Essay about The Human Condition: Existentialism in Nihilism and Morality

Essay about The Human Condition: Existentialism in Nihilism and Morality

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Prior to the events of the twentieth century and the emergence of existentialism as a true school of thought, the Enlightenment from 1650 to 1800, brought about the first modern philosophers. Among them, metaphysician Rene Descartes, more than a century before his time, most famously coined his maxim, “Cogito ergo sum”, translated from the original Latin “I think, therefore, I am”, which was the first answer to the first inquiry of human existence and “sums up perfectly the philosophical underpinnings of existentialist thought” (Existentialism). But it was Friedrich Nietzsche's “God is dead” that perfectly summarized the nihilist school of thought. Nietzsche was one of the first modern thinkers to rebel against rationalism and when the Russian Revolution came about, then World War I, the revolution against reason and religion had truly begun. The human condition is defined by nihilists and existentialists as a disillusion of morality by continuously demonstrating that not much in life matters and religion is but a farce.
Nihilism first came about in Russia after the revolution that ended with the death of the Russian Czar Nicholas II, also partially stemming from German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche's writings. French philosopher Jean-Paul Satre began the French existentialist movement with his lecture at the University of Paris, “Existentialism is Humanism” after the Germans vacated Paris with the onset of the armistice post-World War II (Watson 406). Existentialism primarily implements that life has purpose when it is given purpose, while nihilism stems from the thought that very little in life actually has meaning.
Existentialist philosophy firmly puts into place that life has no purpose unless one assigns it purpose, th...


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