“Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.”
What is "existentialism?" A group of atheists and agnostics will discuss it on Wed. Sept. 25, 2013 at 7 pm. Everyone is invited to this free event. Click here to see all the details:
Existentialism is largely known for two things:
1. Determining meaning for your life (“determining,” not “trying to find it” as if it is already determined by fate)
2. Taking responsibility for your own life
Every philosophy teacher might have a different take as to what “existentialism” is, but many seem to think that a seminal work is the 1946 lecture by Jean-Paul Sartre called “Existentialism Is a Humanism.” It can be found online here: http://tinyurl.com/4b4jy .
“From the Christian side, we are reproached as people who deny the reality and seriousness of human affairs. For since we ignore the commandments of God and all values prescribed as eternal, nothing remains but what is strictly voluntary. Everyone can do what he likes, and will be incapable, from such a point of view, of condemning either the point of view or the action of anyone else.”
What Sarte is pointing out is the personal responsibility of each person to find their own morals, meaning for life, etc. Many religious people accept, without question, whatever their religious teachers tell them, or what their ancient Holy Book tells them. Contrariwise, philosophers like Sarte admonish everyone to use their own mind and take responsibility for their own life, rather than depend on others as if they are like children to some father figure.
The Center for Philosophical Naturalism is sponsoring this event, as their objective is to learn how to live decent lives from a naturalistic worldview. To see other events sponsored by this group, click here: http://tinyurl.com/l6rd4sl . Their Facebook discussion page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/philosophicalnaturalism/ , and Twitter feed can be found here: https://twitter.com/NaturalThinkers .