Camus’ Theory of Life: HD

Life is objectively meaningless and full of absurdities, we are temporary beings in a subjective world.

To many, it is a shocking statement, a statement that goes against our conceived notions on life and what exists.


Think about that word.

We can say that word probably comes from latin or greek or some old language, but I propose something different, and stick with me…I will get to Camus…but I want you to stick with me while I explain something

We created the word conceived, or its predecessor words, in order to describe a feeling we hold. It appears humans have desires, it appears we want to fill those desires, and we created language because we desired it.

This, what I am taking about right here, is metaphysics. I am talking about what humans are, and I am talking about how things got the way they are. Notice how I have not made any *pre*scriptive statements yet, any ‘should’ statements. I have only discussed what we appear to see.

I will once again make another metaphysical claim; a *de*scriptive claim: humans appear to use metaphysics to describe the world, because we cannot say what we should do before we have the conditions for the world, the world in which we create terms like ‘conceive’ and ‘should’.

So…speaking metaphysically…we have desires…and we created the language necessary to make moral ideas.

But now I will show the difference between the metaphysical and the normative. With the metaphysical lens, we can see a tree exists because we have the eyes to do so, and we agree on what a tree is. With the moral lens, the subjective lens, the ‘should’ lens, we ask: should we look at the tree?

You cannot answer that objectively due to the difference between the metaphysical and the normative; the pre and de scriptive.

This is why I do not think there is not objective morality. Perhaps we are all born with similar desires for happiness and fulfillment, but we cannot say that it is “right” or “wrong” objectively.

To say something is right or wrong presupposes that we both agree on the same systems of ethics, which…is evidently not true.

Now I return to Camus.

Camus believed, among many things, that we live in a subjective, absurd world.

A world without objective truth, and that our search for objective purpose or some authoritative god is futile, and that we must realize that we are devoid of any ultimate explanations to the “why’s” of the world, and that we don’t even know all of the “what’s” either.

We cannot find the answers, whether the descriptive ones or the moral ones.

The famous Socrates quote: “I know that I know nothing”, the Descartian method of doubting everything…is correct. Really…what else to we know except our own inadequacy in this world, and that we know that we want the answers, but we. simply. cannot. find. them.

This realization has driven many into depression, myself included. And Camus would agree…somewhat.

Camus would ardently agree that life is absurd, so absurd! It is absurd because we are beings built to observe in a material world that does not allow us to find the ultimate answers of what we are and why we are here, as well as some other deep stuff.

But Camus…loved life. Why?

Well, his theory was that yes…we live in a wild world, but we might as well revel in it. We have no answers or masters?

We make our own, dammit. So why not be happy?

Frederick Neitzsche once said: “Everything in the world displeases me: but, above all, my displeasure in everything displeases me.”

Camus diverged:

“Love is not just a confrontation with the absurdity of the world; it is a refusal to be broken by it.”

Should you love life not despite but because it is absurd?

I cannot tell you that. That is up to you.

But it is one hell of an attitude.