Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual is an isolated being "thrown" into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning. The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create his or her own subjective "meaning" or "purpose"
Aside from moral nihilism, the other primary sense of the term which existed as a part of early Russian Nihilism and which has continued even today might be called "existential nihilism." It shares a close affinity with Existentialism, arguing that human life is ultimately trivial and meaningless. Where it parts company with Existentialism, however, is in the level of resulting despair and the conclusion that therefore perhaps the best course of action is suicide.