Derrick Clarke

Mr. O

Philosophy Essay

My personal philosophy happens to follow the principles of existentialism and the idea of absurdism. Although in a certain sense some of the ideas are contradictory, it is my own personal application of these ideas to my life that has given me the mindset I have and allows them to harmonize. They balance out my beliefs because without both of them, my beliefs would go too far in one direction, and I would be a completely different, more pessimistic person.I haven’t always been an existentialist, and it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I even gained interest in existentialism. However, it wasn’t until I ascertained more knowledge about it, from further discussions in school and recreational research about the matter, that I realized existentialism is a philosophy most prevalent and relevant to my way of thinking and living. The idea of absurdism follows in the sense that I haven’t been able to find any concrete, reachable meanings for life, but I have found there to be abstract and intangible accomplishments in life that truly make life worth living. Even with abstract and intangible meanings for life, I find that without an attainable, concrete accomplishment, human life is essentially meaningless. However, it is my existential values that allow me to be satisfied with the abstract and intangible accomplishments in my life, even with the incompleteness it holds.

 

My personal understanding and interpretation of existentialism is that we exist in a universe that is indifferent to human existence. The decisions we make in life are not without stress or consequence. I find that there is no such thing as karma; there are no rewards for the good deeds I do for others or just in general. It continues the “give-take” relationship I have with others; it seems no matter how much I do for them or give to them, it’s never about what they can do for me; it’s always about what I can do for them. This adds to my lack of faith in humanity. It is a very basic generalization, but I find human beings to be the most selfish, destructive, and immoral mammals on the planet. No other animal kills simply for pleasure, sport, or simply because they can; they do it out of necessity. No other creature eats up the planet’s resources in the way we do, and my strongest disdain is that no other animal treats their own kind so terribly. I don’t feel this way on a personal level because I go out of my way for almost anyone; it is the few who return my generosity that give me the strength and will to continue to be a benefactor to others. It also contributes to my high standards for morals, behavior, and responsibility. I hate being compared to those around me because it insults me; I carry and present myself in a respectful, placid manner that transcends the individuals around me.

I base my decisions in life on my past experiences, my beliefs, and my outlook on life, as opposed to the values, laws and traditions of society. My main focus in life is my physical existence. By living life through the manner of my choice, I find that it essentially determines who I am as a person, right down to my very essence. One result of the existential ideas I follow has given me stronger personal responsibility. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, whether it is a failing grade in school due to my lack of motivation or, most recently, my admission into the Sullivan County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services because of how I use marijuana to cope with my depression, insomnia, and simply for recreational purposes. Existentialism is also what backs up my idea that even though life is far from perfect and complete, it is the choices and human nature created that gives individuals their own worth in life whether meaning is found or not.

 

The idea of absurdism is relevant to my personal philosophy because I find human existence to be meaningless. In all my soul searching and deep analytical thinking, which I do very often, I have always failed to find a real reason for life. This follows the idea of absurdism because that is basically what it is: the human desire and effort to find a real, rational reason in this universe and ultimately failing. The absurd part here is that it isn’t logically impossible to find a meaning in life, it is just humanly impossible to find it. There are plenty of things that make life worthwhile, and the meaninglessness of life essentially gives us true freedom. So far, I have found no tangible reason for life. But I have had several abstract accomplishments in life that give me the feeling I am not wasting my time here. My greatest accomplishment in life, so far, is giving another human being the will to live. I never thought I could have such a huge impact on someone else’s life, but the fact I am a main reason one of my friends hasn’t committed suicide , just by being there for her and being myself, give me strong feelings of self-worth and happiness, and there is not much more I could ask for than that.

 

It is why I continue to search for a real reason in life, why I try to fight through depression, why I still choose to help others without expecting anything in return, and why I still try to find good in the human race. Existentialism has helped me deal with and find acceptable reasons for all the loss I have faced in life. Absurdism has reinforced the ideas that are critical to my journey to find out who I am as a person and what it is I truly want to [do] in life. Utilizing these ideas in a united manner, I believe they are the explanation to why my life has turned out the way it is. I will always continue my life this way because it is how I accept everything that happens to me and it is all that really makes sense to me any more.

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