• Robert Spicer

The Absurdity Of Human Existence And The Law

Those of us who reluctantly accept the absurdity of human existence, who include some practising lawyers, find ourselves having to reach some conclusions about our daily work. To those who reject the acceptance of the absurdity of humanity I would give just a couple of examples. First, we are born under sentence of death. This reality was used by Camus to reject the death penalty in all circumstances. Also, we are under constant threat of painful and incurable diseases. We are constantly bombarded with images of the most terrible atrocities committed mainly by those who do not accept the absurdity of their lives.

What is to be done? Escape through drugs? Seize on religion? Stay in bed? Commit suicide?

The answer is perhaps to be found in a fictitious scenario – fictitious today but only too real in recent history. A truck full of SS troopers rolls down the road to collect and take away Jewish children. What is to be done? Accept the absurdity of life with a shrug of the shoulders? The answer must be that to be human, one can only resist evil. It may trivialise this scenario to transfer it to the daily life of a bourgeois provincial lawyer, but I would argue, with Camus, that the acceptance of the absurdity of human existence is not an end, but a beginning. As a human being, we can only be truly human if we rebel against evil and fight for some modest gains in the application of justice.

Comments on a postcard, please.

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