Absurd is derived from (ab) 'surd,' defined in
Webster's Third New International Dictionary
as follows: surd
dull-sounding, silent, deaf; akin to L.
hum, murmur - more at SWARM] 1; lacking sense; lacking reason or rationale: INSENSATE, - D.C. Williams 2: VOICELESS - used of speech sounds; opposed to
surd n -s: one that is surd: as
an irrational radical with rational radicand (the square root of 3 and the square root of 2/3 are surds)
a surd speech sound
an unknown or irrational quality (the uncharted surd at the heart of European politics - William Barrett) Albert Camus used the term 'absurd' as a point of departure for musing on the apparent meaningless of human life in a godless world that is deaf to humankind, as if man, whose necessary virtue as a human being is his reason, were an alien creature incapable of fully reconciling himself with the world. The human race was committing suicide during another world war. Millions of human beings were murdering each other for one "good" reason or another. It was all quite logical, at least for those who needed to rationalize mutual destruction so that they could kill in cold blood, denying all the while that they were motivated by irrational passions. Naturally mass suicide for whatever reason would appear to be absurd or ridiculous to a pacific race visiting from planets located somewhere on those nebulous frontiers of outer space where no man has gone before. As world war developed, students of the war began to realize that an entire world at war with itself is inherently irrational, so they threw in the towel, declaring that there is no reasonable justification for war, that war just
, period, wherefore it is necessarily waged for peace. We may disagree that making war is as absurd as a man gesticulating to someone he is conversing with on a telephone
amus’ example of absurd be
or, more profoundly, that no logical reconciliation is possible between man and world, that there is no such thing as "man's world" in the possessive sense, that the relationship between the two shall always be incongruous and irreconcilable; in fine, that the compresence of man and world is inherently absurd. Today we would not readily admit that the world and humankind are deaf to one another, that neither the gods including the one-god nor the world really care about humankind. After all, we have managed to get along with the world for millions of years. Of course the world is not humane nor a person at all, but surely the world speaks to us, figuratively speaking, and surely we hear it in logical terms, in terms of regular natural law. The regular world hears and responds to us, wherefore we survive, and, thanks to our conversation with the world, we have learned how to survive for longer periods of time in large numbers. It is only the disorderly natural disasters imposed on our kind no matter what we do that pose an insoluble problem, a problem which superstitious people identified with the gods or a single, terrifying, unknown god of death, a god who does not really give a damn for man although many men worship and emulate him and commit mass suicide in his name. Any absurdity whatsoever, including the mutual mass-murder of war, can be justified in the name of the imitated god of death
the absurdity of such nonsense is simply another one of "god's mysteries."