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Christian Existentialism (Read 4728 times)
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Christian Existentialism
03/04/03 at 17:32:53
Is it possible to be a Christian existentialist?  I believe Soren Kierkegard embraced Christian existentialism but I'm not sure what it exactly means.   Does anyone know?
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Re: Christian Existentialism
Reply #1 - 03/05/03 at 11:40:41
Since I am a Christian and have read Sartre and other writers, here are my .02 cents.
Christianity professes the existence of God who created the world and has authority and command on earth. We, His creation, have the free will duty of worshipping him.  
Existentialism focuses on the conscientiousness of the individual removing God from the picture. The individual is God itself having full responsibility and awareness of his acts.  
The more that I think about the relationship of Existentialism and Christianity is that both are related. Both sides focus on conscientiousness. The Kierkegaardian focus on the second stage of human beings is moving away from the primitive need driven life towards the society created by humans. This level requires certain level of conscientiousness that requires sacrifices in primary needs and re-prioritizing one’s value system.  
Having conscientiousness in common, the Christians and Existentialists realize the superficiality of man-made society that dictates one’s behavior. This man made entity takes the character of a monster that surpasses the importance of human and the subsequent subjects (newcomers to society) feel the oppression of the rules.  
Once the individual finds the absurdity of man-created entities, He/She searches for intrinsic truths to life. The existentialists with its selfish focus on him would generalize that life is meaningless and that one’s conscientiousness is the truth and only truth.  
Personally, I have gone through the existential line of thinking and realized quickly the limitations of such thinking. The fact that we are the ultimate answer to how everything is blatantly wrong. As we are born, our limited knowledge cannot explain how things work. We don’t know how a computer works, how society works, how wars come about, we don’t even know how the earth and the universe came about. We gradually get an understanding of life by studying and listening. This process goes on until the end of our life. Our beliefs are constantly challenged and we do change. To think that we can think that our judgment of things (or conscientiousness) explains or justifies our surrounding is quite myopic. When we realize how the universe and earth and even the creation of life has a balanced way of manifesting itself, we see hints of something above us. When we realize how we, such finite individuals, can have conscientiousness choice of good and evil, we understand that we have been given with a tool that does not fit with the simple create and destruct cycle of life.  
All these hints points to the absurdity of trusting our lives on our ever-changing awareness of life. This type of analysis makes us aware that there is something above us. For me, it is the Christian God who gives Life, my consciousness and even eternal life.
A philosopher once wrote: “Consciousness is the presence of God in humans”
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