Camus’s Atheism And The Virtues Of Inconsistency

Craig DeLancey at Culturico:

In 1948, Albert Camus gave a speech at a Dominican monastery.  The invitation was unusual. At this time, Camus’s best-known novel was The Stranger (1). He was often called “the philosopher of the absurd” because his philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus (2), grappled with the question: why should you not kill yourself, given that the universe is without a purpose? And yet, these Dominicans asked Camus to speak on the theme of what the atheist would ask of the theist.

Camus’s remarks to the monks are disarming. He begins with two important disclaimers: “I shall never start from the supposition that Christian faith is illusory, but merely from the fact that I cannot accept it.” And: “I shall not try to change anything that I think or anything that you think (insofar as I can judge of it) in order to reach a reconciliation that would be agreeable to all” (3). Camus goes on to make but a single point: that if he would ask anything of the Christian community, it would be that they would speak clearly against injustice, and not with the cowardly evasions that the Church adopted in response to Nazism.

more here.