First and foremost, I would like to express my thanks to the prompt and enthusiastic reply of KSR. (A commenter on the post of Faith, forgiveness & love by Kierkegaard)
Few people would have bothered typing out a 2.5 paged comments, so dedicating a post solely to respond to you would be the least I could do. =)
I cannot claim to have read finish Camus’s book due to the short amount of time I have to respond to this, but from the looks of your basic introduction, the book promises to be rather interesting. I guess there’s something for me to forward to during my next visit to the bookstores.
Camus seems to make sound and logical arguments regarding how the theory of the absurd is a more practical approach as compared to the leap of faith. Yet according to what you have said, that theory is largely based on the presumption that there is no god. Thus he had to use a faith of some other kind, namely that of faith in the human intellect. Well, I thought was rather similar to stabbing his own foot, was it not? As we all know, all theory are based on certain presumptions. However strong the hypothesis is, if the fundamental presumption is wrong, the whole stand would be a badly flawed perspective. Hence first and foremost, what interests me most about this guy is exactly how did he come to the conclusion of the absent of a god in this universe?
Regarding his worldview on life, in which is life worth living? If we were to be tortured in eternity for a act we did on this side of the world, I would agree with you, that it is more logical for man to end life and defy the possible punishment – for more time spent on earth would mean high possibility of committing the condemnable act. Camus was coming from an angle which the life on earth is a chance for mistakes to be made, hence inviting eternal punishment. Yet would you allow me to pose the alternative scenario across to you? Instead of viewing life as a chance for us to be dropped into the hell hole, what if we are already in the hell hole and life is a chance for us to crawl out of it?
You said that the tragedy of human life is that it is mostly spent planning for the future. On this issue, I beg to differ. What you have described as planning for the future is what I consider as placing hope in what is yet to come. Auspicium Melioris Aevi – the Hope of a Better Age. Without the hope of a better future and with the disappointment in the current world, humankind has nothing to live for. That is why we look forward to eternity. It is the ultimate definition of a better future.
It is true that the future is inconceivable. No one would know where he will be in five years time. Yet, I do not see that as a curse. I view it to be a gift; the gift of mystery. Precisely not knowing where we would be in five years time is the reason why the next five years are worth living for. If you have ever watched a movie remade from a book, you would understand what I mean; you already know the twists and the endings. However I would like to point out that not knowing about the future does not mean our choices do not affect the future. Just like how we may not know which company we may end up in, but yet the choices we make now would still have certain influence on our future trajectory, such as whether to study or to quit and start working now. Similarly, we may not know exactly everything about eternity, but we have a choice of which eternity we want. Hence to say we have not freedom over the choice of eternity would be erroneous. We need to choose heaven to go there, if not, for a man that chooses hell, even the Pearly Gates would seem like an entrance to Hades, for man does not like to do something against his own will.
The absurd takes away all meaning, denies any such purpose in life. Although his idea of absurd may affirm those that continue to live life until now, instead of choosing the choice of obvious suicide, but I believe by choosing to live by the absurd, we have already committed suicide of another kind – mental suicide.