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Describes the founders and basic tenets of Existentialism.

Nadeen Boykin

on 12 January 2011

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Transcript of Existentialism

Life is meaningless except _____.
A philosophical movement or tendency, emphasizing individual existence, freedom, and choice that influenced many diverse writers in the 19th and 20th centuries (Sass).
(popularized the term) said that
When one makes a choice, one must be committed to his choice
"existence precedes essence."
Sartre also said that life is a
"futile passion."
Humans desire a rational basis for living, but can never achieve one.
"Founder of Existentialism"
He realized that it was impossible to comprehend God. However, to escape despair, he advocated a faith in Him. This choice made him a mystic.
atheists and religious philosophers alike can be called existentialists.
Lost? Let's Clarify...
What it IS:
Existentialism takes the following into consideration:
Human free will
Human nature is chosen through life choices
A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life
Decisions are not without stress and consequences
There are things that are not rational
Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial
Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary
Worldly desire is futile
What it is NOT!
Existentialists believe that:
wealth, pleasure, and honor DO NOT make the good life
social values and structure DO NOT control the individual
one should not accept what is and say that is enough in life
science cannot and will not make everything better
people are NOT basically good nor are they ruined by society or external forces
The “I want my way, now!” and the “It is not my fault!” mentalities are NOT acceptable (allaboutphilosphy.org).
How can BOTH atheists and religious individuals be existential?
They agree that:
"...life is in no way complete and fully satisfying because of suffering and losses that occur when considering the lack of perfection, power, and control one has over their life. Even though [existentialists] do agree that life is not optimally satisfying, it nonetheless has meaning."
"Existentialism is the search and journey for true self and true personal meaning in life" (allaboutphilosophy.org).
Checking for understanding:
What is Existentialism?
How can both the atheist and the religious person claim they are Existential?
How did Nietzsche's philosophy influence Existentialism?
Full transcript