The current paper aims to discuss my personal solution of the Camus’ challenge. It is important to note that I consider the issue of death to be primary for the philosophy studies. It means that I agree with Camus regarding the most important philosophy question. Thus, I suppose that each individual needs to understand that the death is inevitable. The perception of death should not be pessimistic or optimistic rather neutral. Therefore, each step of an individual has to be based on the knowledge that he or she would inevitably die. However, the rational knowledge is not enough to perceive the absurdity of the existence and life. It is essential to pass through emotional sufferings to achieve existential insights, which would change the mental world of an individual. Obviously, this process is very subjective. In this essay, I want to describe my experience and explain my reasons for avoiding suicide at this part of my life.
My personal solution of Camus’ challenge is to accept the absurdity of life, to impose meaning on my actions, and to follow some principles of the hedonism philosophy.
There is no doubt that we all will die. All our relatives, friends, enemies, and lovers will die. The time or other people will destroy our houses and favorite places. The shape of continents will change as a result of the movement of lithospheric plates. As a result, the countries and nations will disappear with their history and heroes. The names of great poets, musicians, and philosophers will be forgotten forever. In billions of years, our planet will be destroyed by the power of growing Sun. The Sun will collapse and darkness will cover our native Solar System. Only chaos will thrive.
Some people argue that there is no reason to worry about the events of the distant future. However, it is impossible to ignore the mortality of our close people, the illnesses, which cause sufferings, and the war or hunger in Syria and Africa. Thus, any thinking person could understand the horrors of our existence. At the same time, there is no final achievement for humans or the possibility to become immortal. It seems fair to state that there are no winners in the game called life. People design their own games, such as football or chess, to guarantee the existence of some winner. The figure of winner symbolizes the triumph over death. Unfortunately, this triumph is illusory. With the help of the games, we just try to distract from the fact that we all will die.
The Buddhists noticed that life equals suffering (Ariew 87). Thus, our wishes and desires only lead to disappointment. The followers of this teaching believe that it is possible to exit from the wheel of rebirth with the help of meditations and specific spiritual practices. However, I do not think that the wheel of rebirth actually exists. In general, any religious idea is inconsistent due to the fact that there is no evidence regarding the afterlife or existence of any omnipotent creature.
I think that religions help people to avoid Camus’ challenge and avoid the fear of death. Obviously, the blind faith leads to unauthentic being. It is possible to argue that religions guarantee morality in the society. Nevertheless, the scandals in church described in the Spotlight film reveal the background of the religious life. There seems to be no afterlife or any person, who would save us from the inevitable finish.
In such case, Camus tries to represent Sisyphus as happy person. Nevertheless, Sisyphus observes the eternity. He knows that gods exist. He knows that his task is to push the stone forever. Therefore, he does not face the problem of death rather the issue of senseless being. On the other hand, we have something in common with Sisyphus. He could not escape from his destiny as well as we can not escape from death. The inability to overcome the borders leads to apathy and great disappointment. It becomes rational to commit suicide.
Evidently, Camus was sure that the intention to commit suicide was based on the fact that the life of humans and the universe has no logical argumentation. The everyday commonness is based on the inner contradictions. Camus highlighted that this absurd existence gave an opportunity for human beings to make a free choice. This free choice did not have some religious aims. According to the philosopher, the individual needs to think about his development as the Human. For Camus, mankind must accept that there is no pre-made meaning to the world; indeed, one must accept that the universe does not care if one exists or not. It means that only by accepting life and the world for what it really is, can a person make something real out of it.
I try to make the philosophy of existentialism to be my ethical framework. The ethical part of the existentialism is connected with the interpretations of authentic being. The authentic being is based on the intention of the individual to find the inner voice of the destiny. It is similar to the concept of entelechy developed by Aristotle. It is essential for me to follow the inner perception of right and wrong, good and evil. I think that the current phase of the human development implies the necessity to develop personal morality. It is an idea of Nietzsche that the old values do not make sense. I agree with him. I think that it is impossible for the individual to understand truth rationally. It is crucial to pass through various challenges and hardships in order to experience the inner change. Thus, the participation in military conflict, the nearness of death, or some serious illness could reshape the worldview of any individual. I am sure that the books could also have an invisible effect on the mind of individual. In this new existential state, I possess the opportunity to be free and even live without the thoughts about suicide.
The Western civilization needs to change the attitude towards the basic values of existence. Herman Hesse told that the spirit of Europe is in the cage due to the absence of independent opinion of each nation on various challenges of the new epoch (Flynn 45). People try to use the outdated principles in order to solve the new problems. It seems obvious that the humanity needs some new position. The existentialism guarantees that the individual would pass through the primary stage of the personal development in order to achieve better understanding of the real spiritual needs (Marino 103).
The other important aspect of my worldview is based on the philosophy of hedonism. I suppose that it is essential to avoid suffering. However, sometimes it is important to do something not pleasant to guarantee the absence of mental suffering in future. For example, I need to leave my comfort zone and go hiking to protect myself from apathy or even depression without new emotions.
It is possible to conclude that I partly agree with Camus’ vision of life. I think that the existentialists were the philosophers, who were very close to touch the truth. Unfortunately, the absolute truth is always fragile. It is very hard to exist in such a fragile world, which could dissolve in chaos at any moment of time. Therefore, suicide can be a solution for some of people. Nevertheless, I choose to develop my entelechy and to avoid excessive sufferings at this path. I hope that my philosophy would help me to live without pessimistic thoughts and apathy.
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Ariew, Roger. Modern Philosophy. Hackett Publishing. 2009. Print.
Flynn, Thomas. Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2006. Print.
Marino, Gordon. Basic Writings of Existentialism. Modern Library. 2004. Print.