The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. According to Camus, what is the one serious problem for philosophy?

Camus clearly states that suicide is 'the one truly serious problem'. What this means is that a thinking individual must determine for himself or herself that life is in fact worth living. He suggests that all other discussions are actually insignificant when measured against this central concern.

2. What is Camus' attitude to Galileo?

Galileo, who recanted his 'heretical' views in the face of the Inquisition, was right to do so, in Camus' opinion. The scientific discovery he had made, though important, was not worth the price of his own life. It was not the kind of truth that deserves such a sacrifice.

3. What, for humanity, are the consequences of living in a world stripped of illusion?

Camus posits that theism and its religions have provided a comforting set of explanations for the universe, the world and humankind's place therein. If those belief structures are rejected and swept away, humanity is alone. The human race is as if in an alien world, feeling like a stranger. It is implied that there has to be another solution, and humans must find that within themselves.

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