Define Theistic Existentialism

Define Theistic Existentialism-78
Existentialism is difficult to define primarily because its essence, so to speak, is to oppose the kind of analytic reduction that definition entails.It is not a system of philosophy to be learned or subscribed to (I am always at a loss to answer the question “Are you an existentialist?All of these ideas either describe some loss of individuals’ freedom or some threat to it, and From the characteristics of existentialism that have been outlined above, one might be led to believe that this is a philosophy predicated upon an acute sense of hopelessness.

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Though the term is so broadly and loosely used that an exact definition is not possible, existentialists assume as a significant fact that people and things in general exist, but that things have no meaning for us except as individuals, through acting upon them, can create meaning.“In a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and of light, man feels a stranger. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his stage, truly constitutes the feeling of Absurdity.”─ Albert Camus, (has being or essence), that every person’s experience of life is different from another’s, and that individuals’ lives can be understood only in terms of their commitment to living responsibly. ” with its suggestion of the uniqueness and mystery of each life and an emphasis upon the personal rather than the impersonal.

To the existentialist, man is the centre of the universe, the centre of infinity, and from this view comes much of the rest of existentialism.

The existentialists claim that each of us must make moral decisions in our own lives which involve the same anguish that faced Abraham.

In this parable, Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac.

Among the leading atheistic existentialist philosophers are Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus.2.

: There are two parts to this idea: first, that reason is relatively weak and imperfect, (people often do not do the “right” thing), and second, that there are dark places in life which are “non-reason,” to which reason scarcely penetrates, (meaning we often commit acts which seem to defy reason, to make no sense).Abraham thus becomes the paradigm of one who must make a harrowing choice, in this case between his love for his son and his love for God, between the universal law which states, “thou shalt not kill,” and the unique inner demand for his religious faith.Abraham’s decision, which violates the abstract and collective law of man, is not made in arrogance, but in “fear and trembling,” one of the inferences being that sometimes, one must take an exception to the general law because he is (existentially) an exception; an individual whose existence can never be completely controlled by any universal law.5.What Existentialism Is and Is Not Camus spoke of a dialectical tension between, on the one hand, human beings, desperate for a sense of coherence to their lives, who cry out to the heavens for answers, and, on the other hand, the stubborn silence that greets such pleas. To start with the former, Maurice Friedman began his introduction to magazine may have been on to something in 1958: “There is no sign that [existential psychology] will become a frothy success like Freudian analysis or hula hoops…[because] any understanding of it requires the most rigorous intellectual exercise.”[3] A book on the subject likely to sell today would have to be entitled .This may serve as a somewhat strained metaphor for the quest to understand existentialism itself. Indeed, I was reminded of Rabbi Hillel, asked for the meaning of life while standing on one foot, when a middle-aged student of mine conceded recently that she wanted to learn about philosophy so long as she did not have to read too much.Should existentialism be dispatched to a museum along with bobby sox and the U-2 affair?This view is inaccurate, I would contend: Existentialist thought has not so much blown away as decomposed in order to fertilize various fields of thought.”); it is not properly an “ism” at all, at least in the sense that Catholicism or Communism is.Perhaps the best one can do is define the term ostensively: “Read Sartre and Kierkegaard and you’ll understand.” (This is admittedly unsatisfying, though, since we need a set of criteria to justify putting Sartre and Kierkegaard on the list and keeping others off.) What analytic philosophers call ostensive definition, a method, here becomes a clue to content; it recalls the watchword of phenomenology: “! ” To argue that existentialism’s death has been greatly exaggerated is to suggest that its presence is still discernible. Only the vaguest sketch of the movement can be offered here.**Therefore, for the existentialist, the possibilities of altering human nature and society are unlimited, but at the same time, individuals can hope for help in making such alterations only from within themselves.**: The absurd can occur only when two elements are present: our desire to explain “reality,” and the recognition that the world is not thus explicable, but that it exists without apparent justification, foundation or purpose.: Individuals who have grasped and accepted the fact that they are free, who have realised what their situation is, and who have, within that situation, chosen to engage themselves responsibly in the world around them so as to affirm their liberty.: Individuals are condemned, because they are free, to choose what they are going to be through their daily actions.The choice also implies the attitude of others and hence is another source of anguish.: Bad faith, or self-deception, is the attitude of those who seek to escape from the anguish and the nausea that inevitably follow the realisation that individuals are free and the world is ultimately absurd.: To be free is to recognise one’s complete independence; to make one’s own life through one’s own initiative; to reject any idea of absolute good or absolute evil and to accept no judge or mentor except one’s own conscience.


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