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Question: existence precedes essence means that for humans that we have...

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Existence precedes essence means that for humans, that we have no set role to fill, we have no predetermined purpose, we are free to live how we see fit. Essence proceeding existence means that there is a preexisting way for that thing to function. Saying that man is condemned to be free is referring to the idea of existence preceding essence. Since we have no set purpose, we are free, but that means that we have to make our life what we want, and we can’t blame others if we don’t live the life we want. We alone make the decisions for our life, it is completely up to us. Sartre believes the foundation of human values to freedom, the ability to choose how to live.

I think this an interesting way to look at the world because having a predetermined purpose has always stressed me out because I’m afraid I won’t figure it out and mess it up. The freedom Sartre is expressing with us being able to live for ourselves and rule our own lives because there is no preset mold we must fit, is definitely interesting and a little liberating. I feel that believing essence precedes existence is a very religious idea, and I feel that it offers people a feeling of comfort and security, that everything is gonna work out because their lives are loosely planned out before they exist, which is comforting to know. If you are truly free with this belief is up to the person, if they feel comforted or restricted by the feeling of having their life planned and set before them. While I feel that the existence preceding essence idea is liberating, it is also very scary and sad to think that we have no purpose other than making our lives exactly how we want, and making ourselves happy. In this way of living you become you by your values, beliefs, actions, and interests. Your morality comes from within, but I’m sure you would still be influenced by the cultures around you.

I like this quote because I feel that people do things because it is something they feel they are supposed to do. People don’t have a real involvement in their lives, they are just doing things for others. I think it ties into Ayn Rand's saying that doing things for others shouldn’t be our life. People need to do what they want, not just what is expected. Because of my interpretation of the quote, I think Sartre would agree with this quote. He pushed for individual choices, and personal freedom, he thought people should live for themselves.

I’m not sure how I feel about existentialism. I like the emphasis of choice and living for yourself, but it feels like this idea is a little out there. The idea of humans having no purpose at all is a little scary, so I think that is holding me back from liking existentialism.


what are your thoughts on this do you agree or disagree?
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