“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” (Albert Camus).
A very aggressive statement. Assertive to the point of misconstrual as it alludes to a social taboo, imparting an emotional charge that often triggers dismissal in the mind of the casual reader. Whether one has been personally touched by the suicide of a loved one, the dire implications attached to the act by most religions, or the simple instinctive preference of life over death, it is frequently the case that one strongly prefers not to invite such a topic into their field of thought. However to fully explore the Absurd it is vital that these overlying layers of emotion, religion, and instinct be stripped away to grasp the dichotomy that is its source; the driving human need to find meaning in life clashing with the lack of any within the Universe.
I do agree with Camus; the most fundamental component of a grounded base defining what one expects as a being that is aware of itself as an entity within the scope of all existence, is to decide whether or not to accept consciousness at all. On the other hand, the minutely low probability of a Universe within which one is capable of fusing the Absurd rationale with a cosmos-wide definition of “existence” compels me to assign consciousness a very high intrinsic value. For this reason I prefer to infer “conscious” in my definition of being from this point forward when considering its properties and its overall merit.
Nobody asks to be born. This first nonconsensual action sets off a cascade. A progression fueled by hardwired instinct that conveys one along the stages of development and through a variable series of experiences, which may culminate in a point where questions pertaining to the purpose of existence are conceived. It is at this intersection of time and thought that the employment of suicide could be viewed as an option if a being were to reflect on Camus’ assertion that one must answer whether life is worth living or not with a, “No.”
However the incorporation of cosmology into the interpretation of the Absurd dictates that the cessation of being via physiological death should no longer be viewed as a final erasure from existence, in essence taking that option off the table. The flash of the inorganic into being, its unavoidable break down into unconsciousness or “death,” and the possibility of another generation of this cycle into a different being is in essence achievement of immortality. Beginning with the start of time as defined by being, the recycling and thus far empirically eternal cloud of communal elemental components that comprise past unconsciousness, a present being, and future conscious or unconscious manifestations will continue to exist long after their role in embodying an individual being.
This cosmological approach towards the Absurd alleviates one from the need to wrestle with Camus’ philosophical problem, as now it is not necessary to produce a black-and-white “yes” or “no”. Rather all one must do to live in harmony with the Absurd is to let go of the petty and ultimately false entitlement the individual being feels to eternity, and to embrace the liberation attached to the concept of finite being within infinite existence.