QuestionQuestion

Base on Sartre

1. First, describe the conditions, according to the philosopher. What is given to us as we confront what exists?
2. Second, how is the task of human being defined in relation to these conditions? Given the physical world, what is our problem as human beings? What difficulties confront us? What do we want, and why can’t we get it?
3. If the conditions changed, and humans became like gods, would that make life better? What if we had superpowers? Would that make human life better? What if we were immortal? Would that make life better?

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This brief essay considers the crucial role played by the notion of “condition” in Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism” (1946). First, the notion of a universal human condition is examined against the backdrop of Sartre’s rejection of the notion of a universal essence of humanity. Then, the implications of a universal human condition are considered, in terms of how that condition renders fundamentally similar and understandable the life projects of everyone. Finally, based on these foundations, a case is made in response to the questions of ‘what do we want’ and ‘why can’t we get it’; specifically, it is argued that the bedrock existentialist claim that, without a creator God, existence precedes essence renders those questions vastly open-ended. Finally, based on that line of argument, questions such as would life be made better if humans became like gods are considered (spoiler: no)....

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