Jean- Paul Sartre’s claims on Existentialism appear to me as evident proofs inhabiting such ideas that can make certain people believe about the knowledge on existence; yet it still bothers me that it somehow opposes what I’ve believed since I acquire the consciousness of confirming what is true for me. I remember the line Not that we believe that God does not exist, but we think that the problem of his existence is not the issue– definitely, this sounds agnostic but that doesn’t keep me from reading. It actually makes me think deeper and hold on to every argument that is thrown, without losing my faith and sense of wonder.
There are two standpoints presented: Christianity and Positivism- whereas both conclude something that is different from Sartre’s assertion. Christianity says that ‘Man has been created in the image of God’ supported by the statements ‘Man is nothing by himself; he owes everything to his Creator’ and ‘Man has special status before all other creatures’. This is countered by Sartre, saying that ‘Human being is the supreme and sovereign reality; there’s no pre-determined essence and he makes himself freely through his activities’. Positivism says that ‘Man is an end itself, a supreme value’ which establishes that ‘life is continuous and earnest act of worship’. This is countered by Sartre, saying that ‘Man, is by nature free, and still to be determined’.
Given the polarity of views, I honestly feel like floating due to the strength of their convictions; but it has not caused my own beliefs to falter. For humanism, man is real and there’s nothing above him that no reality can be any higher. From an existentialist point of view, man is never to be taken as an end for he is still to be figured out. Man is who gives rise to his own values. What makes him exist is the mere fact that he is self-surpassing; wherein he is free outside of himself to project, to lose, to pursue transcendence, and be the heart of it. In this perspective, the universe is full of human subjectivity, total freedom and inevitable responsibility. Perhaps absolute individualism is what it tells that matters, individual and social aspects must be weighed in and get accommodated.
Humans always aim for the better. Nothing can be better for him unless it is better for all. We are supposedly conscientious individuals that as we discover ourselves is the moment we also discover others. Are there any choices left with us? Terms are easily defined but they get complicated in the process. Thus, what makes man a universal concept? The decision is within us. We are condemned to be free. Consume our lives constructively.
Isn’t it that Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself? Thus, I stand still. Existentialism, humanism, positivism, Christianity- I myself choose the meaning they have.