Science vs Absurdism

If you know what life is for, this one isn’t for you.

Finding the meaning of life is one quest many of us will venture into at least once in a lifetime. The quest shall be fruitful to most. Others shall end up in the philosophical limbo called Absurdism, the philosophy that the question of meaning of life is unanswerable and shall remain so forever, essentially making existence meaningless. The problem doesn’t end there. Taking life as meaningless but continuing to live it is paradoxical and this paradox feeds the agony that shadows the entire life of many absurdists, more so when life gets challenging. This troubled absurdist then seeks philosophical texts or engages in deep contemplation in order to solve this paradox. Some lucky ones are able to flee it by solutions proposed by philosophers like Albert Camus, others flee it by fleeing absurdism itself, consciously or subconsciously. A few unlucky ones remain clueless in the canvas of their contemplation. I’ve been that unlucky one. I dealt with it through science. How? Well…

We know evolution works by selecting the more viable of organisms and dropping off those not fit enough to face the challenges of the environment. This continuous evolutionary selection reinforces those traits in the living which help them survive. What would be the single most universal trait, amongst these many traits, which if absent would bring down the entire skeleton of life? It would simply be the will to live, called the “survival instinct”. This instinct is the one behavior that all life forms universally share, with no exceptions. So yes, the one reason we live is that evolution has hardwired us to guard our lives. And that’s it. There’s no more to our reasons to live. All else, all those reasons people say they live for are defense mechanisms that keep this absurd instinct cloaked. This survival instinct is the ultimate reason why despite all the absurdity of life, despite all the troubles… absurdists continue living it. We don’t have other options. Our hardwired mind keeps us from committing suicide unless it’s overridden by the strongest of emotions.

The conclusion is simple. Living is a biological obligation. And since, there’s no way out, what option do we have other than expending our energies in making it beautiful and livable for ourselves and the generations to come?

Click here to discuss.

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7 Comments

    • Biologically, this means that we live only because we have biological drives that make us guard our lives. This answers one question: Why do we still live when we know that we don’t have to.

      But this does NOT answer why life (and evolution) is on this planet in the first place. That’s where absurdism kicks in. Absurdism is not a holistic doctrine. It’s a simple philosophy which plays well even with theism.

  1. Interesting how you reached your conclusion and decided on the lofty goal of “expending our energies in making it beautiful and livable for ourselves and the generations to come.” Guess, I figure we have something greater than ourselves to help us do so, since human beings aren’t all that reliable on making life beautiful. thanks

  2. Pingback: Dear Camus:Fuck You. | ahimsamaven

  3. Camus and other absurdists do not “flee” the absurd – that humans incessantly try to find meaning, and are simultaneously unable to. In fact, they embrace that absurdity. They embrace that they will never find an objective meaning, and instead find a subjective meaning – which borders on exhistentialism – from the struggle itself.

    “Survival” is not an objective life purpose. It is a biological instinct, as was explained. There is a difference, because survival raises the questions, “why survive? What point is there to ensuring the continuity of your species and its posterity?” The absurdist will tell you that there is no definitively objective point to it, and that science is itself elusive to the absurd. It explains how, but not why. It is no less an escape from the absurd than putting faith in god.

    The absurdist does not say that there is no meaning to life – he only says that it is impossible to find. Therefore continuing to live is not paradoxical – it is in fact the only rational response. To commit suicide would be to confess that life has no meaning, and to invent a meaning – such as through God – would be to actively ignore the absurd, deferring to abstraction and thus escaping rational life.

    Thus, the absurdist’s only rational course of action is to struggle incessantly. It is to search for meaning in life, in spite of one’s revelation of the absurd. It is to be as close to absolute freedom as is humanly possible, and thusly to be passionate about every moment in life due to the rejection of false hope.

    Such is the nature of the human condition, as Camus will tell you.

  4. The third option that one should embrace absurdity which is being endorsed .I believe that believing in absurdity and yet also having a strong faith that current knowledge of is insufficient to answer such thing summons you to live your life with this quality ,”you know its there but you also know why its still there “.

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