On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
Philosophy Now
Posts: 753
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:49 am

On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by Philosophy Now » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:23 pm

Van Harvey says it is possible to live meaningfully without a higher purpose.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/98/On_Living_Without_Transcendence_A_Homage_to_Camus

tbieter
Posts: 1190
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by tbieter » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:28 pm

I've been reading about the American Humanism of Irving Babbitt. Now, I'll compare Camus to Babbitt. This article will be a start. I don't see any contemporary humanists extant today.

marjoram_blues
Posts: 1630
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:47 pm

Philosophy Now wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:23 pm
Van Harvey says it is possible to live meaningfully without a higher purpose.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/98/On_ ... e_to_Camus
This. Excellent. Thank you Van Harvey.

davidm
Posts: 1166
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by davidm » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:19 pm

One day, both Dr Rieux and Father Paneloux are called to the bedside of a small child who is in the last horrible death throes of the plague:

“And just then the boy had a sudden spasm, as if something had bitten him in the stomach, and uttered a long shrill wail. For moments that seemed endless he stayed in a queer, contorted position, his body wracked by convulsive tremors; it was as if his frail frame were bending before the fierce breath of the plague… for the third time the fiery wave broke on him, lifting him a little… A moment later, after tossing his head wildly to and fro, he flung off the blanket. From between the inflamed eyelids big tears welled up and trickled down the sunken, leaden-hued cheeks… the flesh had wasted to the bone, the child lay flat, racked on the tumbled bed, in a grotesque parody of the crucifixion.”

The death of the child deeply disturbed Father Paneloux, because he could no longer claim that the plague came to the innocent child in order to awaken it to repentance. And so his next sermon was quite a different one. This time he argued that it is just such senseless suffering of children that forces the Christian to the supreme issue, the essential choice – whether to accept this suffering as the will of God and to affirm it as one’s own will. We must learn to love what we cannot understand.

Dr Rieux cannot accept this. He says to the priest, “No, Father, I’ve a very different idea of love. And until my dying day, I shall refuse to love a scheme in which children are put to torture.
This is exactly the theme of the chapter in The Brothers Karamazov just prior to the more famous chapter called The Grand Inquisitor. Dostoevsky anticipated Camus, and the latter probably absorbed important ideas from the former.

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." -- Wittgenstein

marjoram_blues
Posts: 1630
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:33 pm

davidm wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:19 pm
One day, both Dr Rieux and Father Paneloux are called to the bedside of a small child who is in the last horrible death throes of the plague:

“And just then the boy had a sudden spasm, as if something had bitten him in the stomach, and uttered a long shrill wail. For moments that seemed endless he stayed in a queer, contorted position, his body wracked by convulsive tremors; it was as if his frail frame were bending before the fierce breath of the plague… for the third time the fiery wave broke on him, lifting him a little… A moment later, after tossing his head wildly to and fro, he flung off the blanket. From between the inflamed eyelids big tears welled up and trickled down the sunken, leaden-hued cheeks… the flesh had wasted to the bone, the child lay flat, racked on the tumbled bed, in a grotesque parody of the crucifixion.”

The death of the child deeply disturbed Father Paneloux, because he could no longer claim that the plague came to the innocent child in order to awaken it to repentance. And so his next sermon was quite a different one. This time he argued that it is just such senseless suffering of children that forces the Christian to the supreme issue, the essential choice – whether to accept this suffering as the will of God and to affirm it as one’s own will. We must learn to love what we cannot understand.

Dr Rieux cannot accept this. He says to the priest, “No, Father, I’ve a very different idea of love. And until my dying day, I shall refuse to love a scheme in which children are put to torture.
This is exactly the theme of the chapter in The Brothers Karamazov just prior to the more famous chapter called The Grand Inquisitor. Dostoevsky anticipated Camus, and the latter probably absorbed important ideas from the former.

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." -- Wittgenstein
Harvey goes on to say that Rieux chooses not faith but 'lucidity'.
The possibility of living without appeal - to live in the knowledge of not knowing.
Right at the start of the article he quotes Wittgenstein:
' Or again we could say that the man is fulfilling the purpose of existence who no longer needs to have any purpose except to live. That is to say, who is content'.

davidm
Posts: 1166
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by davidm » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:39 pm

Too bad the good threads are so lightly trod! :(

marjoram_blues
Posts: 1630
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by marjoram_blues » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:04 pm

Not many are interested in reading PN articles and analysing the claims and arguments within.

I am grateful to whoever brought this one to the fore. Exactly what I needed to reignite my enthusiasm.
Printed off, it is about 6 pages of readable material which nevertheless requires a great deal of chewing over.

My brain and analytical skills are somewhat rusty. It would be a challenge to engage fully.
Easier to be silly...

User avatar
Harbal
Posts: 3866
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 pm
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by Harbal » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:38 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:04 pm
Easier to be silly...
Being silly can be very demanding when done properly. It's not as easy as people think.

Dalek Prime
Posts: 4257
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am

Re: On Living Without Transcendence: A Homage to Camus

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:03 am

Philosophy Now wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:23 pm
Van Harvey says it is possible to live meaningfully without a higher purpose.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/98/On_ ... e_to_Camus
Either there is real meaning, or it's made-up crap. I choose the latter excrement.

I really am sick of people pretending that fabricating meaning out of sheer desperation with life's futility actually means anything other than fooling oneself.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests