Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

19673Re: [existlist] Faith and Existentialism

Expand Messages
  • David Leon
    May 2 1:18 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Well, for one thing, Eduard, you dont have to think of it in reductionist
      terms. Maybe something is further delineated by the term by ADDING
      something. You could look at it that way. For instance, someone is trying to
      describe a such-and-so existentialism because they are getting more than
      just the basic or broad existentialism out of their thoughts, and they
      happen to be talking about that more - an extension of existentialism, or
      even where they personally think that existentialism could head, given a
      deeper appreciation of whatever is indicated by the term they are attaching
      to existentialism.

      In other words, you are saying that some attached term seems as if it must
      then "change" something about existentialism. For one thing, maybe we can
      have a basic existentialism which doesn't much change, but is ADDED TO in
      different types, applications, and forms (extensions) of where different
      thinkers have a vision for existentialism relating to. And further, then,
      studying and learning more about different deliniations of existentialism
      can, in turn, help you/us to better and better understand what that basic
      existentialism may be to WHICH we can add and foray and extend in our
      visions and innovations (etc.).

      Dave


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "yeoman" <yeoman@...>
      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 12:48 PM
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Faith and Existentialism


      > Chris,
      >
      > I object to the use of the phrase Christian Existentialism
      > or Scientific Existentialism or Islamic Existentialism or
      > whatever Existentialism for reason of the implication that
      > these faiths in some fashion modify Existentialism.
      > Granted, I suppose this view will not get anywhere as there
      > is too much of a self-connection to these terms.
      >
      > What changes in Existentialism by the identification of a
      > faith?? To my mind, Existentialism remains the same
      > regardless of what faith one may have. It is still an
      > interpretation of human existence in the world that stresses
      > its concreteness and its problematic character. If I happen
      > to be a doctor, do I then have a Medical Existentialism??
      > If I am a romantic, do I then have Romantic Existentialism.
      > Perhaps we could have Engineering Existentialism, or
      > Sadistic Existentialism.
      >
      > Which is the thing which is modified or made a subset of??
      > The best that can be said is that we have an Existentialist
      > Christian, or an Existentialist Sadist.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Exist List Moderator" <existlist1@...>
      > To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 1:21 PM
      > Subject: [existlist] Faith and Existentialism
      >
      >
      > > One does not need to describe a specific religion to
      > understand how it
      > > might fit into existentialism on the micro and macro
      > levels of a
      > > society.
      > >
      > > If existentialism, at its core, is about self-definition
      > during life
      > > through choices, then it is impossible for that
      > self-definition to
      > > exist apart from an individual's beliefs / faith.
      > >
      > > At some point we choose to believe or not believe in the
      > religion of
      > > our parents and the dominant faith of our culture. That is
      > a choice,
      > > and therefore an "existential moment" of self. Most
      > religions, though
      > > not all, suggest true faith must be chosen by the
      > individual in order
      > > to have meaning. (You "choose" to accept the faith,
      > usually as part of
      > > a ceremony indicating a shift from child to adult.)
      > >
      > > The existential "angst" comes only if one truly chooses a
      > faith, as
      > > opposed to taking the path of least resistance and
      > accepting a faith
      > > without truly challenging it first. The convert to a faith
      > is admired
      > > because he or she truly made a "leap of faith" in the
      > conversion. A
      > > Christian becoming a Jew, or a Jew becoming a Hindu... it
      > does not
      > > matter -- changes like that require a serious and deep
      > change in
      > > perspective.
      > >
      > > Since 70+ percent of people accept the faith of their
      > parents, one
      > > should and must question if there was a choice, a truly
      > "existential"
      > > moment or not in the decision to believe or not believe.
      > That is why
      > > many people in philosophy disparage faith out of hand --
      > they assume
      > > (which is unfair) all people of faith act without
      > conscious free will.
      > > Merely following is not being active in your life.
      > >
      > > "Active" living, which Sartre and Nietzsche both
      > proclaimed important
      > > in the exercise of true free will, requires debating every
      > choice and
      > > comprehending it. Thinking about every choice is not
      > actually possible,
      > > but it is one of the goals of a "pure" existential or even
      > Zen
      > > existence. (Zen is very, very difficult for this reason.
      > You must
      > > confront every thought in your mind, not just some or just
      > the
      > > important ones. Every thought must be faced, then
      > cleared.)
      > >
      > > If I choose faith actively, then that is an existential
      > moment. If I
      > > choose no faith, it is also existential.
      > >
      > > The exact reasons for faith or disbelief are not important
      > to
      > > existentialism as a philosophy. What is important is that
      > a personal,
      > > active, and self-defining choice was made. Once made, that
      > life should
      > > be authentic.
      > >
      > > How one relates to a faith cannot be debated. The morality
      > of a faith
      > > can be debated in an existential sense, as to how that
      > faith and its
      > > influences affect free will for others. Respect for others
      > and
      > > defending their free will is part of the "ethical system"
      > of most
      > > existentialists. For example, Christian Existentialism
      > would suggest
      > > you cannot and should not coerce others into the faith
      > since it must be
      > > chosen freely. Scientific Existentialism suggests you
      > cannot use
      > > science to force others away from faith, nor can you use
      > science as
      > > justification to suspend the rights of others.
      > >
      > > All too often society in the 19th and 20th centuries used
      > "science" to
      > > justify the mistreatment of minorities, which "faith" help
      > correct via
      > > abolishment of slavery and the civil rights movements in
      > the Western
      > > nations.
      > >
      > > Existential discussions of faith, therefore, should not
      > focus on the
      > > particulars of a faith so much as the process by which an
      > individual
      > > makes such choices. What does on seek in faith? What does
      > one seek in
      > > science? Generally, we hope to find some assistance for
      > other decisions
      > > we must make in life.
      > >
      > > Making choices is not easy. Religion and science are both
      > used to
      > > justify and explain our choices. Existentialism means we
      > analyze
      > > choices, and recognize that most choices are between two
      > or more
      > > negatives. There are few choices with only "positive"
      > aspects. Someone
      > > or something always gives a bit as a result of choice.
      > Faith helps some
      > > people deal with that. Science helps others. Most of us
      > combine the
      > > two, in the modern world.
      > >
      > > Again, I suggest a general discussion is more beneficial
      > than a debate
      > > of one religion, which is quickly being surpassed in
      > numbers by another
      > > monotheistic faith. (Can there be Islamic existentialism?
      > Yes, in the
      > > older tradition, but not among current fundamentalists --
      > fundamental
      > > anything is acting without ongoing internal debate.)
      > >
      > > - CSW
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
      > Sponsor ---------------------~-->
      > > Rent DVDs Online - Over 14,500 titles.
      > > No Late Fees & Free Shipping.
      > > Try Netflix for FREE!
      > > http://us.click.yahoo.com/YoVfrB/XP.FAA/uetFAA/ACsqlB/TM
      > > ----------------------------------------------------------
      > -----------~->
      > >
      > > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
      > > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
      > >
      > > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
      > > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
      > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
      >
      > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
      > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
    • Show all 5 messages in this topic