Meaning rather than Absurdity by Jessy Stanley

Originally, I wanted to talk about the ending of Brand New Testament, an amazing movie that brings the absurd to concepts of Christianity. However, the first section of Thomas Nagel’s paper “The Absurd” caught my attention in a way I couldn’t ignore. In short the paper is trying to explain why life is, or is at points absurd. The first section of the paper tries to disprove a nihilistic path that because nothing matters in the long run and that life is absurd in its meaningless. He then goes on to disprove that our chain of justification in our actions will come to end and that is the reason for the absurdity of life. [1] Well I would like to agree and disagree with this sentiment. But first I have to ask if you have seen A Ghost Story.

Now, if you haven’t seen the movie, definitely do, but be warned it isn’t a comedy. In the full version, the “Party Hipster” talks about the meaning of life and how we try to leave a piece of ourselves for future generations. And the clip cuts at a very precise point before the “but…” of his argument. The clip argues the nihilistic point that we are all gonna die and so our lives don’t mean anything, but the full version argues that it is because of this that we are designed to give our lives meaning. This also lends itself to the absurd, because if we give ourselves to our own meaning it can be as absurd as we want it to be. Life is not absurd because it has no greater meaning; life is absurd because of the meaning we give it. That meaning or absurdity will be passed down and although it might not be the same it will certainly influence lives to come in some shape or form.



[1] Nagel, Thomas. “The Absurd.” in The Journal of Philosophy 68, no. 20 (1971): 716-718.

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