Sartre's Argument For The Existence Of God

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When Sartre says “existence precedes essence,” he means that a person first exists – is conscious and present in reality – and then is able to create their own personal essence – a person’s definition and purpose – through actions and will. The idea that God created man implies that God has a set purpose for each individual creation and knows exactly what is being created before it is actually created; therefore, in this view, essence precedes existence. However, Sartre argues that because there is no God, there is also no human nature – no “universal conception” – and each person is free, at their own will, to decide their being (348).
Consciousness allows a person to recognize their existence, and subsequently, to form their essence. The
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Sartre mentions this to refute the possible claim that there is some sort of moral code to follow by even if God does not exist and shows that there are no religious or even secular values to adhere to. Sartre further addresses the absurdity or a priori values with the reasoning that if there is “no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it,” a creator, in this case God, then there is no possible way to establish a set of codes to follow because there is no predetermined essence - each person creates their own values.
Since there are no a priori values, each person has their own distinction between and definition of good and bad decisions/values. By choosing, the choice that is picked is reinforced to be of greater value; therefore, a “worse” choice, because better and worse are subjective, is unable to be picked. Additionally, Sartre states “in choosing for himself he chooses for all men” (350). This supports the concept that a person always chooses the “better” because every decision creates the ideal image of a person as they should be, and people, whether they are aware of it or not, strives to be the same ideal
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To support this claim, Sartre gives the example of Cocteau’s story Round the world in 80 Hours and the phrase “Man is magnificent!” Sartre rejects this claim, that “Man is magnificent,” because it is invalid to transcribe the accomplishments of one person onto another because in doing so, it assumes that all people are the same and confines them into the definition of others, not what they define themselves as. However, existentialism is a form of humanism in the sense that existentialism promotes the concept of abandonment, that each person is left to their own devices and must decide who and what they are. Additionally, each person creates their own value by looking outside one’s self, and constantly reflecting on how to improve - everybody has the potential to be great, not just a select
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