Existentialism : Existentialism And Existentialism

951 WordsOct 26, 20154 Pages
In Existentialism is a Humanism, Sartre defines existentialism and explains his belief of “existence before essence.” He says that human beings don’t have a pre-established purpose or something that we have to be. He goes in more detail by saying, “… man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself.” (Sartre 4) We have free will and choose what we become and how we define ourselves, not anyone else. The other argument is that we were pre destined to live a certain way. An example of this would be that a pencil was made with the purpose to write. In this case essence comes before existence. In addition, he goes into the role abandonment plays in existentialism. By “abandonment,” Sartre means specifically abandonment by God. He isn’t saying that God existed and went away. Sartre uses the word “abandonment” in a metaphorical way that emphasizes the sense when we realize that there is no God to warrant our moral choices, and to give us guidelines for how to achieve salvation. By choosing this word he is showing how human beings are alone in the universe with no external source of guidance. The consequence of this is because there can be no guide, there are no values and no morality whatsoever. He says, “The existentialist, on the contrary, finds
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