Sunday, June 28, 2015

existentialist nonsense

"Sartre posits the idea that "what all existentialists have in common is the fundamental
doctrine that existence precedes essence", as scholar Frederick Copleston  explains."
This is patently absurd. of course there are many meanings or applications of the
term "essence" but in terms of the essence of a thing, what it is, this neither precedes
nor comes after existence but comes into existence with the thing that exists. Sure
you can have an idea of some invention you want to make, but that idea is merely
descriptive of the essence of it, that essence doesn't really exist until the thing does.

Existentialism also posits that "the individual's starting point is characterised by what
has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation and confusion in
the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world." (same link.)

now, I suppose a child waking up to its new environment at birth may feel like this
at the sudden transition, but it adapts quickly unless there is something wrong with
the environment. As it develops consciousness in the womb it probably doesn't have
confusion about anything. It just floats along. The sense of meaninglessness or
absurdity probably requires a prior sense of meaning and rationality that has been
disrupted,  a rapidly changing social and political environment would do this, and
this was going on when these ideas got going. One eventually meets the reality of
death, usually someone else's or an animal's death before one's own. This may raise
questions. A kind of gut level knowledge of God may exist also. Converting all
this into verbally expressable thoughts is when you get philosophical speculation.

One can just take it on faith that there is a bigger picture, just assume it as part of
your core ideas, or you can base the sense of meaning and rationality on short term
issues like family and nation and world current events, and then if there is a
disruption you will get a sense of meaninglessness and absurdity.  

The disruption of death may raise questions. but the existential despair is a product
of external conditions. your sense of "meaning" you had before may merely have
been a sense of certainty that  dinner will be served on time. granted if you have
worked at planting a garden and a tornado (or runaway herd of animals) tears it up
you may feel it was all for nothing, but a little more thought and you can see it was
not nothing while it lasted, you can try again and so forth. what is this "meaning"
everyone blithers about? seems to not even be defined the same way by everyone,
especially since some seek it in drugs, drugless drug trips (meditation) and crazy
ideas.  Perhaps it adds up to a sense of being okay, which in fact may be a delusion.

Seek God and resist sin and don't give into it, take note of Ecclesiastes whose end
conclusion was, fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole of life.
Do all for Jesus Christ, and if some garden gets torn up, or if after you die, you think,
the next owner of the property will tear it all up to make a parkinglot, while the
garden lasted God was hopefully happy with it, and remembers it.

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