Are you an absurdist?
As an absurdist, you likely embrace the idea that life is inherently without meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Absurdism, a philosophical stance closely related to existentialism and nihilism, was popularized by philosophers such as Albert Camus and Søren Kierkegaard. Absurdists believe that the search for meaning in the universe is fruitless, as it ultimately leads to a paradox: the human desire for meaning is met with a cold, indifferent universe.
There are several reasons why one might adopt an absurdist perspective:
The vastness of the universe: The sheer size and complexity of the universe can make human existence seem insignificant, which can lead to a sense of meaninglessness.
The limitations of human knowledge: Humans are limited in their ability to understand the world around them, and this realization can lead to a sense of futility in seeking meaning or purpose.
The inevitability of suffering: Life is filled with suffering and uncertainty, and it can be challenging to find a purpose or meaning that justifies or explains this reality.
The unpredictability of life: Life's randomness and unpredictability can make it difficult to discern any underlying meaning or pattern.
Cultural and historical factors: The disillusionment and skepticism that arose in the aftermath of World War II and other global conflicts have contributed to the popularity of absurdist and existentialist philosophies.
It is essential to note that while absurdism might emphasize the lack of inherent meaning in life, it does not necessarily advocate for despair or inaction. Instead, many absurdists embrace the idea of creating personal meaning and living life authentically in the face of the absurd. This perspective can be seen as empowering, as it allows individuals to take control of their own lives and find value in their experiences, even if they acknowledge the broader context of a seemingly meaningless universe.
I think that there is little new in the world of philosophy, it is certainly true that Absurdism, is "a philosophical stance closely related to existentialism and nihilism," as you say. But it also has a lot in common with Epicurism, which is as old as the hill nearly.
@MacStriker I haven’t listened in a while, but he manages to deliver up a given topic in a short and succinct manner. He covers quite a bit of ground over the years of episodes.
My perception is this to the first point; yea, the vastness can lead to that process, however, i like the mindset, "hey, im here for the ride, might as well enjoy it, make the most of it!"
Richard Dawkins coined it beautifully how we should all consider ourselves "lucky" to just be part of the experience of life. The randomness, the highs and the lows. My hardcore xtian orthodox best friend says "life is about suffering, because jesus suffered, and any amount of suffering we do pales in comparison to his. My reply is "Ok, cool, go with that. not me."
Appreciation and gratitude go a long way, and those that do that, i see are the most happiest and satisfied. A common (and comforting) mindset i've seen in the non-theist community is "Xtians or theists that live so much for the next life, rob the joys they could be experiencing now.
Enjoy the ride, you only get one shot, make it count.
And consider for a moment, the irony of that, from a hypothetical gods point of view. Would Xians not from a gods point of view, be just like spoiled children, throwing a gift away in contempt, because. "I want you to give me a better one next week."
Can't say as I gave it a lot thought, I enjoy the day, I sleep and get up and do it all again. It's the other folks I interact with, or interesting things I read, see or learn that make my world a joy and fun to be a part of.
“ As for me, when you want a laugh, you will find me in fine fettle, fat and sleek, a hog from Epicurus’s herd.”
I think Horace would identify with absurdism. I’ll ask him at the next Bacchian orgy.
No, I’m not. What’s absurd to me is making up a concept (meaning) and then claiming “life is absurd” because it doesn’t contain the thing I made up!
If you start off with hyperpessimistic Schopenhauerian antinatalism, absurdism is the only sane way out.
That is very true, though I think that perhaps A. Camus was a little deeper than that, and would be well aware of the logical irony. Indeed it may have been his intent to make it plain, though perhaps overdoing it, to build a whole philosophy around it.
I don’t need to understand the properties of light to enjoy a sunset or know the botanical names of plants and flowers to appreciate them. To a large extent language is referential; the word water is not of itself, drinkable. While we use a variety of concepts in our dissection and classification of human experiences, life is not a concept. I agree with Soren Kierkegaard who said: “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.”
@Scott321 In philosophy, subjective specifically means relating to an object as it exists in the mind, as opposed to the thing as it exists in reality (the thing in itself). All perception relies on your mind, so your perception of a thing is ultimately subjective.
Something that’s truly objective has nothing to do with a person’s own feelings or views—it just deals with facts. Water boils at 100 C or 212F with one or two slight variations in different parts of the earth so it remains an objective fact regardless of how anyone feels about it.
Again, the same old 'hubristic' crap. "life is inherently without meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value." Life is NOT just about one stupid species but all the species on this planet. LIFE, writ large is about evolving and humans are supposed (most fall short) to evolve through knowledge. Knowledge gotten through learning. Some of us, here, actually learn a few things from this site.
Evolution at bare bones is merely genetic change and not necessarily adaptive change at that. It strips meaning away like harsh paint remover.
There is a philosophical notion of evolutionary epistemology but that’s just fancy human abstraction on how concepts change over time and though Popper liked it so did Hayek so kinda neoliberalish.
Besides when the sun expands and fries the Earth that fancy philosophy will have long withered away.
@Scott321 It is absolutely adaptive change. The survival of the fittest means the life form that is most able to handle change is the one that survives. What is the definition of meaning? Is it general or personal? For me my experiences and learning have made me who I am today and maybe I'll be a different person tomorrow.
Love it! I don't give a damn where I came from, what I am made of, or the possibility of the world ending tomorrow. I go to bed at night, wake up the next morning and enjoy the day as it presents itself. I live as if I will be here tomorrow, and the next day. But I don't spend a lot of time wondering why.
I am am an absurdist/nihilist!
excellent podcast, subscribed!