An Absurd Reasoning

Absurdity is the recognition that life cannot be understood, but should be lived optimally. By recognizing that, we recognize the biggest contradiction: how can that what we do not understand be optimized? One of the central questions one might ask is under which circumstances life should end voluntarily.

Camus suggests that our instinct for life is much stronger than our reasons for suicide, 'We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking,' and instinctively avoid the absurd meaningless nature of life by an 'act of self-delusion.' How can I, not ignore the absurd, accept the meaninglessness of life and reasoning and surrender my existence? Camus’ answer is to live, to live guided by three virtues: revolt, freedom and passion.
Of course, for most people, myself included more often than not, 'a habit of thinking' roughly equals more a 'habit of mimicry' than anything else.

Camus works out his ideas in 'The Rebel.' Of course, rebellion is not a solitary activity, giving up defensive positions and comfortable traditions can only be done with respect to other people. But what defines a rebel? To most adults 'rebellion' is associated with youth, who will just kick a bucket simply because it is there, and most adults firmly believe in 'mimicry' as the best defensive position to maximize accumulation of wealth. Where adolescents must rebel against society, because by doing so they adapt to the best possible position to understand, adjust to, and occasionally change that environment in which they should later survive, adults lack what youth has, the capability to instantly judge, or understand judgement, of social situations and place themselves accordingly where they fit best.

It is in his definition of the three virtues where Camus identifies living with all attributes of adolescents, and just as Sarte and companion, gives over to temptation to copycat and exploit adolescents' behavior and contemporary views of the world. Camus' own 'act of thinking,' in sorts, is therefor best understood as an 'act of mimicry,' and Sartre's personal behavior as an 'act of stealing.'

Associated with rebelling against tradition, is the 'act of thinking for another,' which, according to Levinas, is one of the most shameful acts because we trespass on that which is the most private of all man, his internal thoughts and views. In essence, personal freedom is maximized at the expense of the freedom of another, another 'act of stealing.' All adults know, or instinctively recognize, ultimate freedom doesn't exist, and willingly give it up by conforming to tradition. But, by doing so, also willingly sacrifice that what should be essential to all, the ability to act and think for oneself.

Passion, be it either sexual or intellectual, is an attribute most well-behaved adults will gradually replace with compassion, or the 'act of caring' about oneself and others. Again, in Camus' definition, he rebels by placing youthful ego-centrism against adult social behavior. In essence, compassion is the only, and most important, quality which defines adulthood.

Psychotherapy and psychiatry is according to Camus' definition the biggest crime of all. Rebellion is relinquished by conforming to therapy, a psychotherapist is a thief who steals your freedom and gloats on it, a psychiatrist will strip all passion out of you with his medicine, and it is impossible to recognize compassion amongst a work force who essentially is too worn out to care.

If you have a severe death wish, give in to psychotherapy.