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Re: authenticity tied to freedom and responsibility

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  • devindersingh
    Freedom is not a being: it is the being of man, that is to say, his not-being . A very cryptic mantra. Let us try to unveil the Shekinah. Being means
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 9, 2013
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      "Freedom is not a being: it is the being of man, that is to say, his
      not-being". A very cryptic mantra. Let us try to unveil the Shekinah.
      "Being" means "be-ing" i.e. existing, something persisting, continuing
      in the same condition, something fixed, a status. Freedom is not a thing
      of that kind, it is movement: even so, it is not a continuous movement.
      According to Bergson, the true, the ultimate reality is a continuity of
      urge (élan vital); according to Sartre, however, in line with the
      trend of modern scientific knowledge, the reality is an assemblage of
      discrete units of energy, packets or quanta. So freedom is an urge, a
      spurt(jaillissement): it acts in a disconnected fashion and it is
      absolute and unconditional. It is veritably the wind that bloweth where
      it listeth. It has no purpose, no direction, no relation: for all those
      attributes or definitions would annul its absoluteness. It does not stop
      or halt or dwell upon, it bursts forth and passes. It does not exist,
      that is stay: therefore it is non-being. Man's being then consist of a
      conglomeration (ensemble) of such freedoms. And that is the whole
      reality of I man, his very essence. We have said that a heavy sense of
      responsibility hangs upon the .free Purusha: but it appears the Sartrian
      Purusha is a divided personality. In spite of the sense of
      responsibility (or because of it?) he acts irresponsibly; for, acting
      otherwise would not be freedom. Sartre too cannot ignore the fact that
      the free being is not an isolated phenomenon in the world; it exists
      along with and in the company of others of the same nature and quality.
      Indeed human society is that in essence, anassociation of freedoms,
      although these movements of freedom are camouflaged in appearance and
      are not recognised by the free persons themselves. The interaction
      between the free persons, the reflection of oneself in others and the
      mutual dependence of egos is a constant theme in the novels and plays of
      Sartre.

      'Freedom cannot be real freedom unless it is licence : yet society means
      a curtailment or inhibition or modification of this absolute liberty.
      This, conflict has never been resolved in Sartre and is fundamental to
      his ideology, 'the source of his tragic nihilism.

      [http://sriaurobindoashram.com/Content.aspx?ContentURL=_StaticContent/Sr\
      iAurobindoAshram/-09%20E-Library/-03%20Disciples/Nolini%20Kanta%20Gupta/\
      Volume-1/-63_sartrian%20Freedom.html]
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      >
      > [Are you saying political involvement is wrong, or are you saying
      that
      > because everyone probably acts authentically, we've no basis at all to
      > oppose them? ]
      >
      > Neither.
      >
      > All I am saying is that it is likely that Moussa in Mali is acting
      > authentically, because he is evil. You are acting authentically when
      what
      > you do is what you think. It's as simple as that. There is no link
      with
      > freedom and responsibility. These are qualifications of a 3rd party
      and
      > authenticity is of the individual themselves.
      >
      > The term "freedom" in the essay you provided isn't the "freedom" as I
      had
      > thought. For reason being that you linked it with "responsibility".
      What
      > the essay is getting at is that one is transparent ... you freely act
      as you
      > think. As far as Moussa is concerned, I think he is being
      transparent. He
      > isn't doing something that he would not do otherwise. Granted, it is
      my
      > guess, but I think that he follows the doctrine because it suits his
      > character. He chooses freely to follow the doctrine that demands
      violence.
      >
      > There is another article in today's newspaper about Mali. This time
      the
      > stories of what went on in Gao over the past 10 months, before the
      French
      > drove out the Islamic nuts.
      >
      > Le chief of the Islamic police, Ali Touré, asked Dr Aziz
      Maïga, who is
      > responsible for surgery at the hospital, to help amputate the hands
      and feet
      > of thieves. Touré said ....
      >
      > â€" La charia [loi islamique], c’est la voix de
      Dieu, a dit Ali Touré.
      > On veut couper les mains des voleurs, mais on ne sait pas comment
      faire.
      > Fais-le pour nous.
      >
      > "The Sharia is the voice of God. We want to cut off the hands
      of
      > some thieves but don't know how to do it. Do it for us."
      >
      > My view is that Touré selects this particular punishment and
      assigns it to
      > God, because he chooses to do so and this is his character. He
      actually
      > wants to cut off hands and thus is acting authentically.
      >
      > To give the end of the story, Dr Aziz Maïga refused to help and
      said his
      > role is to people who are injured. So they cut off the hands with a
      meat
      > cleaver in the village square and rushed the victims to the hospital
      to be
      > cared for, before they bled to death. A total of 9 amputations in Gao
      and 1
      > in Timbuktu.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 11:28 AM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: authenticity tied to freedom and
      responsibility
      >
      > eduard,
      >
      > You're probably right about my assessment of right wing
      obstructionists. I
      > can't possibly know what or that they think at all. It matters whether
      I
      > think owning slaves is acceptable and what I do about it that
      determines my
      > authenticity, what I think and do about my sense of duty and that I
      think as
      > freely as possible. Furthermore if I think it's wrong, I will act to
      end
      > slavery, to expand my values into society. Are you saying political
      > involvement is wrong, or are you saying that because everyone
      probably acts
      > authentically, we've no basis at all to oppose them? This can't be so
      > because you advocate killing "authentic" terrorists.
      >
      > I'm having difficulty understanding your objection to authenticity.
      The
      > following might be helpful as a basis for explaining your objections
      which
      > seem "absurd" otherwise.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > "By what standard are we to think our efforts "to be," our manner of
      being a
      > self? If such standards traditionally derive from the essence that a
      > particular thing instantiatesâ€"this hammer is a good one if it
      instantiates
      > what a hammer is supposed to beâ€"and if there is nothing that a
      human being
      > is, by its essence, supposed to be, can the meaning of existence at
      all be
      > thought? Existentialism arises with the collapse of the idea that
      philosophy
      > can provide substantive norms for existing, ones that specify
      particular
      > ways of life. Nevertheless, there remains the distinction between what
      I do
      > "as" myself and as "anyone," so in this sense existing is something at
      which
      > I can succeed or fail. Authenticityâ€"in German,
      Eigentlichkeitâ€"names that
      > attitude in which I engage in my projects as my own (eigen).
      >
      > What this means can perhaps be brought out by considering moral
      evaluations.
      > In keeping my promise I act in accord with duty; and if I keep it
      because it
      > is my duty, I also act morally (according to Kant) because I am acting
      for
      > the sake of duty. But existentially there is still a further
      evaluation to
      > be made. My moral act is inauthentic if, in keeping my promise for the
      sake
      > of duty, I do so because that is what "one" does (what "moral people"
      do).
      > But I can do the same thing authentically if, in keeping my promise
      for the
      > sake of duty, acting this way is something I choose as my own,
      something to
      > which, apart from its social sanction, I commit myself. Similarly,
      doing the
      > right thing from a fixed and stable characterâ€"which virtue
      ethics considers
      > a condition of the goodâ€"is not beyond the reach of existential
      evaluation:
      > such character may simply be a product of my tendency to "do what one
      does,"
      > including feeling "the right way" about things and betaking myself in
      > appropriate ways as one is expected to do. But such character might
      also be
      > a reflection of my choice of myself, a commitment I make to be a
      person of
      > this sort. In both cases I have succeeded in being good; only in the
      latter
      > case, however, have I succeeded in being myself.[12]
      >
      > Thus the norm of authenticity refers to a kind of "transparency" with
      regard
      > to my situation, a recognition that I am a being who can be
      responsible for
      > who I am. In choosing in light of this norm I can be said to recover
      myself
      > from alienation, from my absorption in the anonymous "one-self" that
      > characterizes me in my everyday engagement in the world. Authenticity
      thus
      > indicates a certain kind of integrityâ€"not that of a pre-given
      whole, an
      > identity waiting to be discovered, but that of a project to which I
      can
      > either commit myself (and thus "become" what it entails) or else
      simply
      > occupy for a time, inauthentically drifting in and out of various
      affairs.
      > Some writers have taken this notion a step further, arguing that the
      measure
      > of an authentic life lies in the integrity of a narrative, that to be
      a self
      > is to constitute a story in which a kind of wholeness prevails, to be
      the
      > author of oneself as a unique individual (Nehamas 1998; Ricoeur 1992).
      In
      > contrast, the inauthentic life would be one without such integrity,
      one in
      > which I allow my life-story to be dictated by the world. Be that as it
      may,
      > it is clear that one can commit oneself to a life of chamealeon-like
      > variety, as does Don Juan in Kierkegaard's version of the legend. Even
      > interpreted narratively, then, the norm of authenticity remains a
      formal
      > one. As with Kierkegaard's Knight of Faith, one cannot tell who is
      authentic
      > by looking at the content of their lives.[13]
      >
      > Authenticity defines a condition on self-making: do I succeed in
      making
      > myself, or will who I am merely be a function of the roles I find
      myself in?
      > Thus to be authentic can also be thought as a way of being autonomous.
      In
      > choosing "resolutely"â€"that is, in commiting myself to a certain
      course of
      > action, a certain way of being in the worldâ€"I have given myself
      the rule
      > that belongs to the role I come to adopt. The inauthentic person, in
      > contrast, merely occupies such a role, and may do so "irresolutely,"
      without
      > commitment. Being a father authentically does not necessarily make me
      a
      > better father, but what it means to be a father has become explicitly
      my
      > concern. It is here that existentialism locates the singularity of
      existence
      > and identifies what is irreducible in the first-person stance. At the
      same
      > time, authenticity does not hold out some specific way of life as a
      norm;
      > that is, it does not distinguish between the projects that I might
      choose.
      > Instead, it governs the manner in which I am engaged in such
      projectsâ€"either
      > as "my own" or as "what one does," transparently or opaquely.
      >
      > Thus existentialism's focus on authenticity leads to a distinctive
      stance
      > toward ethics and value-theory generally. The possibility of
      authenticity is
      > a mark of my freedom, and it is through freedom that existentialism
      > approaches questions of value, leading to many of its most
      recognizable
      > doctrines."
      >
      > http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/#Aut
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome wrote:
      > >
      > > How is authenticity tied to freedom and responsibility??
      > >
      > > Are you suggesting that even though a person may act as they think,
      they
      > > cannot be authentic because they owned slaves. Or that someone is
      not
      > > authentic because they do not take responsibility for their actions.
      > > Perhaps a person does not take responsibility for their actions
      because
      > > that
      > > is what they actually think.
      > >
      > > It would seem to me that, in regard to the US congress, you are
      applying a
      > > 3rd person qualification. How can anyone be said to be authentic
      when the
      > > validity of what they do in relation to their thinking is dependent
      upon
      > > what someone else thinks??
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 6:10 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] concept of authenticity
      > >
      > > Being authentic is not an isolated concept; it's tied to other
      concepts
      > > such
      > > as freedom and responsibility. The U.S. congress has been held
      hostage by
      > > ideologues, not authentic people. When I listened to Rubio question
      > > nominee
      > > Brennan today, I was embarrassed for him. What laws govern the CIA's
      > > treatment of suspected terrorists? Really, Mr. Rubio? Brennan almost
      > > stumbled on his most obvious answers. Rubio seemed to have no regard
      for
      > > international conventions and laws or the sovereignty of other other
      > > nations. If Brennan is ready to work with Congress, who supposedly
      > > represent
      > > our best interests, and with the President to lay out for the
      American
      > > people the process of selecting drone targets, I have no problem
      with him.
      > >
      > > Mary



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