Existentialism: Objective vs. Subjective
Most philosophers, like Greece’s Plato have claimed that the highest ethical good is universal. They believed in objective values or pre-determined moral codes. The Nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard reacted against this tradition, claiming that the individual's highest good is to find his or her own purpose in life. In terms of moral choice, philosophers like Kierkegaard have argued that there is no objective or rational basis for decisions; they stress the importance of individualism in deciding questions of morality and truth. They also argued that life's most important questions are not accessible to reason or science. According to philosophers like Kierkegaard, man is nothing else but his own conscious existence. So it is up to the individual to choose what his or her meaning of life is. All of these ideas are considered subjective. They take place within one’s own consciousness, unaffected by outside or material forces. On the contrary, objective principles are actual ideals such as Christianity. The religion establishes the moral codes and deciphers right vs. wrong rather than the individual. This distinction between subjective and objective valu
Aware of the fact that human"tms have an essential deceptiveness in behavior and the fact that "the keenest of human torments is to be judged without a law" (Camus 117), Meaning that no punishment by law could amount to the pain he has felt. " (Camus 70)After walking away, he was never able to forget the suicide he might have prevented. He believes that there is no God, no truth, and while not believing in any higher being Clamence can only declare himself independently. (Camus 114) Clamence argues that some Christians use their religion to simply improve their image. In the novel The Fall, by Albert Camus, Camus uses his Main Character, Jean-Baptiste Clamence to reveal many existentialist ideas, primarily the clash of objective and subjective values. This memory was the beginning of this notorious lawyer"tms fall. Three Sundays later he went back to the river- to forget, as he said. I told myself that I had to be quick and I felt an irresistible weakness steal over me. He began to realize that his former good deeds had been done only for the sake of popular approval. He heard a cry repeated numerous times which gradually drifted father away down the river. At this point he recognized that he could not escape the cry, which had sounded over that bridge many years before. Clamence is stating the fact that religion, being an objective value challenges subjective values or the values within one"tms self.