Wednesday, July 22, 2009


source: highlights comments: I met an Absurdist at the Tolpuddle Festival whilst manning the Dorset Humanists stand. She mentioned Camus, nihilism, existentialism. I gave her a leaflet on Humanism.

This experience chimes with a religious person who visited Dorset Humanists stand at Winton Carnival a few weeks ago. What is the purpose of life for drug addicts? Surely they need God to give them purpose? Or do drug addicts commit suicide? I retorted that using reason and compassion was the way out of their difficulties - not resorting to belief in God or suicide! I've heard of the Myth of Sisyphus before; now I'll read it.

Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe ultimately fail (and hence are absurd), because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to the individual. The word "absurd" in this context does not mean "logically impossible", but rather "humanly impossible".

Absurdism is related to existentialism and nihilism and has its roots in the 19th century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. Absurdism as a belief system was born of the existentialist movement, when the French philosopher and writer Albert Camus broke from that philosophical line of thought and published his manuscript The Myth of Sisyphus.

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