Clements, Camus, Amsterdam discussed on Philosophize This!

Philosophize This!
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Yourself, makes it impossible for anyone to criticize you in a way that fully stings like it should. This is a defense mechanism, and it's a psychological game you can play in your personal life as well. Clements reveals on his deathbed to the person he's been talking to. That this has been his strategy all along after the fall. As he sits in this bar in Amsterdam, confessing his sends to the people around him, telling them about all the horrible things he's done in his life. He's only telling people this stuff because it allows him to judge them. To take away their illusion that they are moral people just as his was and leave them feeling just a little less good about themselves than at the start of the conversation. And if over the course of this podcast, you've felt a little bummed out by some of the negative takes that Clements is rambling about in a bar. Well, then I've done my job as a podcaster here today, conveying the character that Camus was going for. This is Clements and his entire twisted strategy. He wants to transfer his miserable discontent about his own personal struggles onto everyone he meets. He wants to do this because if he can judge people while being impervious to a counterattack, if he can make people in his immediate proximity, leave the conversation just a little more depressed about their place in the world. Then he can leave the conversation, still feeling that sense of superiority over others. Clements is not the voice of wisdom in this book. There may be little nuggets of wisdom sprinkled in here and there because the Camus, people are complex things. But at the end of his life, Clements is a tortured man, so consumed by needing to be better than the people around him, that he doesn't actually do the work of being a better person. He just plays a game that allows him to feel one step ahead, showing people how messed up they are. Now, again, despite the fact that Clements is a cartoon of a person. Camus would want us to ask ourselves, do I see any piece of Clements and this modern hypocrisy present in my own approach to life? Seems obvious Camus saw it in himself towards the end of his. But in keeping with the creation of meaning series, I think Camus would have some words of caution that he'd want to give. That if you think you're going to arrive at some ultimate system of values. And then you're just going to live by those values. Day after day, regardless of the circumstances that you find yourself in. Maybe it'll work out that way, but his prediction is that it's going to be a lot more complicated than that. We live in a completely tragically absurd universe. Nothing out there in the world really makes sense until we decide that it does. And that contrast between the true uncertainty of it all, and our propensity to steer our thinking into certainty as much as we can, that's a dangerous place. They can lead to crusades and nuclear wars and all the rest of it. This urge that someone might have to come up with a perfectly crafted system of values and then try their hardest every day to never deviate from it.

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