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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Are you an existentialist?

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JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1185
Dothan, Alabama

 Are you an existentialist?

I've noticed some of the great literary (Christian) authors featured on SI fall into this category... this has been a very interesting topic for me for decades and I'd like to hear what the saints who gather here have to contribute on this.

Are you an existentialist?
If so why?
If not why?


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Fletcher

 2016/11/22 18:28Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 here s some definitions

n.
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

Definition of existentialism
: a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/existentialism



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D.Miller

 2016/11/22 18:41Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5294
NC, USA

 Re: here s some definitions

Based on those definitions I do not see how existentialism is compatible with Christianity. But I believe Kierkegaard who was one of the originators of this was a Christian.

Perhaps it is possible I don't fully understand what the definitions imply.

Fletcher- what personalities on SI are existentialists, or lean that way?


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Todd

 2016/11/22 19:11Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1964


 Re: Are you an existentialist?





"Are you an existentialist?..."

No, I am not an existentialist.


"... If not why?"

Because I am a Christian.

 2016/11/22 20:39Profile









 Re: Are you an existentialist?

Existentialists have to make sense of a world that makes no sense and who do not know right from wrong. Every human knows right from wrong. The aspects of existentialists that are closely related to some aspects of Christianity would be freedom of choice and will and the consequences of exercising such freedom of will. A big chunk of Christianity who believe in total depravity with a depraved will could not in any way be exists. Those who do not believe in total depravity and who believe in the purity of actual fee will could embrace some notions of the exists. ...........bro Frank

 2016/11/22 20:52
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1185
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

I'm not sure why there is an equation of incompatiblility regarding an existential position and Christianity...

The basic (layman) definition; existence precedes essence -
There seems also to be a heavy emphasis on mans moral responsibility for his actions from an entirely subjective standpoint and that a man is ultimately defined not by what he says but what he does.
So again I'm not sure how that can be "anti-christian" as there are numerous scriptures that say just that. Having said that it stands to reason that some people would be and others not, hence the inquiry....


Brother Todd-
Yes Kierkegaard and others including Dostoyevsky (who suffered greatly because of his faith)


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Fletcher

 2016/11/22 20:57Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2729
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
I'm not sure why there is an equation of incompatiblility regarding an existential position and Christianity.



Because existentialism separates reason and rational thought from faith, it brings in the principle of "a leap of faith" as Francis Schaeffer called it. Kierkegaard was at the start of the "leap" although he probably would not approve of the philosophical lines of thought that ran with this principle after him.

Secular existentialism is indeed very sad, if we understood how hopeless it leaves man we would weep over it. Religious existentialism is no better, it is just the religious form of the prevailing thought in the world today. Faith becomes a leap without any rational verification. This leaves man as just a machine and in despair.

In Christ,


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Ron Halverson

 2016/11/22 21:41Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1185
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Brother Frank,
You touched on one of the points that brought this up for me, tho my understanding is a lil different in that a person who holds to total depravity like Spurgeon would surely say a person is morally responsible for their actions in spite of their inherent disposition, no?
Likewise a person who rejects total depravity completely like Finney also agrees that a person is morally responsible and places emphasis on this in his systematic theology.
There seems to be an intersection where they actually agree on a rather interesting point...

Brother Ron,
Yeah I totally get the "sadness" of secular existentialism, however the I confess the Christian application intrigues me...
Take for instance the existence precedes essence aspect.... did Adam exist in essence prior to his physical creation?
We know that Jesus existed prior to His incarnation but is that true for us also like David suggests in the psalms?

Also has anyone read any of the Christian existentialist books here on SI?
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky ?


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Fletcher

 2016/11/22 22:03Profile









 Re:

Fletcher writes...........

" tho my understanding is a lil different in that a person who holds to total depravity like Spurgeon would surely say a person is morally responsible for their actions in spite of their inherent disposition, no?"

He might say that, but it would be inconsistant with the true meaning and depth of total depravity where one cannot make the choice to be good in any sense at all. Its kinda like Calvinists who feel obligated to share the Gospel with everyone even although,in their minds and theology the eternal destiny of every mans souls has already been determined prior to his birth...............bro Frank

 2016/11/22 23:02
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5294
NC, USA

 Re:

Fletcher-

I read The Brothers Karamozov years ago. I remember thinking it was very good (as I do most classics- they are classics for a reason!) but at the time I just read it because it was on an old "recommended reading list for college bound students" I had.

I'll have to read it again.


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Todd

 2016/11/23 9:06Profile





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