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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and Netflix films. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC, and NPR.

Podcast 323 | Nihilism

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, The Minimalists are joined by philosopher Peter Rollins to discuss nihilism, despair, anger, and depression, and they answer the following questions:

  • How are nihilism and minimalism related?
  • Is Fight Club’s Tyler Durden an example of nihilism?
  • What did Nietzsche mean by the “death of God”?
  • What started the recent rise in nihilism?
  • Is anger merely unrealized expectations?
  • What is the “belief through the other”?
  • How do you define “fundamentalism”?
  • Are nihilism and pessimism the same perspective?
  • How do we overcome pessimism?
  • What would cause someone to become a nihilist?
  • Why did Nietzsche believe we must all experience the death of God?
  • What is “dialectics”?
  • How do I help myself and my children adequately recover and move on after the death of their father ‬and the disintegration of my second marriage?
  • What are “beta-elements”?
  • What is an “alpha function”?
  • What is your perspective regarding “symptoms”?
  • What is the value of a psychotherapist for those of us struggling with issues?
  • How do you find new meaning in life when the meaning you wanted is no longer an option?
  • How do you define “depression”?
  • What is the “object cause of desire”?
  • How do you define “love”?
  • How do you address a void?
  • Why do you consider Los Angeles the most religious place in the world?
  • What is “leveling”?
  • What is the difference between a problem and a mystery?

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Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, shareable, less-than-140-character responses. Find more quotes from The Minimalists at

  • “A meaningful life resides at the intersection of devotion and love.” —Joshua Fields Millburn
  • “If there’s no meaning of life, there’s still meaning in life.” —Peter Rollins

Mentioned in This Episode