Richard Taylor Meaning Of Life Essay Formfinding Thesis
In his world there is no room for objective values and disvalues.By presupposing that truth is objectively valuable and that our intellectual integrity depends on acknowledging it, he presupposes something inconsistent with his own premises."You are ignoring the possibility that objective values are grounded in objective needs.Though extinction by agreement is not a terribly likely scenario, that is no more than an empirical fact of public opinion; , all it would require is a global consensus to reproduce below replacement rates, and in a few generations, the likening of humankind would “not be the stars or the ocean sand, but a river dwindling to nothing in the great drought.”So if you believe in a moral world order and the ultimate hegemony of love in the midst of all this misery and apparent senselessness, if you deny our irremediable "captivity in dying beasts," (what a great line! Giseles: "Evolution, he [Zapffe] argues, overdid its act when creating the human brain, akin to how a contemporary of the hunter, a deer misnamed the ‘Irish elk’, became moribund by its increasingly oversized antlers." A powerful image.The unfortunate species of deer, having evolved huge antlers for defense, cannot carry their weight and dies out in consequence. We cannot carry the weight of the awareness born of our hypertrophic brains, an awareness that is not life-enhancing but inimical to life.Human existence is thus absurd, without point or purpose.For human existence is not a merely biological living, but a conscious and self-conscious living, a reflective and self-questioning living in the light of the 'knowledge' of good and evil.The truth is that human existence -- which again is not a merely biological living -- is absurd. We all know, deep down, that we are just over-clever land mammals without a higher origin or higher destiny.One who will not accept this truth and who seeks to evade reality via religious and secular faiths is intellectually dishonest.
Whether or not we are free, we cannot help but experience ourselves as free.The demands would in that case have no objective validity whatsoever.The absurdist cannot, consistently with his absurdism, make moral demands and invoke objective moral oughts.Anti-natalism follows from intellectual honesty: it is wrong to cause the existence of more meaningless human lives.It is unfortunate that the human race came to be in the first place; the next best thing would be for it to die out. Or is this dark vision the nightmare of a diseased mind and heart?He torments himself with questions he cannot answer.The male beast in heat seizes the female and has his way with her. ' Respect for persons' does not hobble him.We ought to accept the truth, not because of some desirable consequence of accepting it, but because it is the truth.But surely the following question cannot be suppressed: What place is there in an amoral universe for objective moral oughts and objective moral demands? demand truthfulness and condemn willful self-deception. But these demands of ours are absurd demands if our mental life is an absurd excrescence of matter.Thus the ‘thousand consolatory fictions’ that deny our captivity in dying beasts, afloat on a speck of dust in the eternal void.And after all, if a godly creator is waiting in the wings, it must be akin to the Lord in The Book of Job, since it allows its breathing creations to be “tumbled and destroyed in a vast machinery of forces foreign to interests.” Asserts Zapffe: “The more a human being in his worldview approaches the goal, the hegemony of love in a moral universe, the more has he become slipshod in the light of intellectual honesty.” The only escape from this predicament should be to discontinue the human race. The gist of Zapffe's position as best I can make out from the fragments I have read is that our over-developed consciousness is an evolutionary fluke that makes us miserable by uselessly generating in us the conceit that we are more than animals and somehow deserving of something better than dying like an animal after some years of struggle.