If Freedom is having nothing left to loose,
Existentialism is it's Philosophical Manifesto.
Essence Precedes Existence
Essence Precedes Existence is the existential mantra. In a nutshell, Existentialism denies the existence of the soul, an afterlife, or a prior life. Folks that believe in God or some higher power often have some degree of difficulty understanding this concept (or simply don't want to get it), as denying the soul denies the existence of God, as well (and therefore, might be considered heretical by the chosen few). So, let's be positive, reframe Existentialism, and look at it from the perspective of acceptance rather than denial.
God Doesn't Care
If we take it as a given that God exists, then for me (like personally), it doesn't feel like He cares. (And yes, I'll happily label God as masculine, perhaps that's why She has it in for me.) To see how this might relate to a Religious Existentialist, which I do confess, seems like it might be a bit of a contradiction, let's look at the Calvinists. I've always liked the Calvinists, because from what I understand, they were of the opinion that only a select few would be saved. And certainly, it can be logically consistent (though perhaps unlikely) that one believes in God, is a Calvinist, but unfortunately, does not believe that they, personally, are among the saved. And since in the Calvinist tradition, it is God who does the saving (the saved are only saved by God's Grace), there is nothing a mere mortal can do to join the ranks of the saved if this is not already the Will of God. And thus, with that as the groundwork, I would put to you that being an Existentialist is very much like being a Calvinist who does not believe they are saved... and whether others are saved is ultimately of little importance when it comes to formulating a meaningful philosophy for themselves.
Garbage Collection of the Soul
I like computers. They make sense to me. And in actuality, the chief motivation for this page is to provide some sort of framework on which to hang a programmatic metaphor for Existentialism. So, without further ado:
So, you my dear friend, may not feel like a function adrift, devoid of any external pointer, isolated in a virtual machine with no exit, but certainly at times, I do. And if we are being truthful, it can be distressing, for what is the purpose if nothing can last (there are no returns values). But then, by the same token, it is amazingly freeing for there is no reason to continue the endless loop, if you catch my drift, and hence easy to initiate a break and/or change from the sequence. But having done so, I must admit, watching the bytes stream on by does seem to be all there really is... and I can't help wanting to flip a bit here and there, hoping beyond hope, that it may have an effect down stream, and that the error it induces propagates upwards and onwards.
- Given that reality is a program;
- And that you, I, and everyone we know are subprograms:
- Some subprograms may serve a purpose (yield useful side effects).
- Some subprograms may live on (return a useful value).
- But the vast majority of subprograms will neither return a useful value nor serve a useful purpose.
- Thus, the program that is main() will never note their absence.
- There will be no trace of their existence on disk, in log files, or the program output at termination.
- And because of this the subprogram is free to do whatever it wants.
- No judgement will be forthcoming, because judgement has already been passed.
- Garbage collection is inevitable.
- And there is no way for the subprogram to initiate the saving of itself (to file, disk, log, whatever), because this would take root privileges, something a mere subprogram can never achieve on its own.
After all, if I can't return a value, maybe I was never meant to, and was rather, designed to throw an exception.
#<unhandled exception> (maximum recursion exceeded)
If a tree falls in the forest,
but no one is around to hear it,
does it make any noise?
But, perhaps, you've heard that before.
So, if an actor puts on a play,
alone, in the forest,
with no audience,
that no one will ever see,
that no one will ever hear,
that no one will ever notice,
does any part of the performance matter?
The obvious answer is no:
only the performer cares.
And thus, he
(once again, with the he's)
is best served
by putting on a performance
of which he. himself, can be proud...
he should just go fishing,
© copyright 2016 Brett Paufler
is to concentrate on the breath.
And you'll soon see,
nothing else matters...
And because you can't keep a good rant down,
'Oh, God why hath thou forsaken me!'
Was, perhaps, the original cry in the dark.
That is all.
I'm serious this time...