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Okay, so maybe we live and then we die, and there’s nothing we can do about it, but it’s all the more reason to enjoy it – The (Optimistically Nihilistic) Philosophy of: Albert Camus [pt.3]

What do you think is the point of life and the universe?

There’s a range of Existential approaches to the question, that range from guys like Schoppenhauer who said that life has no meaning and is nothing but a punishment, to guys like Kierkegaard who said that we live and die, but God (or more, our hope and faith in God) will give it meaning.

There’s also a bunch of philosophies in between those two, and somewhere in there, lies Albert Camus (but don’t call him an existentialist). Something that could possibly be described as Optimistic Nihilism. 

Camus, who much like his character Meursault in The Outsider, believed that once we open ourselves up to the benign indifference of the universe, we can then understand that yes, we live and die, and yes the universe doesn’t care about us, but during that time there is so much joy to seek out and experience. So many good people to meet, experiences to have, great sports to watch and play, good coffee to have.

Yes, maybe life has no objective meaning for us. But it’s us that give it meaning. And the embrace of nothingness and the universe’s indifference to us, and the billions of living organisms that lived for billions of years before us, and the billions more that will live after us… it’s all the more reason to enjoy it. And to savour the great times. And do whatever we think is right, and will make us content (and/or happy).