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Their work shows a world with no hope. It is also a world they have created through their imagination and it bears little to no resemblance to the world we live in. In essence, existentialism is more of a thought experiment than a living, breathing philosophy.
Two of the most famous existentialist philosophers were Sartre and Camus. At the beginning they were friends, but soon they became enemies. Sartre was more theoretical and Camus more allegorical, but both promoted the same ideals of existentialism.
The truth is that Sartre essentially made up his philosophy in his own mind. He didn’t look to evidence from the outside world to make his own ideas less abstract. In Being and Nothingness, he even said: “Life has no meaning a priori … It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.”1 Again, this is made clear when Sartre says elsewhere, “Nothingness haunts being.”2
One of the most famous quotations from Being and Nothingness is “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”3 The notion that an individual’s freedom is a negative quality—something which an individual is condemned to is an unusual notion. It is certainly not an idea which would have popularity in North Korea, where no one has any real freedom. Sartre’s idea is overly abstract. He is really saying that freedom is frightening and that it doesn’t mean what we think it does. But this is clearly just a random opinion and not one that is true in any real political sense. On occasions such as this, Sartre appears to be more of a charlatan than an actual philosopher.
Lack of control over one’s own life can breed desperation. One element that is common in the work of existentialist philosophers is the glamourization of suicide. It is sometimes portrayed as an act of rebellion or freedom. It is suggested that this is one free choice a person could make. What
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Man cannot determine his own existence except if that man is a secular humanist. There is no way one can be both atheist and theist. This is unprincipled marriage of convenience that only calls secularism. Therefore, existentialism is a quasi-secular humanist philosophy.
In their views, Buber, Levinas, Wiesel and Frankl have expressed different views concerning the relations between God and a man under oppressive conditions of Holocaust. Buber claimed that God did not reveal his presence in the XX century. Otherwise occurrence of Auschwitz would hardly happen.
In other words, a human being is first an individual before other labels, roles or stereotypes (Flynn 156). This suggests that human beings should always act under their own consciousness in order to establish their values. This also entail the determination of the meaning their lives in relation to the existing environment.
In other words, Kieji Nishitani condemns the obsession with worldly things because they lead people to a sense of nihility (Nishitani 338). This is a state that confuses the meaning of life and hinders people from attaining the sense of the horizon. According to Kieji Nishitani, there is a lot of confusion that is characterized with religion especially upon ignorant people.
There are also aspects of faith that play a fundamental role in questioning of beliefs and responsibility of humanity (Earnshaw 170). Additionally, death and its accompanying effects on the living are paramount in shaping the opinions of individuals on the meaning of life.
At the core of existentialism is the proposition that “existence precedes essence”. This means that the most important consideration for the individual is the fact that he or she is an individual- an independently acting and responsible conscious being- “existence”, rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individual fits-“essence”.
The accumulation of data and information was published in his book Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946 (Pytell 281-282; Frankl and Allport 101).
Based on the results of the study that he had undertaken, man is
he meaning of life and existence; and, there is a need for “authenticity” or “being true to one’s own personality, spirit and character” (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, “Authenticity”) in order to understand human existence. Furthermore, it rests on the impression
This would be influenced by the fact that the human society has already trained the human beings that there is a place called hell where subsequent punishment would be done. For the purpose of this paper, I
cently read perfectly reveals the origin and the sense of this important direction of the new thinking and defines what existentialism is and what it is not.
Firstly, existentialism, as it is obvious from the term itself, is primarily related to existence, therefore, this is
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