Existentialism is an example of a philosophical work that was established by philosophers in the 19th and the 20th century. Thus, in the definition of existentialism, they shared the opinion that the rational thinking that we often encounter, usually begins with the human subject and does not start with the thinking subject. It should also be noted that the primary value of having existentialism is the aspect of facilitating and promoting authenticity. Consequently, existentialism has the possibility of emphasizing the human beings existence, choice as well as the freedom nature of people. Researchers and philosophers who try to explain existentialism believe on the idea that people are always trying to define and have a meaning in their lives. In this case, they identify that despite the fact that the universe is highly irrational, human beings are ever attempting to create a rational decision while having to live in the difficult world. Thus, there is an explanation that focuses on the human existence, as well as upholding the feeling that indeed, no purpose exists at the core of life. An interesting fact shifts to the religious aspect as existentialism brings the belief that there is no God. Furthermore, it also erases the thoughts of a transcendent force ever existing. In the end, embracing existence is the only way that can be applied to have a counter on the nothingness and suggestion that there is no God.
Existentialism holds that human beings are free individuals, and they have to account for their personal responsibility (Robert, 2005). However, while taking the personal responsibility, they have to brace for anguish which often occurs in the process. Action, the decision as well as freedom are the essential tools in promoting Existentialism. Thus, by individuals exercising their liberty and choice, they will be able to rise above the typical absurd condition of the humanity which is characterized by the inevitable death and suffering to the individuals.
A brief historical summary of the term Existentialism is that the origin of the word is traced back to the 19th century with credit being given to two philosophers that are Soren, Kierkegaard, and Fredrich Nietzsche. However, despite directing the credit to these authors, neither of them was able to use the term in their works. The 1940s and the 1950s saw French existentialists writing the scholarly works and fictional materials whose aim was to improve and popularize the existentialist themes. These topics did include the dread that human beings dreaded, boredom, freedom, alienation, commitment as well as nothingness (Thomas, 2009). The authors who made these possible were Jean-Paul Sartre, Simon de Beauvoir and Albert Camus.
Critics have also been influential and able to develop their ideas and opinions regarding the term Existentialism. Christians are one of the members who complain that the concept of Existentialism does portray the human nature in a negative and a bad state. They identify that the picture that existentialism brings is that it overlooks the aspect of dignity and grace that is usually profound with the image of God. Existentialism suggests that there is no God. Furthermore, Christian critics claim that there is a deficiency as Existentialism does not account for the moral dimensions that are usually in the human life and thus they also do not explain the basis theory that is always bound by the commands of God. Thus, according to Christians, the explanation that Existentialism brings in that there is no God creates damages in the moral sector.
In life, there have been challenges that I have been able to encounter that brought the reflection of the overall life. Growing up, I was never privileged to have a chance to enjoy and have my biological parents for long. The uncertainties that happened in life did include that they were involved in a road accident while I was still at a tender age of eight years. The road accident claimed their life, and here death had robbed me of my parents. That is when life did take a different turn. My uncle who was a brother to my father took me in and became my foster parent. Despite having a shelter, food and clothing access, life was completely different. I was subjected to hard work and torture while residing with my uncle. I would do the house chores and always slept late after everyone had slept. Furthermore, I was expected to rise the first person and prepare breakfast meals for everybody in the family. When I once asked my uncle why he was doing this to me, he quickly replied that there is nothing that is given for free and that everybody has to work hard to gain the items that he wanted. He further said that if I was not comfortable, i should call on God and see if he can help me. The constant torture set back my studies and health as they ended up deteriorating and worsening. In my mind, I had thoughts of escaping, but I had no place to go even if I had to get away.
The existentialist crisis emerged, and I questioned the purpose of life that I was living at that time. There was no freedom and no choice as I was reduced to a kind of a slave.
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Robert, C. (2005). Existentialism. Oxford University Press
Thomas, F. (2009). Existentialism. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc