Presentation on theme: "Christian Existentialism Jace Wrigley. Existentialism Review Existence precedes essence – There is no inherent, larger meaning to life, just random existence."— Presentation transcript:
Christian Existentialism Jace Wrigley
Existentialism Review Existence precedes essence – There is no inherent, larger meaning to life, just random existence itself – All essence, or meaning, follows after this fact – any apparent meaning is not innate but created by us
Implications of Existentialism No innate "human nature.” No innate ultimate set of truths. No innate universal morality. Thus, life itself is totally, inherently meaningless
Existentialism is not Nihilism Existentialism is the opposite of Nihilism in how each philosophy attempts to deal with the meaninglessness of existence −Nihilism is the belief that nothing matters… so screw it −Existentialism is the attempt to confront and deal with meaninglessness...to not succumb to nihilism.
Definition of Existentialism Existentialism is a philosophy confronting and describing this reality (nothing matters) and attempting to locate a governing morality outside of or within religious dogma perceived as inadequate to modern philosophy and knowledge. Existentialism is, then, a philosophical and literary movement attempting to confront the nihilist implications of Modernism or "The Modern Condition.” (http://www.class.uidaho.edu/engl_258/Lecture%20Notes/existentialism%20quick%20a nd%20dirty.htm)
and… Depression Sets In Why do you think Existentialist philosophers believe we should fight Nihilism? From Tom’s Notes: “Confronting Suicide as the true Existential test: in the face of meaninglessness, why not kill one's self? If life is truly meaningless, why live it?”
Faith to Combat Nihilism Early Existentialist authors such as Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy argued that the only means to battle Modernist Nihilism is to return to tradition and faith.
Question Time! How could you argue that all faith is inherently existential? (Hint: think in terms of our existentialist freedom to create meaning)
Existential Faith We will ourselves to believe. We choose whether to believe in a god or not. Thus, in an existential sense, we each create our own faith. We are free to choose which god we believe in, which religious texts we read, where we do or don't worship, etc.
Christian Existentialism ALL faith is existential One can also be a Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist Existentialist, etc. No matter which religion we choose, the existentialist argument is that we will, or create, the meaning.
Christian Existentialist Hero Consider Christ's Passion as the supreme existential moment: to choose belief when all evidence suggests one has been forsaken. We can see Christ being forsaken as existential despair, and his choice to remain steadfast in his convictions as the choice of an Existential hero— to continue on and create meaning in the face of apparent meaninglessness.
How would you relate Christ’s Passion to our readings in this class? (Sisyphus, Daru)
For Those of You that are Confused Here is a monkey. He is also confused.