Bored to Death
Bored to Death is the title of an article by philosophy professor Russell Snell. He talks about boredom as the “stance toward the world most evident in the historical and social space of contemporary Western life.”
Many of us no longer find the world beautiful, or good, or of worth, and since the world and the things of the world are quite worthless in themselves, they bore us. Of course, since we too are inhabitants of this world without worth, we find almost no worth in other persons either, or in ourselves. At the same time, many find this boredom impossible to give up—we like this stance, we like the boredom—because the meaninglessness of the world allows us to treat it and others and ourselves exactly as we wish. We are free! Since the world, for us, does not have the weight of glory, we owe it nothing and can do with it precisely as we wish. But a culture of freedom without truth, a culture where freedom is unchecked by the good of being, ends up as a culture of death. Our bored culture is a culture actively engaging in a revolt against limits, place, order, and we are willing to harm and kill our world, each other—especially the weakest among us—and ourselves in a pique of freedom.
I would take it one step further: not only are we willing to harm and kill our world, and one another, we are willing to kill ourselves. I have often wondered whether the increase in suicide, especially among the young, is related to this theme. Nothing has any meaning, including our own existence. We keep telling the young that nothing matters, and some of them are believing us…..