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The Philosophy of Absurdism

Ansel is curious about other cultures and enjoys discussing philosophy and debating various beliefs and superstitions.


Absurdism as a philosophy refers to the fundamental nature of conflict in human tendency to find meaning and inherent value in life and inability in the same in a purposeless existence in an irrational universe. The origins of Absurdism took shape to form a unique entity alongside nihilism and existentialism of the 20th century. Absurdism deals with a philosophical approach of “The Absurd” which arises from fundamental disharmony between human tendency of seeking meaning and purpose and the meaninglessness associated with life.

The contradictory nature of a parallel belief associated with the universe and the human mind gives form to the absurd. While certain concepts in absurdism are similar to nihilism and existentialism, the three schools of thought, existentialism, nihilism and absurdism diverge in a rather contradictory manner. The discipline of absurdism varies a great deal on a theoretical template of conclusions.


The philosophy of Absurdism is associated with humans attempting to acquire or find meaning and purpose in life through search which results in one among two conclusions,

Conclusion 1. Life containing within its realms purpose bestowed by a higher power (GOD) or belief system associated with an abstract concept or religion.


Conclusion 2. That life is meaningless and purposeless in an irrational universe.

What is Absurdism?

In philosophical realms absurdity is associated with confrontation, opposition or conflict between two ideals. The human condition is known to be absurd through man’s confrontation with meaning, clarity and purpose on the one hand, and a silent, cold, and purposeless universe on the other. People may create meaning through various encounters to make their life worthwhile, however an ironic distance needs to be maintained between invented purpose or meaning and knowledge and understanding of the absurd.


The consideration of practical applications of being in state of consciousness of truth associated with existential nihilism is entailed by both existentialism and absurdism. While the philosophical theory associated with Existential nihilism states life has no intrinsic value or meaning, it has been met with strong contradictions resulting in new theories. While absurdism does relate to being amoral with the absence of indifference it should not be confused with immoral which relates to thinking or doing something a person knows and believes to be wrong.

Understanding the Philosophy of Absurdism

While one school of thought adheres to spiritual power to finding meaning in life, the other school of thought opposes this by stating there is no purpose or belief attributed that is comprehensible. While concepts and theories in regard with absurdity associated with freedom differ drastically, the ability to achieve freedom completely beyond what is permitted by existence of absurdity is not fathomable. The ability of individuals being conscious of the absurd and their response to it allows individuals to achieve a greater extent of their freedom. An individual’s construction of the meaning of life and purpose of life when embraced through absurdism finds transient personal nature through meaning-making projects.


What Albert Camus Conceives of Absurdism

The absurdist philosophy has had rather contradictory theories associated with meaning of life, human tendency and existence. Among the many philosophers that have tried to unravel the mysteries of absurdism, the contributions of Albert Camus have been immense and have paved the way for future theorists associated with the discipline. His concept of elusion sheds light on the theory that humans fill their void with a meaning or belief system that serves as a mere act of eluding by avoiding or escaping rather than acknowledging the absurd.

The theories and concepts of Albert Camus opine if humans elude the absurd they can never confront it. His viewpoints emphasize elusion as the fundamental flaw in existentialism, religion and varied schools of thought. Characterized as a whole universe, an individual is a precious unit of existence representing unique ideals acknowledging absurdism seeking meaning and purpose through search. Specific human encounters evoke varied notions of absurdity and such encounters or realizations conclude with recognition as the only defensible option.

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Hope and Integrity in Absurdist Traditions

Morality does not guide an absurdist, but it’s rather their own integrity. In the realms of absurdism morality is viewed upon as an unwavering sense of definitive right or wrong at every encounter, which means at all times, unlike integrity which implies the attributions of honesty with one’s self in parallel with consistency with motivations that stem from one’s decisions and actions.

In absurdist theories rejecting hope denotes the refusal or unwillingness to believe anything more than the absurdity of a meaningless life. However, conceptual theories suggest it has nothing to do with despair which implies that hope and despair are not opposites. By not having hope an individual is motivated to live fleet moments to their fullest.

The philosophy of absurdism opines that by rejecting hope one can live in a state of freedom, and this is made possible only without hope and expectations. Absurdist theories and concepts conceive hope as a means of avoiding or evading the Absurd.


Concepts and Theories about Absurdism

The recognition of absurdism permits us a great extent of freedom and opportunity to find meaning and purpose in life. As individuals we feel truly free when the absurd experience or absurdity is the centrifugal realization of ethics of a universe devoid of absolutes fundamentally. Individuals may create meaning and purpose in their life which may not exemplify being the objective meaning if there is one. To live without hopes and desires is a philosophical sense that that defines universals and absolutes subjectively rather than objectively.

Freedom is imbedded in the natural ability of humans through the opportunities they seek to create or find purpose and meaning. While the term “leap of faith” holds strong roots in existentialist Philosophy, and is conceptually prevalent in absurdist philosophy, theories and concepts associated with the absurd suggest the leap of faith defers or postpones the conscription to abstraction over personal experience and escapes rationally.


The epitaph of Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis who was widely considered a giant in Modern Greek literature read “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing, I am free.”

As I conclude this article on philosophical theories of absurdism, spare a moment and reflect. Views, opinions, contradictions and debates are welcome. Feel free in the comments section.

© 2019 Ansel Pereira


Es on December 27, 2019:

whatever someone chooses to accept as true. Its not one or the other its more so an all encompassing force,

The contradicting nature of each individuals conclusion in there search for truth is the core absurdism i think. For me the oxymoron that is the variety in beliefs is what makes life so absurd. you can pick what you believe from this massive collection of information that has been accumulating since the beginning of time. The absolute truth is both sides of duality bc duality not real just a spectrum of human conditioning. Human minds have yet to evolve to the point of comprehending truth, leaving us scrambling for pieces of the puzzle. And we are all to stubborn to collaborate and put the pieces together and figure out wtf is happening lmao. Instead we will fight to defend our ideology as the only truth in this mass of everything. Believing that the one puzzle piece we have is the complete picture.

Ansel Pereira (author) on May 09, 2019:

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your perspective. Like you’ve mentioned it does take a sincere effort, to understand or misunderstand, and interpret or misinterpret. Your belief is yours and nobody can take that away from you. However, it is wrong to be consumed by wrath about a belief system that opposes yours. A mind at peace helps overcome. If you have the potential to see a little good in every person the world around you will be a better place, and you definitely won’t allow ignorance to steer your wheels. Dwell in peace. Wish you the Best!

ALAN C Masson on May 08, 2019:

You make it so difficult! For thousands of years men - who say they are Prophets, had declared the words of God. Now, whether you choose to believe in God or not is totally your issue - but for sure you can know with certainty - but - it takes sincere effort. All you have to do is to read what those Prophets have said, and then act upon their words to the best of your ability. Ok, so you can't fathom some kind of intelligence that can create a world - that is understandable. But how conceited it is. Just because you cannot conceive of such a being - you say it is impossible - despite the overwhelming evidence of intelligent creation. Frankly i think is easier to believe in Santa Cause and the Tooth Fairy - than to disbelieve all the beauty, complexity of nature is the result of random action - which defies common(?) sense and science. So - if you want to know if a God exists, and there is purpose to life, - just do as God asks through is Son, and He has promise you an answer. But are you too proud to ask - or too scared to find out? Many very intelligent people have done this - and have been rewarded with pure knowledge.

Men and women strive, struggle, raise families, work hard, learn, love build kind and loving relationships. Do you really think this is all for nothing - why would you come to that conclusion. it is more likely that there is some purpose - which is hinted at in the scriptures - and confirmed individually to the obedient who ask with sincere intent - for if you don't really want to know - then, of course, God will not impose on your will. Our purpose in life is to learn to love, be kind, help others, and progress by doing our best in all things. Life does continue after death. If life has no weight, then it is not subject to time - so the body dies, but the life continues. The good will get to live with the good - those that prefer ignorance will get to live with others of the same mind. Like I said. It is all very simple - and time is limited for us to make decisions. You get complete freedom to do what you want - but no freedom as to the results of your choices. Is that fair. I think so - and am enjoying to challenge. Check out your local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and ask to speak to a couple of members who know - and will be more than happy to answer ALL YOU QUESTIONS. Try it - you have nothing to lose except your ignorance. Once you know if what i have just explained has merit or not - it's all your choice - but don't wait until time's up to find out - you will miss so much of life to be spent in worthless confusion like the article present. Good luck, best wishes. Alan

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