Tillich-ish, Pt. Fifteen
I just finished up a little essay on meaning that you might enjoy. It’s attached, and will be posted on my blog eventually.
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Finally came up for air enough to have a peak at your essay.
I continue to think this is one of the important questions of our time. And I think you’re right to give a bit of hell to those who think that existence is meaningless, but that we can contentedly “create meaning.”
If there is no depth to reality, then there is no depth to our meanings, nor our actions.
As you know, I don’t think hanging it all on the existence of a God helps much. However, when we talk about God we’re trying to speak about the ultimate nature of reality. If we give up on the coherence and significance of the ultimate conditions of our existence, then we don’t just give up a theory. If we are consistent, I think, we give up ourselves. This is why the ancient skeptics withdrew from society altogether and went off into the desert. This is why Camus saw suicide as a valid response to experiencing reality as absurd.
The bugger of it is, none of us is in any position to make dogmatic claims about ultimate things, for we are finite. We are left then only with “how thing’s seem to us.” As for me, and in spite of so much of what I’ve encountered in life that displays sheer absurdity, it’s just the case that the flashes of love, courage and joy strike me as more real than the despair.
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Thanks for taking a look at that. Nothing too special… and I know we’re largely on the same page. Or, at least, you know how to read my page, ha ha.
I see the same phenomena of love, and courage, and joy that you see. How is it that you think those phenomena entail some tension with, or contradiction of, or refutation of, absurdity or meaninglessness? I definitely know of accounts of love, courage, and joy that repudiate meaninglessness—e.g. the Bible’s. But how is it that you move from those phenomena toward that repudiating?