History of Existentialism - The Search for Meaning in Life A philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person

History of Existentialism - The Search for Meaning in...

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The Search for Meaning in Life
A philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will. The philosophy is centered upon the analysis of existence and of the way humans find themselves existing in the world. The notion is that humans exist first and then each individual spends a lifetime changing their essence or nature.
Existentialism What It Is and Isn’t Existentialism takes into consideration the underlying concepts: Human free will Human nature is chosen through life choices A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life Decisions are not without stress and consequences There are things that are not rational Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary Worldly desire is futile
Why am I here on earth? Where did I come from? What am I worth? Do I have any intrinsic value? Do I serve a purpose? These are all fundamental questions. They are life's "big questions." How you answer these questions determines how you see the world and how you treat the world. Because you are a part of the world, how you see the world also determines how you see and treat yourself. It's important that we resolve these fundamental questions. And it's important that we discover the honest truth. Wrong answers to important questions aren't helpful.
Where do we begin in our search for the truth? We begin at the beginning. Perhaps the most fundamental question is: does God exist? It's fundamental because our answers to the other "big questions" actually hinge on how we answer this significant question. For example- Two worldviews
Why I am here? Well, if God doesn't exist, that means that life must have come about through some natural impersonal, unintelligent, and ultimately purposeless process. That means we're ultimately as purposeless as the very process which brought us into existence. Life's just an accident and so are you. You can find short term reasons for living like you're here because your parents wanted to have children, etc., but ultimately you're just an accident and so are your parents. Life is one big accident. You serve no purpose, you'll cause no lasting effect, and in the grand scheme of things your life is utterly meaningless. Without a Creator in the beginning, there was nobody around to put you here on purpose which means you aren't here for a reason.
Philosophers generally agree: without an absolute God to make the rules, there is no such thing as a moral absolute; there are only preferences. You don't actually have a right to live; you just prefer not to die.

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