Strange philosophical ideas
The Stranger is appealing, specifically because it highlights philosophical ideas that express why we are where we are today as a society. As much as I appreciated the opportunity to read The Stranger, I completely disagree with this philosophy.
To begin, Meursault is honest about the way he views everything; I value that. But he does not seem human: he is without emotion or empathy; is animalistic in his thoughts; and is disconnected from people. I wondered if he was not a little mentally challenged or childlike.
I suppose his story would be acceptable if my speculations were true; but the problem is that this is his attitude. He does not judge between what is right and what is evil. He thinks society ineptly seeks logical meaning behind man’s behavior and purpose; yet, he thinks there is no explanation for either. Society cannot know if there is truly a purpose to life; therefore, there is no reason to care. Man is like nature, and nature does not care either.
|A French classic|
A stranger among us
Meanwhile, society does not understand this, and hence, Meursault is like a stranger within our society. Moral human beings grieve or love or feel empathy, and those who do not have feelings are odd - a danger to us.
The author tries to make the case that man is irrational for trying to make sense out of senselessness by proving how dangerous Meursault’s apathy is to society. He does not follow a moral code; therefore he should be removed from society. Hence, there is a hint of the idea that we should never judge the behavior of others because we cannot reason.
|Our God is a God of order.|
In addition, God created man capable of thinking rationally, logically, and deeply about the world. Great minds have come before us and did not achieve greatness by being mind-numb imbeciles who never went beyond the grammar stage of their observations of life. They have proven or reflected order and structure of the world and man’s purpose and significance within their works of religion, art, music, literature, medicine, science, and government.
Isn't “Judge not” judging?
This attitude displayed by Meursault is in the roots of today’s arrogances about morality being ambiguous or not judging others’ behaviors. Man is called to judge sinfulness, immorality, and to recognize truth, and on and on. Isn't Meursault also judging by assuming one is absurd for trying to make sense where there is none? Society is meant to have a moral standard, and when society removes morality from behavior, then we are left with a lack of accountability and disorder, as was the case with Meursault expecting to get away with murder.
Man’s idea of hope is hopeless
Meursault expressed a feeling of hopelessness in life, and he only rids himself of the gloom once he admits his inevitable end. What does it matter if he dies now or in old age?
Here is his problem: he utterly rejects his only chance for real hope – and that is in forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. A few tried to save Meursault, but he chose to hold on to his own ideas about the world.
This is irrational to me!
The only true hope is in Christ; one in absolute despair can still experience fullness of life if he has the Truth. This world can leave man totally empty and low, but if he has salvation through Christ, he will be full and complete and know what it is to have hope in this world. His eyes are open to the Truth, and he will never fall for false doctrines of man, such as this philosophy that offers nothing but hopelessness and lies.
Absurdism is absurd
Finally, in my research I learned that this philosophy that Albert Camus practiced was called Absurdism, named for man’s absurd and futile attempt to make sense of the world and of human behavior; but I am certain that the only absurdity about it is how anyone could accept such nonsense.