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The myth of Sisyphus

The myth of Sisyphus as explained by Camus primarily relates to absurdity. According to Camus, there are underlying contradictions between what individuals expect from the universe such as meaning and what they actually get from it such as amorphous chaos. It is difficult to ever find from the universe the meaning individuals expect from it. However, this meaning can be achieved by increasing faith in God beyond the expectations of the world or else individuals will draw conclusions that life is worthless.

As argued by Camus, this conclusion that life is worthless often tempts individuals to engage in suicide. Does it therefore imply that being unable to find the meaning of life suggest that living is worthless? In the circumstances that the answer to this question is yes, then the only alternative would be to increase faith in God or commit suicide altogether, argues Camus. Nevertheless, according to the myth of Sisyphus, Camus exhaustively concentrated on a third alternative which would be to accept and be in this world despite the lack of meaning and purpose .

Absurdity is associated with fundamental conflicts and therefore efforts geared at reconciling these differences are often perceived as being escapist. However, battling against it should therefore be the best alternative of tackling absurdity. Existentialism theorists according to Camus often confront the conflicts presented by absurdity, but their attempts are often geared at escaping from it. These theorists argue that existence lack meaning and therefore attempt to surpass this meaninglessness. However, according to Camus, existing with the absurdity of life involves confronting these conflicts while upholding continuous awareness.

Suicide therefore is not an option of facing this absurdity, but rather living fullest life under these circumstances. Absurdity has three features which are identified as revolt, freedom and passion by Camus. With regards to revolt, people should avoid any efforts of reconciling the contradictions presented by absurdity in their struggle against it. Individuals should also have absolute freedom in their behaviour and thought as they deem fit them. Finally passion refers to practising a life of abundant and varied experiences .

According to Camus, absurd life can be thought of as a seducer engaging in the passions presented by any situations; an actor who struggles to condense several passions of life into a theatre; a conqueror struggling politically and therefore all focus all the energies towards this struggle; and finally an artist pursuing to create the entire humanity. This art of absurdity is fundamentally concerned with describing it rather then explaining the experiences. This art offers an overall perspective of specific matters instead of dealing with universal subjects.

According to the myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus was punished by being asked to move a rock over a mountain top. However, after reaching the mountain top, the rock rolled backed to its original positions. This scenario presents an ideal absurd situation with the punishment signifying the conditions faced by humans. Therefore Sisyphus must continually battle with little possibility of success. Finding happiness to Sisyphus is therefore accepting that to live this life of continually struggling with absurdity as argued by Camus .

However, suicide presents theoretical problems. Judging the value of these theoretical problems by their consequences makes the meaning of life the most significant problem. Individuals who pass judgements by concluding that life is worthless are most likely to commit suicide, whereas those individuals who find some sort of meaning in life would be persuaded to defending this position no matter what even if it means death. According to Camus, suicide is a consequence of blanket confession and conclusion that life is meaningless.

This confession is associated with the persistent feeling that life is worthless. On the overall, individuals go about their day-to-day life with the impression of meaning while doing things for reasons that are of benefit to them. However, these daily struggles might be fundamentally dictated by habitual forces. Individuals therefore stop looking at themselves as autonomous instruments but rather start seeing themselves as controllable machine. From this point of view, all the actions pursued by individuals are perceived as absurd and meaningless.

As a consequence, the absurdity feeling is closely associated with this feeling that life is worthless. This absurd feeling is also linked with the atmosphere of exile. Individuals in their capacity as logical members of humanity intuitively have a feeling of meaning and purpose. Carrying out daily actions based on this notion creates the feeling of working at home. As a consequence individuals with the feeling of absurdity appear to be acting strangely in a world devoid of reason. The absurdity feeling therefore separates individuals from the comfort of feeling at home where life is meaningful .

Absurdity feeling is closely associated with the feeling of meaningless whereas committing suicide is closely associated with the perception that life is worthless. Does the feeling of meaningless life then imply that life is worthless? Does suicide presents the best solution for this absurdity? As suggested by Camus, this feeling of absurdity has two probable results which are life and suicide. However, there are two possible solutions to this concern. Majority of individuals constantly live largely due to the fact that they have not come across ultimate solution to this question.

Moreover, individual’s actions and judgments are full of contradictions. However, absurdists keen on committing suicide might be guaranteed that life is meaningful and those feeling that life is worthless continue to live yet. With all these realities about meaninglessness of life, how are individuals avoid suicide? In answering this question, Camus argues that individual’s conscience of life is stronger than suicide reasoning. Individuals often develop the habit of life prior to the habit of thought. They intuitively avoid countering the outcomes of the meaningless life by attempting to escape it.

This escapism behavior is manifested as hope. The act of escaping the effects of this meaningless life by hoping for an alternative life or struggling to find meaning in life results in the lack of efforts in tackling the consequences of this absurdity. Individuals should therefore strive to tackle the consequences of this absurdity rather than accepting wholesomely that life is meaningless. Rather than escape the realities of absurdity either by committing suicide or endless hopes, individuals should learn to live and adapt to this feeling .

From this standpoint, Camus attempts to tackle the question of whether human are autonomous agents capable of acting on their own with values or are like matter moving around without reliably minding their actions. Reconciling these obvious features form one the principles of philosophy and religion. It is undisputable that human possess some values. Values and desires are closely linked but values go beyond desire. A desire is something that an individual wants and would attempt to achieve. However, a value is stronger than desire because it involves making judgments about the desire.

Therefore, possessing value means that what humans feel about the worldview should change from what it is at the present. This capability of perceiving the world as presented at the moment and the way it should be imply that individuals look at themselves in two different perspectives. Humans usually perceive themselves and others as autonomous agents capable of deliberating on their decisions in order to choose the best ends to pursue. These values should therefore be personified as it would be worthless to values particular traits without efforts to realize them.

The absurdity feeling is therefore a consequence of individuals perceiving themselves second to these views. This universal view is objective and therefore perceives things are they are in the world. However, values are immaterial of this universal view and therefore without this value everything that is being done by individuals lacks meaning. The absence of these values implies that life is meaningless since there are no motivating factors to influence the behavior and actions of individuals in making decisions .

Although this philosophical perspective of meaning of life has not been adequately rationalized, absurdity is a feeling that individuals have experience at a certain stage in their life. Individuals often ask themselves the significance of carrying out certain actions when they are encountered with situations such as depression and anxiety. This question is an acknowledgement of the feeling of absurdity where an individual argue that it is meaningless acting to these situations. According to Camus, the absurdity feeling is symbolical to exile.

Upon recognizing the legitimacy of a valueless world where there is no meaning to life, individuals would not turn back. This perspective cannot be completely ignored because absurdity is reflecting on everything that humans do. Even if individuals decide to live assuming that life is meaningful and reasonable, at some point in time, absurdity would cross their minds. Absurdity as an exile zone is dilapidated and therefore not fit to live in. Escaping absurdity has only two main alternatives; suicide and hope. According to suicide, life has no meaning and therefore is worthless.

On the other hand, hope refutes the perception that life has no meaning by placing a blind faith . In conclusion, it is important to determine whether the existence of the feeling of absurdity exerts any natural pressure. It is therefore critical to examine the degree of absurdity before engaging in debate over the necessary actions in the circumstance of such absurdities. Engaging in further discussion over whether the feeling of absurdity legitimizes suicide. Moreover, it is important to determine the correctness of claims made by Camus in rejecting suicide as an alternative to solving absurdity problems in support of revolting.

Finding adequate solutions to the absurdity problems depends heavily on the form of absurdity an individual is looking at whether philosophical or religious. Works Cited: Barnett, Richard. Suicide and Atheism: Camus and the Myth of Sisyphus. n. d. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://www. geocities. com/a_and_e_uk/Sisyphus. htm Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. n. d. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://www. sparknotes. com/philosophy/sisyphus/summary. html Mason-Riseborough, Glenn. Philosophical Interest in the Absurd Absurd? 2002. http://www. geocities. com/griseborough/38. htm

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