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Existentialism: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche Essay

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The Merriam – Webster Dictionary defines existentialism as a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad (Merriam, 2011). In other words, an existentialist believes that our natures are the natures we make for ourselves, the meaning of our existence is that we just exist and there may or may not be a meaning for the existence, and we have to individually decide what is right or wrong and good or bad for ourselves. No one can answer any of those things for us. A good…show more content…
When Kierkegaard made this statement he was saying people had to take a blind leap of faith by believing in their own thoughts and convictions and make decisions that God would approve of. He also believed this was the only way to become an “authentic human being” (Teachme, 1997). Another of facet of his position was his belief that we as humans just exist and their may or may not be a meaning for that existence. To me this was his way of answering the great life questions that we all struggle with such as, why am I hear and what is my meaning in life. He is telling us we may never know, but the best way to find out is to develop our own nature and purpose in life. Make good decisions (to stay in God’s good graces), base those decisions on what we, as individuals feel is right or wrong, utilize our freedom (individuality) and have convictions in life.
Another philosopher who also a pioneer of existentialism was Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s faith, like Kierkegaard’s, was at one time rooted in Christianity. However, Kierkegaard remained embedded in his faith and Nietzsche abandoned his. Nietzsche’s existentialism had many of the same beliefs as Kierkegaard’s such as – both believed that philosophy should be based on the value of people’s beliefs and that people had to find their own way in life and decide for themselves what the meanings of life and existence are (Cline, 2011). Nietzsche was concerned
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