Final Paper - When I was younger, I always thought about...

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When I was younger, I always thought about what I was doing with my life. I always wondered what was the point of doing everything I did, of doing anything at all. Why are we here? We live, we die. Life is like a game. The game begins, and then it ends. It’s a revolving circle where we will end up where we started: nonexistent. I questioned what the point of living was and I didn’t see any clear answer show up in the near future. I was obsessively thinking about the purpose of anything every minute I was awake. It could have been typical teenage angst that was finally hitting me or it was just me complaining about my everyday procedure and why I was doing what I was doing, but I needed to find an answer before I went crazy. I was thirsting for knowledge, so I decided to hit the books to satiate myself. After spending countless hours at the bookstore, the answer came to me. There is no known purpose in this world; each and every human being has the full responsibility to make meaning in his or her own life. The meaning of my life was to be determined by me. The idea of finding meaning in an absurd world through the individual is something that must be reckoned by each and every person by him or herself. No one else can help you find purpose in this life, except for you. This is the main idea of existential philosophy. Existentialism was first coined by Jean Paul Sartre during the 1950’s but has really been a movement in society since the 19 th century during the time of Soren Kierkegaard. Some say Kierkegaard is the father of existentialism because of his ideas and doctrines. His philosophy focused on the truth in subjectivity over objectivity. That is, the feelings that a human feels is how life is defined, not by the things a human does in his or her life. Living is not through facts, but through emotions. He also formulated ideas on universal dread and angst. The freedom of choice that each and every human has makes us responsible for all of our actions. The dread and angst comes from the mere fact that we have this possibility to be able to choose to do whatever we want, which can result in nothing or to some of the most terrifying of possibilities. All of this potential leads to the universal feeling of dread. Kierkegaard may not have coined the term existentialism, but his ideas helped set the tone for the philosophy for the years to come. Another philosopher that would go on to influence existential thought is Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who lived during the mid to late 19 th century. Two of his more important ideas were about master-slave moralities and eternal recurrence. Master morality was based on a scale of good or bad and slave morality was based on a scale of good or evil. Nietzsche, in his writing On the Geneology of Morals , describes master morality as a morality for the strong-willed. The good in master morality is “the noble, strong, and powerful,” whilst the bad in master morality is developed in opposition
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This essay was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course FRENCH V45. 0866 taught by Professor Zezula during the Spring '07 term at NYU.

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Final Paper - When I was younger, I always thought about...

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