Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It explores the meaning of human existence and the search for purpose in life.
However, within this movement, there is a subcategory known as absurd existentialism. This philosophy takes things one step further by asserting that human existence is inherently absurd.
What Is Absurd Existentialism?
Absurd existentialism is a philosophical belief that suggests human existence is meaningless and irrational. It argues that there is no inherent purpose or value to life, and that humans are forced to create their own meaning in an indifferent and chaotic universe.
This philosophy was popularized by French philosopher Albert Camus in his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” In this essay, Camus explores the story of Sisyphus, who was condemned by the gods to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity. Camus argues that Sisyphus’s struggle represents the human condition – we are all doomed to struggle endlessly with no ultimate purpose or outcome.
The Absurd Condition
According to absurd existentialism, the absurd condition is created when humans try to find meaning in a universe that has none. We create values and goals for ourselves, but they are ultimately meaningless because they are not based on any objective truth or reality.
This can lead to feelings of despair and hopelessness. However, absurd existentialism also suggests that embracing this condition can lead to a kind of freedom. By accepting that life has no inherent meaning, we can create our own values and live authentically.
The Role of Choice
One of the key themes in absurd existentialism is the importance of choice. Because there is no predetermined purpose or meaning in life, we are free to make our own choices and create our own values.
However, this freedom also comes with responsibility. We must take responsibility for our choices and the consequences that come with them. This can be difficult, as it requires us to confront the uncertainty and ambiguity of life.
The Absurd Hero
In his essay, Camus also introduces the concept of the absurd hero. This is a person who embraces the absurd condition and lives authentically in spite of it. The absurd hero is not bound by traditional values or beliefs, but instead creates their own meaning and purpose.
The absurd hero is often portrayed as an outsider or rebel, challenging societal norms and conventions. They are willing to take risks and confront the uncertainties of life, even if it means facing ridicule or ostracism from others.
Absurd existentialism is a philosophy that challenges traditional beliefs about the meaning and purpose of human existence. It suggests that life is inherently meaningless and irrational, but that we can find freedom in this condition by creating our own values and living authentically.
While this philosophy can be unsettling or even nihilistic at times, it also offers a unique perspective on human existence. It reminds us that we are free to make our own choices and create our own meaning in life – a power that should not be taken lightly.