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Absurdism “Our lives are Absurd” We exist- No purpose-Life is absurd Collated by Ms McIntosh Year 10 Religion Cabra Dominican College.

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Presentation on theme: "Absurdism “Our lives are Absurd” We exist- No purpose-Life is absurd Collated by Ms McIntosh Year 10 Religion Cabra Dominican College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Absurdism “Our lives are Absurd” We exist- No purpose-Life is absurd Collated by Ms McIntosh Year 10 Religion Cabra Dominican College

2 What is Absurdism? A Philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail. Absurdism is often translated into art forms such as plays (theatre of the Absurd), novels and artwork.

3 Why did Absurdism begin? The rise of Absurdism in Europe seems logical after the irrationality of WWI. A more contemporary version of Absurdism has arisen in Western societies, especially American culture, in response to the materialistic society which has ‘gone mad’.

4 What do Absurdist’s believe? The Universe That we exist in a meaningless and irrational universe; the universe is silent. Any search for order by humans will bring us into direct conflict with this universe. We all must live in a universe that is and will forever be hostile or indifferent towards us.

5 What do Absurdists believe? The search for meaning is ridiculous! The universe will never care for humanity the way we want it to. Therefore the ‘human quest’ to find purpose in this universe is absolutely ABSURD! Life is meaningless, all we have is NOW. So get on with the business of living, let’s get through it!

6 What do Absurdists believe? Purpose of Life Many people assume there is a greater purpose for life. Absurdists DO NOT think there is a greater purpose.

7 What do Absurdists believe? God Absurdists think people fill the meaningless void in their life with a belief in a God or in following a Religion simply because is provides comfort. There is NO ‘higher reason’ for our existence.

8 An Absurdist Soren Kierkegaard "Granted I am my own existence, but this existence is absurd. Everybody is here, everybody exists, but there is no reason as to why. We're just here, that's it, no excuses.” Kierkegaard Kierkegaard, although himself religious himself, declared faith in God to be absurd, since it is impossible to know God, or to understand His purpose. He poses the question: if humankind was created by God, who or what created God?

9 An Absurdist: Albert Camus Acceptance without Resignation Camus wrote ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ which explored the idea that life's absence of meaning seems to remove any reason for living. BUT he states that this very lack of purpose presents humankind with true and absolute free will.

10 An Absurdist Albert Camus If life is absurd then it would be even more absurd to counteract it with apathy instead we MUST engage in living and reconcile ourselves to the fact we live in a world without purpose. For Camus, the beauty that people encounter in life makes it worth living. People can create meaning in their own lives which provides something to strive for.

11 Theatre of the Absurd Aims to shock its audience out of complacency, to bring it face to face with the harsh facts of the human situation as these writers see it. This message is anything but one of despair. It is a challenge to accept the human condition as it is, in all its mystery and absurdity, and to bear it with dignity, nobly, responsibly because there are no easy solutions to the mysteries of existence, because ultimately humanity is alone in a meaningless world. The shedding of easy solutions, of comforting illusions, may be painful, but it leaves behind it a sense of freedom and relief.

12 Theatre of the Absurd. Waiting for Godot THE plot of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot is simple to relate. Two tramps are waiting by a sickly looking tree for the arrival of M. Godot. They quarrel, make up, contemplate suicide, try to sleep, eat a carrot and gnaw on some chicken bones. [meaningless and irrational acts] Two other characters appear, a master and a slave, who perform a grotesque scene [conflict with the universe] in the middle of the play. A young boy arrives to say that M. Godot will not come today, but that he will come tomorrow. He does not come [therefore the search for order or meaning is a never-ending circle ] and the two tramps resume their vigil by the tree, which between the first and second day has sprouted a few leaves, the only symbol of a possible order in a thoroughly alienated world.

13 Theatre of the Absurd Waiting for Godot “Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come.” “We wait. We are bored. (He throws up his hand.) No, don't protest, we are bored to death, there's no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste...In an instant all will vanish and we'll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!” Quotation from ‘Waiting for Godot’

14 “When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, and the little space I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of space of which I am ignorant, and which knows me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there, why now rather than then?” Blaise Pascal, Philosopher and Mathematician.

15 “Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there's humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd.” David Lynch

16 Absurd cartoons




20 Absurd art

21 Absurdism: So what do you think? Is the Universe silent? Hostile? Indifferent? Meaningless? If you try to ‘make sense of’ or ‘organise’ the universe what would happen? There is no great ‘quest’ for you? No great purpose for your life? No ‘Big’ reason for you to be here? All you have is NOW?

22 Absurdism: So what do you think? People follow God for comfort only, because life has no meaning otherwise? Faith in God is absurd? If humankind was created by God, who or what created God? The beauty of life is what makes it worthwhile? We are all alone?

23 Are you an Absurdist?

24 Sources Used: Soren Kierkegaard quote found at © 1997. Accessed 16/2/10 © 2010. Accessed 16/2/10 Accessed 16/2/10 Index, Copyright © 2010 Colin Temple. All Rights Reserved. Accessed 16/2/10 last updated 2008. Accessed 16/2/10 Accessed 16/2/10 Ms Samuel ‘Meaning of Life PowerPoint’ and various handouts Ms Woodbridge Class notes Images from:,,,, www.the-colour-of-,,

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