The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Daxitarian
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

existentialism is the preferred philsophy of life

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,558 times Debate No: 3127
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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dairygirl4u2c

Pro

for: Daxitarian
(i couldn't invite him the normal way)

i invited him back to debate this, because i think he does not understand, or has studied sufficiently, existentialism.

kiekeegaard was a chrisitan. yet, he was the father of existentialism. so, even with an objective ethics system, one can be an existentialist, pursuing that objectivity.

sarte and others emphasized stronger that we cannot know what objectivity is. but, they say we can seek it if we think it exists. as with kierkegaard, and most existentialists, they say it appears there's something objective.

it is true, that technically, someone could deny that, and they don't think it exists, and be a hitler. most existentialists would agree he's denying himself and his nature.

If an ethics person were to try to deny this…. They would be saying that there is something objective that must be met, without anyone telling them that there must be. So, as I said below, the ethics person must face blind adherence to social conventions and what they are told, if they assume a priori that there's ethics.

Notice… "a priori" means before experience, or existanice if you will…. The existentialist is mererely requiring that ll things be determined a posterior, after experience, after existence, "existence preceeds essence"

That is the fundamental difference, if there is one, between the two systems. The existentialist merely asks the question. For most things, the question doesn't need asked, really…. Like "should I shoot my mother once I get out of her womb", but you ask it anyway.

Really though, there is no real substantive difference in the realm of practicality between the two systems.

to insist on saying there's a difference, is to insist on showing that ethics persons take things on faith and dogma. a priori. the stereotypes can abound, and it's just word games practically.

each is how you approach life. they dont define the life, and that is what matters.

here is our debate:
The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I'm afraid we're losing the real virtues of living life passionately, sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feeling good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it's a philosophy of despair. But I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre once interviewed said he never really felt a day of despair in his life. But one thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as a real kind of exuberance of feeling on top of it. It's like your life is yours to create. I've read the postmodernists with some interest, even admiration. But when I read them, I always have this awful nagging feeling that something absolutely essential is getting left out. The more that you talk about a person as a social construction or as a confluence of forces or as fragmented or marginalized, what you do is you open up a whole new world of excuses. And when Sartre talks about responsibility, he's not talking about something abstract. He's not talking about the kind of self or soul that theologians would argue about. It's something very concrete. It's you and me talking. Making decisions. Doing things and taking the consequences. It might be true that there are six billion people in the world and counting. Nevertheless, what you do makes a difference. It makes a difference, first of all, in material terms. Makes a difference to other people and it sets an example. In short, I think the message here is that we should never simply write ourselves off and see ourselves as the victim of various forces. It's always our decision who we are.

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--For religious people, the meaning of life is simple and objective: God's command. But since it seems like there isn't a God, you might as well be deluding yourself, so what is the difference between having God choose your meaning and being high on heroin all the time?
--Nihlism would say there is no objective meaning to life. There is no god and we are just irrational fragments trying to make sense in an unrelenting black cosmos that has no direction. This seems to rest on the fallacy of division--just because the universe as a whole has no meaning, doesn't mean that we can't find meaning in our individual lives.
---Existetialism would say, there is no inherent meaning to life, but that isn't a problem, because you get to "roll your own meaning." You get to choose whatever meaning you want. You choose the rules.
--virtue ethics leaves the door wide open for creative possibility in exercising virtue. But there are limits. And existentialists can't accept this position.
So, what then is so wrong about Adolf Hitler? If his purpose in life was to eliminate the jews, why would that be wrong if no meanings to life are any better than other meanings of life? Some existentialists would try to get out of this by claiming it might be preferable if other people look at your M.O.L "collage" and gave approval. But then this itself is conceding that we can establish some criterion for what makes one meaning of life view better than the other.
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I think ultimately the professor, or my opening post, would not disagree with you per se that those ethics are okay. what we'd disagree with you on is that existentialism means hitler is justified.

existentialism wouldn't allow you to deny your own nature. ethics are inherently party of your nature. this appears objective, without any outside forces asking us to say otherwise.

now, i'm not saying your philophsy says outside forces are necessary... but for you to say existentialism would permit hitler situatios is like saying your system requires dogma and such rhetoric.

if you notice, in the opening statement, i posted that what you do mkaes a difference, and it sets an example. these are things that an existentiiast would agree with as a matter of objective appearing nature.
objective appearing is all we have to go on... and you couldn't go on lless, lest you run into being controlled by dogma, which would be lobbed at the ethics system you espouse more than anything.

do unto others what you'd expect them to do to you... logically something you have to not be bad if you expect others not to, and objectively not somethig you want to do ie hurt your own species.

what ultimately is driving an ehtics person then? it's not God. if it's not some sort of dogma to avoid that criticism, what is it? a consensus? so while i think you can be a free thinking ethics person, if anything should be criticized for its stereotype, it's the ethics thing you propose.

at hte least, given the array of existentialism, and ethics ness, ta the very least, existentialsim should be defined as i posted in the beginning, and if i agreed ethics makes a diference, you can't use a lack of ethics as hurting my case.

but at per the definitions broadly, we can talk about an ethical existentialist, or a free thinking creative ethic-person.... but we shouldn't have to qualify the name of the philosophy. if existentialists ahve to, then you'd have to. both are seeking objectivity even if never getting it.

so i think really we're just playing word games.
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"existentialism wouldn't allow you to deny your own nature"

Yes, that's exactly what existentialism is. Again, as Sartre said, "existence precedes essence." Existentialist would agree with nihialimsts that we are meaningless.
Daxitarian

Con

"i invited him back to debate this, because i think he does not understand, or has studied sufficiently, existentialism."

reply: I wasn't the one who had to copy and paste an argument from another web site. Which is ironic because one of the main tenants of existentialism is to figure things out authentically for yourself.

"kiekeegaard was a chrisitan. yet, he was the father of existentialism. so, even with an objective ethics system, one can be an existentialist, pursuing that objectivity."

Kierkegaard ideas influenced what would become existentialism, but he never called himself an existentialist. Furthermore, religious ethics are in no way objective.

Ethics is how a person should act. Existentialism would deny that a person should act one way or another, instead choosing what they want. If you are an existentialist, then you can not concede that there is any sort of measuring stick that would make one life seem more meaningful than another.

Now take this analogy: Suppose there are two people, both satisfied with how they give their lives meaning. One is a scientist who is finding a cure for cancer, the other person wants to kill all jews. Why is one viewed with more esteem than the other? Why is one life more meaningful than the other?

"...most existentialists would agree he's denying himself and his nature."

Reply: What you don't understand about existentialism is that it all denies nature. "Existence precedes nature. I am whatever I choose to be." But what you choose is limited by your nature and not all choices go well with human nature, which is why the scientist would be held in high esteem (relying on knowledge for survival is part of human nature) while killing all jews goes against the fact that we are social primates.

"So, as I said below, the ethics person must face blind adherence to social conventions and what they are told, if they assume a priori that there's ethics. Notice… "a priori" means before experience, or existanice if you will…. The existentialist is mererely requiring that ll things be determined a posterior, after experience, after existence, "existence preceeds essence"

Reply: The "existence preceeds essence" is another way of saying there is no such thing as human nature and has nothing to do with what you are describing. Virtue ethics does not blindly adhere to social conventions or what they are told, but rather these moral truths are honed in on though fields such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, etc. The difference is that Aristotle thought of these moral truths to be an integral part of the universe, much the way mathematics is. I don't have to experience pushing an unwilling old woman into an oncoming bus to know that it is wrong. Now if you want to discover this moral truth a posterior, be my guest, but I'm not paying your bail.

Here is a textbook definition of existentialism: A philosophical movement that believes in subjective choosing over objective reasoning, concrete experience over intellectual abstractions, individuality over mass culture, human freedom over determinism, and authentic living over inauthenticity.

If your meaning of life is something you subjectively choose, then there is no reason to say why killing jews would be more meaningful or right over finding a cure for cancer. To ask why would be to concede my position.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
Daxitarian

Con

Daxitarian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.
Daxitarian

Con

Daxitarian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Samacado 8 years ago
Samacado
I am completley lost... All i know is religion is bad.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
"Gitter done" is the best philosophy in life. If you want results.
Posted by Korezaan 8 years ago
Korezaan
Lol. Then I guess I'm not an existentialist.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
dairygirl4u2cDaxitarianTied
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Vote Placed by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
dairygirl4u2cDaxitarianTied
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Vote Placed by Oolon_Colluphid 8 years ago
Oolon_Colluphid
dairygirl4u2cDaxitarianTied
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Total points awarded:30