In Kafka’s Trial, K. confronts a priest who tells him:
“‘It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.’
‘A melancholy conclusion,’ said K. ‘It turns lying into a universal principle.’”
But in between the priest’s observation and K.’s conclusion there is another result of this acceptance – that of turning necessity into a lie. The effect of this, of course, is that real necessities can no longer be trusted. They all become suspicious. Real purpose likewise suffers from this. Action itself becomes suspect to all sorts of vanities based on dishonesty and illusion. When necessity is rendered absurd by no longer representing that which really is, nihilism sets in. From this, we can define nihilism as that which arises when necessity loses its character.