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man according to a procedure and a conception, exactly as the artisan manufactures a paper- knife, following a definition and a formula. Thus each individual man is the realization of a certain conception which dwells in the divine understanding. In the philosophic atheism of the eighteenth century, the notion of God is suppressed, but not, for all that, the idea that essence is prior to existence; something of that idea we still find everywhere, in Diderot, in Voltaire and even in Kant. Man possesses a human nature; that “human nature,” which is the conception of human being, is found in every man; which means that each man is a particular example of a universal conception, the conception of Man .” From what I understood he is basically stating
that while perhaps our notion of higher power designed us, it still dwells on us to understand. The idea of conception and interpretation is universal.The same way the author was discussing the Christians as one of the types of Existentialists, he also discussed the existentialist Atheists. Considering that this what most may possibly think represents an existentialist. The author believed it was best to make certain things clear. He believed that having no God reaffirms the fact there is no essence, there is no innate nature that we were born with or have a duty to. He states, “Atheistic existentialism, of which I am a representative, declares with greater consistency that if God does not exist there is at least one being whose existence comes before its essence, a being which exists before it can be defined by any conception of it. That being is a man or, as Heidegger has it, the human reality.” We are all responsible for our own self, with or without the belief of a God.