Existentialism is a philosophical movement that deals with the analysis and exploration of the condition of human existence, finding self and the meaning of life through free will. The roles of individuals, authenticity, being anxious, having joy and faith are part of existentialism. However, various people have engaged with the philosophy in different ways and conclude differently about it. The belief that man is searching to find out who and what they are through out life as they make choices based on their experiences, personal beliefs, and outlook without taking into consideration the help of law, ethnic rules and traditions (Miller 76).
Existentialism stresses that an individual's judgment is a determining factor for what is believed rather than by religious or secular world values. The notion of existentialism is that human beings exist first and then each individual spends a life time changing the essence of nature. The belief is that people are searching to find out who and what they are in life. The personal choices are unique to each person without the necessity of an objective form of truth.
The philosophy of existentialism takes into consideration; the human free will, the human nature chosen through choices in life, fighting for life where a person is best when struggling against their individual nature, there is existence of irrational things, the importance of personal responsibility and discipline, the existence of society in unnatural with arbitrary traditional religious and secular laws, and finally, worldly desire is futile. Thus, existentialism has a broad definition with a variety of concepts with no definite answer of its meaning. There are many philosophical, religious, and differing political views making up existentialism. Hence, there is no universally agreed set of ideals and beliefs. Politics differ but each seeks the most individual freedom for people within a society (Cooper 94).
Existentialistic ideas originated out of a time in society due to a deep sense of despair that followed the great depression and World War II. This brought about the spirit of optimism in the society that was destroyed by World War I and its impacts on the society in the mid century. The kind of despair that had been articulated by the philosophy of existentialism in the 19th century continued as a popular way of thinking and reasoning and focuses on the freedom of choice of a preferred moral belief system and lifestyle. The existentialists are religious moralist, agnostic relativist, an amoral atheist, credited for their contribution in works and writing about existentialism. Existentialist have a general belief that human life is not complete and fully satisfying because of suffering and losses that occur when considering the lack of perception, power and control that man has over life. There is an agreement that life is not optimally satisfying and, it nonetheless has meaning ((Miller 78).
Existentialism is the search for true self and true personal meaning in life. The arbitrary act has been found to most objectionable because when a society or an individual tries to demand or impose their beliefs, values, or laws to be faithfully accepted and observed. This has been viewed by existentialist that it affects individuals by making a person be whatever the powerful people in society desire thus, others are dehumanized and lowered to be as objects. The concept of existentialism stresses that the judgment of a person is s determinant for what is to be believed than the arbitrary religious or secular world values (Miller 77). According to the poem by Fyodor Dostoevsky's 'The Brothers Karamazov' were portrayed as torn between reasons of faith. The divide between the brothers were elaborated in the chapters of rebellion and the "Grand Inquisitor" showing a challenge against a belief in religion and morality which the author demonstrates through the beliefs of his characters and the effects of their beliefs on their lives (Cooper 62).
The legend of Grand Inquisitor follows from Karamazov's rebellion against God's world in which innocent children suffers. Dostoevsky noted that reason and rationality cannot cope with senselessness and only through faith can he respond. In part V of brothers Karamazov demonstrates the inner struggle between reason and faith. In his comments to his brother Alyosha, Karamazov said that "it is not God that I do not accept...it is this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. However, there has been ignorance in the question of God's existence by appealing to the limitations of his Euclidean mind and earthly mind. According to one oh the brothers, Ivan, he stated that "it is not for us to solve things that are not of this world' this is because where human reason cannot apply, then it is not possible to make conclusion. The Grand Inquisitor rejects Gods world which is a reflection of his brother's wishes to reconstruct the world in a manner devoid of the misery and suffering (Kaufmann 57).
Atheistic world view explains that the non existence of God indicates that life originated through some natural impersonal, unintelligent, and ultimate, purposeless process. Meaning that that human is ultimately purposeless as the very process that brought man into existence. Life has been taken as an accident and that man serve no purpose and cause no lasting effect. In the grand scheme of things, life has got no meaning. Some argue that without a creator in place, we would not exist on purpose; this also has a meaning that we exist for a reason. Without the existence of God, man has got no intrinsic value. The worth of man is ultimately subjective. A Famous atheist in the 20th century, John Dewey (1859-1952) suggested that without God, there is no soul; hence there is no need for the proponents of traditional religion (Cooper 199). With the dogma creed excluded, there is no truth, no room for fixed natural law or moral attributes.
The existence of God means that He is an ultimate reality. He created us for a purpose and that's the main reason for our existence. Man is a free moral agent with the freedom to have moral decisions. God instituted morality and likes seeing that morality prevails. In existentialism, there is the focus on the question of concrete human existence and its conditions rather than hypothesizing human essence. The concrete individual existence has priority in existentialism with certain conditions held commonly to be endemic to the existence of human. Human being exists in a state of distance from the world that he nonetheless remains in the midst of. Hence the distance makes people to project meaning into a disintegrated world of itself. The western philosophy and Christianity in particular founded its thought upon the idea that change is a bad thing and, for human life to be valuable it must be rooted in a fixed and unchanging eternal deity, God. According to Nietzsche, anything that is not able to change is dead.