Albert Camus in his novel, The Plague, makes the point that without God humans live in an indifferent, incomprehensible universe that has no rational meaning or order. Camus’ solution to this little problem is not resignation or stoicism but to fight back even though it may be with the knowledge that the fight is futile. For an atheistic existentialist, life’s meaning is found not in overcoming, but in struggling against the apparent evil in the natural order of things. This struggle in the certain knowledge of ultimate failure defines man’s freedom: he is not merely a puppet of the natural order that created him.
I think this is a daft way to live but, as can be seen in this exchange with William Lane Craig, it seems to be an energising principle behind Christopher Hitchens’ attempt to live with the futility of his own existence. The difference between Camus and Hitchens is that, whereas Hitchens never tires of expressing his hatred of all things Christian, Camus had a grudging respect for believers who lived by their Christian principles.