After some consideration, I find that I strongly identify with the idea that seeking objective meaning, much like seeking intelligent design, in the universe is absurd and nonsensical. Yet observing others around me it appears that Humans require some sense of meaning or become unhinged, despondent, perhaps inwardly or outwardly destructive. I think that we could propose it is a holdover from our evolutionary track, something that facilitated the group survival that was crucial to flourish as a species. We could propose all kinds of reasons for this trait, actually. The important point seems to me, at least for the purposes of this discussion, an acceptance that our need for meaning appears to be a standard human trait, with all of the diverse instantiations therein.

So, I read for a while and found that much of the discussion of absurdism seems to lean toward a concept of self-derived meaning that I don't think I find in the world around me. This discussion, then, is my hope to solicit others' thoughts on the concept of subjective meaning, and if we truly have the freedom, as members of an interacting and lively bunch of humans, to obtain meaning that is truly our own device.

My idea is a sense of meaning that is free-flowing and adaptive, giving way to a recognition that achieving ones inner goals requires some capitulation to external influence. As exhibit, I submit to you that I wish to be loved, but must therefore find meaning in the many little compromises this requires, for I perceive that uncompromising people are sometimes admired, rarely loved. Do you think that by adjusting my evaluation of meaning to accomplish this I am betraying myself in some way? Or am I embracing the broader scope of the "human condition"?

Is a sociopath the only one that has the freedom to truly derive an unprejudiced sense of meaning in their life?

Where should we develop subjective meaning independently, and where should this meaning capitulate to societal norms? Does it matter?

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Replies to This Discussion

Firstly, you may be right about the evolutionary thing...

As for the subjective meaning we can create, I'm not sure how you mean you would be betraying yourself. The subjective meaning can be a goal to strive for like a career, friends or family, or even just a hobby. However, any subjective meaning we create must not ever fill the void of an objective meaning. To live with the Absurd is to remain always conscious of our place in the universe and our ultimate fate, death. Also, a subjective meaning isn't for everyone. I myself would like to find some sort of goal, but so far I've just been living with the Absurd without any meaning at all. So no, a sociopath is not the only one that can experience freedom. There will always be some prejudice in our mind in one form or another. As for whether your meaning capitulates to societal norms, that's really up to you.


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