Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. At its core, it proposes that our existence precedes our essence, meaning that we are responsible for creating our own meaning in life.
The first principle of existentialism is the idea of human freedom and choice. Let’s explore this principle in-depth.
The First Principle of Existentialism
The first principle of existentialism is the concept of human freedom and choice. It proposes that we are not predetermined to be a certain way or to follow a certain path in life. Instead, we have the power to make choices and determine our own destiny.
What Is Freedom?
Freedom means having the ability to act or not act on one’s own will without external coercion or control. In existentialism, freedom means being able to take responsibility for one’s actions and decisions without relying on outside forces or factors.
What Is Choice?
Choice refers to the act of selecting from multiple options based on one’s values, desires, and beliefs. In existentialism, choice is seen as essential to human existence because it allows us to create our own meaning in life.
The Implications of Human Freedom and Choice
The first principle of existentialism has several implications for how we view ourselves and our place in the world.
- Individual Responsibility: If we have freedom and choice, then we also have individual responsibility for our actions.
- No Excuses: We cannot blame external factors for our actions or decisions because we have the power to choose.
- Purpose: Existence does not come with an inherent purpose; instead, we must create meaning in life through our choices.
- Anxiety: With freedom comes anxiety, as we are constantly faced with the responsibility of making choices.
The first principle of existentialism is the idea that human beings have freedom and choice. This principle has important implications for how we view ourselves and our place in the world.
It emphasizes individual responsibility, the absence of excuses, the need to create meaning in life, and the existence of anxiety. By understanding this principle, we can better understand our own existence and make more informed choices about our lives.