Philosophy Thesis Sample 4

Philosophy Thesis Models

 

 

 

In this post, I am going to share the thesis of my former student (thesis supervisee) Mr. Nicolai Cocjin on Albert Camus.  Ms. Cocjin graduated BA in Philosophy from Silliman University in May 2016. I hope that this post will help philosophy students who are writing their thesis as a final requirement for their degree, as it will serve as a model thesis for them.

 

Human Suffering and the Value of Life in Albert Camus’s Existentialism


by

 Vincent Nicolai P. Cocjin

 

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

 

Rationale of the Study

This thesis aims to critically investigate Albert Camus’s notion of human suffering in the hope of showing that life remains beautiful and worth living despite the absurdities it harbours. Human suffering, which usually becomes unbearable, continues to haunt every individual. In fact, the intensity of this suffering could render individuals hopeless to the point that many of them give up, and eventually commit suicide. However, I will show in this thesis, following Camus, that we can still find value in life and continue to live even if suffering always comes in the way even with a comfortable life.

Human beings go through life working hard in order to procure their everyday needs in which they suffer in return. Human suffering as a painful experience that we encounter every day is a natural phenomenal event for every person. Once we are born in this world, we are subject to live a life of suffering which we will carry to our deathbeds. However, we must not only look at the negative aspect of it. As what this thesis would like to highlight, suffering can lead an individual to enlightenment.

Suffering “implies conscious endurance of pain or distress”.[1] In other words, we suffer through the feeling of unpleasantness which can be classified into physical and emotional suffering. Physical suffering refers to the type of suffering outside of the mind; it is the tangible unpleasantness that we experience from the body.[2] In this case, it is our feeling of how we can deal with the world with our physical limits that is at work. Because of this, we need to struggle everyday in order to live in this absurd world which will make people accept any opportunities that may come into their way to the extent of sacrificing their own lives. On the other hand, emotional suffering refers to the suffering of the mind which concerns our psychological state in mind in the way we formulate our thoughts, concerns and ideals in life.[3] In this case, it is possible for an individual to commit suicide if he cannot handle the struggles in life. Let me give some examples.

The Case of the seafarers: According to Cory Josue, a writer of interestingarticles.com. Seafarers risk their health when they go abroad, due to the high probability that they may contract various diseases during their travels. This is made worse by the fact that they do not have a strict health care policy. They also struggle with the changes in the weather where they cannot predict the force of nature as they sail. On top of that, they have to deal with the possibility of encountering pirates on their journey, which could put their lives in jeopardy. Another risk is the breaking up of family ties because of the difficulty of communicating overseas.[4] Looking through the situation, indeed sufferings such as financial, psychological, sociological, physical, and emotional suffering always surround us and will continue to haunt us as we live.

Suffering does not discriminate anyone, since it does not choose its victims. It is there whether one lives in the slums or in a mansion. We are all in the same boat suffering and searching for meaning. “Although all human beings share the same basic human need for some meaning of life, the fulfillment of this need is highly individual and personal.” [5] At times we suffer by not attaining to satisfy those needs. It is because suffering is present to anyone who struggles to survive in this world. Even people who we see are living a fortunate life, at some point, experience it. Take for example Robin Williams, whose death surprised many people. Despite being a known comedian who is living a good life with his family and friends, he still experienced emotional suffering. While giving happiness to many people, he harbored a personal bout of unhappiness, which led him to commit suicide. [6]

Given the above, we can say that indeed suffering is a reality that no person can escape. It is part of our lives to struggle in this world. It is through suffering that some people cannot find their belongingness in this world. It is for this reason that I want to critically investigate Camus’s notion of human suffering in the hope of showing that life remains beautiful and worth living even with suffering.

Theoretical Background

Existentialists often argue about the notion of life. They wonder about the beginning of life and identify its value. They are very interested in knowing how individuals define themselves and other people within the society.

Camus’s theory focuses on the absurdity of life. This idea has been known by different people and was used in understanding the suffering of an individual. We can look through recent studies of some scholars in relation to Camus’s notion of human suffering.

To begin with, let us take Robert J. Bonk who studied Camus’s novel The Plague, where he relates it in the medical field. Bonk asks the question why we are taking care of the sick despite life being meaningless. To answer the question, he quotes Winter in his work saying, “it is instead the work of humans to reduce suffering when they can, to act with the acceptance that all cannot be healed, resolved, or explained on this earth”.[7]

Bonk would like to point out that even though Camus considers life meaningless, it is in our nature to struggle and hope for the best. This means that although there is sickness, as a form of suffering, we must understand that we should accept that reality as part of life and when we do that we benefit from that optimism.

Another scholar is a Filipino writer, Fides A. Bitanga who wrote a journal article entitled, “Human Integrity in Albert Camus’ The Stranger and Its Relevance.” In his claim in Camus’s novel The Stranger, Camus is showing human integrity. Bitanga states that ”he offers a concept of integrity that views a person to have integrity even though that person may hold what one thinks are importantly mistaken moral views.”[11] In this statement, individuals may have their own set of beliefs on how they would like to live their lives. Such beliefs in turn may conflict with what society tells us. Relating this to the protagonist of The Stranger who is Meursault, we see that people like him struggle within the beliefs of the society, seeing that one may have a different view in life. Bitanga further claims that the protagonist can be considered anyone in our society. Bitanga said:

Meursault (the protagonist of The Stranger) could be anybody in this world today.  ‘Who is Meursault?’, people asked Camus. ‘Just like everybody else; quite an ordinary person,’ was his answer. He could be anyone who admits and recognizes what he did. He could be anyone who does not care of what other people say of him or of what he does. He could be anyone who chooses to move on instead of grieving and taking time to practice rituals that are now on question as to whether these are still relevant or not. He is the person who presents himself as an alternative model for today’s world.[12]

As we can see in Bitanga’s work, we could be Meursault in any given time, to the extent that we may not show importance in our own life and stop believing to any form of hope that even religion can provide us. In our everyday suffering that we experience, we may become calloused. Most would not appreciate this idea because they believe that there is a standard way of living and in this respect their alternatives are very limited. Bitanga, like Camus, would like to give an in–depth understanding of this idea.  According to Bitanga, following Camus, we must be able to live not what the society wants us to be but by living our lives happily.

Bitanga further states that for Camus ”integrity has no need of rules”[13]. In this manner, it tells us that most individuals would do good things due to their personal understanding of what is right and wrong. It is not because of the governing laws or acts of obedience. They do those actions because they believe that they are right not due to any form of influence.[14] This is where we must understand the idea of accepting human suffering. For Bitanga, we may not be appreciated at times but we know in our human integrity that we are doing what we think is right. At this point we will also not consider the society wrong but we will take into account that sometimes the society does not guide us on how we will live our lives.

Let us now look into the perspective of a theologian using Camus idea in identifying human suffering. Mariuzs Majewski, in his study titled A Christian Understanding of Suffering and its Critique in the Writings of Albert Camus, talks about the challenge that Camus imposes in the Christian faith. He writes: “Christianity is an obstacle to this rebellion, says Camus in The Rebel, because it praises resignation to suffering and death in Jesus Christ and thus, it sanctifies it.”[15] This is to say that, as Majewski argues, pointing out religion as an alternative to human suffering cannot truly help those in need since it will only end up to hope for the best in another world. Majewski responded to Camus’s idea and argues that Camus has not understood the Christian God as he only sees it as having a detached relationship with His people. It is because Camus separates God from suffering, where amidst our suffering and pain God does nothing. Camus then urged us to accept that we are on our own without the help of God. If God is an unjust God, as Camus says, it is therefore right to rebel against that God; however, the Christian view of God is different as God is present in our suffering. In order to prove this, Majewski turned to the Bible and argues that it will help us understand that the approach for human suffering is indeed existential. Majewski emphasized that Christian faith is different because it concerns about having a personal relationship with God. However, even though Majewski does not agree with how Camus sees God, he agrees with the latter’s notion of suffering by Camus, that indeed, it is necessary part of our existence. We have to take note though that Majewski views human suffering as “mystery”, which is close to being a gift from God. No wonder then that Majewski appreciates the way the Christians reconcile with God in their sufferings.[16]

Lastly, let us take the case of psychologist Paul T.P. Wong who is not a scholar of Camus yet shares his idea about human suffering. In his study, he claimed that it is a truism that for life to be worth living, people need to enjoy living and feel satisfied that their needs and wants are met.[17] Wong gives us an idealistic view of what an individual considers a good life. According to Wong, man who always sought to find himself to be in a comfortable position cannot be living a good life since it is all an illusion.[18] Wong writes: “Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world with perfect justice, equal opportunities, and unlimited resources for all individuals to get what they want in life.”[19] In other words, we can dream as much as we want but we cannot escape the reality we will always experience suffering. Indeed, this is a situation that we will undergo and must learn to accept the trials that we are about to face in life. As we can see, Wong focuses on the idea of developing a mindset of how we are able to judge the outcomes of our life because it capitalizes the idea for an individual to reflect and be awakened to the reality[20]. Although Wong realizes that reality is indeed unpleasant, he is still optimistic in our time today as long as we develop a mindset that changes our negative experiences into a positive one.[21] In fact, he states that the “21st century may be called a century of meaning in which people are struggling to recover a sense of meaning and purpose in the midst of international terrorism and the global financial meltdown.”[22]

After presenting the views of some scholars who work on Camus’s model of existentialism, let us now take a look at philosophers whose ideas of suffering are similar to that of Camus’s, namely, Jean-Paul Sartre and Dostoevsky. Let me briefly sketch their philosophies.

Jean-Paul Sartre‘s existentialism is captured by his famous line “Existence precedes Essence.” With this line of thinking, Sartre sees that individuals will make a choice for themselves on how they should live their own lives. Thus, for Sartre, “Man is nothing else but that which makes of himself”.[23]Sartre had influenced Camus in his idea of freedom and responsibility. For Sartre, we are considered to be beings that can act through our own will. ”An individual,” Sartre says, “is free; a person is free”.[24] As beings that are considered free, we can say that we are able to commit our choices for the benefit of our own existence. However, these choices that we make would affect others. As Sartre said, “The act of choice, then, is one that all of us accomplished with a deep sense of anguish, for in this act we are responsible not only for ourselves but also for each other.”[25] Sartre entails that we must be responsible for our actions as there will be possible consequences on other people around us. This is to say that our action defines our individuality which influenced Camus’s idea of suicide as a problem. It is because suicide does not benefit anyone, we must accept our mistakes that we have done to others and accept our failures.

Another existentialist who showcases Camus’s idea in writing novels is Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky is known for his novel The Underground Man. Here, he emphasizes the idea of freedom where we can understand our true self. He sees freedom to be more important than anything else for an individual. Dostoevsky’s concept of freedom is about freeing ourselves from what society wants us to be and this can be achieved in realizing that humanity is imperfect, where part of our life must be sacrificed which will make us accomplish our true freedom.[26]

Due to this, Robert Crowther says, Dostoevsky prioritizes freedom above else, such as happiness. Utilitarians and communists wanted to remove suffering but in his novel The Underground Man insists that it is needed. [27] Dostoevsky wants us to understand that through suffering we can realize that we can attain freedom. In relation to Camus, we can say that he adapted this idea of suffering as an inescapable part of human nature. This idea can also be seen in some of Camus’s books, such as The Rebel and The Stranger. According to Camus, in order to find meaning in suffering we should be able to accept it.[28] Camus then emphasizes freedom in a way that we must use it to be beneficial for ourselves and possibly for others, where we cannot deny suffering. But despite this suffering, we have to remind ourselves that we can still live our lives in the best way possible.

The above discussion clearly shows that human suffering is indeed a necessary part of our existence.  Again, it is for this reason that I intend to write about valuing not only our own lives but also the lives of other people who are sharing the same pain like us. In using Camus’s brand of existentialism, especially his concept of “the absurd”, we would be provided with a better understanding on how an individual should live his life in a meaningless world.

Statement of the Problem

 This study aims to critically investigate Albert Camus’s notion of suffering. In the course of the study, the following will be clarified:

  1. What is Albert Camus’s notion of suffering?
  2. What are the actions that society undertakes to solve suffering?
  3. What are the possible alternatives to mitigate the problem of suffering that Camus offers?

Significance of the Study

The study will benefit the following: first, in the field of philosophy; second, the people who fall victim to suicide; and lastly, to Camus scholarship.

In the first, this thesis may contribute to the enhancement of knowledge in the academic community, especially in the study of existentialism. A critical investigation of Camus’s work will provide the readers with a better insight about human suffering and in finding value in life through the acceptance of the reality of suffering in our lives, as well as drawing strength from it.

In the second, this is for those who thinks suicide is the best recourse and to the people who have lost their loved ones through suicide. This work may enlighten them that finding meaning in life no matter how absurd it is remains possible.

And lastly, this thesis may help promote Camus’s works as they remain relevant to our time today. As we can see, Camus shows concern for those who are not happy and helps them see life through another perspective. Camus would like us to open our eyes to the reality that we are constantly suffering, and that accepting and living through it is where we can appreciate life.

Scope of Limitations

This study critically investigates Albert Camus’s notion of suffering, which can be found in his novels and essays, in order to find value in a meaningless life. It will only focus on the following books: The Plague, The Stranger and Myth of Sisyphus, which are relevant to my study. Other works, such as The Rebel and The Notebook, may be used to give insights to his notions of revolt and absurdity. Historical features and political ideas in these novels will not be taken into consideration unless necessary.

Given the difficulty in understanding Camus’s philosophy, especially in extracting his view on suffering from his novels, I will consult the interpretation of scholars who related his work to suffering and value of life. However, I will make sure that what I will be saying here is not a repeat of what these scholars have already said.

Research Methodology

This study will make use of hermeneutic method understood as the art of interpretation, especially Biblical and philosophical texts, in my attempt to re-articulate Camus’s notion of human suffering.[29] I will be applying hermeneutics in critically investigating Camus’s notion of suffering laid down in his seminal works The Stranger, The Plague, Myth of Sisyphus, and The Rebel.

I will also look into the general ideas of life in terms of religion mainly in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and relate these different views as a solution that other people are using. In addition, Buddhism will be discussed through the Mahayana tradition.


Chapter 2

Albert Camus on Suffering

This chapter will present Camus’s notion of suffering, which is at the core of his existential philosophy. It will also present his concept of rebellion as an alternative to the problem of suffering which, for Camus, characterizes an absurd existence. It will also present briefly Camus’s biographical note in order for us to have a fuller and more meaningful grasp of his existential philosophy.

Albert Camus (Photo credit: Free Wikimedia Commons)

Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) is famously known as writer rather than a philosopher. Originally from Algeria he transferred to Paris during World War II. It was at that time he joined the resistance and eventually gained a different point of view in life. He started publishing his works, such as the Myth of Sisyphus and The Stranger. After the war he became associated with Jean Paul-Sartre and continued with his other works, which eventually caused a conflict between their ideas and which ended their friendship.[30] Looking through Camus’s experience, he stood by his work and showed that they are worth reading and are extremely useful to those who experience meaninglessness in their lives. In fact, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 at the age of forty-three.[31]

In his writings, critics consider him a moralist since he shows motive of continuing with the struggles of everyday life even if the hardships it harbors seem to be unbearable. Peyre, a literary scholar says:

He is a moralist in another sense: in his novels and in his short stories, one senses the presence of a man who is looking for living, tormented by the concern to lead men to the elusive goal of more happiness; he is obsessed by the need to justify his characters’ behaviour, indeed to justify literature itself, which he is perpetually calling in question.[32]

Camus’s works have influenced many people by addressing the problems of his time. According to Peyre, through his works, Camus served as a moral guide after the war and the protector of positive moral values as he stood against other countries that violated human rights.[33]

Though Camus produced many intellectual works, he never described himself as a philosopher. In fact, he considered himself primarily un ecrivan, that is, as a writer. In addition, Camus does not qualify as a theorist or a disciplined thinker. However, some scholars still claim that Camus is a philosopher, Sartre as an example, in his assessment of Camus. He considers him an all-purpose critic who was capable of expressing his ideas and also a modern philosophe[34]. For this reason, in assessing his career and work, it would be best to characterize Camus as a writer and attaching the epithet “philosophical” for accuracy and definition.[35]

As mentioned above, Camus lived his life in the time of World War II. In those times, he was able to publish his works which served as a moral guide to the people of France. He was eventually called by his readers a moralist because of his dedication to protect human right. Because of these experiences, Camus had gained insights on what is the role of suffering in human lives and how it could be addressed. In order to present this idea, let me now discuss Camus’s notion of suffering found in his seminal works The Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger, The Plague and The Rebel.

The Myth of Sisyphus

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus presents the idea that human beings cannot help but ask the question ”What is the meaning of existence?“ But for Camus, this question does not need to be raised; because it does not have an answer even with the use of different forms of studies, it is unlikely to be given a sufficient answer. This would lead to a paradox where we ask questions about our ultimate self yet we cannot attain the possibility of having an adequate answer. With this paradox comes Camus’s idea of absurdity.[36]

This paradox is clearly seen in the Myth of Sisyphus. Ronal Aronson states that “Camus’s understanding of absurdity is best captured in an image, not an argument: of Sisyphus straining to push his rock up the mountain, watching it roll down, then descending after the rock to begin all over, in an endless cycle.”[37]  This clearly reminds us that each day of our lives we keep on struggling to survive yet in the end of it all, everything would be gone. One may wonder if there is any use in living if we are going lose everything in the end. Here, we might view Camus as nihilistic or a person who does not show value of any sort. However, Camus begs to differ despite the idea that everything is hopeless because we are still able to live the way we want it to be. The question then is “why do we need to suffer”?

For Camus, we need to suffer because suffering is a great teacher in life.[38] This shows that through suffering, we can get a perspective of what life is all about. We can see its value as we experience different forms of suffering. For Camus, therefore, being nihilistic means to miss the opportunity to attain such insight. In fact, in The Rebel Camus said “If nihilism is the inability to believe, then its most serious symptom is not found in atheism, but in the inability to believe in what is, to see what is happening, and to live life as it is offered.”[39] Thus, Camus sees value in life even when suffering is with us because suffering should not be considered a hindrance but a means of learning our worth in life. As mentioned by Camus in the Notebooks “Life is short and it is a sin to waste one’s time.”[40]

According to Castell, a scholar who studied Camus’s novel The Plague, for Rieux, being able to combat the suffering in fighting the plague gives meaning to his life. However, this meaning is also absurd and self-contradictory because he knows that he cannot win the battle against the plague, but he must live and act as if he can win.[41] Here, we can see the concept of revolt which is an act we must perform in this meaningless world. With this, let me now proceed to another work of Camus that relates to the idea of an individual who lives and accepts life no matter how absurd or meaningless it is.

The Stranger

The Stranger is one of the first novels that Camus published and is famous for philosophical interpretation its content invites. The novel is simple and views a life of any ordinary individual. Yet it presents the reality of our time where we look for happiness and yet found sadness, seek peace and see chaos and search for love and yet find rejection.

The novel starts with Mersault who did not show any emotion when his mother died. He acted like it was any ordinary day for him, and as the story progressed, he killed an Arab in self-defense. As he was tried for murder he showed neither remorse nor guilt which led the court to decide for his execution.[42] As we can see, the novel focuses on the chain of events of every action Mersault does which, as I have mentioned in my theoretical background, can represent any of us and our actions. This now leads us to the central theme of the story. According to Dr. Richard Penner[43] in his essay Fiction of the Absurd:

The central theme is that the significance of human life is understood only in light of mortality, or the fact of death; and in showing Meursault’s consciousness change through the course of events, Camus shows how facing the possibility of death does have an effect on one’s perception of life.[44]

Indeed, the novel wants us to reflect on what our actions might be in times of despair, especially that we fear death and it makes us think if we have managed to live our ideal life. But how would we know if we lived an ideal life? We may think that society provides us the ideas on how a man should live but it is only a mere influence or suggestion of society and it does not give us an opportunity to see ourselves. The Stranger thus puts us in another perspective where we find ourselves outside of any influence and look at life as we see fit where death cannot even hinder us from living our life in the best possible way.

Considering the actions of Mersualt, we can see that he chose to accept his execution. His friends, the lawyer, the prosecutors, and the judge offered him opportunities to save his life. They offered him remedies to his case, as long as he would show guilt and remorse to his actions. However, it would cost him to sacrifice the truth on what he truly feels about the case. Thus, he opted to die believing that he can appreciate his life by dying while being truthful rather than living his life with a lie.[45] In the end, he remained remorseless for killing the Arab. Because of this, he was considered dangerous in the society as a person lacking moral instincts such as mercy and compassion, which was enough proof to get him executed.[46]

In this scenario, one may think that Mersault has committed suicide since he prefers to die than to repent and live. However, we must take note that Mersault did not choose death because he had given up hope; on the contrary, he chose death over life because he was enlightened. As Bitanga explained:

This is not necessarily suicide, which is oftentimes an expression of surrender and failure. The thought of death is more of a motivation to live life more meaningfully. It is rather the drive to fulfil all the more one’s mission in life. If one dies and one opts to die, then it could be for a greater reason.[47]

Death in this case therefore, as Bitanga explains, following Camus, is considered a fulfilment of the sufferings that we have endured through our lives. In the case of Mersault, he embraced despair because he sees no hope in finding integrity in living if he would agree to being remorseful.[48]  Mersault thus saw nothing else in front of him. He understood that life has nothing to offer him other than death. He was indeed contented with his life.

As we can see, the novel wants us to realize that death is indeed an end to everything but it is also a point of appreciation about life. Death makes us see the value of our life where we will be able to feel freedom. We know that death is inevitable, and this will make us realize that life is indeed absurd. However, being aware about its absurdity brings out our realization on the beauty of life despite the pain it produces in the process.[49] The Stranger, in the end, invites us to look at life the best way possible for our comfort. We only have one life and there is no certainty of the afterlife. It is therefore best to find happiness in this life even if it is full of absurdity. As Camus mentions in the Notebook, “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.”[50]

The Plague

In The Stranger, we identified that accepting the absurdity in life makes us realize our freedom. On the other hand, The Plague, another well-known novel of Camus, wants us to see how long we are willing to preserve our value in life. This also talks about death in another perspective and challenges us how we are to value life if we keep seeing people die in front of us.

It can be said that there is no sense in trying to be alive if we keep on suffering and we will only die in some way or another. We suffer and we also see other people’s suffering and it will never end.  It is part of our lives to suffer and die. People can question whether we can still find meaning in this world even if everything we do is absurd. Camus did not ignore these kinds of questions, in fact “he uses his writing, such as The Plague, in a quest for meaning in an otherwise absurd world.”[51]

The Plague revolves around Rieux, a physician who, without any religious affiliations, takes care of the people of Oran who have been affected by a plague. Camus portrays how a person with no religious context can still find a meaningful life. The setting of the story is a place where a disease is spreading fast and fatalities are rising where people are forced to be quarantined. The physical isolation translates to living in a virtual prison where they are enclosed and cannot escape. They strive to survive among themselves in a place full of suffering and death.[52]

Another character that is worth mentioning in the novel is Father Paneloux, the priest of Oran who is the counterpart of Rieux. He believes that the plague that is in their community is meant to be an unexplainable plan of God for the whole humankind.[53] Both of them show good intention to help the people of Oran. In my understanding, Rieux manifests it better since he attends to the needs of people. In Chapter 3, I will present Paneloux’s idea of salvation which he uses as a method/tool to help and compare it with Rieux’s own method/tool of helping the quarantined people of Oran.

Looking into the contents of the novel, we see suffering as present to everyone yet there are people like Rieux who are willing to help others even when they know that their lives too are at risk. This is because they see value in life differently and this is their driving force to help. Here, they keep on finding a cure for the plague even if they know that it is almost impossible to find one. Yet, they continue to help the townsfolk in order for them to show that their lives where worth living as they have lived.[54] Indeed, they are living a battle of uncertainty. Rieux who implemented the quarantine could leave them to be safe from the plague yet he chose to do his job to help get rid of the plague. In the end, he continued to take care of the sick and became a survivor of Oran. Although left alone, he did not surrender since he found his absurd meaning in his experiences in Oran as a physician. “What makes his meaning absurd is his knowledge that he cannot win the battle against suffering and the plague, but he must live and act as if he can win.”[55] This is the way of our life. Living through suffering, we will see the light so to speak when we have produced meaning in an absurd world. Like Rieux and Sisyphus, we must struggle in a world whose meaning cannot be assured.[56]

As Camus ends his novel, he gives us a choice of “as ifs” in attaining meaning in life. For Camus, it can be the religious “as if” if we view life as determined by a supreme being who will someday bring us eternal salvation. We can also choose the non-religious “as if” that represents our unending battle with suffering knowing that it will be futile. Another is the agnostic “as if” where there is no certainty that we can win or lose in the struggle of suffering. Camus leaves the readers to decide what “as if” they want to choose in life though he prefers the second.[57]

Given the above discussion, we can therefore say that we are liable to the decisions that we make in our lives and we must consider the consequences we might encounter for these decisions. It must be understood that we won’t be able to obtain everything we want in life. This is why Camus teaches us that tragedy is inevitable. But, he wants us to keep on searching for the meaning in our life because this is where we can find our purpose in living in an absurd world.[58] This is the idea that we must learn so that we can move on from our wrong choices that we have made and continue living forward.

The Plague then provides us with the realization that life is cruel yet we must continue to find meaning in it, and in finding meaning in our lives, we must keep in mind that we are not the only ones who are suffering. As we find value in our lives, we should also recognize that the lives of other people are also valuable. Camus’s works indeed shows that in order to attain a good life, even if there is nothing after our death, in the end, we must journey altogether to find happiness.

As I have presented above, Camus argues that life is indeed meaningless and full of suffering. However, Camus points out that this is a problem that can be addressed. In other words, Camus says that we can still give life value despite the absurdity it harbours. But how can we find value in life? The next chapter will address this question.


Chapter 3

 Suicide, Religion and The Rebel

This chapter presents the alternatives that Camus offers for those who are unable to bear the sufferings in their lives. This will include an examination of suicide as a possible solution to the problem of meaninglessness in existence as well as religious ideas as a motive of hope.

This chapter will also discuss the basic principles in Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism that are related to the problem of a meaningless existence. I will show how these principles may contribute in addressing the problem. In particular, I will show each religion’s own perspective of suicide in order to see their individual views in relation to the notion of the sanctity of life. Also, this chapter will present Camus’s idea of revolt as the best alternative to the problem of a meaningless existence as gleaned from his essay The Rebel. Lastly, I will discuss Camus’s response to human suffering which is seen from his seminal works, namely, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger, The Plague, and The Rebel.

Suicide

Suicide is an act of abandonment to a frustrating world. Here, it is a desperate act of avoiding the experience of suffering in this world. In other words, a person who is not contented with what he has in life will eventually consider ending it.[59] For Camus, he sees suicide as a natural response to an underlying premise, namely that life is indeed absurd. In addition to this, it is true that to continually seek for meaning when there is none is absurd. Here, Camus states that people commit suicide because they ‘judge life is not worth living’. However, as I already mentioned many times before, despite Camus’s view that life is absurd, he sees that life is worth living. He discusses in The Rebel that the absurd is an experience that every individual must live through, because living with absurdity is equivalent to existing.[60] Camus wants us to see that the only way we could live in this world is through accepting the absurdity of life.

Camus disagrees with the idea of suicide because it is a cowardly act that tries to escape the reality of the world, and in terms of his renunciation of life; it is not a true revolt.[61] Thus, he writes in The Myth of Sisyphus:

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. All the rest–whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories comes afterwards. Those are games; one must first answer this.[62]

Camus emphasizes that suicide is a form of devaluing oneself from life. Here, we must consider that the value of life is how we live through it despite the sufferings that it has to bear. Thus, it is a reminder that all of us suffer; nobody is exempted from that experience and those unpleasant events in our life are part of our understanding of who we are.

As I have mentioned in the previous chapter, he wrote The Myth of Sisyphus as his response to suicide. The essay points out the idea in how man is willing to continue his life despite knowing that his life has no value. In this situation, man would judge his life worthless, which would lead him to commit suicide. In this manner, Camus comes up with an idea that finding meaning in life is important to man. In order to do that, man must accept the absurdity of this world while choosing to live to find meaning in his life. Further in the essay, Camus used Sisyphus as an example because he always returns to his rock to roll it all over again even if he knows that he found sorrow in the beginning. It is because Sisyphus eventually found happiness when he accepted the absurdity of rolling the rock. For this reason, Camus argues that one cannot discover the absurd without finding happiness. He explains that happiness and absurdity are inseparable as they belong in the same world. Here, Camus wants us to see Sisyphus to be happy who accepted the absurdity of live. Sisyphus is happy because he understands that the absurdity makes him realize that he is the master of his life who can only find meaning in his own actions.[63] From what was discussed above, Camus does not agree with suicide as an alternative to finding a meaningful existence. It is because ending one’s own life already shows that they do not value life.

 Religion

There are many religions in our time today. There are religions that present many gods or a single God that governs everything.  Some do not even have a god. As a common ground, religions offer a sense of fulfilment for their believers where they will someday experience eternal happiness. Each religion has their different views of paradise: Heaven for the Christians, Jannah for the Moslems, and Nirvana for Buddhists. They may have different concepts regarding their idea of paradise, but their goal remains the same which is to reward their believers. To begin with, I will point out each religion and proceed to relate Camus’s point of view in religion.

Christianity. Christians are independent of the human authority. They believe that the divine law of God is implanted in the soul as a form of guidance for their every action in order to live peacefully with one another.[64] As followers of Christ, they grow with his teachings in the process of attaining perfection similar to Him. Here, believers will always look into understanding and living through Christ’s teachings in order to fulfill perfection. In addition, they also understand that they cannot attain perfection in this world.[65]

As for insights regarding suicide, Christians believe that we must take responsibility of our lives. Here, we should be stewards as we do not own our lives. Hence, we should preserve them in the time for our salvation. Also, it is not in our place to end our life by any means. It is because ‘suicide contradicts the natural inclination of human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.’ Therefore, it opposes the idea of self-love and love for neighbour as it unjustly breaks the relationship with the family and other human societies which we are obliged to continue. In short, suicide is contrary to loving God.[66]

Islam. The idea of faith in Islam is that a person must fully submit himself to God. Faith refers to how a person lives his life. Here, believers consider faith as a growing process for every individual so that if a person lives his life in believing that he is obedient and devote everything he has for God, then he has lived his life as a true Muslim. Others who are not true to their God and do not obey the deeds that the only One God desires is considered an outlaw and will be living in ignorance.[67]

In terms of suicide, Adil Salahi a writer of the Arab News, states that Islam discouraged the idea of committing suicide. Thus, it is forbidden as their life belongs to God and only He can make decisions on how a person should die. It is a way of disowning the gift that God has given to every person and therefore suicide is forbidden even in Islam.[68] In regards to the idea of Islam being a “suicide bomber”, it refers as to Fedayeen or Shahid which means martyr. In other words, it is in their religious aspect to consider dying for Allah as an act of martyrdom not suicide.[69]

Buddhism (Mahayana). Buddhism is one of the earliest religions which originated in India. It focuses mostly on the empirical way of living where the present situation of our life is given importance. Here, believers do not concern themselves with metaphysical aspects of life or anything that is beyond our understanding of this world.[70] Buddhim’s main goal in the Mahayana tradition, where they concern themselves to be a Boodhisattva, is an enlightened being dedicated to end suffering.[71]

In terms of suicide, like Christianity and Islam, Buddhism does not agree with this method of ending suffering. In an online article by the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery which writes about the perspective of suicide in Buddhism, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama states that:

If you really want to get rid of all your suffering, all the difficulties you experience in your life, you have to get rid of the fundamental cause (greed, hatred and delusion) that gives rise to the aggregates that are the basis of all suffering. Killing yourself isn’t going to solve your problems.[72]

This is to say that we are suffering because we focus on our self-interest which does not give us fulfilment in life. Suicide will only give more reason to a person to suffer in believing that they can escape suffering. Thus, Buddhism wants us to overcome our self-interest turning it into love and compassion to others so that we are able to free ourselves from suffering.

As we can see in the above discussion, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism showed similarities about the importance of life to every individual. However, no matter how convincing the position of religion to some people, Camus sees religion not an acceptable alternative in finding meaning in life. In fact, Camus calls religion a form of “philosophical suicide”. It is because Camus believes that resorting to supernatural solution to the problem of the absurd is to eliminate reason, which he sees equivalent to physical suicide. [73]

As we can see, Camus has nothing against religion; he likes how religion makes a person becomes aware about morality. However, he does not agree with the idea of expecting a reward after death since he cares about the life we experience at the present. Camus says “I share with you the same revulsion from evil. But I do not share your hope, and I continue to struggle against the universe in which children suffer and die.”[74] Again, it is for this reason that Camus does not consider religion as an alternative to the problem of a meaningless existence. With this, I will now turn to presenting what Camus believes is the only way to address the problem of meaninglessness.

The Rebel

The Rebel is an essay written by Camus at the height of the Second World War. It manifests his understanding of how an individual should accept the difficulties of life. Some scholars see this essay as a continued philosophical analysis by Camus from The Myth of Sisyphus since it represents some of his ideas from the essay. Also, he uses the concept of slavery as a person who does not see the absurdity of the world and blindly follows it without question.[75] In addition, the essay focuses on the solution of man’s being unable to escape from the world of suffering. He also says that the essence of man is shown on how he lives through the trials that life offers him every day. Camus states that a rebel is a person who says ‘yes’ when he begins to make gestures of rebellion. He also says ‘no’ to his master which is his life, that it has no power over him and will no longer obey its order. [76]

What Camus is trying to say is that being a rebel consists of moving forward in one’s own life. This is possible when man realizes that he was limiting himself at the possibilities of his life before, and with this, he will then discover that he has the potential of choosing what is best for him.[77] Here, it is a matter of acknowledging an individual’s freedom to what he sees well for him. Therefore, the rebel sees his life to have value and must take it into consideration.[78] Camus also believes that a person who rebels will see himself in a situation that he will be able to realize his rights and loyalty to himself.  He is then prepared to support life and he values it as presented to him. Here, man is not silent; indeed, he has found his voice in order to fully express his desires. In other words, he is like a slave that finally stops obeying his master and faces him. Hence, he then opposes what is not agreeable and questions his own value. In this sense, ‘not every value entails rebellion, but every act of rebellion invokes a value.’[79] As we can see, Camus is mainly concerned with the existential value of man other than anything in the world. He said “I continue to believe that this world has no ultimate meaning. But I know something in it has meaning and that is man, because he is the only creature to insist on having one.”[80]  Therefore, this is to point out that we must rebel at the absurdity of our everyday lives and look into life’s value.

What we can also infer from the above discussion is that for Camus, we must see that the moment a person is born, he does not have an idea of his value. He is a slave that accepts the demands whatever his master asked of him.[81] He is not living his own life; he does not see his right as a human being having any worth. However, once the slave grows to understand that he has a life of his own, Camus says that he does not need to follow anyone.[82] Thus, the slave will oppose the demands of his master where he wants to acknowledge his own value in life.  He then becomes a rebel. Therefore, as a rebel he wants to be recognized as who he truly is. To be identified that he continues to live in overcoming the obstacles that he will soon face.[83] Here, man is willing to live his life to the fullest, to the extent of accepting the consequences that might follow his decisions. Thus, if a man accepts the risk of death rather than opposing his right that he had sought for all his life, he does this because those values he had found in life are more important than anything else in the world. With this, a man sacrifices himself for the sake of a certain value which he sees is beneficial for all men. he rebel therefore shows his worth through those actions.[84]

The Rebel also discusses some parts in religion, mainly on Christianity. Camus writes in The Rebel ‘Is it possible to find a rule of conduct outside the realm of religion and its absolute values?’ What this passage implies is that for Camus, man can choose if he wants to live in a world of grace or in world of rebellion. However, as Camus opines, man must understand that we cannot ignore the reality that we are faced to suffer every day; for this reason, it would best to find value in our experiences.[85]

But it must be clarified that the act of rebellion does not imply individualism. It is only manifested through the awareness of man being aware of his own right. It does not imply anything about his individualistic rights; in fact it is something more, which is his realization that he does not suffer in this world alone. Thus, the act of rebellion does not only concern the rebel but with the other people, that they too should be a rebel. Here, Camus calls for solidarity with other people.[86] This is because by the time man rebels he will then realize that suffering is a collective experience. He will then understand that it is an experience that even though we suffer separately we all share the same experience.[87] It is manifested in Chapter 2 of Camus’s The Plague, which says that we must be able to understand that there are other people who also suffer like all of us. In this case, helping them is a way of looking at them as belonging to a natural community that experience suffering and absurdity. For Camus, this would enable us to value of life as we continue forward in living despite knowing that everything is meaningless at the end. Indeed, we are human beings that give importance to what we have in the present. As Camus says: “I rebel therefore we exist”.[88]

Albert Camus’s Response to Human Suffering

Camus used The Rebel as a means to signify a person who realized that he is suffering yet he continues to live his life in the best possible way. In other words, Camus’s main goal is to accept suffering as part of our life. In the Myth of Sisyphus, he describes Sisyphus’s acceptance to push the boulder repeatedly as a way to continue living even if what his doing is absurd. Indeed, Camus expressed this idea as a foundation to his novel such as The Stranger and The Plague, which are both centered on accept suffering.

The Stranger shows that Mersault accepts his situation even if he knows that he will die with his decision. However, he did not see death as a hindrance to living an honest life. Here, Mersault’s death showed that he was satisfied with his decisions and did not regret anything in his life. In the end, the novel emphasizes the idea of appreciating our life despite the suffering we encounter daily.

The Plague, on the other hand, shows that suffering is a collective experience. As we know, Rieux, the protagonist in the novel, continued to help the sick people of Oran even though everything seems to be hopeless. Here, Rieux is simply doing his job as a physician amidst the risk of getting infected by the plague. Yet, he survived and lived to tell the tale of Oran. In this situation, Rieux did not think of his own suffering; he only thought of helping others. He accepted that the people of Oran will eventually die but he helped them to see that their life was worth living before they die. In this novel, the idea that rebellion is not a form of individualism is clearly shown. This indeed shows that every person is the same in the eyes of suffering, and since we cannot escape it, we must be willing to accept it as well as to help each other. For Camus, therefore, this is how we would be able to overcome the absurdities in life, that is, finding value in an apparently meaningless life.


Chapter 4

Summary, Conclusion, Recommendations

My thesis argued that there is a need for a critical investigation of Camus’s notion of suffering in order to value life in an absurd world. In my discussion of Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus, I have showed that life is indeed absurd, which is exemplified by the life of Sisyphus who was punished by the gods because of his disobedience. Thus, Sisyphus was given the task to roll over the boulder in a mountain and every time he reached the top, the boulder would go down the opposite part of the mountain. He would then repeat the same action over and over again. However, Sisyphus accepted his fate of perpetually rolling the boulder.  But Camus argues that one must see Sisyphus happy in doing this.

Like Sisyphus, we keep suffering every day. We will also realize that everything that we do is pointless, because at the end of it all we gain nothing. But upon knowing the absurdity of our lives, we can still live happily by accepting that life is truly unforgiving and we can make the best out of it. Camus’s work The Stranger also recognizes that human beings are in constant relation with man. Here, the protagonist Mersault is seen as calloused. In the novel, people often see him as a heartless person for showing no affection at all. In fact, his decisions are not based on the influence of other people. Even at the moment of his execution, he accepted that he was going to face death. Mersault, in Camus’s opinion, is an example of a man who accepts the consequences of his actions and lived through them.

The Plague revolves around a doctor named Riuex, who was assigned in Oran where the plague was spreading. When the plague became uncontrollable, Oran was forced to be quarantined where no person may enter or leave the place. Although many people are dying, Reiux continued to help the sick even with the futility of finding a cure. The Plague emphasizes the idea that everyone in this world suffers. In this manner, Camus wants us to understand the value of our lives. There will be events in our life that may seem hopeless, but we must move forward, and since we are not alone in the world of suffering, we must also try to alleviate others’ suffering.

Camus also introduced the three possible alternatives that a person may undergo in his journey to suffering: suicide, religion, and rebellion. One concrete example which manifests Camus’s idea of suicide as an alternative to suffering and its relevance to our present day is portrayed by the people of Lithuania, which has the highest suicide rate in the year 2012. Suicide, as we can see, manifests the act of surrender to one’s own value of life. Unable to grasp the reality of the world, those who commit suicide are viewed as simply wasting their opportunity of seeking a valuable life. Their condition in life may be considered unfair compared to other countries but they can still make a change as long as they are living.

As to religion, I have presented Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. It must be understood that Camus does not despise religion; he sees religion as an escape goat in living the present situation of life. It is because people will keep hoping for another life and will not give importance to their present lives. For Camus, religion hinders the individual to see the beauty of being alive in a meaningless world.

As I also showed, Camus offers his idea of rebellion as an alternative to the problem of a meaningless life. This is exemplified by an individual who sees that he is being controlled by his own suffering, but realizes that his life has value and would like to keep on living and accepting the suffering of life. I have also shown that rebellion does not entail individualism; rather, it is a realization that all of us have a common community, implies helping others in order to see the value of our own lives.

Indeed, Camus’s notion of suffering indicates a positive response to the struggle that every person experiences. It will serve as a reminder to those who are likely to commit suicide that they are not the only ones who experience suffering. Camus’s notion of suffering would also benefit people who cling to religion that whether there is an afterlife or not, they must realize that the life that they have at the moment is also valuable and should make the best out of it.

At the end of it all, it is recommended that those who are feeling hopeless should understand that life remains beautiful no matter hard life may seem to them. Suffering is unavoidable but it does not hinder a person to live his life in the best way possible. Indeed, Camus is right when he says that through rebellion we are able to live the way we want it to be, that through the acceptance of suffering, we would realize that life, again, remains beautiful and meaningful.

 

For some helpful guides in writing philosophical research, see Jeffry Ocay, “Handout in Philosophical Research,” http://philonotes.com/index.php/2017/11/24/handouts-in-philosophical-research/

 

 

 

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[1]Mirriam-Webster,” Meaning of suffering”, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suffering (accessed 10 March 2016).

[2] Ioannis Zisis, “The experience of physical and psychological suffering – Its cycle and meaning“, The Solon Synthesis, http://www.solonsynthesis.org/index.php/life-consciousness/32-life–consciousness/200-experience-physical-psychological-suffering-cycle-meaning.html (accessed 10 March 2016).

[3] Ibid.

[4]Cory Josue, “The Risk of Being a Filipino Seafarer”, http://www.interestingarticles.com/vocational-schools/the-risks-of-being-a-filipino-seafarer-3066.html (accessed 5 December 2015).

[5]Ulrich Dheil, “Human Suffering as a Challenge for the Meaning of Life”, http://www.bu.edu/paideia/existenz/volumes/Vol.4-2Diehl.pdf (accessed 28 January 2016).

[6]M. Farouk Radwan, “Why did Robin Williams commit suicide”, http://www.2knowmyself.com/Why_did_Robin_williams_commit_suicide (accessed 7 December 2015).

[7] Robert Bonk, “Medicine as an Absurdist Quest in Albert Camus’ The Plague, European/American Journal, Vol. 2 (2010). http://www.ea-journal.com/art2.1/Medicine-as-an-Absurdist-Quest.pdf (accessed 15 December 2015).

[8] Du Plock is an HPC and BPS Chartered Psychologist, and is a Foundation Member of the BPS Register of Psychologists Specializing in Psychotherapy.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Fides Bitanga, “Human Integrity in Albert Camus’ The Stranger and Its Relevance”, Asian Educational Research Association, Vol. 4, (2014) http://www.eisrjc.com/journals/journal_1/Human-Integrity-in-Albert-Camus-The-Stranger-And-Its-Relevance.pdf (accessed 5 November 2015).

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Mariuzs Majewski, A Christian Understanding of Suffering and its Critique in the Writings of Albert Camus. Mount Angel Seminary. http://culture.polishsite.us/mariusz/MajCamus.pdf (accessed 20 March 2016).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Paul T.P. Wong, The Human Quest for Meaning (USA: Routledge, 2012), 4.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid., 5.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 19.

[23] Arne Naess, Four Modern Philosophers, trans., Alistair Hannay (London and Chicago:Almqvist & Wiksell/Gebers Forlag AB, 1968), 284.

[24] Samuel Enoch Stumpf and James Fieser, Socrates to Sartre and Beyond (New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2008), 435.

[25] Ibid., 435.

[26] Ryan P. Fink, “Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov, and Freedom in Crime and Punishment”, http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=dostoevsky_2014  (accessed 3 February 2016).

[27] Robert Crowther, “Doestoevksy and Kafka: Existentialist?”, http://www.dotrob.com/essays/essay3.html (accessed 27 September 2015).

[28]Albert Camus, “The Rebel”. Trans., Anthony Bower. https://libcom.org/files/The-Rebel-Albert-Camus.pdf (accessed 21 January 2016).

[30] Alburey Castell, Introduction to Modern Philosophy ( NY: Macmillan College Publishing, Inc., 1994), 732.

[31] Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion, and Death, trans., Justin O’Brien (USA: Vintage Book., 1970) v(Introduction).

[32] Henri Peyre, French Novelist of Today, (USA: Oxford Dictionary Press, Inc., 1967), 309.

[33] Ibid.

[34]In Sartre’s assessment to Camus, a modern philosophe is debunker of mythologies, a critic of fraud and superstition, a voice of reason and compassion, and an outspoken defender of freedom.

[35]Simpson, “Albert Camus”, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/camus/.

[36] Aronson, “Albert Camus”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/camus/.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Castell, Introduction to Modern Philosophy, 736.

[39] Albert Camus, “The Rebel”., trans., Anthony Bower, https://libcom.org/files/The-Rebel-Albert-Camus.pdf, (accessed 21 January 2016).

[40] Albert Camus, Notebooks, trans., Philip Thody (First Modern Library Edition Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf,Inc., NY: Hanish Hamilton Ltd., 1965), 9.

[41] Alburey Castell, Introduction to Modern Philosophy, 736.

[42]Bitanga, “Human Integrity in Albert Camus’ The Stranger And Its Relevance, Asian Educational       Research Association, Vol. 4, (2014), http://www.eisrjc.com/journals/journal_1/Human-Integrity-in-Albert-Camus-The-Stranger-And-Its-Relevance.pdf.

[43] Dr. Richard Penner (1936- ) was professor of English at the University of Tennessee.  His credits include: Fiction of the Absurd: Pratfalls in the Void (New English Library, 1980), Alan Sillitoe (Twayne’s English authors series), and Countries of the Mind: The Fiction of J. M. Coetzee (Greenwood Press. Westport, Conn. 1989).

[44] Richard Penner, Death and Absurdism in Camus’s The Stranger, Fiction of the Absurd, http://alangullette.com/essays/lit/stranger.htm (accessed  22 January 2016).

[45] Bitanga, “Human Integrity in Albert Camus’ The Stranger And Its Relevance, Asian Educational      Research Association, Vol. 4, (2014), http://www.eisrjc.com/journals/journal_1/Human-Integrity-in-Albert-Camus-The-Stranger-And-Its-Relevance.pdf.

[46] Albert Camus, The Stranger, trans., Stuart Gilbert (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1946), 123-127.

[47] Bitanga, “Human Integrity in Albert Camus’ The Stranger And Its Relevance, Asian Educational      Research Association, Vol. 4, (2014), http://www.eisrjc.com/journals/journal_1/Human-Integrity-in-Albert-Camus-The-Stranger-And-Its-Relevance.pdf.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Penner,” Death Absudism in Camus’s The Stranger”, Fiction of the Absurd, http://alangullette.com/essays/lit/stranger.htm.

[50] Albert Camus, Notebooks, 5.

[51] Bonk, “Medicine as an Absurdist Quest in Albert Camus’ The Plague”, European/American Journal, Vol. 2 (2010). http://www.ea-journal.com/art2.1/Medicine-as-an-Absurdist-Quest.pdf.

[52] Castell, Introduction to Modern Philosophy, 732.

[53] Ibid., 733.

[54] Bonk, “Medicine as an Absurdist Quest in Albert Camus’ The Plague”, European/American Journal, Vol. 2 (2010). http://www.ea-journal.com/art2.1/Medicine-as-an-Absurdist-Quest.pdf.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Castell, Introduction to Modern Philosophy, 736.

[58] Michael Schaub, “Albert Camus And The Search For Meaning In The Midst Of Ebola”, National Public Radio, http://www.npr.org/2014/08/02/337134660/albert-camus-and-the-search-for-meaning-in-the-midst-of-ebola (Published August 2, 2014) (accessed 1 February 2016).

[59] Calista V. Leonard, Understanding and Preventing Suicide (USA: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1967), 19.

[60] Aronson, “Albert Camus”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/camus/.

[61]Simpson, “Albert Camus”, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/camus/.

[62]Albert Camus, Myth of Sisyphus, Trans. Justin O’Brien., https://toleratedindividuality.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-myth-of-sisyphus.pdf (accessed 3 February 2016).

[63] Ibid.

[64] Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is within You, Trans., Constance Garnett (USA: University of Nebraska Press, 1984), 211.

[65] Ibid, 67-68.

[66] Catechism of the Catholic Church, Def. Edition., 2280 – 2281, 611.

[67] Abdul A’la Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam (NA: The Islamic Circle of North America, 2002), 22- 23.

[68] Adil Salahi, “Committing Suicide strictly prohibited in Islam”, Arab News, http://www.arabnews.com/node/251387 (accessed 1 March 2016).

[69] The Religion of Peace, “What makes Islam”, https://thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/suicide-bombing.aspx (accessed 20 May 2017)

[70] Lise F. Vail, “The Origins of Buddhism”, Asia Society, http://asiasociety.org/education/origins-buddhism (accessed 1 May, 2016).

[71] John M. Koller and Patricia Joyce Koller, Asian Philosophies (USA; Courier Companies Inc; 3rd edition, 1998), 125.

[72] K. Sri Dhammananda, “Buddhist perspective of suicide”, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, http://media.kmspks.org/uncategorized/buddhist-perspective-to-suicide. (accessed 3 March 2016).

[73]Simpson, “Albert Camus”, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/camus/.

[74]Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death, 71.

[75] Kuykendall, Philosophy in The Age of Crisis, 177.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid., 178.

[80] Albert Camus, Resistance Rebellion and Death, Trans., Justin O’Brien (New York: Vintage Books, 1974) 28.

[81] Kuykendall, Philosophy in The Age of Crisis, 178.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Kuykendall, Philosophy in The Age of Crisis, 182.

[87] Ibid.

[88]Ibid., 183.

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