Jean-Paul Sartre – Existentialism And Freedom
When Jean-Paul Sartre talks about “abandonment,” he means that “God does not exist, and that it is necessary to draw the consequences of his absence right to the end” (262). He disagrees with the belief of radicalism that moral values are able to exist without the presence of God. Radicalists believe that “God is a useless and costly hypothesis, so we will do without it. However, if we are to have morality, a society, and a law-abiding world, it is essential that certain values should be taken seriously; they must have an à priori existence ascribed to them. It must be considered obligatory à priori to be honest, not to lie, not to beat one’s wife, to bring up children, and so forth; so we are going to do a little work on this subject, which will enable us to show that these values exist all the same, inscribed in an intelligible heaven although, of course, there is no God” (262). They also believe that “nothing will be changed if God does not exist; we shall rediscover the same norms of honesty, progress, and humanity, and we shall have disposed of God as an out-of-date hypothesis which will die away quietly of itself” (262-263).
Sartre believes that God does not exist; however, he also believes that there are consequences as a result of the lack of God’s existence. He feels that without God present to determine what is moral and what is immoral, people will have no guidelines to follow. They will not even know that moral and immoral actions exist because they will only be among other people, not God. If God does not exist, everything would be permitted and people would be free to do as they chose without feeling any guilt. People would not have to be held accountable for their actions.
Sartre also discusses the concept of “existence precedes essence.” If God does not exist, people would not have a reference to follow in order to determine why people beh...