all we get to experience, then it’s the only thing that matters. If the universe has no principles, the only principles relevant are the ones we decide on. If the universe has no purpose, then we get to dictate what its purpose is. Humans will most certainly cease to exist at some point, but before we do, we get to explore ourselves and the world around us. We get to experience feelings. We get to experience food, books, sunrises, and being with each other. The fact that we’re even able to think about these things is already kind of incredible. It’s easy to think of ourselves as separated from everything, but this is not true. We are as much the universe as a neutron star or a black hole or a nebula. Even better, actually, we are its thinking and feeling part: the centre organs of the universe. We are truly free in a universe-sized playground, so we might as well aim to be happy and to build some kind of utopia in the stars. It’s not as if we’ve found out everything there is to know We don’t know why the rules of the universe are as they are, how life came into existence, what life is. We have no idea what consciousness is or if we are alone in the universe. But we can try to find some answers. There are billions of stars to visit, diseases to cure, people to help, happy feelings to be experienced, and video games to finish. There is so much to do. So, wrapping up, you’ve probably used up a good chunk of the time available to you. If this is our one shot at life, there is no reason not to have fun and live as happy as possible. Bonus points if you made the life of other people better. More bonus points if you help build a galactic human empire. Do the things that make you feel good. You get to decide whatever this means for you.

100 thoughts on “Optimistic Nihilism

  1. I love Kurzgesagt. It fells like a somebody is telling me a story about scary, and discouraging topics but wraps it in a comfy blanked. Exept the nuke-thing, that shit is scary.

  2. Calculate chance of you existing. Chance of you Reading this.
    There is no Way universe was formed from nothing. Life developer into creatures like humans. God MUST exist. Just by thinking universe should have its purpose.

  3. So I should listen to the voices & kill all in my path? Well alrighty then! Thanks for the green light. PS this is an attempt at humour pls don't put me on a watch list…again.

  4. I can't even start to describe how much I had to go through just because I watched this video. It is not a silly comment, I mean literally 1 and 1/2 year of being in an existential depression, making therapy superhard and panic attacks so bad I would be out of it for days after. It's really nobody's fault tho, I couldn't know what nihilism meant when I clicked on this. Or that it would trigger me so much. I forgot it is a perspective, not a fact.

  5. So then what is right and wrong is just an opinion

    There's no such thing as you can't do that that's wrong?

    All morality is just an opinion?

  6. Kurz you are genious, u made 42k people comment on this vid, it means u make our brains go overdrive and our lives matter, thank you

  7. Once you've stopped worrying about what other people think about you, you start to realize how little they think of you.

  8. Saying we will never leave our galaxy feels very final infact I didnt like your use of never throughout this entire video. Like say just for example the universe is choc full of stuff we dont understand yet. When we finally get into a black hole it may lead to other galaxies the point is we dont know yet

  9. This entire thought process makes me nauseous and it just makes me think "What is the point if we're all just specks of dust?" We go through life wondering what we're doing here and I'd rather take comfort in knowing Someone else knows me better than I know myself and can help me achieve my inner potential rather than relying on my untrustworthy self to accomplish anything. This isn't optimistic in anyway, it's literally a numbness of the spirit. Why bother enjoying what you have now if it's all gonna be gone someday and you aren't remembered? It all seems obsolete at this point with this mindset. And it just makes it sound like we're our own deities – and we're NOT. We barely know ANYTHING. We've only scratched the surface of knowledge. And we'll never go beyond that all that much.

  10. As someone who recently turned 25, hearing how many weeks I may be lucky enough to have left was deeply unsettling but also motivating…

  11. This viewpoint makes even more monstrous any who would seek to reduce your life to one of unchosen servitude, or who would step on the necks of others to further their reach. They are thiefs of life.

  12. I've maybe, realistically watched this video about 35 times so far. I watch it every time I lose touch with existence, and I show it to friends whenever appropriate. It never gets old. This video is probably one of the best pieces of content I've ever seen, and I now live by it.

  13. Here's the crux of his argument: "Well, to summarize, it seems very unlikely that 200 trillion trillion stars have been made for us." This is his proof that there is no God. Suppose I made a sand castle for my daughter. Each grain of sand contains about 50 times 10 raised to the 30th power. Wow! How unlikely is that? His argument falls apart like tissue paper.
    What lengths, what suffering, what illogical ideas people will go through in order to deny a Creator.

  14. Great video and all but that whole 5200 weeks to live kinda gave me a panic attack. One week feels so long now but any week in the past is gone in an instant.

  15. If everything is relative to oneself and at the end of our life there is only non existence then wouldn't logic dictate that the path for least amount of suffering for the universe is to kill yourself?

  16. ❤️❤️❤️ I really think that we can say kurzgesagt is one of the best Chanel ever on YouTube, everyone should watch their video from school to the oldest people, incredible video like always !

  17. The thing is that generally speaking, people act as if someone promised them 2340 weeks of time…that is where the misconception starts that influences their entire existence, as long or as short as it may be…

  18. Videos like this make me want to become the next Elon Musk, not for money but just for the advancement of our kind. But then thinking about doing all the work required… makes me not want to try doing it

  19. optimistic nihilism stems from a misunderstanding of nihilism, and a lack of understanding surrounding the rest of philosophy.

  20. I was watching some video, that made me upset (I have problems a bit). So I clicked on something, that had 'optimism' in it – yes, of course it has to be about something, that makes me terrified and had caused plenty of panic attacks, I'm just trying not to fall into depression again, just win this fight… Yes, there was the word 'nihilism' in it, I should have played attention to that, but still. A small warning next time?

  21. meh i dnt know how , by i feel great to believe in GOD and this life is a test for a purpose . meh i feel so great and happy

  22. Thank you , this really helps me I was depressed thinking about death but this got me out of my depression it makes me happier about life.

  23. its just ur claim that its not all about us , i dnt know why people think they are living in utopia , this world is a test and is not utopia , u can believe in whatever you want regarding nihilism and anything , but you wont find peace in all that temporary stuff. so i would advice everyone to stop fooling around , we are made with a purpose so we search purpose , life is not that meaningless and dead anyways , a person can never be happy as an optimistic nihilist , its impossible ..u can distract urself and lie to yurself but aint nothing changing the truth . people blame religions for everything , for their ignorance , when we all know how hapy our granny and grand daddy's were with religion , now we have just become machines with depression arising and suicide rates going up like crazy . mmodern human consider themselves more rational , but it is they who are rationally bankrupt , this is what hjappens when you leave the religion , you wander in the world hopeless.

  24. Sadly this doesn't do much for me. I can live with mistakes and failures and all that as long as I'm still here my achievements, my feelings, my dreams, my relationships, my very consciousness all adding up to nothing once I close my eyes for the final time and existence stops…. that's far more scary to me than any relief i might find in 'don't worry, nobody will remember that pool party you peed your pants at"

  25. but how can I handle my impression by astral traveling in my childhood … what if it destroyed my nihilism source what nothing will be leaved after life … so science doesn't influence you, but watching your body from another corner of the room do ..

  26. Seriously though, every single one of kurzgesact videos deserve a like
    They are beautiful, poetic, deep genius and perfect

  27. Gawd folks, he's not telling you to do fun things forever on end. If you think about it, if you spend your whole life doing only fun things, at the end you will find out you just wasted it. What kurzgesagt is telling you is that noting really matters in a universal sense, so you finally have free will to put importance in things that are important to you. Which doesn't mean playing video games for the rest of your life, it means finding your own purpose and not wait for another chance, since none of us has more time than the others and all of us are gonna die and be wiped from existance anyway.

  28. Too bad the world as we know it spends its beginnings fighting wars and destroying each other to build a better nation when the nation at the end will mean nothing

  29. "Do the things that make you feel good."
    I have to completely disagree with that statement.
    Imagine you have a child; you love him or her with all your heart and would protect him or her from anything this cruel world has to offer. Now, wouldn't you agree that you would want to know if your neighbor was watching child pornography, and that you would anything in your power to have justice completely and to throw whomever that man or woman is to prison? We live in a world where pornography is rampant, where people have the audacity to say that a woman can kill an innocent unborn child because they weren't 'ready' to become a mom AND that a man can't tell her what to do just because of his differing genitalia. This is not to antagonize you or make you feel ashamed. This is to make you feel that society does not give a damn thing about you. Society is colorblind to you; everything you do, it can be as if society is an antithesis. Whether it can be abortion, religion, or whatever, society has become and stayed an arrogant, rude, and moreover unruly. That is why my name is 'Self-Autonomy is a Joke'. I hate Nihilism[don't tell me about 'Optimistic' Nihilism(what an oxymoron), it's just Nihilism with a disgusting frosting meant to be superior to Nihilism] with a burning passion; it is corrupting us to be pessimistic and rude, and I can't stand it.

  30. What I understand from this… is u can be the God of your own universe!🌌 which is fucking awesome to begin with.

  31. I was honestly so scared about dying. That when I die, no one would remember me, I thought that ending it all would be better than having to wait. I felt like the universe only mattered if people remembered you if people knew you were there if someone could tell your story, but no one will, only you get that chance, we, as people in a community, need to stop relying on other people to help us! We have someone right there, someone that you see every day, who you wake up to, who you love so much, whether you deny it or not, you are you, you are can help yourself, you can't understand what your going through if the person your talking to doesn't know either! We can't rely on people we 'trust'. We're not something that just lives, we're something who's there to tell a story, who's there to help, who's there to protect anyone who we love and care about deeply. I felt so broken, so lost but honestly, I never thought about the real reason why we're here. We take it so recklessly, like it doesn't matter, but it does! People care about you! People wish that you stayed with them, they wish to help you with something they don't understand, they wish that you could tell them how you feel, and you say you don't need help but we all do, and it's okay, no one is different, it's okay…I understand what you're feeling, I understand that you wanna be happy, you don't wanna have to worry about things going on, I understand that you're scared but you should be happy, stay around loved ones, don't push them away…they are the closes ones you have…

  32. @Kurzgesagt
    If we teach this philosophy to everyone then it will inadvertently ruin people''s lives.

    Things do matter. Rules in society and life, for example, often don't make you 'happy' in the short term, but they actually benefit you more than you know. With this 'nothing matters but my happiness' attitude people will try to get rid of the rules and feel justified for doing so. The rule that you have to do your damn homework isn't exactly as pleasing as lying on your bed playing videogames all day, but you have to struggle through or eventually you'll fail in life. I wonder how much of an 'optimistic' nihilist you will be then.

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