Examining Themes of Existence, Freedom, and Absurdity
Editorials News | Jan-31-2024
Philosophical inquiry has always aimed to uncover the secrets of human existence, deal with human freedom riddles, and face the fixed absurdities of life. Existential philosophy is based on issues of existence, free will, and absurdity, in which a person must look beyond the surface of human life to understand the state of mind one belongs to and the realities of self-development.
This article addresses these deep issues engaging the readers to think about the philosophy behind our construction of the understanding of life.
The Question of Being:
Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and many other existentialist thinkers have asked themselves about the question of being. Being is, in fact, mankind’s nature. Kierkegaard placed significant importance on the subjectivization of the person and the fact that existence precedes essence. This concept contradicts the premise that people have their own, predefined purposes imposed on them and that people should define their essence through personal decisions and deeds.
Angst and Authenticity:
The existential anxiety, which is a common theme underlying the philosophy of thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, represents the growing discomfort and fear that humans experience following an awareness of unlimited options and uncertainties of existence. Then, the concept of authenticity emerges as a dominant one, which promotes people to be themselves and follow the code in which they believe, instead of fulfilling what everybody around them expects from them. Embracing authenticity is viewed as a way to lead a more purposeful and satisfying life.
The focus of existentialism is placed on the radical freedom of man, which is regarded as human freedom. It is by saying “existence before essence” that Jean-Paul Sartre became famous, underlining the fact that people are condemned to freedom. Secondly, this extreme freedom requires that we formulate our values by making choices of what would define or make us who we are. On the other hand, the act carries with it the burden of holding itself accountable for whatever consequences arise from its choices.
Freedom and Responsibility:
It is this inherent connection between freedom and responsibility that is the core conceptual argument in existentialist ideology. The doctrine of individuals being damned to freedom signifies that each decision carries meaning and moral weight. Freedom is accompanied by a sense of responsibility for the choices made because people determine the path of their lives based on those choices.
Confronting the Absurd:
The existentialist answers for the apparent absurdity of human existence, stating that the universe does not appear to contain any inherent meaning. In his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus tries to understand the absurdity of life through the myth of Sisyphus, who had to roll a boulder uphill for an infinite number of days. This is the way the absurd arises in the face of an individual who tries to find meaning in what may be a disorderly and seemingly indifferent world.
The absurd heroism, which Camus implies, is the realization that there’s nothing to discover by searching for the truth of things because everything is in the absurdity of existence. In this way, Camus would define the act of living authentically and giving one’s meaning to the absurd as heroic.
Conclusion, This process of unfolding themes of existence, freedom, and absurdity in existentialist philosophy challenges people to set off on a voyage of self-awareness and self-analysis. Not only do we struggle with the dimensions of our being, the enormity of our freedom, and the foolishness of life itself, but we must find our essence and harness meaning from an existence that might appear careless. However, existentialist thinking concludes that we should face the fact of our existence, which brings with it responsibility and freedom, and that we make our lives meaningful by finding meaning in being authentically true to being alive in the face of what is inherently uncertain and absurd in the human condition.
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