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Some base questions i am struggling with.

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  • jakewlowen
    Can any of you learned masters help me out with a few base questions that are ringing inside my head as i seek to understand this stuff? Spefically I am
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 16, 2003
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      Can any of you learned masters help me out with a few base questions
      that are ringing inside my head as i seek to understand this stuff?
      Spefically I am reading Sartre's "existialism is a humanism" as my
      base introduction and a couple things have me confused. Can anyone
      provide even brief insights into this?

      #1 When sartre says that when we make choices, we are essentially
      making those decisions for all of humanity, how does that work for
      those decisions we all make everyday that we really know are not in
      our self-interest? For example, say our eating habits when we reach
      for the snickers instead of the salad. I dont for a moment think that
      that is the best decision for all of humanity. What would Sartre
      say about that? Does anyone see where i am going?

      #2 When Sartre deftly acknowledges the non-existence of a prioi
      values in which to guide our life, and then commits that action is
      the only means of self-definition, are there any over-riding values
      that govern the direction that the action is to take? For example..
      Sartre was a very active man for social justice/activist/freedom
      fighter. Is thier anything inherent in the philosophy that makes me
      decide that pursuing justice in my action is at all a better path
      than pursuing action in the name of slavery, injustice of fascism?
      Or is action just action.. and it doesnt matter which way we take it?

      I have more.. but i think i will save them for a later time.

      Thanks
    • jnagy2002
      I found http://snoke2.phyast.pitt.edu interesting. Especially the 1995 paper on epistimology. #1 In Catch 22 Joseph Killer has two characters exchange: What
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 26, 2003
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        I found
        http://snoke2.phyast.pitt.edu
        interesting. Especially the 1995 paper on epistimology.

        #1 In Catch 22 Joseph Killer has two characters exchange: "What if
        everyone did that?" E.G. tromp on any ping-pong ball left on the
        floor. Replay: "Then I'd be a fool not to." In law there is the
        concept of the rational man (or some such adjative) and the test of
        what would he/she do.

        #2 Langage itself is a culturally derived set of a prioi values we
        can revaluate after learning what they are. Cognitive psychologist
        allow that between stimula and responce thinking occurs either as
        language or a spatial visualatiom.
        Does any of this help?

        > #1 When sartre says that when we make choices, we are essentially
        > making those decisions for all of humanity, how does that work for
        > those decisions we all make everyday that we really know are not in
        > our self-interest? For example, say our eating habits when we reach
        > for the snickers instead of the salad. I dont for a moment think
        that
        > that is the best decision for all of humanity. What would Sartre
        > say about that? Does anyone see where i am going?
        >
        > #2 When Sartre deftly acknowledges the non-existence of a prioi
        > values in which to guide our life, and then commits that action is
        > the only means of self-definition, are there any over-riding values
        > that govern the direction that the action is to take? For
        example..
        > Sartre was a very active man for social justice/activist/freedom
        > fighter. Is thier anything inherent in the philosophy that makes
        me
        > decide that pursuing justice in my action is at all a better path
        > than pursuing action in the name of slavery, injustice of fascism?
        > Or is action just action.. and it doesnt matter which way we take
        it?
        >
        > I have more.. but i think i will save them for a later time.
        >
        > Thanks
      • theblacktheblue
        I m new here and i dont call myself a existentialist because i refuse to label myself as one thing or another i am just myself, my choices, and that is what i
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 1, 2003
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          I'm new here and i dont call myself a existentialist because i
          refuse to label myself as one thing or another i am just myself, my
          choices, and that is what i choose.

          this is a comment to your explanation of point #1. about making
          choices for humanity.

          We are radically free so we should act as our choices are completly
          our own and are complety made from our total individuality. One
          (someone acting existentially) is constantly setting examples but
          indirectly and unknowingly. The example being set is not right or
          wrong but making choices based on yourself and your freedom and
          others should act that way. After all there are no right actions or
          wrong actions, there are just actions. You must make your actions
          your choice, and those actions should be free from everything except
          your individuality, and knowing how free you are.

          I dont see how it is remotely possible for a theist to be
          existential in thought and action. I dont see how it is possible for
          governments to be existential, i dont see how it is possible to be
          existential in a world that is so unaccepting and built around
          blockading your freedom. Although i act radically free and make my
          own choices,and make those as ones to be set as an example.
          Everything i do is creativly my own, my love, my communication, just
          the way i live and i create everything i have my essence is defined
          and embedded in my actions, thoughts, and words. The only ones i am
          responsible for are the ones that are mine. If one does not believe
          in truth than that would be bad faith, however how do you define
          truth? through perceptions? The only things i know to be true are
          the things i experience, the thoughts i have, so therefore those are
          the only things i believe. So if i believe god does not exist than
          its that simple to my perception, god doesn't exist. The choice to
          make this choice was not random but became truth after i created the
          understanding of how absurd a god is. I am only interested in truth
          and my truths, which are my feelings and creations. I have created a
          love and that is truth, i want nothing to do with sports,politics,
          news, tv, games, or anything meaningless. So one does not finish
          creating their individuality until they die, becuase you are your
          choices so you are what choices you make at each moment. There are
          moments, there is no time what ever you are at the moment being
          looked at is who you are, therefore you are not consistant, you are
          an everchanging moment yet to ensue.

          Way to often i find people who know the most about existentialism,
          have read all of the existential philosophers (most likely qoute
          them as well) and constantly define existentialism, arent living
          existentially.






          >
          > #1 In Catch 22 Joseph Killer has two characters exchange: "What if
          > everyone did that?" E.G. tromp on any ping-pong ball left on the
          > floor. Replay: "Then I'd be a fool not to." In law there is the
          > concept of the rational man (or some such adjative) and the test
          of
          > what would he/she do.
          >
          > #2 Langage itself is a culturally derived set of a prioi values we
          > can revaluate after learning what they are. Cognitive
          psychologist
          > allow that between stimula and responce thinking occurs either as
          > language or a spatial visualatiom.
          > Does any of this help?
          >
          > > #1 When sartre says that when we make choices, we are
          essentially
          > > making those decisions for all of humanity, how does that work
          for
          > > those decisions we all make everyday that we really know are not
          in
          > > our self-interest? For example, say our eating habits when we
          reach
          > > for the snickers instead of the salad. I dont for a moment think
          > that
          > > that is the best decision for all of humanity. What would
          Sartre
          > > say about that? Does anyone see where i am going?
          > >
          > > #2 When Sartre deftly acknowledges the non-existence of a prioi
          > > values in which to guide our life, and then commits that action
          is
          > > the only means of self-definition, are there any over-riding
          values
          > > that govern the direction that the action is to take? For
          > example..
          > > Sartre was a very active man for social justice/activist/freedom
          > > fighter. Is thier anything inherent in the philosophy that
          makes
          > me
          > > decide that pursuing justice in my action is at all a better
          path
          > > than pursuing action in the name of slavery, injustice of
          fascism?
          > > Or is action just action.. and it doesnt matter which way we
          take
          > it?
          > >
          > > I have more.. but i think i will save them for a later time.
          > >
          > > Thanks
        • James Nagy
          ... Existential choices are made primarily from internal feelings. Most choices have consequences. Existentialism does not need to be amoral. Choosing
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 16, 2003
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            > After all there are no right actions or
            > wrong actions, there are just actions. You must make
            > your actions
            > your choice, and those actions should be free from
            > everything except
            > your individuality, and knowing how free you are.


            Existential choices are made primarily from internal
            feelings. Most choices have consequences.
            Existentialism does not need to be amoral. Choosing
            between equally moral actions is true freedom. I can
            be existential and still define immoral actions as
            actions that in the past have generally led
            undesirable consequences. I can feel abortion to be
            wrong without having to come up with a rational
            reason.

            > I don't see how it is remotely possible for a
            theist
            > to be
            > existential in thought and action.

            A son who goes against his parent's wishes to become a
            CPA (and inherit the family business), to work as a
            habitat for humanity volunteer is exercising his free
            agency. Is this choice rational?

            A theist can also see a world that is amoral and
            absurd due to individual and institutionalized evils.
            Religion has as its greatest necessity the task of
            predicting good and bad behaviors. If rational
            thought leads to absurd abuse of power, the challenge
            to such and authority may be triggered by pure
            feelings.

            The poet or prophet is like the canary in a coal mine.
            The bird dies from carbon-monoxide before anyone else
            notices a problem. He or she senses the true morality
            of existence and alerts the rest of us earthling about
            his or her perception of the problems.

            Rational thought is what allows us to get to the
            ski-lodge on a day with good conditions and with all
            the right equipment. A love of skiing is not so
            rational.

            > If one
            > does not believe
            > in truth than that would be bad faith, however how
            > do you define
            > truth? through perceptions? The only things i know
            > to be true are
            > the things i experience, the thoughts i have, so
            > therefore those are
            > the only things i believe. So if i believe god does
            > not exist than
            > its that simple to my perception, god doesn't exist.


            If you tell me you experience no God, I must believe
            you. But I wonder how you can feel safe in a world
            where no advice is possible? Don't you believe that
            some people have greater insights than yourself? If
            someone could interpret the wisdom of the ages to
            meet your specific needs, won't you listen? To me
            that is what God is all about. To make choices is my
            responsibility. But having studied out a plan, I can
            have a quiet time with God to see if I have overlooked
            anything important. God is like our best self trying
            to realize its full potential. Religion can be
            repressive, but Jesus more of an existentialist than
            you or I can hope to be. His choices were often
            unpopular, but he didn't cave in.

            Yours truly,

            Jim Nagy

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