Readers who like essays may be in for a treat. Ken Francis, often hat-tipped here, and psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple have written a book as a series of essays, The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd:
The cultural death of God has created a conundrum for intellectuals. How could a life stripped of ultimate meaning be anything but absurd? How was man to live? How could he find direction in a world of no direction? What would be tell his children that could make their lives worthwhile? What is the ground of morality?
Existentialism is the literary cri de coeur resulting from the realization that without God, everything good, true and beautiful in human life is destined to be destroyed in a pitiless material cosmos. Theodore Dalrymple and Kenneth Francis examine the main existentialist works, from Ecclesiastes to the Theatre of the Absurd, each man coming from a different perspective. Francis is a believer, Dalrymple is not, but both empathize with the struggle to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe.
Here’s a sample passage:
KF: You say: “Godot seems to me to be the work of a man who can see all the advantages and consolations of faith in a personal God, and who in fact was brought up in such a faith, but who cannot assent to it intellectually.” There are also great advantages in the moral autonomy of atheism, if true, as well as the consolation that Hell does not exist. Perhaps Beckett’s faith was blind faith, as opposed to faith based on deep intellectual reasoning. It’s difficult to understand how disbelief in God is intellectual, when according to Naturalism, the probability of having reliable cognitive faculties for metaphysical truths is extremely low, if not zero. As Charles Darwin rightly acknowledged: “Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” The Christianity preached in 20th century Ireland (both Catholic and Protestant) was and still is in many ways anti-intellectual. And that’s probably why Beckett didn’t seem to have a grasp of sophisticated theology. He confers freedom of the will on his main characters in Godot, which contradicts his Godless message. Also, surely in a meaningless world, communicating such struggles on stage would be without meaning and thus a waste of time…….
 Darwin Correspondence Project, letter, Darwin, C.R. to Graham Williams, July 3, 1881.
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See also: Theodore Dalrymple on how psychology undermines morality