Struggling with Absurdity

Despite my examination of many existentialist thinkers, there is one existentialist concept that I have not really touched upon – the concept of absurdity.  Before I started writing this, I realized I only had a faint notion of what the concept of absurdity actually was.  After some research though, I would say that the concept of absurdity is essentially this: meaning may or may not exist, but it is not within our capabilities to know it.  This situation is called absurd because we are meaning-seeking beings, inclined to find meaning in our world, but actually determining real meaning is beyond our ken.  This concept can be taken many different ways, but a common path is to follow absurdity with the proposition that the essence of human existence is to create our own meaning in the face of absurdity.

With a bit of rewording, much of the thoughts I’ve previously proposed could be argued to be in line with absurdity.  I think that knowledge is an infinite activity, and that no one can know truth.  I take the essence of human existence to be continual confrontation with the question ‘what should I do’, while I think that the answer is unattainable.  It is only a short skip and a jump from that to saying that the existence of meaning is fundamentally unknowable and that the essence of human existence is to make – aka, absurdity.

If I was willing to stop there, I’d be on fairly firm philosophical grounds.  However, I’m not quite comfortable with what I’ve said – I want to insist somehow that people can be wrong, that there is some sort of tangible difference between the reflective and unreflected stance.  I do have some ideas for how to tackle this, but they are currently in the works.

Thank you for reading; let me know what you think.


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