Nihilism: Dangerous, Necessary, Salutary, All Of The Above?

Is Nihilism “…a dangerous but … necessary and … possibly salutary stage in human history”? If so, then let’s get there sooner than later. This is, it might be true, what atheists have wrought. I didn’t use “Atheism”, because I wish to draw attention to actual Atheists–ones who exist and have existed. In the same manner, I wish to drag actual Theists into this discussion.
The people who carry the banner of one camp or the other have the ability to form, direct and influence world history. Chaos results when nobody carries the banner.
From Allan Bloom’s “The Closing Of The American Mind”, pages 197-198:

     The disenchantment of God and nature necessitated a new description of good and evil. To adapt a formula of Plato about the gods, we do not love a thing because it is good, it is good because we love it. It is our decision to esteem that makes something estimable. Man is the esteeming being, the one capable of reverence and self-contempt, “the beast with red cheeks.” Nietzsche claimed to have seen that the objects of men’s reverence, in no sense compel that reverence; frequently the objects do not even exist. Their qualities are projections of what is most powerful in man and serve to satisfy his strongest needs or desires. Good and evil are what make it possible for men to live and act. The character of their judgments of good and evil shows what they are.
     To put it simply, Nietzsche says that modern man is losing, or has lost, the capacity to value, and therewith his humanity. Self-satisfaction, the desire to be adjusted, the comfortable solution to his problems, the whole program of the welfare state, are the signs of the incapacity to look up toward the heaven of man’s possible perfection or self-overcoming. But the surest sign is the way we use the word “value,” and in this Nietzsche not only diagnosed the disease but exacerbated it. He intended to point out to men the danger they are in, the awesome task they face of protecting and enhancing their humanity. As he understood it, men in our current decrepitude could take it easy if they believed God, nature or history provides values. Such belief was salutary as long as the objectified creations of man were still noble and vital. But in the present exhaustion of the old values, men must be brought to the abyss, terrified by their danger and nauseated by what could become of them, in order to make them aware of their responsibility for their fate. They must turn within themselves and reconstitute the conditions of their creativity in order to generate values. The self must be a tense bow. It must struggle with opposites rather than harmonize them, rather than turn the tension over to the great instruments of last manhood–the skilled bow unbenders and Jesuits of our days, the psychiatrists, who in the same spirit and as part of the same conspiracy of modernity as the peace virtuosos, reduce conflict. Chaos, the war of opposites, is, as we know from the Bible, the condition of creativity, which must be mastered by the creator. The self must also bring forth arrows out of its longing. Bow and arrow, both belonging to man, can shoot a star into the heavens to guide man. Stripping away the illusions about values was required, so Nietzsche thought, by our situation, to disenchant all misleading hopes of comfort or consolation, thereby to fill the few creators with awe and the awareness that everything depends on them. Nihilism is a dangerous but a necessary and a possibly salutary stage in human history. In it man faces his true situation. It can break him, reduce him to despair and spiritual or bodily suicide. But it can hearten him to a reconstruction of a world of meaning. …
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