Existentialism For Dummies

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:53 pm

Gamer wrote:How did it get that way? Not relevant, although it could all be Darwinian.


Stuartp523 wrote:Sartre never says what his view on determinism is, what he does do is show why it doesn't matter.


Gamer, would you say those two quotes show an apt comparison between an element of our descriptions of existentialism, despite our difference in terminology?
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Gamer wrote:
As for the normative side of things... well, how should you live if you're a existentialist? And why?

That's like asking what/how to paint if you happen to be holding a brush. The answer is: something/now.

Normative, for those who would otherwise study the brush, bristle by bristle, and forget to paint anything while there's still time. Or stand around waiting for someone to tell them what to paint, or wait for an audience to paint for...thinking that without an audience, what's the point? WHY should I paint THAT and for WHO?


I think that the question, "WHY would I paint that?" is an important one---but I certainly don't want that to make me the person who studies the brush, bristle by bristle, never actually painting anything. Maybe this is a conflict..? Or maybe it just requires a day-planner, and not outright rejecting justificatory questions (like "WHY?"), as if existentialism were basically the fickle philosophy of teenage girls, who just do and like things whimsically.

Here's a beef that I might have with existentialism, generally. Two staple concepts are at odds with each other: (a) authenticity, and (b) "existence preceeds essence". When I paint, I want to be expressing who I am---true to myself, authentic. It's like Nietzsche said; he said that he writes because he's pregnant, with ideas, and he's got to get them out. On the other hand, existentialists imply that there's NO essential guidance you can find by looking within yourself, because essence doesn't preceed anything. What am I supposed to be authentic in relation to?

How do you cash in this analogy, or how and why do you "paint" with an existentialist viewpoint? Exercise your freedom. Bind yourself to laws of your OWN making. How do you make laws? Find the natural laws within. At risk of sounding clumsy, I define it as those laws hidden in plain view in your deepest heart, woven into one's being, that which hold literary or aesthetic value, thus yielding the highest lasting positive impact when adhered to.


This makes sense to me. (But side point: Binding yourself to a law of your own making actually sounds a bit more like my boy Immanuel Kant). But anyways, here's my beef now...

Existentialists don't usually think there's any ultimate meaning/purpose in existence. (I take an "ultimate meaning/purpose" to just be anything for which it does not make sense to continue to ask the "WHY?" question. An ultimate meaning/purpose is one that is it's own justification). So when I go searching in plain view in my deepest heart, whatever, that stuff is to me going to be an ultimate meaning/purpose. ---Not because I am a god, but just because that stuff justifies what I do no differently than believing in a God would. It is the ultimate foundation of what I do. I build off of it. It's essence.

Point is, you get to decide what has meaning, but not totally, most of that is decided for you. You get to decide whether or not you are in touch with it. Like the quote in my signature says.
Maybe we're on the same page.

Courage is flipping the bird at the heavens and the void inside you.
Here's what I'm thinking, in a nutshell: If there's really nothing in the heavens, and nothing but a void inside me... then there's nothing left over to flip the bird to either one. But obviously, I don't want to be counting bristles either way.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:24 pm

Moreno wrote:I Think I tend to agree, I am just not sure that's what Sartre thought.


Moreno, Just in case your doubt is because of Sartre's later work, let me mention that I was only describing what were Sartre's views as he was writing Being and nothingness.

I'd like to use an analogy to show the difference between how I know that book and how one who had a thorough philosophical education may know that book. I know I wrote a lot, perhaps it would only be necessary to thoroughly read the paragraph in bold and the last paragraph. I simply wish to show why I may be considered to have a certain form of expertise on this subject and why my word on this matter may have more validity than one might expect (and I would also note that this subject and it alone is what I would claim I have philosophical expertise on).

I'll first describe the differences between myself and the one who had a thorough philosophical education. The latter person studied many prior philosophers before arriving and Being and Nothingness, in many cases they were asked to do so at what I would consider an unnatural pace such as just a few years, for whatever philosophical work they read they were asked to read/hear a modern philosophers (one who had also had original studied philosophy in the same way) views including in many cases their instructor. They often did not have time to decide what they think of each philosophical work and simply had to defer to contemporary philosophers/their instructor, they certainly did not have the time to integrate the philosophies into a more broad perception of who they are. Then when they came to Being and Nothingness they had to levels of bias working against them, the fact that they may be inclined to take every piece they read and relate it to their vast prior education and the fact that with that book as the others they will be asked to study it while reading/listening to a contemporary philosopher's/instructor's views.

But, that is just their initial education. Those modern philosophers who would claim expertise may have spent the next forty years in continued study of that book, but I think we can both agree that many of the biases they were given while initially studying the book stayed with them and kept them from seeing the book in an entirely authentic manner (you may note the irony).

This is how I learned about Being and Nothingness. About three years ago ninety percent of what I had read was fiction and I had never read a complete philosophical work or modern philosopher's review of one or heard an instructor's views on one. In fact the only philosopher I had ever read was Dennet. I also simply knew nothing of the subject of the history of philosophy. The relevant background I had was years of spending hours at a time whenever I got the chance reflecting on philosophical concepts. But, it should be noted that they were antagonistic to Sartre's views (at the time all I knew was that Sartre insisted we must find our own meaning and I still thought that meaning was set in stone and only need to be found, long some long lost treasure). But, I was drawn to his book after sampling many others simply because the writing style drew me in. For some reason I appreciated that it was not written in a way that would insult one's intelligence, but went right into abstraction and rarely left.

I had to learn that book as if I was learning a new language; it was that incomprehensible at first. I read the book at least four times (throughout about one and a half of the next two years) before I ever discussed it with anyone. I couldn't help but have an intuitive understanding of it after reading it that many times with nothing but the text itself for and a relatively few words from the translator. Sartre convinced me that that I wasn't going to find the truth hidden somewhere. Sartre gave me a good way of explaining this dynamic of truth to myself. I still didn't know the meaning of many of the words he was using including all the Greek and German for which the translator rarely bothered to translate and I never looked them up. So explaining the book to others has always been difficult, but one can be assured that I know what I'm saying.

The analogy between me and the one with the formal education in Sartre can be made between one with a formal education in the English language itself and one with an informal. Let's say there are two adults from a culture mostly isolated from Western ideas. With a language that is about as far remove from English as possible. So neither had any formal western education. An English professor (let's say an American) moved there and spent five years tutoring one of them; 'A'. He taught him formal English and that was all that they spoke to each other. And he taught him an enormous vocabulary and the historical contexts of many of the English language's words as well as the history of the language itself. And perhaps he even taught him some aspects of the cultures of the English speaking people, both historically and modern.

Then the other person; 'B', moved to America and lived and worked with a family that owned a small business, in a Midwest town that was mostly culturally homogeneous for whom they could be said to reflect the stereotypical American culture (I know that's vague). He never learned to read and they never bothered to tell him much about the rest of the outside world. He became fluent in the exact form of English that was spoken in that family’s neighborhood and learned practically everything about their culture, simply by living and working amongst them.

Now let's say that many people in the culture that both people are from immigrated to America including 'A'. Perhaps a different part of the country than where 'B' was living. So 'B' moved to be with them. Let's say they were the first of their culture to get established in America. So basically they had to heavily rely on the education that 'A' and 'B' had gotten. Both 'A' and 'B' could help teach them English, and translate for them initially. 'A' would be useful knowing how to read and he could teach others to read and tell them all the historical knowledge he has (should they be interested). 'B' would simply just know the culture through his prior emersion and would be of much more use. For people unfamiliar with the culture and who must do their best to find a place to live and work he would have knowledge that 'A' simply couldn't help them with. And if someone from their culture should have a cultural misunderstanding and go to them for help, only 'B' would really be able to explain to them the problem (no matter how hard 'A' might try).
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:19 pm

Stu-bones,

You are the resident Sartre aficionado. I honestly recognize that you know more about B/N than the rest here. But you don't need to make your magnum opus a proof it. It's showing off.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:43 pm

I sincerely must thank you for that comment. By the way, I've long known that if I ever had a question about Kant you're the one to ask.

In fact, I would be interested in knowing what influences Kant had on Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger, should you care to get into that or give me a link.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Gamer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:40 pm

Gamer, would you say those two quotes show an apt comparison between an element of our descriptions of existentialism, despite our difference in terminology?


yes

If there's really nothing in the heavens, and nothing but a void inside me... then there's nothing left over to flip the bird to either one. But obviously, I don't want to be counting bristles either way.


Yours is a great description of the vexation of being a thinking human.

The paradox, the unscratched itch, the pissedoffness or (if you're lucky like me) the free-floating, drowning terror of having to consider that there's no God and no soul within me.

Existentialism is saying it doesn't matter. Because what's left over, the ONLY thing left over, is this experiential fact of flipping the bird, in the wanting to, and in the doing of so many things...and there's a measure of peace to be had in doing, having done, and knowing what game you're playing.

Whatever the heavens did and are doing to lock us in our prisons and torture us with our vicious infinite-regression intellects, it has given us an out, it has given us existentialism.


If there is a God, he would need to be an existentialist.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:07 pm

Gamer wrote:The paradox, the unscratched itch, the pissedoffness or (if you're lucky like me) the free-floating, drowning terror of having to consider that there's no God and no soul within me.

Existentialism is saying it doesn't matter. Because what's left over, the ONLY thing left over, is this experiential fact of flipping the bird, in the wanting to, and in the doing of so many things...and there's a measure of peace to be had in doing, having done, and knowing what game you're playing.


There was one time that I was pitching, in baseball. (This is a true story). This highly touted home run hitter came to the plate. He was a monster. He'd grip the bat in his hands like he was strangling it. I remember his shoulders seemed like a yard wide. He hit everything, far. The coach walked to the mound and told me to throw him nothing but curve balls. I guess he thought he wasn't as good at hitting curve balls, far. So I started throwing him nothing but curve balls. I threw like 5 or 6 looping curve balls. He was fouling them off. I got to two strikes. The catcher again put down two fingers, the sign for another curve ball. I shook him off. And then I had to shake him off again, emphatically. I was going to throw a fastball. I threw the fastball up around his eye-level---the high heat. I knew that he knew that it was coming, because I'd had to shake the catcher off twice. He swung violently, right underneath it, and I struck him out. I remember the coach just looking at me as I walked back to the dugout.

I was a kid, but in that moment, my existence was justified. The fact that it doesn't last doesn't mean it didn't happen. This is just an example of a more common phenomenon. I've had it from reading a book, watching a movie, meeting a person, hearing a song, and other things.

Camus tells the story of Sisyphus, rolling the rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. The last line of that book is, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy". Most people might think that Camus means that Sisyphus is happy. But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"

I don't need to get the rock to the top of the hill, if what that means is finding absolute truth, or some eternal unchanging X. I have the experiential fact of having a soul, and not a void within me. ---Not always, but that it doesn't last doesn't mean it doesn't happen. And I have had the experience of existence being justified. I'm not referring to anything someone couldn't believe... it was just about refusing to throw a curveball that one time.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:43 pm

I was a kid, but in that moment, my existence was justified. The fact that it doesn't last doesn't mean it didn't happen. This is just an example of a more common phenomenon. I've had it from reading a book, watching a movie, meeting a person, hearing a song, and other things.
Any fool will feel good when he strikes out the batter ... it's what you feel when you don't strike out the batter that's significant.
Camus tells the story of Sisyphus, rolling the rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. The last line of that book is, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy". Most people might think that Camus means that Sisyphus is happy. But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"
You should have read more than the last sentence.
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds
one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that
negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well.
This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither
sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of
that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle
itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.
One must
imagine Sisyphus happy.

http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/authe ... syphus.pdf
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:34 pm

phyllo wrote:
Camus tells the story of Sisyphus, rolling the rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. The last line of that book is, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy". Most people might think that Camus means that Sisyphus is happy. But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"
You should have read more than the last sentence.
Camus wrote:I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds
one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that
negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well.
This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither
sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of
that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle
itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.
One must
imagine Sisyphus happy.


I didn't say that Camus can't imagine Sisyphus happy... I said that I can't imagine Sisyphus happy. Before you start insulting someone, get clear about what they're saying, please.

Any fool will feel good when he strikes out the batter ... it's what you feel when you don't strike out the batter that's significant.
I didn't say that I simply felt good, or even good at all, I said that I felt my existence was justified. ---And it wasn't about the baseball game itself.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:18 pm

I didn't say that Camus can't imagine Sisyphus happy... I said that I can't imagine Sisyphus happy. Before you start insulting someone, get clear about what they're saying, please.

You said :
But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"
Camus doesn't think that at all. If he did, then he wouldn't be an existentialist... he would not have written what he did.
I didn't say that I simply felt good, or even good at all, I said that I felt my existence was justified. ---And it wasn't about the baseball game itself.
Yeah, I know what you wrote. It translates to : 'when I succeed, I feel good and my existence is justified.'
The philosophy of the mob.
Nothing could be farther away from existentialism.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:34 pm

phyllo wrote:
But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"
Camus doesn't think that at all. If he did, then he wouldn't be an existentialist...
Yes he would: that's exactly what makes him the existentialist that he is. That's the whole point of 'the absurd'. If you demand an ultimate meaning/purpose to life, (by analogy, getting the rock to he top of the hill), you'll never get it.

Yeah, I know what you wrote. It translates to : 'when I succeed, I feel good and my existence is justified.'
The philosophy of the mob.
Nothing could be farther away from existentialism.
When I threw the fastball, despite being told not to, despite not being sure it was right but thinking it was, I was doing something that I thought would work, I was testing myself, I was exerting my free choice--even if it meant making a mistake. And I was doing it when the stakes, relative to who I was, were high. Nothing could have mattered more to me---whether I failed, or I succeeded. In that sense, I felt my existence was justified... because I was being who I was. I have had the same feeling in situations where I failed relative to my goal, particularly when I failed because I refused to compromise myself somehow. What you said about me is just wrong.

You have walked in, completely misunderstood me, which is fine in itself, but you've managed to rattle off some insults, and achieve nothing by it. Please, don't respond to what I write. I'm going to be ignoring you.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:27 pm

vR has learned nothing once again. The stone rolls down yet again.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby statiktech » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:29 pm

phyllo wrote:
But if Sisyphus wants the rock at the top of the hill, then I can't imagine Sisyphus happy, and I expect that Camus made his last line because he thinks existence would be nothing but a torment otherwise. "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"
Camus doesn't think that at all. If he did, then he wouldn't be an existentialist... he would not have written what he did.


I always took Camus to mean that he imagined Sisyphus happy insofar as he considers the life he lived worth it. He owns his fate and regrets nothing. Sure, he's condemned to keep pushing that rock, but all the while he is looking back fondly.

Also, I think VR is right in his assessment of the absurd—grasping for meaning in an ultimately meaningless existence.
"Man is the animal that laughs at himself."
—Robert A Heinlein
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:11 pm

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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:00 pm

I always took Camus to mean that he imagined Sisyphus happy insofar as he considers the life he lived worth it. He owns his fate and regrets nothing. Sure, he's condemned to keep pushing that rock, but all the while he is looking back fondly.
He's not only looking back. He's living life at the moment. He feels joy while performing the futile task.

If you are only looking back, then suicide is a reasonable choice to make.
Also, I think VR is right in his assessment of the absurd—grasping for meaning in an ultimately meaningless existence.
That's a pretty standard definition of absurd.

But this : "One must imagine Sisyphus happy, or else!"

We have to fabricate a happiness for poor Sisyphus or his life is just torment? He can't be genuinely happy?
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Gamer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:14 pm

it was just about refusing to throw a curveball that one time.


It was just about refusing. Or any other kind of choice you can make for the sheer joy of making the choice.

And that's what existentialism is. And Sisyphus is also capable of refusing to pitch curveballs. That's why we must imagine him happy. With all that pushing, he's bound to find something analogous to shaking off the catcher's sign and so forth.

You know, when I came here a decade ago, that quote about Sisyphus was my first signature, and I called myself Gamer because of Sisyphus, I imagined him playing a game with that stone. I figured I'd do the same, and find some people to roll stones with, knowing full well they'd topple down. I imagined Sisyphus knew, too, that the stone's always going to fall. I imagined he dealt with it by being playful and creative and not taking it all too seriously. Further, I imagined that he began to feel that getting the stone to the top would be a kind of curse, a kind of death, because his game would end. So he began to devise ways of making sure the boulder fell, just in case the Gods tired and let him roll it up to the top as a sort of ambuscade.

Can you imagine how lucky he felt, like a cat with a canary. Here he was meant to be cursed, but found a loophole. Shhhh
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:21 am

Gamer wrote:Further, I imagined that he began to feel that getting the stone to the top would be a kind of curse, a kind of death, because his game would end. So he began to devise ways of making sure the boulder fell, just in case the Gods tired and let him roll it up to the top as a sort of ambuscade.

Can you imagine how lucky he felt, like a cat with a canary. Here he was meant to be cursed, but found a loophole. Shhhh


Yea, maybe it's not a coincidence that existentialists tend to be some of the most phenomenal artistic writers... like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche especially, but also Camus, Dostoyevski I guess. There's art there, even when the ideas themselves are bleak.

It's been a while since I've read one of those bonafide existentialists, so maybe what follows isn't really fair. Nevertheless, I feel like I'm being sold a choose-your-own-adventure story. I leave wishing that they would hook a brotha up, a bit more, with normativity. Maybe the point is to describe the inner life of creatures such as us so well that the reader is better equiped to make his own choices. If that's it, then I get it. I recognize.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:42 am

von Rivers wrote:Yea, maybe it's not a coincidence that existentialists tend to be some of the most phenomenal artistic writers... like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche especially, but also Camus, Dostoyevski I guess. There's art there, even when the ideas themselves are bleak.
Dostoyevski is an odd case, he's also a Christian mystic.

It's been a while since I've read one of those bonafide existentialists, so maybe what follows isn't really fair. Nevertheless, sometimes when I'm engaging with existentialists, I feel like I'm being sold a choose-your-own-adventure story with no adventure options. Maybe that's the point. But still, I leave wishing that they would hook a brotha up, a bit more. Maybe the point is to describe the inner life of creatures such as us so well that the reader is better equiped to make his own choices. If that's it, then I get it. I recognize, I Think.
Then there's Samuel Beckett making a mockery of choices. 6 of one.....
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Orbie » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:43 am

von Rivers wrote:
Gamer wrote:Further, I imagined that he began to feel that getting the stone to the top would be a kind of curse, a kind of death, because his game would end. So he began to devise ways of making sure the boulder fell, just in case the Gods tired and let him roll it up to the top as a sort of ambuscade.

Can you imagine how lucky he felt, like a cat with a canary. Here he was meant to be cursed, but found a loophole. Shhhh


Yea, maybe it's not a coincidence that existentialists tend to be some of the most phenomenal artistic writers... like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche especially, but also Camus, Dostoyevski I guess. There's art there, even when the ideas themselves are bleak.

It's been a while since I've read one of those bonafide existentialists, so maybe what follows isn't really fair. Nevertheless, sometimes when I'm engaging with existentialists, I feel like I'm being sold a choose-your-own-adventure story with no adventure options. Maybe that's the point. But still, I leave wishing that they would hook a brotha up, a bit more. Maybe the point is to describe the inner life of creatures such as us so well that the reader is better equiped to make his own choices. If that's it, then I get it. I recognize, I think.





That is just the point. Choices. As if we were really free to make choices: where the truth is, we are bound like Prometheus, sometime to oblige other people.

Total freedom? Was sysyphus free? He had to roll the rock back, no doubt, the freedom in post world war europe was built on an embilloience of hope, upon the sleeve of overcoming tyranny, and the promose of communism's deloivery. It was all unresolved, but there was a warm breeze in the air in August 1944, and it felt like a coming up from a deep cavern into a Platonic sunshine.

The reason I feel this way, because for the first time in my life I feel that I must change: change away from the godless despair, and turn toward the god who does not exist, but had to be invented. This God is the God of selfless love. It is a communal god hypothesized upon a projected brotherhood of man, and if we loose that god, we loose it all.

It is not despair that drive us toward this aim,but the postmodern threat of a recurrent either/or.

I, Along with a lot of inauthentic people in the world, must come to terms with who we are, and give it up in supplication to the inherent god to come
[size=50][/size]Allone's Obe issance



In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:48 am

Moreno wrote:Dostoyevski is an odd case, he's also a Christian mystic.
Kierkegaard was a Christian. I think some people think that's only as a ruse though.

Then there's Samuel Beckett making a mockery of choices. 6 of one.....
I've never read him, so I don't understand...
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Orbie » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:59 am

von Rivers wrote:
Moreno wrote:Dostoyevski is an odd case, he's also a Christian mystic.
Kiekegaard was a Christian. I think some people think that's only as a ruse though.

Then there's Samuel Beckett making a mockery of choices. 6 of one.....
I've never read him, so I don't understand...





I've read him: he is borderline between existentialism and post modernism: his absurdist position is I believe meant as a kind of warning: about how we have to change thingsam. He is an absurd fatalist, and I don't believe he believes very much the freedom which manifests in choices..

Kierkegaard I belive isn't musing about existentialistic Christianity, although. Sometimes he makes you wonder. His repetition inclines one to want to believe in the repeat of mystic traits, and enlightening people like Jesus. But maybe it's because he was always a beacon of light for me from say sartre, for whom hell was other people.
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In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby von Rivers » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:41 pm

obe wrote:I've read him: he is borderline between existentialism and post modernism: his absurdist position is I believe meant as a kind of warning: about how we have to change thingsam. He is an absurd fatalist, and I don't believe he believes very much the freedom which manifests in choices..
An absurdist fatalist? That's an odd combination. Anyways, if he's a postmodernist, then confound him! Nah, but I probably won't get him. I'm waiting for the post-postmoderism. Btw, have you ever read the "postmodernism generator". It's a computer generator that generates text, syntactically correct I think, but totally randomly. IOW, it generates articles that look like they're meaningful, but are really totally, utterly, meaningless. Check it out if you haven't: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Orbie » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:57 pm

In order to get past post modern , von rivers, the fatalism implicit in existential despair has to be overcome. This is simply I believe, not yet conceivable,even the few remaining existentialists, who have not swallowed the soulless ad campaign of a totally de constructed world.

Why the de-construction in post modernism? Because of the inability for most to even get to a phenomenological reduction.

The reduction itself is not so difficult, but what is found there is mostly unacceptable in the materialistic consumptive world. And the post deconstructionists are trying to form a way to get there, but all attempts remain strictly iconoclastic.

The new high technology we think will fill in all the missing element. Utilization of technology and it's effects replaces the psychic effort to do it for one's self.

It is so politically incorrect not to be up to par.

Yes, Beckett is a fatalist, he doesn't seem to think that there is any hope of avoiding loosing out soul.

Our soul, our essence is defined by artificial choices, mostly out of expedience, affordability, rather then from a sense of responsibility. But it isn't an either/or kind of process, there are shades of grey, and sometimes they are definable, sometimes making sense, but usually, people will let any doubt go by a sort of understood paradigm.
[size=50][/size]Allone's Obe issance



In answer to your prayer
sincere, the centre of
your circle here,
i stand ; and , without
taking thought,-
i know nothing. But i can

Full well your need-as
you be men
This: Re-Creation. With a
bow,
Then, your obedient

servant now.
One gift is all i find in me,
And that is faithful
memory
Orbie
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Posts: 7596
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Stuart » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:56 pm

Read Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling or do a search of his name under my posts' archives if you want to see what type of Christian he was.
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Re: Existentialism For Dummies

Postby Moreno » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:56 pm

von Rivers wrote:Kierkegaard was a Christian. I think some people think that's only as a ruse though.
I don't Think it was a ruse, however it was nothing like a 'normal' christian's view he had. Dostoyevsky was more traditional. Interesting, just peeked at Wiki, and some people refer to him as a deist, but his views do not strike me as deist. Then later it mentions him being Orthodox. My impression was his beliefs did shift over time and his epileptic fugues played a strong role in his sense of the numinous.

I've never read him, so I don't understand...
Well, the Classic Waiting for Godot is a good start. Take an hour maybe. And it is entertaining, if ultimately bleak.
Last edited by Moreno on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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