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Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism

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  • james tan
    c=chris, j=james c: However, existentialism doesn t stop there. I don t see existentialism as being affraid to judge or even condemn others for the bad
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 29, 2001
      c=chris, j=james

      c: However, existentialism doesn't stop there. I don't see existentialism
      as being affraid to judge or even condemn others for the bad choices they
      have made.

      j: i tend to think this..if one can sin against the whole world, one cannot
      sin against oneself. we have to be careful as to exactly what existentialism
      says. i don't think it purports to teach us what is right and wrong in terms
      of some values that we SHOULD have, OTHER than being true to oneself. 'being
      true to oneself' is the one and only thing that it teaches, and lying to
      oneself is the greatest of all 'sins', the mother of all 'sins'. at least,
      all subsequent values must be based on that. e.g., does it teach that
      killing is wrong? yes and no..the bible may say, thou should not kill, but
      existentialism (as in nietzsche and sartre) says: you decide. you act. then
      we will know if killing is right or wrong. if you decide to kill in a
      certain situation, then killing is right for that situation, whatever the
      law may say. you may end up being hanged for trangressing the laws, but you
      did not transgress against yourself. mcveigh is authentic in that sense. he
      would rather die as mcveigh than to live as your ordinary conformist crowd
      of people, and though i personally condemn his actions, and he was put to
      death by society, he died an INDIVIDUAL, unrepentant and keeping to his
      beliefs to the very end of his life; much as i hate his guts, i think
      mcveigh had an idea he could live, and die for. he did live and die for his
      beliefs (which was translated into drastic actions), something most of us
      cannot claim to have. he fought and killed in the gulf war because he
      believed in it, and was ready to die in that war; he didn't - but he did die
      for another of his belief. he may not be your christian hero, or even social
      hero, but i regard him as an existentiallist hero, someone whom sartre would
      probably write a whole book on (just as he had written on genet, the thief
      and homosexual, someone your neighbourhood christians and the 'good
      respectable' guy next door would love to despise and condemn). i am not
      saying mcvegh would deny he was a murderer, and that is precisely the point;
      what i am saying is that mcveigh would gladly admit he was a murderer, and
      it is murdering as a means of attaining his goal that he would declare once
      and again, if not in words, then in actions if he had chance. 'no f--king
      regrets. that is it, that is the way i am, and i declare once again i am a
      murderer if i have to', he might say in a more dramatic moment. he would
      never attempt or pretend to separate his conduct from who he was. while
      chris grasps bad faith, i think he seems to think there is a essence to what
      is good and what is bad; he trys to move on, illegitimately in my view,
      beyond bad faith and tries to put an essence to goodness and badness.
      nietzsche has said that god is dead, who is to tell us what is right and
      wrong? your nursery teachers, parents, society, bible? i am not talking
      about the legal sphere here, but the moral one. if there is any
      transgression at all, it is the transgression against oneself and one's
      freedom and denying one's responsibility that is the greatest transgression;
      that, mcveigh did not commit. what is the use of a pallid existence if there
      is nothing one can live for and die for? mcveigh would rather die than to
      live such existence; but it was truly 'unfortunate' that he should have that
      particular goal; but then again, it is unfortunate because i am not mcveigh,
      and i am seeing thing from my pt of view - and mcveigh is certainly not me.
      if i say, i think one should not kill, mcveigh happened not to be the type
      who say, "me too". if you want to live the 'exemplary' life of sartre,
      mcveigh might not be the type who will say, "me too". he is not the type who
      react and imitate; he acted and became mcveigh. and he must be glad he was
      not sartre. let sartre be sartre, mcveigh be mcveigh, and sam be sam. (but
      sam, you can choose anything you want, don't choose to deny yourself - never
      ever pretend, not even pretending sartre - it'd be silly and a
      self-contradiction - if you want to be a satan, then be a satan, and if
      necessary or happened, die and perish like a satan, knowing that you died a
      satan, but for goodness' sake, and i define goodness for the first time,
      i.e. for your OWN sake, don't be confused about your identity, about who you
      are; it is a either/or situation, not a both/and). and here, when i use
      freedom, i am not saying you can do as you pleases, but the power to realise
      yourself, even IF yourself is the devil. but if the power to realise
      yourself involve killing and other anti-social behaviours, then so be it;
      you are responsible for it (responsible in the sense that you are the
      creator of that action and hence value; don't worry about what your pastor
      say; he has his life, you have yours; you are not responsible for his life,
      and neither is he yours; you are responsible for your own life, and he his).
      but sam, what is important is really not sartre, but yourself; sartre did
      not live in bad faith, and that is about the only thing you need to learn
      from him, for that particular concept is just another way to say you should
      not bluff yourself. other than that, look for your own truth, for nothing
      matters but passion and subjectivity, something that give YOU meaning. what
      others find meaningful, such as writing books (sartre), fighting for the
      welfare for all in politics (sartre), or selling apples and oranges for a
      living (me), may be good for them, but not necessarily for you. and if you
      think joining the u.s. marines is a good idea, then so be it, even if sartre
      was no soldier in any professional sense. you simply have to act without any
      guarantee that you are doing the right thing. there isn't a single right way
      to behave (contra chris who love to exhort sartre's life); there is only
      WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, and you're the only judge of that. deciding how to
      live is not a intellectual choice, it requires passionately committing to
      something, and what is at stake is one's very identity as a person. there is
      much in the crowd, but yet it is a 'nothing'. the crowd is what heidegger
      meant by the 'theyself'; be yourself.

      james.




      From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
      Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      To: "Sartre_yahoogr" <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism
      Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 07:57:15 -0700

      James wrote:
      >>that said, it is still his pregorative to sinmagainst himself. if bon
      jovi sings, "it's my life", then so be it. it is his life.<<

      This is true of course. If someone chooses to be a ciphere that's their
      choice, and they are responsible for that choice. However, existentialism
      doesn't stop there. I don't see existentialism as being affraid to judge or
      even condemn others for the bad choices they have made.

      James also said:
      >>what i thought is that, you approach sam in this way: look, sartre was
      someone great, he lived in this way, you should also lived in that way;
      sartre believed in this, sam should also believe in this. of course, what
      sartre said was a way to lead a abundant life, but sartre's choice is not
      necessarily sam's choice. yes, indifference is the royal road to a
      meaningless and passionless life (almost tautological), but existentialism
      does not tell you what to do; it just say you are responsible for your life.
      eg, i know that being unkind can hurt someone, does it mean therefore that
      existentialism teaches me to be kind? <<

      Well, I do think that Sartre's life is an exemplary expression of
      existentialism. Actions do sometimes speak louder than words. Sam must
      make his own choices, but Sam can certainly consider the guidance offered by
      philosophy and the example set by historical figures.

      James further observed:
      >>to be responsible does not mean to be kind, good, or socially
      responsible; it does means you are the author and creator of your values,
      which may include kindness, goodness or being
      socially responsible, but not necessarily. for someone who chose to be
      indifferent, he has chosen, and good luck to him. but it is his business.
      indifference is a very paradoxical value; it is like a snake choosing to eat
      its own tail.<<

      Surely we are called upon to be creative by Sartre. But I'm not so sure
      that Sartre maintained that we could create our own values unfettered by
      regulative considerations, facts, or principles. I really don't think that
      Sartre would say "Good luck" to the indifferent person. He would say that
      they suffer from a lack of creativity and have failed to make necessary
      choices. He might even think that they were in need of existential
      psychoanalysis. A snake that eats its own tail is one dumb snake.

      _________________________________________________________________________
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    • Christopher Bobo
      If Timothy McVeigh is an existential hero, then one of either three possibilities exists. Either we are misreading existentialism, or we misunderstand Timothy
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 1, 2001
        If Timothy McVeigh is an existential hero, then one of either three possibilities exists.  Either we are misreading existentialism, or we misunderstand Timothy McVeigh, or existentialism is not merely rubbish but it is pernicious and ought to thrown onto the dust heap of philosophy.
         
        Sartre said in discussing the ethical implications of his phenomenological ontology that "the principal result of existential psychoanalysis must be to make us repudiate the spirit of seriousness."  Timothy McVeigh was clearly infected with this spirit as he believed that it was appropriate to murder innocent children to vindicate his misguided idealism.  He believes that his desire for what he wanted was irreducible and all justifying.  Thus, he could view the children he murdered as "acceptable collateral damage."  As Sartre said, "The result of the serious attitude...is to cause the symbolic values of things to be drunk in by their empirical idiosyncrasy as ink by a blotter." 
         
        McVeigh is clearly an argument for quietism.  Again quoting Sartre "it is the quietism of the solitary drunkard which will take precedence over the vain agitation of the leader of nations."
        McVeigh was guilty of the worst sort of "vain agitatiion."  What's more, if you regard McVeigh as an existential hero, you might as well put Hitler on your list.  You would do much better to regard Sartre and his life as an example of existential heroism.
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: james tan
        Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 10:15 PM
        To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism
         
        c=chris, j=james

        c: However, existentialism doesn't stop there.  I don't see existentialism
        as being affraid to judge or even condemn others for the bad choices they
        have made.

        j: i tend to think this..if one can sin against the whole world, one cannot
        sin against oneself. we have to be careful as to exactly what existentialism
        says. i don't think it purports to teach us what is right and wrong in terms
        of some values that we SHOULD have, OTHER than being true to oneself. 'being
        true to oneself' is the one and only thing that it teaches, and lying to
        oneself is the greatest of all 'sins', the mother of all 'sins'. at least,
        all subsequent values must be based on that. e.g., does it teach that
        killing is wrong? yes and no..the bible may say, thou should not kill, but
        existentialism (as in nietzsche and sartre) says: you decide. you act. then
        we will know if killing is right or wrong. if you decide to kill in a
        certain situation, then killing is right for that situation, whatever the
        law may say. you may end up being hanged for trangressing the laws, but you
        did not transgress against yourself. mcveigh is authentic in that sense. he
        would rather die as mcveigh than to live as your ordinary conformist crowd
        of people, and though i personally condemn his actions, and he was put to
        death by society, he died an INDIVIDUAL, unrepentant and keeping to his
        beliefs to the very end of his life; much as i hate his guts, i think
        mcveigh had an idea he could live, and die for. he did live and die for his
        beliefs (which was translated into drastic actions), something most of us
        cannot claim to have. he fought and killed in the gulf war because he
        believed in it, and was ready to die in that war; he didn't - but he did die
        for another of his belief. he may not be your christian hero, or even social
        hero, but i regard him as an existentiallist hero, someone whom sartre would
        probably write a whole book on (just as he had written on genet, the thief
        and homosexual, someone your neighbourhood christians and the 'good
        respectable' guy next door would love to despise and condemn). i am not
        saying mcvegh would deny he was a murderer, and that is precisely the point;
        what i am saying is that mcveigh would gladly admit he was a murderer, and
        it is murdering as a means of attaining his goal that he would declare once
        and again, if not in words, then in actions if he had chance. 'no f--king
        regrets. that is it, that is the way i am, and i declare once again i am a
        murderer if i have to', he might say in a more dramatic moment. he would
        never attempt or pretend to separate his conduct from who he was. while
        chris grasps bad faith, i think he seems to think there is a essence to what
        is good and what is bad; he trys to move on, illegitimately in my view,
        beyond bad faith and tries to put an essence to goodness and badness.
        nietzsche has said that god is dead, who is to tell us what is right and
        wrong? your nursery teachers, parents, society, bible? i am not talking
        about the legal sphere here, but the moral one. if there is any
        transgression at all, it is the transgression against oneself and one's
        freedom and denying one's responsibility that is the greatest transgression;
        that, mcveigh did not commit. what is the use of a pallid existence if there
        is nothing one can live for and die for? mcveigh would rather die than to
        live such existence; but it was truly 'unfortunate' that he should have that
        particular goal; but then again, it is unfortunate because i am not mcveigh,
        and i am seeing thing from my pt of view - and mcveigh is certainly not me.
        if i say, i think one should not kill, mcveigh happened not to be the type
        who say, "me too". if you want to live the 'exemplary' life of sartre,
        mcveigh might not be the type who will say, "me too". he is not the type who
        react and imitate; he acted and became mcveigh. and he must be glad he was
        not sartre. let sartre be sartre, mcveigh be mcveigh, and sam be sam. (but
        sam, you can choose anything you want, don't choose to deny yourself - never
        ever pretend, not even pretending sartre - it'd be silly and a
        self-contradiction - if you want to be a satan, then be a satan, and if
        necessary or happened, die and perish like a satan, knowing that you died a
        satan, but for goodness' sake, and i define goodness for the first time,
        i.e. for your OWN sake, don't be confused about your identity, about who you
        are; it is a either/or situation, not a both/and). and here, when i use
        freedom, i am not saying you can do as you pleases, but the power to realise
        yourself, even IF yourself is the devil. but if the power to realise
        yourself involve killing and other anti-social behaviours, then so be it;
        you are responsible for it (responsible in the sense that you are the
        creator of that action and hence value; don't worry about what your pastor
        say; he has his life, you have yours; you are not responsible for his life,
        and neither is he yours; you are responsible for your own life, and he his).
        but sam, what is important is really not sartre, but yourself; sartre did
        not live in bad faith, and that is about the only thing you need to learn
        from him, for that particular concept is just another way to say you should
        not bluff yourself. other than that, look for your own truth, for nothing
        matters but passion and subjectivity, something that give YOU meaning. what
        others find meaningful, such as writing books (sartre), fighting for the
        welfare for all in politics (sartre), or selling apples and oranges for a
        living (me), may be good for them, but not necessarily for you. and if you
        think joining the u.s. marines is a good idea, then so be it, even if sartre
        was no soldier in any professional sense. you simply have to act without any
        guarantee that you are doing the right thing. there isn't a single right way
        to behave (contra chris who love to exhort sartre's life); there is only
        WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, and you're the only judge of that. deciding how to
        live is not a intellectual choice, it requires passionately committing to
        something, and what is at stake is one's very identity as a person. there is
        much in the crowd, but yet it is a 'nothing'. the crowd is what heidegger
        meant by the 'theyself'; be yourself.

        james.
      • RickG15@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/1/2001 8:07:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, cbobo@msn.com ... When McVeigh chose the Murrah building as his target, he was unaware that it
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 2, 2001
          In a message dated 7/1/2001 8:07:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, cbobo@...
          writes:


          Timothy McVeigh was clearly infected with this spirit as he believed that it
          was appropriate to murder innocent children to vindicate his misguided
          idealism.  


          When McVeigh chose the Murrah building as his target, he was unaware that it
          contained a daycare center.  He even worried that the bomb might kill a child
          walking by the building.  He did not have any qualms about killing government
          workers, but killing children was not his aim.

          Rick
        • Christopher Bobo
          McVeigh described the death of the children as collateral damage See http://www.msnbc.com/local/whec/m28841.asp where they report McVeigh publicly admits to
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 2, 2001
            McVeigh described the death of the children as "collateral damage"  See http://www.msnbc.com/local/whec/m28841.asp where they report
            McVeigh publicly admits to bombing

            March 29 - A new book says convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh calls the 19 children killed in the explosion "collateral damage."
              

            McVeigh says he regrets only that their deaths detracted from his bid to avenge Waco and Ruby Ridge.

            I think the point is clear.  It would have made no difference to him whether there were children present or not.  It was perfectly acceptable to him to take out a day care center along with federal employees. Indeed, how he could have selected the Murrah building, cased it, selected the spot to park the truck, etc. without noticing parents dropping off children at the day care center is beyond comprehension. Of course, whether McVeigh targeted the children or not is not really to the point.  The point is that he choose to express his freedom by killing people and blowing things up.  He choose to be a terrorists and a bomber.  This hardly seems to me like the stuff that existential heros are made of. 
             
            I suggest that McVeigh was an inauthentic person and lived in utter bad faith.  He was inauthentic because his ideas came not from himself, but from others.  The military indoctrinated him to be a killer, to parrot concepts like "collateral damage"  etc.  He read non-sense like the Turner Diaries and was thoroughly overcome with the propaganda of the American extreme right.  Finally, he adopted Ruby Ridge and Waco as his own personal events to avenge, even though the events themselves did not involve him at all. 
             
            McVeigh suffered from bad faith in the worst way. He deceived himself about what he was and never accepted responsibility for his actions.
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: RickG15@...
            Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 2:09 PM
            To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism
             
            In a message dated 7/1/2001 8:07:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, cbobo@...
            writes:


            Timothy McVeigh was clearly infected with this spirit as he believed that it
            was appropriate to murder innocent children to vindicate his misguided
            idealism.  


            When McVeigh chose the Murrah building as his target, he was unaware that it
            contained a daycare center.  He even worried that the bomb might kill a child
            walking by the building.  He did not have any qualms about killing government
            workers, but killing children was not his aim.

            Rick

          • james tan
            ok, misreading or not, let s have a 3rd party to decide. misunderstanding mcveigh, this is highly possible. merely rubbish? different people impute meaning
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 2, 2001
              ok, misreading or not, let's have a 3rd party to decide. misunderstanding
              mcveigh, this is highly possible. merely rubbish? different people impute
              meaning differently. most of us talk only from our own pt of view, and have
              a blindspot to our own biasness.

              define the terms 'the spirit of seriousness', and the reference to where
              sartre made that statement of repudiating the spirit of seriousness.
              misguided idealism. the word 'misguided' clearly refers to a benchmark of
              values; the question is, from whose perspective is it misguided?

              define quietism. define activism. if possible, quote reference of sartre
              concerning these two terms.

              james.


              From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
              Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              To: "Sartre_yahoogr" <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism
              Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 17:18:10 -0700

              If Timothy McVeigh is an existential hero, then one of either three
              possibilities exists. Either we are misreading existentialism, or we
              misunderstand Timothy McVeigh, or existentialism is not merely rubbish but
              it is pernicious and ought to thrown onto the dust heap of philosophy.

              Sartre said in discussing the ethical implications of his phenomenological
              ontology that "the principal result of existential psychoanalysis must be to
              make us repudiate the spirit of seriousness." Timothy McVeigh was clearly
              infected with this spirit as he believed that it was appropriate to murder
              innocent children to vindicate his misguided idealism. He believes that his
              desire for what he wanted was irreducible and all justifying. Thus, he
              could view the children he murdered as "acceptable collateral damage." As
              Sartre said, "The result of the serious attitude...is to cause the symbolic
              values of things to be drunk in by their empirical idiosyncrasy as ink by a
              blotter."

              McVeigh is clearly an argument for quietism. Again quoting Sartre "it is
              the quietism of the solitary drunkard which will take precedence over the
              vain agitation of the leader of nations."
              McVeigh was guilty of the worst sort of "vain agitatiion." What's more, if
              you regard McVeigh as an existential hero, you might as well put Hitler on
              your list. You would do much better to regard Sartre and his life as an
              example of existential heroism.

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: james tan
              Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 10:15 PM
              To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Sartre] A question: Activism or Quietism

              c=chris, j=james

              c: However, existentialism doesn't stop there. I don't see existentialism
              as being affraid to judge or even condemn others for the bad choices they
              have made.

              j: i tend to think this..if one can sin against the whole world, one cannot
              sin against oneself. we have to be careful as to exactly what existentialism
              says. i don't think it purports to teach us what is right and wrong in terms
              of some values that we SHOULD have, OTHER than being true to oneself. 'being
              true to oneself' is the one and only thing that it teaches, and lying to
              oneself is the greatest of all 'sins', the mother of all 'sins'. at least,
              all subsequent values must be based on that. e.g., does it teach that
              killing is wrong? yes and no..the bible may say, thou should not kill, but
              existentialism (as in nietzsche and sartre) says: you decide. you act. then
              we will know if killing is right or wrong. if you decide to kill in a
              certain situation, then killing is right for that situation, whatever the
              law may say. you may end up being hanged for trangressing the laws, but you
              did not transgress against yourself. mcveigh is authentic in that sense. he
              would rather die as mcveigh than to live as your ordinary conformist crowd
              of people, and though i personally condemn his actions, and he was put to
              death by society, he died an INDIVIDUAL, unrepentant and keeping to his
              beliefs to the very end of his life; much as i hate his guts, i think
              mcveigh had an idea he could live, and die for. he did live and die for his
              beliefs (which was translated into drastic actions), something most of us
              cannot claim to have. he fought and killed in the gulf war because he
              believed in it, and was ready to die in that war; he didn't - but he did die
              for another of his belief. he may not be your christian hero, or even social
              hero, but i regard him as an existentiallist hero, someone whom sartre would
              probably write a whole book on (just as he had written on genet, the thief
              and homosexual, someone your neighbourhood christians and the 'good
              respectable' guy next door would love to despise and condemn). i am not
              saying mcvegh would deny he was a murderer, and that is precisely the point;
              what i am saying is that mcveigh would gladly admit he was a murderer, and
              it is murdering as a means of attaining his goal that he would declare once
              and again, if not in words, then in actions if he had chance. 'no f--king
              regrets. that is it, that is the way i am, and i declare once again i am a
              murderer if i have to', he might say in a more dramatic moment. he would
              never attempt or pretend to separate his conduct from who he was. while
              chris grasps bad faith, i think he seems to think there is a essence to what
              is good and what is bad; he trys to move on, illegitimately in my view,
              beyond bad faith and tries to put an essence to goodness and badness.
              nietzsche has said that god is dead, who is to tell us what is right and
              wrong? your nursery teachers, parents, society, bible? i am not talking
              about the legal sphere here, but the moral one. if there is any
              transgression at all, it is the transgression against oneself and one's
              freedom and denying one's responsibility that is the greatest transgression;
              that, mcveigh did not commit. what is the use of a pallid existence if there
              is nothing one can live for and die for? mcveigh would rather die than to
              live such existence; but it was truly 'unfortunate' that he should have that
              particular goal; but then again, it is unfortunate because i am not mcveigh,
              and i am seeing thing from my pt of view - and mcveigh is certainly not me.
              if i say, i think one should not kill, mcveigh happened not to be the type
              who say, "me too". if you want to live the 'exemplary' life of sartre,
              mcveigh might not be the type who will say, "me too". he is not the type who
              react and imitate; he acted and became mcveigh. and he must be glad he was
              not sartre. let sartre be sartre, mcveigh be mcveigh, and sam be sam. (but
              sam, you can choose anything you want, don't choose to deny yourself - never
              ever pretend, not even pretending sartre - it'd be silly and a
              self-contradiction - if you want to be a satan, then be a satan, and if
              necessary or happened, die and perish like a satan, knowing that you died a
              satan, but for goodness' sake, and i define goodness for the first time,
              i.e. for your OWN sake, don't be confused about your identity, about who you
              are; it is a either/or situation, not a both/and). and here, when i use
              freedom, i am not saying you can do as you pleases, but the power to realise
              yourself, even IF yourself is the devil. but if the power to realise
              yourself involve killing and other anti-social behaviours, then so be it;
              you are responsible for it (responsible in the sense that you are the
              creator of that action and hence value; don't worry about what your pastor
              say; he has his life, you have yours; you are not responsible for his life,
              and neither is he yours; you are responsible for your own life, and he his).
              but sam, what is important is really not sartre, but yourself; sartre did
              not live in bad faith, and that is about the only thing you need to learn
              from him, for that particular concept is just another way to say you should
              not bluff yourself. other than that, look for your own truth, for nothing
              matters but passion and subjectivity, something that give YOU meaning. what
              others find meaningful, such as writing books (sartre), fighting for the
              welfare for all in politics (sartre), or selling apples and oranges for a
              living (me), may be good for them, but not necessarily for you. and if you
              think joining the u.s. marines is a good idea, then so be it, even if sartre
              was no soldier in any professional sense. you simply have to act without any
              guarantee that you are doing the right thing. there isn't a single right way
              to behave (contra chris who love to exhort sartre's life); there is only
              WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU, and you're the only judge of that. deciding how to
              live is not a intellectual choice, it requires passionately committing to
              something, and what is at stake is one's very identity as a person. there is
              much in the crowd, but yet it is a 'nothing'. the crowd is what heidegger
              meant by the 'theyself'; be yourself.

              james.

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