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Fwd: [occams_razors] Re: Ayn Rand

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  • Kevin Metcalf
    I appologize for sending this to your list but I was hoping for some insight. My interest in existentialism stems from graduate experience in psychology but I
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 9, 2007
      I appologize for sending this to your list but I was hoping for some
      insight. My interest in existentialism stems from graduate experience in
      psychology but I am far behind all of you. I have an interest in
      existentialism but my reading time is limited as I am a single custodial
      parent of two little girls and a non-traditional full-time law student; that
      is why I was hoping for some references.

      I have a group at the University of Arkansas for Freethinkers and this
      "discussion" recently started between Diana who apparently is a worshiper of
      Ayn Rand.

      This is the latest I have received from here. "Doug" is a doctoral
      candidate in philosophy but existentialism is not his primary interest.

      If any of you have time to look at this and give me some guidance and
      references to refer her to on her misconceptions I would appreciate it.
      Also, if you have any suggestions on introductory books on existentialism I
      would appreciate that as well.

      Thank you,

      Kevin

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: diana wilson <dwilsontx@...>
      Date: Dec 9, 2007 5:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [occams_razors] Re: Ayn Rand
      To: occams_razors@yahoogroups.com


      That's it in a nut shell? Existentialism is optomistic? I am so
      disappointed.....here I thought you were going to broach some kind of
      intelligent, well thought out argument for existentialism.

      You have basically said what I said..which is existentialism is a "belief"
      system in which "optimism" is a mind state, just as believing in a god is a
      mind state.

      Where is the realism? There is no realism in existentialism...you can be
      "existentially optomistic" about anything you dream up.

      WE have far too many people operating in the la la land of dreams and
      optomism which removes them from cause and effect reality.

      We need much more reality, and less la la land dreamy optomositic
      existentialism.

      If what you say is correct, then politically "optomistic"
      existentialism promotes the belief that socialism, or communisn can "mold"
      people to be happy little slaves and disposable tools of the state. NOT...

      Not in a milllion years.....existentialism plays with the truth, denies
      reality, and lives in a dream world. diana

      *Doug <mratheist@wrote>*wrote:


      --- diana wilson <dwilsontx@... <dwilsontx%40yahoo.com>> wrote:

      > Existentialism says that what ever you dream up is
      > real...that is magical realism...diana

      DOUG
      No, existentialism does not "say" that. I don't know
      where you got that notion of existentialism, but it is
      incorrect.

      "Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw
      the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic
      position. Its intention is not in the least that of
      plunging men into despair. And if by despair one means
      as the Christians do � any attitude of unbelief, the
      despair of the existentialists is something different.
      Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it
      would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the
      non-existence of God. It declares, rather, that even
      if God existed that would make no difference from its
      point of view. Not that we believe God does exist, but
      we think that the real problem is not that of His
      existence; what man needs is to find himself again and
      to understand that nothing can save him from himself,
      not even a valid proof of the existence of God. In
      this sense existentialism is optimistic. It is a
      doctrine of action, and it is only by self-deception,
      by confining their own despair with ours that
      Christians can describe us as without hope."
      "Existentialism Is a Humanism," by J. P. Sartre, 1946.






      --
      Kevin Metcalf

      "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe
      for living that suits all cases."
      --Carl Jung


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    • olsonflash1@aol.com
      Though far from an expert in Existentialist thought, I have had some reading in Sartre, Jaspers, and Frankel (I doubt he is an existentialist). I myself, am
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 9, 2007
        Though far from an expert in Existentialist thought, I have had some reading
        in Sartre, Jaspers, and Frankel (I doubt he is an existentialist). I
        myself, am probably an Aristotelian. I am now working on an understanding of
        Kierkergaard. Your questions on existentialism are honest and it is important to
        have an open mind, especially when it concerns foundational/philosophical
        beliefs.

        Existentialism deals with reality, a reality that most men deny. What is
        Reality to an existential? The reality of Man. Sartre's statement says it
        all, "Man is condemned to be free". Some will say God determines fate,
        behavior is biologically driven, society or one's parent determine your
        behavior. To an existentialist, Men are responsibility but attempt to escape the
        overwhelming weight of responsibility.

        To find examples of man's denial of his freedom just read your local paper,
        watch the Media, or tune into OPRAH. Look closely at our culture and the
        language which takes these things for granted.

        I just read a story in the NY TIMES where adults are looking to her
        children's diagnosis of ADD and bi-polar to find reasons for their own behavior,
        past and present. How comforting it must be to be determined rather then
        determining.



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