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Re: Relevance of NDEs to Existentialism

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  • louise
    Wil, Thanks, Louise ... literature that I ... wit, some proof that ... and I am not ... during the ... (my Self) in ... all of ... eternal. If it ... always.
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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      Wil,

      Thanks,

      Louise

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      >
      > Louise
      >
      > Most (all actually) of the religiously oriented existential
      literature that I
      > know, from Kierkegaard through to Ricoeur, conspicuously avoids the
      > metaphysical analyses one would otherwise expect from a theist; to
      wit, some proof that
      > God exists. Yet we have sin, fallibility, self-loathing, etc. --
      and I am not
      > without my sense of depth -- I have heard the bay of the wolf
      during the
      > night, have undergone attacks of dread and regret, have lost myself
      (my Self) in
      > the infinity of nothingness, and the rest of it.
      >
      > Some have applied a kind of reverse Anselmian argument to assuage
      all of
      > this; they proffer God by means of the overwhelming vacuity of the
      eternal. If it
      > is that absurd, God must exist. Hence 'Plato' lives on, or has
      always.
      >
      > But I go another route. The only God (Absolute) for me is (at best)
      Hegel's,
      > and it is entirely mundane and apparent. One derives no comfort
      from Hegel,
      > only context. I am probably alone here when I say that Hegel is the
      first
      > existentialist. But I digress.
      >
      > Lacan tells us that what we most desire is an illusion. He means
      that
      > reflexively: We want an illusion; and what we think we want is
      itself illusory.
      > Essences and eternal verities are what we most desire; thus they
      are necessarily
      > imaginary. It is like Nietzsche's insight that logic is inherently
      optimistic.
      > From an existentialist point of view, that is a profound idea.
      Logic may limit
      > thought to rationality, but 'belief' in logic means that one lives
      in a dream,
      > nevertheless.
      >
      > That is the sense of transcendence that I decry and that Sartre
      deconstructs.
      > To say that existence precedes essence is to say just this.
      >
      > Wil
      >
      >
      >
      > In a message dated 3/2/08 6:45:45 PM, hecubatoher@... writes:
      >
      >
      > > Wil,
      > >
      > > I'm finding your response helpful, in determining which of my
      > > questions appear to be based on lack of necessary knowledge, such
      > > that no useful answers will be forthcoming, and which are worth
      > > investigating further. It does look to me at present as though the
      > > territory involved would be Platonic Realism and theistic
      > > existentialism, if there be any genuine relation between the two
      > > which admits of description by means of the dyad.
      > >
      > > Louise
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > **************
      > Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
      >
      > (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-
      campos-duffy/
      > 2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • jimstuart51
      Wil, I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and passion. I am
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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        Wil,

        I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you
        both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and
        passion.

        I am not in complete agreement with what you write about Sartre.

        My understanding is that Sartre's famous expression "existence
        precedes essence" was to apply to human beings, and only human beings.
        He introduced this expression in order to contrast human beings with
        all other entities in the world.

        Because human beings have absolute freedom, they cannot have an
        essence as to have an essence is to lack absolute freedom. I (and
        other human beings who grasp their freedom) choose how to act, and in
        this choice I create myself anew at each moment of choice. By
        contrast, animals, plants, trees, chairs, tables, buildings, etc.,
        lack choice and in these cases we can justifiably speak of such
        entities having essences.

        So, on my reading of Sartre, he does not deny essences in toto, he
        just denies that free individuals like you or me have essences.

        In this regard Nietzsche is different to Sartre. Nietzsche did, I
        think, deny essences across the board, even to scientific entities
        like gold, lead, water, etc. For Nietzsche, human beings were not
        essentially different to animals, plants, trees, etc., in that all
        lacked essences.

        I don't think an existentialist has to deny essences to scientific
        entities. I view existentialism as a philosophy concerned with the
        human being and her choices in an inhospitable, purposeless world. I
        don't think such a view necessarily excludes a belief in logic, nor a
        belief that scientific entities have essences.

        Jim
      • eupraxis@aol.com
        Jim, Thanks. No, I think it is clear, and not just from B&N, that Sartre denies any kind of transcendent reality, except for the Imaginary itself. This is
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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          Jim,

          Thanks.

          No, I think it is clear, and not just from B&N, that Sartre denies any kind
          of transcendent reality, except for the Imaginary itself. This is fundamental
          to his phenomenology and his artistic work, in my opinion. However, the
          consequences of "existence preceding essence", which was meant as a slight on the
          lingering scholasticism of the Academy, is just as you describe it.

          By the way, there have been all kinds of stories about Sartre's supposed
          conversion to religion during his decline. They are nonsense, and I know that by
          the best anecdotal evidence available to me: to wit, I know someone, a great
          friend and mentor, who was in that loop. To the end, Sartre was a committed
          atheist.

          Wil

          In a message dated 3/3/08 7:05:17 AM, jjimstuart1@... writes:


          >
          >
          >
          > Wil,
          >
          > I have enjoyed reading your exchange of posts with Louise. I think you
          > both make some good points and you both write with decisiveness and
          > passion.
          >
          > I am not in complete agreement with what you write about Sartre.
          >
          > My understanding is that Sartre's famous expression "existence
          > precedes essence" was to apply to human beings, and only human beings.
          > He introduced this expression in order to contrast human beings with
          > all other entities in the world.
          >
          > Because human beings have absolute freedom, they cannot have an
          > essence as to have an essence is to lack absolute freedom. I (and
          > other human beings who grasp their freedom) choose how to act, and in
          > this choice I create myself anew at each moment of choice. By
          > contrast, animals, plants, trees, chairs, tables, buildings, etc.,
          > lack choice and in these cases we can justifiably speak of such
          > entities having essences.
          >
          > So, on my reading of Sartre, he does not deny essences in toto, he
          > just denies that free individuals like you or me have essences.
          >
          > In this regard Nietzsche is different to Sartre. Nietzsche did, I
          > think, deny essences across the board, even to scientific entities
          > like gold, lead, water, etc. For Nietzsche, human beings were not
          > essentially different to animals, plants, trees, etc., in that all
          > lacked essences.
          >
          > I don't think an existentialist has to deny essences to scientific
          > entities. I view existentialism as a philosophy concerned with the
          > human being and her choices in an inhospitable, purposeless world. I
          > don't think such a view necessarily excludes a belief in logic, nor a
          > belief that scientific entities have essences.
          >
          > Jim
          >
          >
          >




          **************
          Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.

          (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-duffy/
          2050827?NCID=aolcmp00300000002598)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • mary.jo11
          Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one. The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates existential thought. Legal
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 3, 2008
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            Although uncomfortable with notions of orthodoxy, I accept this one.
            The other is nothingness, since it also binds and liberates
            existential thought. Legal definitions of when life begins and ends
            are less relevant to the existentialist than personal situation. Mary

            eupraxis@... wrote:

            To the end, Sartre was a committed atheist.
          • Exist List Moderator
            ... Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary of Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some entries and continue
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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              On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:

              > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any remarks
              > that
              > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank me
              > later).


              Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary of
              Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some
              entries and continue to do so with quotes directly from the thinkers
              profiled so as to avoid any notion that the definitions are mine or
              any other "expert's" because it is always best to let the author
              define his or her own terms.

              I also note that the same terms were often used in different ways, to
              different ends, by the authors.

              Also... I never read anywhere that someone suggested Sartre renounced
              atheism. That was a curious mention on the list that I skimmed. Wil is
              definitely correct on this matter, based on the contacts I have had
              with historians and biographers. I cannot imagine Sartre as anything
              other than an atheist... just as I can't imagine him ever humble. I
              would cite "Adieux" as my primary source for Sartre's finals days.

              - C. S. Wyatt
              I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
              that I shall be.
              http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
              http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
            • bhvwd
              ... remarks ... me ... of ... thinkers ... or ... to ... renounced ... is ... had ... anything ... I ... all ... year they appear and youn have seen what you
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 5, 2008
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                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Exist List Moderator
                <existlist1@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Mar 02, 2008, at 14:13, eupraxis@... wrote:
                >
                > > I haven't looked at CS's lexicon, and I will leave aside any
                remarks
                > > that
                > > interpret Hegel as an otherworldly theorist for now (no, thank
                me
                > > later).
                >
                >
                > Not my lexicon, in general. It is a recovery of The New Dictionary
                of
                > Existentialism, a text from the late 1960s. I have expanded some
                > entries and continue to do so with quotes directly from the
                thinkers
                > profiled so as to avoid any notion that the definitions are mine
                or
                > any other "expert's" because it is always best to let the author
                > define his or her own terms.
                >
                > I also note that the same terms were often used in different ways,
                to
                > different ends, by the authors.
                >
                > Also... I never read anywhere that someone suggested Sartre
                renounced
                > atheism. That was a curious mention on the list that I skimmed. Wil
                is
                > definitely correct on this matter, based on the contacts I have
                had
                > with historians and biographers. I cannot imagine Sartre as
                anything
                > other than an atheist... just as I can't imagine him ever humble.
                I
                > would cite "Adieux" as my primary source for Sartre's finals days.
                >
                > - C. S. Wyatt
                > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not
                all
                > that I shall be.
                > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
                > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
                >I would go througe the ancient broyhers of the north. In a cold
                year they appear and youn have seen what you as yet do not recognise.
                Will they keep you ? This place has its merits if you can fite ice,
                Bill
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