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Six Principles of Existentialism
Transcript of Six Principles of Existentialism
1. Existence precedes essence
-the state or fact of being is more important than the nature of a thing
-a man lives rather than is
-every man's experience of life is unique
-"Who am I?" vs. "What is Mankind?"
2. Reason is impotent to deal with the depths of human life
- human reason is weak and imperfect and incapable of understanding human existence
-there are dark places in human life in which there is "nonreason"
-man must be accepted in his whole state...not divided into the good qualities or the bad
-forces of history have separated man from concrete earthly existence
-the increase of science and mathematicshas created an ever-increasing rational ordering of men in society
-1800's men were depicted as powerful, however after WWII that power is gone because has become powerless and faceless
- even the most unthinking person could sense that each technological advance carries not only a promise of comfort but also of threat
5. encounter with nothingness
- alienated from God, nature, fellow man, and himself...the only thing left is nothingness
-all is nothing unless the human being finds purpose
- E.A. Robinson: "the man who is everything and whom we envy but goes home one calm summer night an puts a bullet through his own head."
-man has freedom of choice, but the stress associated with the responsibility of that freedom prevents us from true freedom