In 1991 L. D. Rue confronted the issue of absurdity and boldly advocated that man should deceive himself by means of a “Noble Lie” into believe that the universe still has value. By denying any objective teleology, self-fulfillment becomes radically privatized: each person chooses his own set of values and meaning. One has no choice but to embrace some Noble Lie that will inspire one to live beyond selfish interests. The Noble Lie “is one that deceives us, tricks us, and compels us beyond self-interest, beyond ego, beyond family, nation, [and] race.” “Without such lies, we cannot live.”
Rue’s Noble Lie does not appear to solve the notion of absurdity. Why should one sacrifice self-interest for a fiction? The Noble Lie is the greatest placebo that accomplishes its feat of illusion. Rue’s problem, as for anyone who constructs any Noble Lie, is that he values deeply personal fulfillment and wholeness. This would include objective values, which according to his philosophy do not exist. The Noble Lie option thus affirms what it denies and so refutes itself.