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Re: Sartre and Religion

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  • ibuick
    ... Hi scarey - good to hear from you again! You write approvingly of the following statement:
    Message 1 of 37 , Dec 14, 2005
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      --- In Sartre@yahoogroups.com, "scarey1917" <scarey1917@y...> wrote:
      >
      Hi scarey - good to hear from you again!

      You write approvingly of the following statement:
      <<<<I do not know why Sartre is assuming that being created or
      designed
      is inconsistent with being free.>>>>>

      The later Sartre (e.g. as reported in Beauvoir's 'Adeau S. Sarte')
      found his early views on freedom preposterous and worked to identify
      and describe the extent to which we are determined and the forces
      that limit our freedom. However, he never changed his mind on the
      subject of the non-existence of a creator.

      When you quote Engels, I assume you are referring to his critique of
      Aristotelian logic, which only allows for q or not q and has no place
      for a developmental stage between q and not q. (A much quoted example
      is that a man is either bald or not bald; dialectical logic allows
      for what you call the middle ground - a developmental stage between
      the two extremes.

      I suspect however that Sartre's unflinching emphasis on total freedom
      in B&N is more influenced by the historical circumstances behind the
      genesis of the work than metaphysical thinking. At the time of
      writing, france (and a large part of Europe) was under Nazi
      occupation and Sartre worked on many fronts to emphasise human
      freedom:e.g Philosophy - Being and Nothingness, literature - The
      Flies, political activity - his resistance group Socialism and
      Liberty etc.

      Ian
    • Lou Eugene
      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
      Message 37 of 37 , 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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