Archive for the ‘absurdity of atheism’ Category

What atheism doesn’t answer

January 20, 2010

If sub specie aeternitatis there is no reason to believe that anything matters, then that does not matter either, and we can approach our lives with irony instead of heroism or despair.

The Absurd Thomas Nagel. The Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 68. No. 20. Sixty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division (Oct. 21, 1971). pp. 716-727. Journal of Philosophy, Inc.

What Nagel is saying is this: ultimately there is no meaning in life, in the grand scheme of things (from his atheist perspective he is correct) but the statement itself is without meaning. Therefore we can approach this issue with irony.

He may choose to adopt that posture. But his response does not answer a further question we might ask: why do we instinctively rebel against the notion that all of my life is ultimately meaningless? Why do we, moment by moment, actually ascribe significance to what we do?

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The eternal problem of the basis of morality

September 10, 2009

The universe is not absurd in itself, any more than it is yellow or sugary: it simply is. Life and the world have a meaning for the believer who has a code of conduct in the Gospels based on the word of Christ. Camus’ anguish came from the fact that no morality was imposed by an atheist or agnostic’s world…For Camus, truth existed in the sciences, but not a single truth…Both (Sartre and Camus) confronted the eternal problem of the basis of morality if one does not believe in God.

Camus’ biographer, Olivier Todd, pp.145, 156

Needless to say, neither found that basis and no one ever will.

He fornicated and read the papers

September 8, 2009

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers.

Albert Camus in Olivier Todd, p.300

Fornication can only be a meaningful moral concept in a world of moral purpose and design. But once again, when man runs from God, the price is meaninglessness.

The price of running from God

September 8, 2009

Absurd is that which is devoid of purpose. …Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless.

Eugene Ionesco, playwright

This is the price of running from God. When man hides from God he becomes lost.

Atheism – absurdity

July 29, 2009

Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity…And maybe that’s what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.

Albert Camus, letter to Claude Freminville, 1/1/36

Albert Camus: A Life, Olivier Todd, Vintage, 1998, p.41

The absurd is not in man…nor in the world, but in their common presence.

Albert Camus: A Life, Olivier Todd, p.4

Todd comments: “He did not agree with Dostoyevsky that if God did not exist, all was possible. Certain facts, which are crimes, must be rejected: Camus used man to explain man, first and foremost. He took as a good the human person’s fulfilment and happiness. Thus absurdism became a kind of humanism: the world had the meaning one gave to it. (ibid, p.143)

But what is a ‘crime’ but an evaluation of something based on an already-held ethical system. Where does that come from except it is arbitrarily chosen? And how can ‘man’, the unknown, undefined by God in an atheist system of thought, be used to explain man? The unknown can only be explained in terms of what is already known. This arbitrariness is seen when we ask, ‘What if Stalin found ‘fulfilment and happiness’ in his chosen life?’

Camus saw an ‘unspeakable universe where contradiction, antinomy, anguish and impotence reign.’

Man finds himself confronted by the irrational…He feels inside himself the desire for happiness and reason…(absurdity is) born at the confrontation between the human cry and the world’s unreasoning silence.

(ibid, 143)