A new study carried out by the Institute for the Study of Nihilistic Tendencies (ISNT) has found that believing in nothing is bad. Researchers Svord Naurbaum and Karl Jorgensburg followed the lives of twenty nihilists over a ten year period and discovered that belief in something, anything--even if it is just believing in the idea that believing in nothing is bad--is better than believing in nothing at all.
"Nothing unusual happened to the people who believed in nothing," explains Dr. Naurbaum. "The test group had the same amount of good and bad fortune, statistically, as any members of the control group of believing subjects we simultaneously followed. The difference was, the people who believed in nothing were always at a loss as to what they should put in the "religious affiliation" box on the national census, and this left 73.2% of the nihilists feeling empty and disempowered, some of them for minutes at a time."
Dr Jorgensburg was quick to clarify: "The belief in nothing is still, technically, a belief, and these people were generally as well-adjusted and happy as any other person. The true trouble comes with those individuals who simply do not believe in anything--that is to say, they seem to have no capacity for belief of any kind, even in nothing. These people were difficult to track down, and, when we did find them, they tended to pop out of existence at the slightest provocation, or for no reason at all."
Some radical ethicists have criticized the doctors' findings, questioning whether popping out of existence could really be evaluated in terms of "good" or "bad" given our consistently insufficient knowledge as to the nature of existence, non-existence and relative merits of each.
"To be or not to be is not the only question," explains Amy Kroft-Wimple of the Univeristy of Pullfordshire, Wales, "there are also issues of complimentarity: whether existence is better understood as a kind of sliding scale, with, say, Liam Neeson at one end of the spectrum and Santa Clause at the other, and infinite shades of variability in-between."
Despite the criticisms of their research the doctors from ISNT are adamant: "Belief in disbelief can be as potent a force in the life of an individual as believing in a belief, but our belief in the badness of non-belief may be keeping us from popping out of existence, so we will stand by our findings."
Personally, I think it's all a lot of hooey. All I need is a cold beer and the remote and