Nihilism is often more of a charge leveled against a particular idea, movement, or group, than it is an actual philosophical position to which someone overtly subscribes. Movements such as Dada as well as Futurism and deconstructionism, among others, have been described by commentators as "nihilist" at various times in various contexts. Often this means or is meant to imply that the beliefs of the accuser are more substantial or truthful, whereas the beliefs of the accused are nihilistic, and thereby comparatively amount to nothing (or are simply claimed to be destructively amoralistic).
Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch, and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity and many aspects of modernity represent the rejection of God, and therefore are nihilistic.
Nihilism is often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche, who accepted certain aspects of the position. The modern definition, however, does not apply to him. For while Nietzsche could be accurately categorized as a nihilist in the descriptive sense, he never advocated nihilism as a practical mode of living and was typically quite critical of the position. Another prominent philosopher who has written on the subject is Martin Heidegger, who argued that "[the term] nihilism has a very specific meaning. What remains unquestioned and forgotten in metaphysics is being; and hence, it is nihilistic."