Animals live from day to day doing what their instincts tell them to do, enjoying whatever pleasures they can, giving no thought to the future, totally unaware of the pain, suffering and death that await them. But man is acutely aware of the potential suffering he faces and of the inevitability of death, except to the extent that he can distract or deceive himself. Moreover, this endless game of birth, growth, reproduction, suffering and death goes on and on, and as is true for all life on earth, the game is totally meaningless. It’s not really going anywhere, and there are no real winners. In the long run you’re dead. Life is absurd. It’s a cruel joke of nature, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Man is the only creature that can appreciate the joke and realize that he has been thrown into a situation that is absurd, without meaning or purpose. This is the human predicament.
Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks if he wants anything to drink. Descartes says “I think not,” and he doesn’t disappear, because the implied premise of “thinking things exist” makes no claim about the existence of non-thinking things. Descartes stands awkwardly near the counter.