It’s Absurd! Or: Suicide as the One True Philosophical Problem

Some time in the early 1940s (or, possibly, the decade before, or really any time between then and about 1915 but most likely in the late 30s), Albert Camus wrote: “The absurd man will not commit suicide; he wants to live, without relinquishing any of his certainty, without a future, without hope, without illusions … and without resignation either.”

In the same year he published those words, he wrote these: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.”

People don’t like to talk about suicide. More than one National Geographic documentary narrator has referred to it as “the ultimate taboo.” If we assume that both Camus and National Geographic are correct, then these truths depend on each other. A if and only if B, and vice versa.

BUT

By the very definition of absurdism, even this observation is meaningless. Or maybe it’s not. We’re alone in the universe and in 10 billion years nothing we’ve ever done will have mattered.

meh
Please meh this page. Or don’t. None of this matters.

Anyway, I’ve wandered from my point, which is this: we have entered the absurd. No future. No hope. No illusions.

The laws of evolution do not guarantee inherent positive development. Things do not get better just because time moves forward. In the 1960s, women in Afghanistan looked just like women in the United States. They wore make-up and bobbed hair. They went to school and drove to work. They had no way of knowing that only 20 years later, they would risk death with this same behavior.

This is all I can think about. I am surrounded by the same ideology that that has polluted the cradle of civilization to the point where it’s simply a cesspool of spiritual excrement. I already struggle with my place in a society that just gave me a giant middle finger.

“You have no future,” says the giant middle finger. “Also, no hope or illusions. None of those things.”

All that’s left, according to Camus, is resignation.

Honestly, I’m on the fence. Resignation. The word sounds relaxing. No more stressing about whether or not my life matters. With resignation, the answer is: it doesn’t. I have no future. I have no hope. I have no illusions.

As a female incapable of procreation – that is, our only apparent function – I hear the message loud and clear: I have no value.

The Church of Euthanasia advocates suicide for the good of the planet. That is to say, if a person is dead, that person is no longer using up natural resources that could be utilized elsewhere. If one is useless to society, it makes sense that one should altruistically eliminate oneself for the good of the rest.

BUT

The Church of Euthanasia drags us right back into the absurd, with slogans like, “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself,” and “Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus.” And with the absurd, of course, there can be no resignation. Because that is the very nature of the absurd. The absurd is killing the Buddha. The absurd is cheering for Machine Gun Joe. The absurd was on the front fucking page of my newspaper this morning.

Resignation is all that’s left. I’m pretty numb right now, but I’ll keep fighting it. I’d like to believe everyone else will, too. I hope we are not resigned to a bleak future. The past 24 hours – and the three decades leading up to them – have taught me not to hope too much. It may very well be that America hanged herself last night.

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