• darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Seems to me there are two arguments here:

    1.) God does not exist, and therefore life is absurd.

    2.) Life is absurd without god, therefore god exists.

    The first argument is a reaction to the apparent non existence of a deity, while the second is a proof for a deity.

    Absurdity here is meaning not only the metaphor of the actor without a stage, but also the complete uncanniness, or peculiarity, of existence as a whole if god does not exist.

    Or is this just an appeal to emotions and ignorance?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Ahhh finally! Something about suicides, absurdity, nihilism, etc. :D

    Well in the first "argument" the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise (I thought it should be premises anyway...). Therefore it's a non-sequitur. In the second "argument" - fuck - that's also a non-sequitur, unless you add the premise that "life isn't absurd", in which case it is tautologically true (iff the premises are true, which of course they're not) :s

    Anyway, welcome to the forums! :)
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    I wasn't trying to be the first the make a death-related post. :\

    To address the non-sequiturs:

    Camus thought there were three methods of dealing with the Absurd, either by faith, suicide, or apprehending the Absurd directly. When following the path of faith, a person is denying the Absurd. So I assume that if there is no god, then there the Absurd is very real. This is based purely off of Camus and a bit of Nietzsche (god is dead).
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Well Camus' Absurd does not depend on whether there is a God or not. Even if there is a God - life is still absurd - perhaps even more absurd that way lol. A God up there in the skies, concerned about how and when I masturbate - gosh, if that ain't absurd, I don't know what is.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Quoted directly from the SEP:

    "Camus centers his work on choosing to live without God."
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Read that as "choosing to live without faith" (ie lucidly, without self-delusions).
  • Marchesk
    2.3k
    . A God up there in the skies, concerned about how and when I masturbate - gosh, if that ain't absurd, I don't know what is.Agustino

    Maybe God is concerned that you're not getting enough?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Well Epicurus taught me that I should not be concerned about such hard to attain bodily pleasures. Peace of mind is the real good. So I think this God needs some lessons too :s (lol just joking :p )
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Why would someone need faith if life is not absurd?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Faith is a response to the lack of global meaning. Suicide is also a response to that. Resistance to it (ie making your own meaning), that is what makes the situation (life) become absurd (it has no meaning, and yet behold, you have a meaning). So it's not the Absurd per say that faith is a response to. Camus states that to maintain the Absurd, one must resist it lucidly. The fact that we value our life, despite the fact that it is meaningless for the Universe - that is the Absurd.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    This ignores Camus' use of "Absurd" which is what @darthbarracuda was referring to through the word. To wit:

    "The Absurd is the confrontation of the irrational (the world) and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart"

    Notice that the arguments cannot be valid under this definition of absurd. The fact that man's constitution (longings) cannot be satisfied by the world does not necessarily have anything to do with God. Therefore the existence/non-existence of God plays no role in the Absurdity of life. It's a question that is decided by our nature vs the nature of the world
  • S
    6.2k
    "The Absurd is the confrontation of the irrational (the world) and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart"

    Notice that the arguments cannot be valid under this definition of absurd. The fact that man's constitution (longings) cannot be satisfied by the world does not necessarily have anything to do with God.
    Agustino

    In light of the above Camus quote, one could interpret the second argument as follows:

    If God is such that only his existence can make the world rational, and the world is rational, then God exists.

    That's a valid argument that bears some relation to both the original argument and the Camus quote. However, if the world is irrational, as per the Camus quote, then the argument would be unsound.

    It's also at least possible that if the world was rational, our longings would be satisfied.

    (P.S. I accidentally edited over my previous post, so I deleted it from the discussion).
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Good post. How do we know if a universe is rational?
  • S
    6.2k
    Good post. How do we know if a universe is rational?darthbarracuda

    Thanks. I think that one would have to arrive at such a conclusion through a sound deductive argument - although I'm not sure what such an argument would look like. I don't think that induction would succeed, because the universe is too vast.

    If it's an 'either/or' matter, whereby a rational universe entails that every aspect of the universe is rational, and an irrational universe is the opposite, then all one would need to do is provide a counterexample.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Agreed. How could science even start to try to uncover the rationality, or lack thereof, of the universe?

    Does this mean that any assertion that the universe is meaningless or irrational is based purely off of a gut feeling?
  • S
    6.2k
    Agreed. How could science even start to try to uncover the rationality, or lack thereof, of the universe?

    Does this mean that any assertion that the universe is meaningless or irrational is based purely off of a gut feeling?
    darthbarracuda

    No. I think that when people assert that the universe is meaningless, they tend to mean only that there is no inherent, objective meaning. I don't think that that's based purely off of a gut feeling, but rather on a lack of convincing evidence to the contrary. Whether this absence of evidence is evidence of absence would depend on whether a universe with inherent, objective meaning would produce evidence that it has an inherent, objective meaning.

    Whether or not one could obtain sufficient evidence to justify that assertion is arguable. Perhaps a weaker, more qualified claim would be justified.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    392


    I think that one of the problems here is that if life is absurd, and you (choose to) draw the conclusion that 'one must have faith', then there is really no compelling reason as to why this 'faith' should be exclusively faith in a god.

    Indeed, it might be an option, if one should so choose ('conclude'), but faith as the result of absurdity does not indicate or guarantee that a (religious) faith where god is the center must be that faith.

    Meow!

    GREG
  • Soylent
    188
    God is not a solution to absurdity because God risks absurdity par excellence. Either God requires an additional appeal to meaning through an other or meaning is intrinsic in being. Without an other, God's absurdity is magnified infinitely. Creation is meaningful and meaning-giving. The creative impulse in humans (or in God) is precisely where meaning is found and absurdity conquered. Hence, finite existence is given meaning by the creative projects in which individuals participate, and absent the need for God.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    392
    God is not a solution to absurdity because God risks absurdity par excellence.Soylent

    Agreed!

    It seems more that the concept of god just pushes the absurdity aside, but does nothing to solve it.

    I always sort of thought the 'solution' to absurdity (as if one can call it that) would be acceptance of the absurd and simply moving on.

    Meow!

    GREG
  • bert1
    159
    1.) God does not exist, and therefore life is absurd.

    2.) Life is absurd without god, therefore god exists.
    darthbarracuda

    Rejigging these a bit:

    Argument 1:
    1. If there is no God, then life is absurd
    2. There is no God
    Therefore, life is absurd (MP)

    Argument 2:
    1. If there is no God, then life is absurd
    2. Life is not absurd
    Therefore, there is God (MTT)

    Both arguments are valid (unless I've got myself in a muddle). Are these what you had in mind darthbarracuda?
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Pretty much spot on. The theist might not even see any absurdity in existence, which is why god exists. Or, the theist sees the absurdity in existence but decides that this is fundamentally a proof of god: i.e. look at how ridiculous life is if god doesn't exist! He must exist!
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    The absurdity of life cannot be a proof of the existence of god because, well, life is absurd because god doesn't exist.
  • S
    6.2k
    If God exists, he exists in a world that is pretty absurd. So that rules out the existence of a certain kind of God. It would definitely rule out any conception of God which entails the opposite. It would rule out one that entails perfect order and rationality.

    I don't think that God exists, regardless.
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    Wouldn't the existence of god dispel the absurdity of life? God would confer meaning as in the absurdity is only superficial for we would be part of a divine plan.
  • S
    6.2k
    Wouldn't the existence of god dispel the absurdity of life?TheMadFool

    Well, that depends on what you mean by "god".

    God would confer meaning, as in the absurdity is only superficial, for we would be part of a divine plan.TheMadFool

    If so, then I agree. But as an atheist, I tend to leave the squabbling over what properties or plans God has or does not have to others. Otherwise it's kinda like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
  • Tijgerlelie Wijnhard
    1
    Quite interesting food for thought. I'm looking forward to a follow-up.
  • YIOSTHEOY
    76
    [Quoting Darth:

    "Seems to me there are two arguments here:

    1.) God does not exist, and therefore life is absurd.

    2.) Life is absurd without god, therefore god exists.

    The first argument is a reaction to the apparent non existence of a deity, while the second is a proof for a deity.

    Absurdity here is meaning not only the metaphor of the actor without a stage, but also the complete uncanniness, or peculiarity, of existence as a whole if god does not exist.

    Or is this just an appeal to emotions and ignorance? "]

    The above as quoted not strike me as any kind of proof simply because they are not a syllogism.

    They are merely two assumptions each one without any compelling argument or proof.

    The classic proofs of God by Aristotle, Descartes, and Aquinas are more along the following lines, as I am sure you know already or perhaps you have forgotten and need a refresher maybe:

    - First Cause
    - Prime Mover
    - Purposeful Designer
    - Artistic Artificer
    - Most Perfect Conception Imaginable.
  • Hogrider
    17
    Seems to me there are two arguments here:

    1.) God does not exist, and therefore life is absurd.

    2.) Life is absurd without god, therefore god exists.

    The first argument is a reaction to the apparent non existence of a deity, while the second is a proof for a deity.

    Absurdity here is meaning not only the metaphor of the actor without a stage, but also the complete uncanniness, or peculiarity, of existence as a whole if god does not exist.

    Or is this just an appeal to emotions and ignorance?
    darthbarracuda

    What you have here is two straw men.
    To some Life is absurd whether or not god exists (whatever you mean by God)
    To others life is meaningful whether or not god exists.
    If god exists, to most, life ought to be meaningful. The conclusion is, that if any feel that life is absurd then the existence of god is called into question; if you accept the premise.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    Eyeballs and Enzo Ferraris are really very "absurd" things. When I was young I could not fathom how such absurd things could come into existence and I appealed internally to some creator god.

    Once I learned of the processes of evolution that contributed to forming human eyeballs, along with the history of the combustion engine and computational science and the development of the automobile these things began to seem distinctly less and less absurd.

    And now, when I force myself to conceptualize things as absurd as a part of a thought experiment, I realize that everything that does exist, and anything that could exist, can be considered absurd. At some point "something existing rather than nothing" in and of itself can be taken as absurd. If existence is possible without god, then absurdity does not reveal his hand.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    I don't think life is absurd and I don't believe theistic gods exist.

    Existence is not absurd compared to the alternative of non-existence.
  • Janus
    5.9k
    Existence is not, in and of itself, absurd. Camus formulated the absurd as being the situation in which questions ( the most serious questions of all) are asked of existence which cannot in principle be answered by existence. Although this is prejudicially ruled out by Camus, the fact that such questions cannot be answered by existence, by worldly knowledge, does not preclude the possibility that they they may be answered by God.

    Absent this prejudice, purely as an idea, the absurd is very close if not coterminous, with the concept of anxiety as explored by Kierkegaard (see The Concept of Anxiety). Anxiety just is the absurd situation we find ourselves in when we realize that we are free to believe, and so free to act, but we do not know what to believe, or how to act. There is nothing in the world, according to this notion, that tells us unequivocally, what it is right to believe about our lives, about human life and about Creation itself. So, we must take a leap of faith; we must believe one way or the other, if we are not to perennially 'sit on the fence'.

    Camus tendentiously presents his leap of faith (the belief that life has no inherent meaning) as not being a leap of faith at all, but as a resolute refusal to believe, as an abnegation of belief itself on the ground that there is no evidence. This is almost the archetypal modern presumption; the one-eyed outcome of the dominance of the scientific paradigm.
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