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What is certain? The truth of stories written two-thousand years ago? That an invisible God exists above us? That all is pre-determined? That there is life after death?
No, all that is certain is oneЃfs self and death. Existentialism makes the most sense of any of the beliefs.
Billions of people across the globe worship or pray to some form of a higher being or, ЃgGod,Ѓh on a regular basis; I find this to be somewhat insecure behaviour. The fact that a person needs to go that far and waste that much emotional energy believing in something that never reacts, or responds in any way boggles the mind.
The belief in a ЃgGodЃh is, in almost every case, a story passed through the ages. Smudged, poorly translated documents of exaggerated accounts with miracle-workers and great warriors have been passed down through the centuries, with each generationЃfs scriber adding his own embellishments to the story, kind of resembling the telephone game you played as a child. For example, the story may have started off about a woman named Jessica who happened to be an excellent physiotherapist, and by the time it is halfway around the circle, it is about a man named Jesus who could Ѓgreally work miraclesЃh (ha ha). Remember how silly the story became by the time it got all the way back around the circle? I have a good feeling that in a thousand years from now the story will have changed even more. And do not get me wrong, I enjoy the stories; however, I find them more amusing than enlightening.
Existentialism, to me, is a much more intellectually sound and sophisticated way of living. It involves living through logical analysis, which I find gives it a fair amount of credibility since that analysis is left up to the individual as opposed to living by a set of rules created by a character in a story. An existentialistЃfs life plays out according to the decisions he makes and the consequences that follow. The existentialist knows that life is not as complicated as it is made out to be and does not have to worry about anything that does not directly concern him/her. This makes for a very apathetic personality; however, apathy is merely a trait recognized by other people who, to a true existentialist, would not matter either since they cannot prove the existence of their own minds.
It seems to me that a lot of the worldЃfs population, frightened by ideas like existentialism and the rise of capitalism (another idea based around ЃgIЃh) after the Second World War, became increasingly more insecure and reliant on others as we saw during the Cold War and the rise of communism. More and more ideas to believe in popped up everywhere; religion was as popular as always since insecure citizens needed somewhere to turn and something to blame. In the last 20 years however, once communism had proven itself a failure, people began to give in to a capitalist system and began questioning all kinds of things including religion (which has seen a constant decrease in believers since the turn of the millennium) and began thinking for and about themselves; the pendulum began to swing the other way. If this trend continues and people keep questioning religion and keep probing for answers, we will almost undoubtedly see the re-emergence of existentialism. In that depressing period called the 1900Ѓfs, people were bombarded with the idea that all citizens must be part of a group called a society. Individuality was always encouraged, but everyone still needed to be part of ЃgsocietyЃh, which I find a little ironic since those who encouraged individuality were usually those who had already conformed the most.
I find that one of the main reasons existentialism has not taken the world by storm already is merely due to the fact that it is not as widely known or studied as it should be and it is not being introduced to enough young minds.
Imagine an existentialist world if you will. ЃgSocietyЃh as we know it would not exist, nor would the media. But would that matter? Would an existentialist Canadian care what was happening in the Middle-East? People would interact with each other but would only deal with what was necessary to thrive and survive. There would be no whiney people who call into radio stations complaining about things that do not concern them; not everyone would be content with themselves however, but as is human nature; never will everyone be content all at once. The world would come a lot closer though, if existentialism was widely introduced.
In CamusЃfs The Outsider, we see Meursault as a very laid-back, apathetic, indifferent person who, encounters the death of his mother, a murder by his own hands, and eventually his own death and he takes each event out of its context while theyЃfre happening and examines whether or not it is worthy of spending emotional energy on. He almost always decides that the situation is not that serious, since people are replaceable, and once the events had occurred, there was no way to change the result, so why bother wasting energy becoming angry or frustrated or sad over it? It is all a very logical thinking pattern which I find very effective and rational. It was no surprise that Meursault did not really fear his execution because death, being certain, is not feared by the existentialist as we see through works like ЃgThe Condemned of AltonaЃh by Jean-Paul Sartre, in which he stated, ЃgDeath is merely a continuation of my life without meЃcЃh. This would lead to a lot of brave civilians would it not?
Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. all believe in a higher power; almost always a single person, who has a higher level of understanding and observes the people from above. Personally, I could not describe an existentialist better myself.
Existentialism is what man naturally wants to do. It is lazy and almost merciless if you depend on something or someone, but it works. It does one of two things depending on how you see it: it either simplifies life to the level at which it truly exists, or it brings the individual up above that level. In either case, what happens is life becomes clear and uncomplicated when you can see it from that standpoint; revelations and epiphanies are induced when one finally accepts it.
The world naturally wants to be existential; the way I see it: it is truly all we can believe.