Existentialist Bad Faith Example

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Reply Thu 9 Mar, 2017 10:31 am
I was listening to Sartre explain how in a room that was meant to be hell, there were three people (Garcin, Estelle, and Ines). He said all three had 'bad faith' because their fundemental goal was dependent on others (Garcin wanted to be recognised as couragious, Estelle as beautiful, and Ines as someone Estelle depended on).
My question is: how far can this be expanded? If my fundemental goal is to become a politician is that bad faith because I depend on others to elect me and that is something I do not fully control (due to their free will)? Is it bad faith if my goal is to be the winner of X-factor because it relies on judges? Is it bad faith if my goal is to become a professor because I depend on others to hire me? And evne a self-employed person relies on customers so I am trying to understand how far this dependence on others applies.

Thank you
Reply Sat 15 Jul, 2017 12:03 am
Herein lies the inner battle of the existential question. If we exist, and then choose to become, how can one withstand the ever closer March of the impact of societal constructions on the self?

This is no easy reply. For in order to make "true" choices within the individual self, we must shed the affect and imposition of society (think Neitzschean UBERMENSCH). However, in order to make impactful choices within our current social climate, it is necessary to lean on, cooperate with, and help raise (or raze) our fellow citizens.

The contradictory nature of my statement above is, I hope, evident. I have begun to see existentialism similar to the consummate Cartesian problem, I think therefore I am. This problem is artificial, and self reciprocating, thus it does not a purposeful argument make. Instead I attack each day, choice or action with the basic existence and essence framework, and allow for that thought to best guide me down my given path.

Don't know if that helps or illuminates in any way. Great question!
alethes sophia
Reply Sat 15 Jul, 2017 05:38 pm
What do you think? And why?
Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2017 02:27 am
@alethes sophia,
If I am to understand Sartre properly, if you are to say you are any of those things you are exercising bad faith. You are not defined by your conduct so no matter if you need another person to make you something or not, the fact that it is made to be makes your identification with it bad faith. Now effectively we all live in bad faith in order to function in society, and also our mental development required bad faith. Maybe this is why the Buddhists say “to live is to suffer”. Sartre would say our essence is nothingness. Our lives have no inherent meaning, and value is just a measure of desire.

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