”Atheistic Existentialism Theory”

man-is-nothing-else-but-what-he-makes-of-himself

“Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.”

“A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.”

Existentialism is generally an atheistic philosophy though some theists have attempted to adopt it into their individual theistic paradigms. “Although many, if not most, existentialists were atheists, [Sшren] Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers and Gabriel Marcel pursued more theological versions of existentialism. The one-time Marxist Nikolai Berdyaev developed a philosophy of Christian existentialism in his native Russia and later France during the decades preceding World War II.”

existentialismExistentialism, for most of its adherents, can be understood as atheistic. In order to see this, it helps to look at the philosophy of existentialism as it contrasts with that of theism. Theists generally believe in an ultimate transcendent reality. Existentialists believe each person’s experience is unique and truly known only by that person. In other words, theists point to an objective reality, while existentialists see only a subjective one.

Theists emphasize interpersonal relationships (between a person and God, a believer, and other believers, a believer, and non-believers, etc). Existentialists emphasize the “isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe.” Theists believe that humans are created by God and are given a purpose by that Maker. Existentialists regard human existence as ultimately unexplainable.

17197463-abstract-word-cloud-for-existentialism-with-related-tags-and-termsTheists and existentialists generally agree on “freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.” But they differ significantly in that theists hold to an absolute moral standard, while existentialists believe in moral relativism.

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10 thoughts on “”Atheistic Existentialism Theory”

    1. For me God is indescribable, higher energy, has a control on flow of all energy’s… Ya we have different people with different thought, different mindset who have different thought on universal law…. And it’s creation.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Kierkegaard (as you noted) and Dostoevsky were both Christian existentialist (K. regarded by some as the father of existentialism). Based on your definitions and resulting reasoning, I’d agree with you that theism and existentialism are not compatible. However, I respectfully disagree with some of your definitions. They assume that (1) Christianity, or at least being a Christian, means believing in some sort of objective purpose and/or meaning for existence. I strongly disagree (though I understand the assumption, given what many Christians posit externally).

    As a Christian, this is controversial, but I feel compelled to say it: I don’t know that God exists. I don’t know that the bible is some divine text inspired by God. I don’t know that Jesus died and was resurrected. And so on.

    Instead, I have what I am somewhat certain I can call faith related to those above statements. Faith and hope, I suppose.

    That being said, I am not unwilling to raise questions commonly raised by atheists. If I cannot know that God exists (the very foundation of my spirituality), then how can I know what the meaning/purpose of my existence is?

    The most basic posit of existentialism is: Existence precedes essence. Sartre, according to Wikipedia, said “man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.” I think what we often think of as existentialism is concerned with the “encounters himself” part. After all, the way we experience the world is largely reflective of how we encounter ourselves as we exist in this world. The degree to which we experience discomfort or pleasure is probably proportionate to the degree to which our experiences with external things either resonate or cause dissonance to us (this is the “surges up in the world”, leading to “defining self afterwards” parts) – hence existential crises.

    Given the above tenets, I’m not sure that Christianity (from the point of view of a truly honest Christian) is necessarily incompatible with existentialism. Even if it were proven somehow that God created mankind, and that God exists, and all that other stuff…and even if every person on earth was a Christian, I believe there would still be just as many existentialists. No matter who/what I believe God to be, I am still who/what I am. If the bible is to be taken literally, there are likely several examples of followers of God who may have been existentialists (or at least closely resembled when having something like existential crises): Jesus, David, Solomon, etc.

    My favorite quote from your post is this:

    Theists emphasize interpersonal relationships (between a person and God, a believer, and other believers, a believer, and non-believers, etc). Existentialists emphasize the “isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe.” Theists believe that humans are created by God and are given a purpose by that Maker. Existentialists regard human existence as ultimately unexplainable.

    I would agree, with the caveat that you replace “Theists” with “Some theists”. I believe a theist is either ignorant or prideful (or both) if they believe human existence is explainable. I think it degrades the work of a Creator, to think that I could understand anything about that creator (including reasoning on the creator’s part), or even to fully understand anything that’s been created (including myself).

    The think the closest thing we have to a common purpose is to seek out further understanding about the world around us (and for us theists to additionally seek out further understanding of whatever God/religious things we’ve claim to follow). But really, I don’t believe we’ll ever come close to even scratching the surface of understanding…just about anything. Belief in a God does not necessitate wilful ignorance on the part of the believer. If anything, it should prompt the professed believer to dedicate his life to cutting off his ignorance, bit by bit. How else are we supposed to continuously encounter ourselves, surge up in the world, and redefine ourselves? Surely not by sitting around, letting our intellect atrophy.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this post! It got me to thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But …I have to say ..thanks for writing…I read your feedback ..it made me think for a while… Its a long debate between atheists and religion.. Both have their own concept on god… For me he is a creator who is next level of imagination.. Your faith comes here and on the other hand we have atheism where people like facts and believe in facts or say science…. And I’m a follower of both science and faith…I do believe there is hand of creator for building this nature and universe.. But it was always science and evolution who brings the facts about life..anyhow thanks for writing:) much Appreciate

      Like

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