While this is a bit old, I found it and enjoyed it. http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Nagel-The-Absurd.pdf
We cannot live human lives without energy and attention, nor without making choices which show that we take some things more seriously than others. Yet we have always available a point of view outside the particular form of our lives, from which the seriousness appears gratuitous. These two inescapable viewpoints collide in us, and that is what makes life absurd. It is absurd because we ignore the doubts that we know cannot be settled, continuing to live with nearly undiminished seriousness in spite of them.
Why is the life of a mouse not absurd? The orbit of the moon is not absurd either, but that involves no strivings or aims at all. A mouse, however, has to work to stay alive. Yet he is not absurd, because he lacks the capacities for self-consciousness and self- transcendence that would enable him to see that he is only a mouse. If that did happen, his life would become absurd, since self-awareness would not make him cease to be a mouse and would not enable him to rise above his mousely strivings. Bringing his new-found self-consciousness with him, he wound have to return to his meager yet frantic life, full of doubts that he was unable to answer, but also full of purposes that he was unable to abandon.
And this from August 2011 New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2011/08/15/110815crat_atlarge_wood?currentPage=1
……..these qualities are found in the book’s first essay, by the Columbia philosopher Philip Kitcher, who establishes many of the terms of the larger discussion. Kitcher dislikes what he calls “Darwinian atheists” (that is, the New Atheists), who too often “think that once the case against the supernatural has been made, their work is done.”
Many people, for instance, believe that morality is a deliverance of God, and that without God there is no morality—that in a secular world “everything is permitted.” You can hear this on Fox News; it is behind the drive to have the Ten Commandments displayed in courtrooms. But philosophers like Kitcher remember what Socrates tells Euthyphro, who supposed that the good could be defined by what the gods had willed: if what the gods will is based on some other criterion of goodness, divine will isn’t what makes something good; but if goodness is simply determined by divine will there’s no way for us to assess that judgment.
In other words, if you believe that God ordains morality—constitutes it through his will—you still have to decide where God gets morality from. If you are inclined to reply, “Well, God is goodness; He invents it,” you threaten to turn morality into God’s plaything, and you deprive yourself of any capacity to judge that morality.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 06:31:28 PM by shnozzola »
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