регистрация / вход

Existentialism Essay Research Paper When the word

Existentialism Essay, Research Paper When the word “existentialism” is mentioned, what comes to mind? Lack of faith? Secular beliefs? It is a belief in living life. Could it be any simpler than that? Existentialists believe in free will, making choices, and living with those consequences. This is not some kind of weird “hippy” philosophy; it makes sense.

Existentialism Essay, Research Paper

When the word “existentialism” is mentioned, what comes to mind? Lack of faith? Secular beliefs? It is a belief in living life. Could it be any simpler than that? Existentialists believe in free will, making choices, and living with those consequences. This is not some kind of weird “hippy” philosophy; it makes sense. Existentialistic thought is predominately a 20th century revelation. As a philosophy, it states that man possesses free will over his fate and the direction he wants his life to take. Those who follow this believe they are in a world that does not always make sense, a world that is filled with uncertainty where well-intended actions can become obscure and chaotic.

In basic existentialist beliefs, man is the only animal defining itself through life. Without life, there is no meaning. Existentialists believe in life and fighting for it (Wyatt, 1999).

Mankind has a free will of choices, causing stress. First, conscious beings exist, and then they spend a lifetime defining an individual essence. All conscious life forms, namely humans, have free will. Every action, expression, or thought is the result of a decision (Wyatt, 1999).

The most important decisions are those affecting the free will of other individuals, other matters are less important. Some may be affected negatively, their choices reduced by a decision, so decisions must promote freedom among the greatest number of beings (Wyatt, 1999).

Decision-making can be a stressful, solitary act, even when made as part of a group. All decisions are individual; everyone is responsible for his or her choices. Limiting the number of options available to an individual in any situation reduces that being’s freedom to express a free will. There is no such thing as a demand, since one can always accept death as a choice (Wyatt, 1999).

According to the existentialistic belief, “I am nothing but my own conscious existence” (Lavine, 1999, p. 1). Human existence has fallen, and is lived in suffering and sin, guilt and anxiety. Existentialists reject happiness and optimism because they “only reflect a superficial understanding of life, or a na?ve and foolish way of denying the despairing, tragic aspect of human existence” (Lavine, 1999, p. 1).

Human beings are here by chance. Somehow we came to be on earth, thrown into this time and place. Why? How? Existentialists do not know the answer to those questions, but believe

“I am my own existence, but my existence is nothingness. I live then without anything to structure my being and my world, and I am looking into emptiness and the void, hovering over the abyss in fear and trembling and living the life of dread” (Lavine, 1999, p. 1).

The very concept of existentialism denies the very essence of a God, otherwise known as agnosticism (a sense of apathy regarding the question of an existence of a supreme being or God) or atheism (denying the existence God). Essentially, if there is no infinite, omnipresent, creator-God who transcends all boundaries, then there can be no infinite reference point that provides life with meaning. Man is an insignificant being, alone in the cosmos and existing within his awareness of himself. The individual creates his own reality and meaning within his head, because no higher power outside him exists. (Roberts, 1959, p. 76).

When a man is alive (conscious), he maintains power over his life. When he is dead, he is an object. No soul exists, no life after death – as there is nowhere to go. This is all there is (Cooper, 1999).

Existentialists emphasize passion and will. They do not stress ideals, but rather the thinker maintaining the ideas. Freedom is more important than determinism, and subjectivity than objectivity. Man’s feelings and passions are what make him a man-feelings are the standard for truth (Roberts, 1959).

Existentialism is opposed to rationalism, yet most writers pen very rational books using all the laws of logic to persuade readers that irrationalism is the way to meaning. Assuming values are relative, how can any society cohere? Would not everyone simply follow his particular mindset, therefore causing chaotic disputes? (How can people band together for a common cause?) The existence of any absolutes is denied, but not the assertion human subjectivity and freedom as absolutes (Barrett, 1964).

Existentialism is not a “hippy thing;” rather, it is a philosophy that stresses the importance of the individual in deciding questions of morality and truth. One can decide for himself, yet must be willing to face the consequences of his choices. God does not exist in existentialism due to the pessimistic nature of the philosophy; atheism and agnosticism coincide with it. However, existentialism is still just a philosophy, one of millions. Choose for yourself.

References

Barrett, W. (1964). What is existentialism. New York:

Grove Press, Inc.

Cooper, D. E. (1999). Existentilism (2nd ed.). Oxford:

Blackwell Publishers.

Lavine, T. Z. (1999). Existentialism defined and Basic

themes of existentialism [Online]. Available: http://members.aol.com/KatharenaE/private/PhilozKdaextheme.html and http://members.aol.com/KatharenaE/private/PhilozKdaexist.html [1999, November 23].

Roberts, D. E. (1957). Existentialism and religious

beliefs. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wyatt, C. S. (1999). Existentialists: a primer to

existentialism [Online]. Available: http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist/exist.html [1999, November 23].

Barrett, W. (1964). What is existentialism. New York:

Grove Press, Inc.

Cooper, D. E. (1999). Existentilism (2nd ed.). Oxford:

Blackwell Publishers.

Lavine, T. Z. (1999). Existentialism defined and Basic

themes of existentialism [Online]. Available: http://members.aol.com/KatharenaE/private/PhilozKdaextheme.html and http://members.aol.com/KatharenaE/private/PhilozKdaexist.html [1999, November 23].

Roberts, D. E. (1957). Existentialism and religious

beliefs. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wyatt, C. S. (1999). Existentialists: a primer to

existentialism [Online]. Available: http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist/exist.html [1999, November 23].

ОТКРЫТЬ САМ ДОКУМЕНТ В НОВОМ ОКНЕ

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ [можно без регистрации]

Ваше имя:

Комментарий