Jean-Paul Sartre and the Freedom of Existentialism

Sartre and WWII

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, the discourse of freedom in western existentialism intelligent civilization responds to the outbreak of WWII. Such phenomena lead to class oppression, poverty, and hunger, leading to low morale and quality of life. Existentialists view that the purpose of human life is to achieve prosperity in the world. The view is a note of thought against western materialism. According to the west, welfare is the basis of human life. Departing from such a problem, Sartre views that external forces have separated humans from their life goals. Fundamentally, purpose in life separated humans. Various paradigms have moved and governed humans.

It spoils the human eye in viewing the quality of life based on the legitimacy of power. WWII is a concrete example that Sartre raised. He said that every community group fought against each other to gain the legitimacy of power. The impact is the destruction of the quality of human life. On the other hand, human will may underlie conflict. However, the purpose of some individuals is to take advantage of the existence of other individuals. In Sartre’s book Being and Nothingness, he says that he is responsible for himself. His expression wants to inform that the individual’s image is his responsibility. After all, humans must move freely in their activities without coercion. Sartre learned a lot from the history of human life, who faced various conditions and rules that limited him.

Paper Knife Essence

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialism and freedom are through essence. No pre-existing human essence, ordained by nature or God, dictates what people should or will do. As a result, each individual must define their essence, simply the sum of their actions. Essence refers to the necessary qualities that make something that it is. Two thousand years before Sartre, philosophers sought the essence of man by asking about characteristics common to all people. In general, the debate about the essence of man is concentrated on the problems that Aristotle and Plato inherited. Human essence means defining human nature in its relationship to social, divine, biological, and historical forces.

The resulting image of human essence promises not only to define humanity. To illustrate the essence of man, Sartre gives two examples of typical cases, namely the conventional image of God and the paper knife. The essence of a paper knife is present in the human mind of its creator. It was helpful for specific purposes of cutting paper before the knife existed. Under conventional Christian imagery, God created man from the mental blueprint of his image. In such a view, unique ideas already exist before the individual is born. Individual life consists of growing to fulfill the destiny that has been set for them in that idea.

About Suffering and Freedom

According to Jean-Paul Sartre, man is present because he is not himself but freedom to his existentialism. Since birth, every individual has been aware that he is in the world. Such circumstances led him to realize how to determine his existence in reality. Therefore, Sartre agrees with Heidegger’s thinking. According to Heidegger, authentic life is built from how humans begin to voice themselves. In another meaning, Sartre also disagrees with his teacher. Heidegger considers that authentic life must start from the awareness of freedom. Freedom is an aspiration that humans build, not some people who separate themselves and their vision. Furthermore, Sartre offers three indicators of gaining freedom.

The indicators are decisions, suffering, and denial. Denial, in Sartre’s view, is a rejection of God. According to him, if humans believe that God exists, humans cannot act freely because God has seen his various actions and even limited some of his activities. As a result, humans do not have the freedom to build their image in the world. To overcome such problems, humans must deny or forget God. In Sartre’s view, suffering is a benchmark in assessing human awakening to be able to gain freedom. Discrimination between groups of people, poverty, and hunger will build relationships between individuals. It is conceivable that the lower classes unite in overthrowing the upper classes to get what they deserve.

Radical Freedom

Sartre’s radical freedom is entirely responsible for each individual’s choices. If any individual’s control over such choices does not imply control over every choice, there is nothing outside of a person forcing them to act in a certain way. People are fully responsible for the results of their actions. Such radical freedom has both negative and positive components. The harmful component is that people are constantly forced to make decisions, while the positive component is that people can decide how they want to live. That is why Sartre argues that freedom condemns people. The one thing no one can choose is not having a choice. As Sartre defined, grief is a feeling of moral responsibility that accompanies the need to choose.

It is an acknowledgment that a person will never receive a final judgment about the correctness of his choice. In addition, critics of Sartre argue that existentialism causes suffering. However, Sartre replied that suffering is an unavoidable fact of life. According to him, turning away from sadness does not mean overcoming it. Rather, it hid from him in bad faith. It means choosing to do nothing and pretending to be morally irresponsible for yourself. In Sartre’s mind, people’s choice is what matters. A person will always choose in shaping their whole essence, character, and life. Mere belief doesn’t matter because all beliefs are expressed in bad faith or actions. Unfulfilled fantasies and plans are also not a problem because they never come to fruition.

Psychology and Individual Betrayal

One can see one’s reaction to entry into an institution about Sartre’s description of being for others. In one case, the individual first places himself as a valuable object in the eyes of the traitor, only to find himself treated as a degraded object. No priority over any other object in his world. If the traitor acts with a third to whom the individual is no more than anyone else, the betrayal is emphasized. In such situations, withdrawing from contact with others may represent one of several actions. Perhaps, it is a continuation of efforts to become the individual’s self, a valuable object in the eyes of traitors. His goal is to trap his freedom by forcing him to regret and recognize his betrayal.

In such a thing, the hospital is second; its definition of the patient is used about other outside parties. Withdrawal can also be a reaction to the failure to become a valuable object of rejection and betrayal of the kind of object that the individual has for the institution. In such a case, a friendly relationship in which one patient is usually considered quite sick by the staff. It chooses another, usually even more painful, with whom he creates a special relationship, which can be seen as a new attempt by both of them to become a valuable object for the other while maintaining the original refusal.

Privilege Measure

In his book entitled Existentialism Is a Humanism, Sartre describes humans as nothing but what he has done for himself, not for others. Apart from Heidegger, he also agrees with Marx’s thoughts. According to Marx, conflicts between groups of people always adorn the series of human history, which is precisely an attempt to maintain their life. On the other hand, Nietzsche’s view is related to freedom, namely as an aspiration of human life. Both rationales build Sartre’s framework for deeply assessing the meaning of freedom. Freedom acts as an innate human being. Humans expect freedom in determining how to maintain their life in the world. Various sufferings will awaken people to fight various actions that limit them.

According to Sartre, systematic decision means the human ability to determine various decisions in his life. Humans are free to deny and follow various problems in their lives, as long as they are by what they want. Resistance in regret is also a decision that community groups must take to free themselves from the shackles of oppression. The attitude of denying God is also behavior to stop various religious conflicts in the social structure. Humans want to live in peace and prosperity. Such desires must be actualized through freedom as aspiration. People can understand that the freedom of discourse in Sartre’s philosophy of existentialism is an aspiration. It improves the quality of life of individuals in an era that increasingly restricts the movement of each individual in achieving life goals and aspirations. However, his freedom philosophy has become an attitude in preparing for conflicts between countries.


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