Tuesday, February 19, 2013
When I used to hear the word "existentialism", I used to think of some ultra progressive, lofty and leftist philosophical concept. I had heard it defined ultra simplistically, in that was the idea that basically life is meaningless and we therefore should do whatever it is that makes us happy. After truly studying it, I realize my previous conception of existentialism was wildly different from it's actually principles and characteristics. Now I see existentialism as a rigid philosophy, one that holds humans entirely responsible for their actions, and that shows little sympathy toward the human condition. Existentialism feels hyper-rational: you are your choices, that is that. You always have a choice. I happen to disagree. I think that where, when and whatever situation you are born into influences who you are. I think of slaves in the antebellum south, jews in fascist europe, and incredibly poor people in third world countries today. Do they have true freedom to be the person they want to be? Not everyone has the power to choose.