Sartre’s existentialist ideas are mostly closely tied to the theory of free will. If existence precedes essence, that is if there is no purpose to why we are here, this grants humans ultimate free will (and ultimate responsibility) to create themselves, the world and fill it with meaning. I disagree with Sartre’s claim that existence precedes essence, and furthermore that free will can still exist outside these boundaries.
My primary problem to existentialism stems from Sartre’s claim “We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.” (Sartre) He argues that human existence came before all, that we came into being and then gave meaning to everything. This argument appears to oppose biological science, from an evolutionist and creationist standpoint.
Evolutionary science supports the claim that humans came into being over mill...
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...ally just since each person adds meaning to everything he or she chooses to do or believe. Existentialism states that each person’s life is in itself an example of how others should live but with an essence unique to every individual, such a standard is impossible to accept.
In my opinion, much of Sartre’s ideas stemmed from his atheism. With the absence of a divine creator, he concluded that humans in themselves must be the start of all things. He rejected the idea that God could coincide with free will. While existentialism does raise some important and relevant points, its core that existence precedes essence is not a valid one, nor does a different view eliminate the possibility of free will.
Satre, Jean Paul. “Existentialism is a Humanism”. April 30, 2011
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