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7696Re: [Sartre] Re: Sartre and Religion

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  • Lou Eugene
    Jan 24, 2006
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      That's an interesting point you made. Sorry I haven't able to respond, I've been really busy lately. "Menal life" is pretty accurate, considering that "consciousness" is very vague when you hear about it. As far as Man being "naturally violent" I think this is inherently true. It's like most of us have to rely on the rules and laws of society keep us from "giving in", while others can draw that control within themselves. I don't know if that particular topic can inspire an interesting discussion, but I would like somebody who's well-versed in Sartre to respond to this while referencing some of his texts.

      scarey1917 <scarey1917@...> wrote: "theoryphil2004" wrote:<<<<<<<So there is no inconsistency in being
      created and being free. There is only an inconsistency between being
      an inanimate object such as a paper-knife and being free...The other
      criticism that might be levied at Sartre is to question whether his
      rejection of human nature is warranted or not.>>>>>>>>>


      And it gets even more complicated, Theoryphil. In the last paragraph
      of E&HE Sartre states that "Existentialism is nothing else than an
      attempt to draw all the consequences of a coherent atheistic
      position." But then a few lines later he says: "Existentialism isn't
      so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn't exist.
      Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change
      nothing." So evidently even if the supreme artificer created us, we
      are still stuck down here with our unsupportable total freedom,
      including the freedom to tell God to go jump in the lake! We decide
      the significane of God, just as we decide the ultimate significance
      of things, situations, and ourselves.

      And don't think that a view of human nature as a "given" or even the
      acceptance of the "unconscious" mind would be a problem for Sartre's
      theory of freedom, as long as such nature or mind were relegated to
      the side of the Situation which the for-itself freely takes up, or
      not. So for example one could argue from Sartre's point of view that
      man is "naturally violent", but then go on to say that this "given"
      receives existential significance within the project of the for-
      itself (I decide to give in, or not, to these given tendencies).

      In "Being and Nothingness" the ultimate problem is Sartre's total
      identification of man with consciousness, which of course is the
      influence of Descartes and modern philosophy. But consciousness is
      only one aspect (a very interesting aspect!) of man's total being. As
      Marx said, consciousness is the consciousness OF an objective being.
      Lately I have prefered the term "mental life" rather
      than "consciousness", since the former would take into account all
      the various unconciousness functions that make up about 99% of brain
      activity and which belong to the being of man.






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