User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Absurdism

  1. #1
    Hot Lava Morality Games's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,767
    Threads
    40
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Absurdism

    Many philosophers think absurd situations are a staple of the human condition and that acknowledging this truth makes it difficult for humans to carry on the fight to find meaning in their existence.

    An example of an absurd situation is when a hard working, community loving car salesman is suddenly confronted with a slick, self serving rival opening up shop right across the street and stealing his entire customer base, forcing him to declare bankruptcy.

    The hard working man has thus taken a sore blow from absurdity and suffers from a prolonged depression. His choices are: Fight, escape, ignore, accept.

    "Fight" means he will decide that he is better off without his old life and will immediately begin work on a new one or that his old life is worth it and that he will work to regain what he has lost. He is therefore searching for meaning in his life through struggle after making an evaluation of which course is preferable.

    "Escape" means killing himself, as that is the only way to escape the situation entirely (humans presumedly cease to exist when we die, because the brain shuts down, and therefore his existence becomes nothing).

    "Accept" means he will acknowledge what has happened to him, note that it is absurd, and decide not to bother evaluating his situation (the situation is what it is, there is no need to make it anything more) -- he may try to reacquire his old life or make a new one, but more out of a sense of necessity than a desire for meaning.

    "Ignore" means he will not acknowledge what has happened to him and will do his best to forget the situation altogether. He will likely not try to reacquire his old life, but if he does, he will not relate it to the situation. He may be able to ignore the absurdity of what has happened on this occasion, but absurdity is a staple of the human condition, and eventually he will turn around to see he has a great mountain of difficulties following in his wake. He will have to fight, escape, or accept them, but he can no longer ignore them. Ignoring then is just temporary escape from making a greater choice: Struggle for meaning, escape the search for meaning, or simply accept things as they are without recourse to meaning (which itself can be considered a variant of meaning).
    Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.

    - Immanuel Kant

  2. #2
    Son of X51 Compugasm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,278
    Threads
    70
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The irony is, the absurd part is your proposal, and not the situation of the salesman. I think this needs a little work. An absurd situation is one that is impossible. First, car dealers locate themselves next to each other all the time. Second, nowhere does he try to lower prices in your example. Apparently the only options are to leave town, kill yourself, or do nothing.

  3. #3
    Hot Lava Morality Games's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,767
    Threads
    40
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Quote by: Compugasm View Post
    The irony is, the absurd part is your proposal, and not the situation of the salesman. I think this needs a little work. An absurd situation is one that is impossible. First, car dealers locate themselves next to each other all the time. Second, nowhere does he try to lower prices in your example. Apparently the only options are to leave town, kill yourself, or do nothing.
    I wasn't aiming for a realistic description of the possible methods of competing available to a cars salesman, but rather trying to introduce people to the idea of absurdity as it functions in contexts like this. It doesn't matter if this particular example of an absurd situation is unlikely to occur in reality, as there are more probable examples. I didn't use them because one is enough and it is simple enough to be comprehended and yet elaborate enough to convey the logical form of an absurd situation.
    Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.

    - Immanuel Kant

  4. #4
    Sapere Aude Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,001
    Threads
    2226
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    303
    Mentioned
    30 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The frequent absurdities of life are what have fueled my sense of humor and kept me from taking life all that seriously. I think it's also one of the strongest arguments against divine beings and designs.

    A 60 year old wins the lottery while some 20 year old just lost his job and can no longer provide for his family. Christian ministers preaching poverty of spirit from million dollar churches while they live in complete luxury and continue to beg for more money. The Darwin Awards site is a great place to see how absurd both life and humans can be.

    In many ways absurdity is evidence of chaos. I appreciate both as evidence of reality.


    The Forum Rules

    Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
    [John F. Kennedy]
    The principal value of debate lies in the development of logical thought processes, and the ability to articulate your positions publicly.
    [Senator Dick Clark of Iowa]
    The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.
    [Terry Pratchett]

  5. #5
    Igneous Magma
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    553
    Threads
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The car salesman's belief that his sickness is somehow absurd comes from his acceptance of the just world fallacy. He assumes that somehow because he is hardworking he won't get sick. As he found out, this isn't true. He might have had an easier time coping if he didn't believe this fallacy in the first place.

    I don't really see how situations like these are "staples of the human condition." Most people probably won't have these kinds of life changing depressing events.

    Absurdism as a philosophical position just claims that life has no meaning and quests to find meaning will fail.

  6. #6
    Novice Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    120
    Threads
    0
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Quote by: Isherwood View Post
    The frequent absurdities of life are what have fueled my sense of humor and kept me from taking life all that seriously. I think it's also one of the strongest arguments against divine beings and designs.

    A 60 year old wins the lottery while some 20 year old just lost his job and can no longer provide for his family. Christian ministers preaching poverty of spirit from million dollar churches while they live in complete luxury and continue to beg for more money. The Darwin Awards site is a great place to see how absurd both life and humans can be.

    In many ways absurdity is evidence of chaos. I appreciate both as evidence of reality.
    Apparently the "absurdity" is the cognation of logic, in being "gullible" enough to actually believe things as they were just presented. Fake Christians do not a moral example make, and to paint all Christians with the same bush stroke only shows the bias of bigotry that clearly exists. Why not point to the 11 trillion dollars that has been expended from the taxpayer pockets over the last several decades without bringing down the "poverty" level but .5% in a 40 year time span, and despite the lack of success at throwing other peoples money at the problem they still demand more and more, just where will it end? The truth is, the poor has always been here on earth, and they will always be here, and throwing money at them will not "cure" the root problem, of what ever nature that it might be. Now to spend upwards of 10 trillion dollars with no apparent effect and still demanding more.....NOW THAT IS ABSURD.
    Importing Poverty: Immigration and Poverty in the United States: A Book of Charts

  7. #7
    Sapere Aude Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,001
    Threads
    2226
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    303
    Mentioned
    30 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Fake Christians do not a moral example make, and to paint all Christians with the same bush stroke only shows the bias of bigotry that clearly exists.
    It's called the No True Scotsman's fallacy. Here's a well written discourse on that topic:

    By definition, then, no true Scotsman (Christian) could possibly disagree with him on core beliefs, because anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not a true Christian.

    I might mention here that there are two reasons why the divisions among Christians are inconsistent with the Gospel being true. In the first place, it shows that the Holy Spirit is failing in His alleged mission to maintain unity and doctrinal purity in the Body of Christ, the Church. Jesus’s analogy was that no one can rob a strong man’s house if the homeowner is alert and watching for burglars; you have to subdue the homeowner before you can rob his house. For Satan to be able to get in and sow dissention and succeed, he would have to first somehow subdue and bind the Holy Spirit, which he ought not to be able to do.

    But the second reason, and the more important reason, why divisions are so devastating to the Gospel is that God does not show up in real life to tell us who the “true Scotsmen (Christians)” really are. It’s all well and good to argue that men are to blame for the divisions in the Church, and that your own group has somehow been miraculously blessed with the privilege and responsibility of being the only ones to hold on to the True Gospel when everyone else fell away. But every group claims to be the group that held on to the One True faith, and that the other groups are the ones that have fallen away. In God’s continuous and universal absence, men have no choice but to pick whichever group follows the doctrines (or interpretations of Scripture) that seem right in their own eyes—a practice that even the Bible condemns as unwise. Because God does not show up in real life, the believer cannot know that his group is the right group. He can only know that his group is the one he agrees with the most.
    No True Scotsman, anyone? Evangelical Realism

    It's also noteworthy how far a stretch had to be made to take offense at a statement that said nothing about that which offended you. I can't imagine how you got "to paint all Christians with the same bush stroke" from my comment "Christian ministers preaching poverty of spirit from million dollar churches while they live in complete luxury and continue to beg for more money." Should I have named names so as not to have others mistake my comment to mean I was speaking about every Christian out there? Now that's absurd.


    The Forum Rules

    Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
    [John F. Kennedy]
    The principal value of debate lies in the development of logical thought processes, and the ability to articulate your positions publicly.
    [Senator Dick Clark of Iowa]
    The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.
    [Terry Pratchett]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •