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Tag Archives: Camus
I see no evidence that the cosmos has an end to which it is tending. It’s vast and old, violent and evolving. It appears to care not for us. (Auden captured this beautifully in his poem, “Musee des Beaux Arts.”) … Continue reading
The following occurred to me on waking from a nap this afternoon: Existentialism can be summed up in just six words consisting of two sentences: You’re going to die. Your move. Chess players, medieval Germany, circa 1305-1340. (Image source: Wikipedia … Continue reading
Numerous parts of President Obama’s speech at Newtown on Sunday pricked me, but the following was especially jarring: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? […] There’s only one thing we can be … Continue reading
Do you suppose that psychological predisposition and temperament play large roles in religious and irreligious belief? Let me suggest a dramatic example: a significant minority of the world’s prison population—perhaps 20%–exhibits psychopathy. Some of these people are, no doubt, atheists, but … Continue reading
Ah, young Hamlet!
In a world where God is not there (or, at the very least, is not talking plainly), the two things that redeem existence from being a very, very large mistake are just two things: morality aesthetics By morality I mean … Continue reading
The first ten minutes of this Twilight Zone episode is Rod Serling channeling Beckett, Kafka, and Sartre. It’s very cool. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode is not on YouTube. I know the ending, though, and will tell you what it … Continue reading
Some of the lyrics: Give me something to believe. Cause I am living just to breath. And I need something more to keep on breathing for. So give me something to believe. Is atheism a dead end that leads to … Continue reading
I don’t like the snarky and dismissive tone of David Hart’s recent critique of atheism, but I think that, in his essay, he nevertheless hits his mark here and there. He prefers, for example, the sobriety of Nietzsche to the comfy … Continue reading
Inspired by Jerry Coyne’s call for a spring book reading list here, I’d like to offer to readers here the best book that you’ve probably never heard of: Hazel Barnes’s Humanistic Existentialism: The Literature of Possibility (University of Nebraska Press 1959), … Continue reading
Normally well sublimated atheist meaninglessness rudely and unexpectedly comes to the surface of football players’ awareness in this Onion Network News sports report:
In Spiegel this weekend, Dr. Michael de Ridder advocates a return to simplicity in human death: no frantic rushing about, no elaborate rescue measures: Dying a simple death is no longer an option in our society, even in places where one might … Continue reading
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose has a staircase that famously ends at a ceiling. A friend and I were talking about the Winchester Mystery House and then abruptly shifted to a different subject: an acquaintance engaged in an ambitious and … Continue reading
An introduction to Camus’s notion of the absurd, circa 1966, and a kind of theodicy prayer to the stones of Winchester Cathedral. And is the singer holding his nose?
In her essay “Greek Tragicomedy” (1964), I think that University of Colorado existentialist philosopher Hazel Barnes summed up human existence rather nicely in just a couple of sentences: [M]an’s imaginative reach transcends his actual capabilities. The goal he attains is never quite the … Continue reading
A Film about Noticing Life’s Small Graces: Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works” (2009), Starring Larry David, is a Funny and Profound Meditation on Existence
Woody Allen’s movie, Whatever Works, offered up in the fall of 2009, sassed and summarily dismissed by critics, and quickly sent by SONY to DVD, was seen at home by my wife and I last night. We loved it. And laughed throughout. And … Continue reading
Freddie, at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, is not a movement New Atheist. He’s just an atheist. And he likes it that way: [T]here is an elementary consonance between evangelist religion and evangelist antitheism that I find inarguable, that both insist … Continue reading