“All The Consequences Of This”: Why Atheistic Existentialism is more Consistent than Religious Existentialism
Issue: Vol 22 No. 1 (2014)
Journal: Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism
Subject Areas: Philosophy
The variety of existentialist thought show existentialism to be a flexible denotation, one that can be shared by believers and atheists alike. When approaching such a loosely defined term as “existentialism” a few questions arise. What are the boundaries for inclusion or exclusion? Are there more authentic forms of existentialism than others? The former question is usually dealt with by showing the history of existentialism—from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, Heidegger to Sartre—along with noting some common strands amongst their writings (e.g. subjectivity, powerlessness, anxiety, despair, dread, isolation, tragedy, nothingness, meaninglessness, absurdity, etc.). The latter question is much harder to deal with. It asks for a value judgement as to which kind of existentialism is more authentic than others. It relates to the former because the person answering such a question has to have an idea of what existentialism ought to look like, but it goes beyond it by asking a deliberately evaluative question. This article is going to take both questions into account by examining the concepts and content of existentialist authors, their strengths and weaknesses, and is going to explain why I think atheistic existentialism is more authentic than religious existentialism.
Author: Kile Jones
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