Camus And Religion

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Religion and existentialism, two sides of two very distinct worlds, different yet both tightly intertwined. Albert Camus illustrates this parallel in his novel “The Stranger” where the narrator, Meursault, the stranger, an indifferent man devoid of any concerns both socially and emotionally is Camus’s vessel of existentialism. Breaking from character, Meursault, ironically attacks the chaplain, another stranger such as himself. Meursault’s final act leads to the solidification of his existentialist behavior through symbolic representation of God, breaking free from society’s force of religion, revolting against any form of hope and accepting the absurdity of life. Throughout “The Stranger”, Camus, provides the reader with distinct symbolic…show more content…
Meursault realizes from attacking the chaplain the implication of what it is to hope, The chaplain solely focuses on the divine not on the here and now and unlike Meursault has no control over his own destiny. Truth does not pertain to the chaplain, Meursault on the other hand the truth is better than a pretty lie; revolt creates values, dignity, and solidarity. Meursault by revolting against the chaplain regains back his sense of self and comes to the point where he can stand and declare “no more, from here and out no more shall I be commanded”. The very fabric of existentialism and the belief of revolt is based on the foundation of self-righteousness, to accept religion would be to escape death. “I told him not to waste his rotten prayers on me; it was better to burn than to disappear” (Camus 74), to “disappear” is to fall into the grasp of no conciseness, the pretty lie of that all religion tells, that there is an afterlife. The ultimate truth and act of revolt is to acknowledge that we must die and there is nothing beyond this life. A human’s soul is not…show more content…
Religion is, however confining as most existentist state, is essential for without religion there is no passion for existentialism. Some would argue if not with religion, where then does wisdom lie? The answer, as Camus states is in “conscious certainty of a death without hope”. Both religion and existentialism are parallel yes, but both serve to amplify the other. Where else would both get incentives to commit more passionately into religion or existentialism? The belief of existentialism stems from the roots of once lush gardens of hope, of the promise of not extinction but an afterlife. “No! No! I refuse to believe it. I’m sure you’ve often wished there was an afterlife.” Of course I had, I told him” (Camus 74), Meursault too has hoped and wished and while most would argue that religion does not kill or harm one’s belief, in the end it’s all it
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