English: Critical Thinking
The first reproach is an invitation to the people to dwell in quietism of despair as if all solutions to a problems are barred, all actions in this world would be declared ineffective. This is a lead to the contemplative philosophy and as the contemplative philosophy is a luxury, this is another bourgeois philosophy and the reproach made by the communist. Another reproach that is ignominious in the human situation for neglecting things that possess charm and beauty and belongs to the brighter side of human nature. A man is considered in isolation in both the reproaches and the reason as per the communist is that we base our doctrine purely on subjectivity “I think” a position from which it is not possible to attain solidarity with other men as the ego cannot reach them through the cogito. From the Christian side we are reproached as the people who deny the seriousness of human affairs and reality. When we ignore the will of GOD and all values set by Him, whatever we do is entirely the voluntary action.
Sartre response to various reproaches is “Existentialism is a Humanism” which surprises many as there is no connection between humanism and reproaches. We need to understand the things from own perspective. Existentialism is a doctrine that renders human life possible and affirms the truth and all actions about environment and human subjectivity. We are blamed to put more emphasis on evil side of human life but point to remember is that ugliness is not the existentialism. An action basing on some tradition is merely romanticism and any action that does not have the support of proven experience is doomed to frustration. Therefore people are inclined to evil and must be restrained through rules otherwise there will be anarchy. Sartre says that it has become fashionable to proclaim as the existentialist, and people like a painter, a musician or a columnist would claim to be an existentialist. Sartre clarifies that there are two types of existentialists. On one hand there are Christians, like Jaspers and Gabriel Marcel who are both professed Catholics, while on the other hand, there are existential atheists like Heidegger, the French existentialists and Sartre himself. They all believe in one common thing that existence comes before essence.
Sartre claims that when we think of God as the creator, we take Him as a supernal artisan. Whatever doctrine we consider and whatever doctrine we follow, may it be a doctrine of Descartes or Leibnitz, we understand that God knows at the time of creation as to what he is creating. God makes a man according to a procedures and a conception exactly like an artisan makes a knife. As per Sartre, every individual man is the realization of a certain conception as per the divine understanding. Notion of God is suppressed in the philosophic atheism of the eighteenth century, but the idea that essence is prior to existence; something of that idea we still find in Diderot, in Voltaire and even in Kant. Man possesses a human nature which is the conception of human being and found in every man; that means each man is a particular conception of man. The universality goes so far in the Kant that the wild man of the woods, man in the state of nature and the bourgeois are all contained in the same definition and have the same fundamental qualities. Sartre who claims to be an Atheist Existentialist declares that if God does not exist, there is at least one being whose existence comes before its essence. This means that a man is initially nothing but he is what he makes of himself. There is no human nature as if there is no God and no human conception. This is subjectivity and the first principal of existentialism. Sartre also discusses the anguish of Abraham and highlights that a man is a maker of his own destiny to a great extent. When a man decides to do a thing and puts all his energies for the achievement of his goal, he has decided this for the mankind. The man who lies in self-excuse must be ill at ease with his conscience. Sartre also gives his words on the concept of priori. He says that certain values are to be taken seriously and they must have a priori existence ascribed to them. A priori must be honest, should not lie, should not beat the wife and raise the children. But he highlights that nothing will change if there is no God, but because everything changes after a particular time period, so existence of God is a sure thing. He describes despair in very simple terms. It is limiting ourselves to a reliance upon which is within our wills and within the sum of probabilities that renders our action feasible. He describes the quietism as the attitude of the people who believe in “let others do what I cannot do” but Sartre has an opposite viewpoint on this. Point of departure of human is actually the subjectivity of the individual for strictly philosophical reasons. He exclaims that the theory is not compatible with the dignity of man. Sartre believes that heart and center of existentialism is the absolute character of the free commitment which is always understandable.
Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” is not a philosophical story but a novel the stranger depicts the Meursault, a young Algerian pied-noir, hears news of his mother's death. He is uncomfortable during the sit in with coffin for the whole night and during the funeral in the hot sun. He develops friendship and sexual relations with a girls named Marie which later he agrees to marry. He is offered a higher post in Paris and rise in salary which does not interest him. He developed friendship with a neighbor Raymond Sintes who kills an Arab after having a fight with him. Meursault later himself kills one Arab on the beach. He is prosecuted for the murder of the Arab and declines to plead self defence and any remorse for the victim. His only explanation for killing of the Arab was because of the sun. During the trial Meursault behaves the same way and mostly found mentally absent. Due to time spent in prison during the trial, he realizes the loss of freedom and learns to adapt to the surroundings. He convinces himself of the memories of one day can facilitate his living in prison for hundred years. He thinks to live happily even in the shallow trunk of a tree and would feel happy while seeing the birds flying. After this conviction, Meursault is ready to face the prison pastor who insists on his confession. He throws the pastor out of the cell irritated by his promise of another life. He realizes that he has lived his life happily and in his own way. He fears no death as it is inevitable. He hopes that his killing will be attended by many people and they will hail him with the screams of hatred.
Camus’s idea about the life and death is ridiculous. He feels happy with whatever he had and has no regrets with whatever he had done in the life. He feels okay being married and he feels okay not being married too. He thinks that with the wonderful memories he had with Marie he can live for hundred years. He convinces himself that he can live under all odds and will still be happy. His thoughts about life altogether change after spending days in prison and feeling the loss of freedom. The story is a confused story and does not possesses any philosophical theme. However, can be termed as a philosophical efforts as it presents abstract things. No one is as insolent about the death of the mother as has been depicted by Camus in the story. No one can remain silent and uncomfortable on such a sad occasion of death of own mother. Then killing an Arab for no good reason and still feeling no shame is humanly not possible for a person who is living a civilized life and has love affair with a girl. The old man Raymond killing an Arab due to small quarrel is not really understandable. The story is not a balanced story and does not convey any philosophical meanings.
Camus philosophy about life is absurd which he developed during his time in Paris. Many other philosophers also changed their thoughts about life after going through the experience of world war. He thought the life did not have a rationale or positive meaning. Due to the horrors faced in the hands of Hitler and unparalleled killings in the history of mankind, many would not understand the reason for human existence. Existence was simply an absurd thing for the Camus. The novel “The Stranger” depicts his bizarre view about life and there is no philosophy attached to this novel. He behaves abnormal throughout the novel and every character in the novel seems to be a mad person which is not a matter of fact.
Jean Paul Sartre. (1946). Existentialism is a Humanism. Existentialism from Dostoyevsky.
Albert Camus. (1946). The Stranger. The Novel.
Existentialism. (2004). Available at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/
Volker Hage. (2013) Philosophical Differences: The Falling-Out of Camus and Sartre. Available at http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/camus-and-sartre-friendship-troubled-by-ideological-feud-a-931969.html
Ronald Aronson. (2004). Camus and Sartre. The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It. Available at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/027961.html