Absurdity of human existence is a hard philosophical question. The problem of absurdity of human existence arises from the point of view that the universe is meaningless and there is nothing in the world worth living. According to existentialism the tragedy of human existence is that people are like abandoned in the world of physical pleasures. They don't know how to live in the world, aware of the impermanence of existence.
In this essay I would like to highlight Albert Camus’, Richard Taylor’s and Thomas Nagel’s points of view on absurdity of human existence.
Even though the concept of absurd permeates all the works of Camus, «The Myth of Sisyphus» and «The Stranger» appear to be his two major works on this subject. In this works, Albert Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, opposition, and conflict between the two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human being as absurd and as the confrontation between the human desire to significance, conciseness, clarity and silent, cold Universe. Camus says that there are specific human experiences that evoke the notion of absurdity. This awareness or collision with absurd puts a person in situation where he or she has to choose between suicide, becoming religious, or adoption. Camus emphasizes that perhaps, the main philosophical question is the meaning of life. This, in general, identifies the main issues examined by the author in his works: the absurdity of life, a sense of absurdity and its impact on the attitude towards life, the issue of suicide, hope and freedom.(Camus 115)
The main point of Thomas Nagel’s work «The Absurd» is that people are absurd because of their self-consciousness. According to the author the only way to escape absurdity of human existence is to stop being self-conscious. Thomas Nagel argues the position that «nothing that will be the case in a million years matters now» his response to this position is following: «it does not matter now that in a million years nothing we do now will matter.». (Nigel 49)
Now I would like by a few words to comment the attitude of Richard Taylor as to these problematics. In the work “Does Life Has a Meaning?” he presents his view of life as meaningless of existence. In support of this Taylor, as well as Albert Camus, presents to the reader a symbolic ancient myth of Sisyphus. He characterizes different theories of its interpretation suggesting, however, its own meaning of the ancient story. In his view a man goes by circle and his life is senseless. And the myth of Sisyphus gives this particular massage to all the humanity. Its main character is rolling and rolling a stone to the hill in a hope it would finally roll down the other side but he is doomed to do this forever.
The main idea of the work of Taylor is that each man is fated to roll his stone during all his life senselessly, the same as Sisyphus. People build their world with their hopes but all them comes not from the holly secrets of God or someone else. They build their fading castles one by one and then they are just gone. They are gone the same as previous ones.(Landau 76)
According to Taylor, man finds sense either because he wants to find it or he have to. Starting from such simple activities as taking a shower and ending by more global as giving your life in order to save someone else, all these come just from the existence of will to do these in such a person.
I can agree with the author that everything really starts in our heads and souls, but it definitely doesn’t end there. Of course our life consists of periodic repetition of the same activities. When you are a child everything smells new for you and is full of mystery. Then you become older and the number of new things decreases with every year. That’s right that material world is limited, however, we haven’t to forget about its evidencing in spirituality.
I don’t share the opinion of fatalists as to the absurdity of life. I do really believe in duality of world. Not everything can be seen and understood. The Universe is complicated but it works in accordance with its special Laws. It exists in both material and spiritual world. Material world is rather clear phenomenon. It is represented in all that can be seen, touched, smelt, etc. Together with this, it is limited by its material nature which as we know always comes to an end.
Instead of mentioned above, spirituality is never dying. It’s hard to explain and describe how it looks like. Personally I see it as a world of energies. This world exists in parallel with the material one. I convinced that everything in the material world has such an energy ground. Everything in this world including physical laws, faith in its general sense, thoughts, material objects and all other things exist in both worlds. However, material existence is doomed to dye. While its life in the world of energies will only change a form and materialize in something else.
Taking all this point together, in my opinion, limiting the world by the perception of it as a material only is at least primitive. Going through emotions is a basis for human during his life time. Thoughts and emotions can change anything as they are the main engines in the energy world which are able to materialize anything and bring it in our life. So it is true, the life is ending, but its quality and enjoyment depends what sense we enclose thereto. It also depends on emotions what we have. Let’s have a will for having positive emotions which gives sense of existence and happiness.
Nigel, Thomas. "The Absurd." Journal of Philosophy (1971): 716-27. Print.
Camus, Albert, and Matthew Ward. The Stranger. New York: Vintage International, 1989. Print.
Landau, Russ. The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.