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A race run?

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  • bhvwd
    I think existentialism to be a bridge between the organizational philosophies of christianity and individual philosophical viewpoints. In terms of present ,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 25, 2003
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      I think existentialism to be a bridge between the organizational
      philosophies of christianity and individual philosophical
      viewpoints. In terms of present , practical application that division
      manifests itself as those who believe and those who do not. The
      predominant tenant of christianity is theism. The predominant
      existential attitude toward god is atheistic. Note the
      categorization of this group by the YAHOO moderator, it is under
      atheism.
      The fence sitters, the agnostics, may represent a possible asset to
      the christian believers. The organised churches always yearn for new
      sources of capital.Their value to the body of non believers beyond
      moral support, may be voter identity within the democracys. Since
      most agnostics still cling to christian mores their value as voters
      may be greater to the christian cause. Fence sitters are often timid
      people who have trouble with decision making, those traits take them
      further away from an existential orientation. All in all I think
      them believers who are intelligent enough to see the glaring errors
      inherant in traditional belief. Fear, constantly bolstered by
      religous association, overides logic. So, if they go to church, they
      are not existentialists.

      I have often heard it stated here that existentialism is not so
      much a philosophy as an attitude. It is a bold attitude of personal
      decision making and responsibility. The bridge itself, once crossed,
      becomes an acedemic exercise accomplished. The dense, often angry,
      early writings are a dated curiosoity for moderns who used them to
      mold their personal philosophical viewpoints.
      Another group have no formal knowlegge of the seminal writings.
      They have learned an existential life style by their participation
      in the modern world. Some wish to explore the roots of
      existentialism, some function quite well with no formal knowledge of
      the early writers. We certainly see both kinds in this group. I know
      the moderator wishes this group to be a resource. I have always
      wanted it to be more on the forefront of progress in existential
      thought.In fact it functions as both. Bill
    • Will Brown
      Bill, if I may, a question or so so that I might more fully understand your definition of existentialism. I will ask them in pairs so as not to overload you.
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 25, 2003
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        Bill, if I may, a question or so so that I might more fully understand
        your definition of existentialism. I will ask them in pairs so as not
        to overload you.

        >The dense, often angry, early writings are a dated curiosoity for
        moderns who used them to mold their personal philosophical viewpoints.<

        Out of curiosity, to whose writings are you referring, and show me
        what you mean by dense and angry.

        >Fence sitters [agnostics]are often timid people who have trouble with
        decision making, those traits take them further away from an
        existential orientation.<

        Could you expand this a bit for me. Doesn't an atheist need a god to
        negate in order to be an atheist? Why go through all that trouble when
        you could toss both god and not god out by not entertaining such a
        question? It seems to me the agnostic doesn't have to choose simply
        because there is nothing to choose between.
      • Zithromax
        Bill said: manifests itself as those who believe and those who do not. The predominant tenant of christianity is theism. The predominant existential attitude
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 29, 2003
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          Bill said:

          manifests itself as those who believe and those who do not. The
          predominant tenant of christianity is theism. The predominant
          existential attitude toward god is atheistic. Note the
          categorization of this group by the YAHOO moderator, it is under
          atheism.

          I say:

          Nope. There are just to many theistic existentialists out there. Paul Tillich, Unamuno, Kierkegaard, et cetera. Jean-Paul Sartre and Nietzsche were athiests though there are some that argue that Nietzsche was a closet theist in some ways while Kierkegaard was a closet atheist. Not sure I agree with any of this closet business I'll stick to what they wrote down and took responsibility for.

          I am particularly impressed with Unamuno at the moment and I am searching for a way to write a decent summary essay for "Tragic Sense of Life." His writing is so poetic, flowing, and Spanish it is hard to distill individual points. He has a lot mixed in that sounds like the will to power, but as an existentialist he goes on quite a bit about the afterlife and the nature of god and afterlife to the individual that it is hard to separate the athiesm from the theism from the existentialism. In his last chapter he talks a lot about Don Quixote, about Spain, and about the so-called Europeans (his words not mine) that are really franco-germans. It is all so relvant today and is so fascinating to me that so many different thinkers from so many different perspectives could come to so many similar conclusions.

          So what I am trying with lots of tangents (it's late - sorry) to say is that I think that each of these celebrated writers has something important to say that transcends that ultimate god/no god question. I think existentialism might be the only attitude/philosophy to do this, even if you're dubious that it has truly done so, it sure seems to have juding by the people who read both sartre and kierkegaard throw them into the same boat together.

          Zith

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • yeoman
          Zith, You guys seem to still be on the theist/atheist thing. In my opinion, Existentialism is simply a statement of the obvious. The human species is
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 30, 2003
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            Zith,

            You guys seem to still be on the theist/atheist thing. In
            my opinion, Existentialism is simply a statement of the
            obvious. The human species is designed mentally to seek out
            patterns and where a pattern does not exist, it is invented.

            I am watching the 1958 movie, "I Married a Monster from
            Outer Space".

            The tagline for the movie is, "Shuddery things from beyond
            the stars, here to breed with human women!". I guess one
            could make a lot out of that. Or of the fears in the late
            50s about the evil communists infiltrating American
            society -- "They look just like us".

            We invent religion, because that provides some kind of
            satisfaction. It keeps our neurons happy. Existentialism
            cuts through the fog and puts it down for what life and
            existence actually is.

            eduard

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Zithromax" <zithromax@...>
            To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 12:21 AM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] A race run?


            > Bill said:
            >
            > manifests itself as those who believe and those who do
            not. The
            > predominant tenant of christianity is theism. The
            predominant
            > existential attitude toward god is atheistic. Note the
            > categorization of this group by the YAHOO moderator, it
            is under
            > atheism.
            >
            > I say:
            >
            > Nope. There are just to many theistic existentialists out
            there. Paul Tillich, Unamuno, Kierkegaard, et cetera.
            Jean-Paul Sartre and Nietzsche were athiests though there
            are some that argue that Nietzsche was a closet theist in
            some ways while Kierkegaard was a closet atheist. Not sure
            I agree with any of this closet business I'll stick to what
            they wrote down and took responsibility for.
            >
            > I am particularly impressed with Unamuno at the moment and
            I am searching for a way to write a decent summary essay for
            "Tragic Sense of Life." His writing is so poetic, flowing,
            and Spanish it is hard to distill individual points. He has
            a lot mixed in that sounds like the will to power, but as an
            existentialist he goes on quite a bit about the afterlife
            and the nature of god and afterlife to the individual that
            it is hard to separate the athiesm from the theism from the
            existentialism. In his last chapter he talks a lot about
            Don Quixote, about Spain, and about the so-called Europeans
            (his words not mine) that are really franco-germans. It is
            all so relvant today and is so fascinating to me that so
            many different thinkers from so many different perspectives
            could come to so many similar conclusions.
            >
            > So what I am trying with lots of tangents (it's late -
            sorry) to say is that I think that each of these celebrated
            writers has something important to say that transcends that
            ultimate god/no god question. I think existentialism might
            be the only attitude/philosophy to do this, even if you're
            dubious that it has truly done so, it sure seems to have
            juding by the people who read both sartre and kierkegaard
            throw them into the same boat together.
            >
            > Zith
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
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