Condemnation to Freedom
In Sartre’s world of Existentialism, the responsibility of the entirety of our actions, as well as of the outcome of any given situation, falls on the individual alone. There is no Creator to blame, there is no person or occurrence or human nature to blame, it is simply of our own fault. This may seem counterproductive to what one may consider the positive idea of free-will, however once understood that we are truly free in our entire existence it becomes seemingly more sanguine. Sartre discusses various consequences of being completely free in our own choices. The most prominent ideas are that of being “condemned to be free”, abandonment, “bad faith” and not allowing one’s self to use excuses such as passion, human nature or “unconscious decisions”.
Think of society as it is today and how a human might live his or her every day life. From something as simple as stubbing one’s toe on a toy a child left in the middle of the floor, to suing a large corporation for the coffee they sell being too hot. If I dump a hot cup of coffee into my lap and it scalds me, I am not at fault for the carelessness of my actions, rather the company that sold the coffee to me is responsible for it being hot enough to burn me. If I stub my toe on a toy my child left laying on the floor, I am not responsible for not paying attention to my surroundings (knowing that my child is not old enough to put his toys away yet and left them out), nor am I responsible for owning that toy to begin with, or not putting it away myself. The consequences we face are consequences that we don’t like, so we choose to use
excuses and complacency to make ourselves feel better, or “bad faith” as Sartre would put it.
Sartre simply states his idea that apart from the natural abilities of our bodies, we are free to choose. When we choose, we are alone in that decision We require of ourselves to choose what...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document