Camus on the Absurd

Camus on the Absurd

“Do you want the rest of the seal,” he asked? “Or can I finish it?”

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.


Two cavemen sat on the edge of the ocean. In the primordial silence arose the sound of prehistoric man chewing on raw fish.

Time passed. The evening slowly drew in across the water. The two men hugged their robes of bark and skin tighter around them.

“You know, Alfred, I’ve been thinking,” said John.

His friend raised his eyebrows.

“I’ve been thinking,” said John, “baby seal is tasty, right, I mean, really tasty, but, when you get right down to it, does it really matter? You know? In the end it’s all just fish, right? What’s the point?”

He sighed. Across the ocean a woolly mammoth roared.

Alfred shrugged. He was used to his friend by now.

“It’s got to mean something … something more, you know? Something bigger. It’s got to be bigger than just baby seal.”

“You want a shark?”

“No! Although, shark is tasty. No, not bigger like that. Bigger metaphorically.”

“What’s metaphorically?”

“It’s when a thing isn’t actually another thing but is still that other thing.”

Alfred blinked. The silence lingered.

“Do you want the rest of the seal,” he asked? “Or can I finish it?”

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