Atheistic existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century. It is often associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, who is regarded as the most prominent figure in this school of thought.
However, Sartre was not the first to develop these ideas. The father of atheistic existentialism was actually Friedrich Nietzsche.
Nietzsche was a German philosopher who lived during the 19th century. He is known for his radical and controversial ideas about morality, religion, and human nature. Nietzsche rejected traditional values and beliefs, arguing that they were based on illusions and falsehoods.
One of Nietzsche’s most famous concepts is the idea of the “will to power.” According to this theory, all living beings are driven by a desire for power and dominance over others. This drive is not necessarily aggressive or violent but can manifest itself in many different ways.
Another key element of Nietzsche’s philosophy is his rejection of traditional morality. He argued that morality was created by those in power to control and manipulate others. For Nietzsche, there were no objective moral truths or values; instead, each individual had to create their own meaning and purpose in life.
Nietzsche’s ideas had a profound influence on later thinkers, including Sartre. However, Sartre also developed his own unique approach to atheistic existentialism. He argued that human beings were fundamentally free but also responsible for their own actions and choices.
Sartre believed that there was no inherent meaning or purpose in life; instead, individuals had to create their own meaning through their actions and decisions. He famously stated that “existence precedes essence,” meaning that individuals exist first and then define themselves through their choices.
In conclusion, while Sartre is often regarded as the most prominent figure in atheistic existentialism, it was actually Nietzsche who laid the groundwork for this movement with his radical critiques of traditional values and beliefs. Both philosophers contributed valuable insights into the human condition and continue to be studied and debated today.