Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Freedom is NOT a Burden

I knew, through some subconscious integration of my premises, that Sartre was deeply wrong in saying that "Freedom is a burden" that people love to flee from. At the New Year's party that I was at, I happened to glance upon a beginner's introduction to Sartre, and happened to read his view on freedom. Ofcourse, instantaneously, I rejected that view of freedom as a contradiction of concepts. Innommable seemed to agree with Sartre that freedom is infact something people wish to flee from because it is a burden, a responsibility of thought and action. My incoherent arguments at that time did not seem convincing even to myself, yet subconsciously, I knew Sartre (and Innommable) had to be wrong. If I believe that all ideas prove their validity in the actions they generate in reality, then Sartre's idea of freedom would prove to be disastrous if practiced in reality - and that would go against my entire body of knowledge and system of morals. I have come to realize how profoundly evil that thought can be, and all of its implications. I have come to realize that people who accept Sartre's immoral and evil notion can permit themselves some incredibly destructive actions, against themselves and against others -- and all of this, under the philosophical shroud woven by so-called "intellectuals" who purport such ideas. The idea that freedom is something people love to flee from, sanctions the evils of dictatorship and collectivism and tyranny that in comparison to freedom, according to Sartre's idea, would be NOT a burden, and that which the people would desire and wish to embrace! There can be only one alternative - either that you accept the state of freedom as the natural state of being, as reality is, as an ontological priority to reason, as a state of being that we must not violate, or that you consider freedom a yoke, a burden thrown upon us by bourgoise prejudices, a state of painful existence that requires responsibility, a state of being that is best left in the ash heap of tyranny. Rand developed Objectivism as bastion of freedom because she understood its inseperable necessity and context for Reason. Rand argued that "Reason is a free and conscious activity. Freedom is a condition for rational cognition. When men are rational, freedom wins. When men are free, reason wins." Reason presupposes freedom. Portraying freedom as a kind of bondage or burden that people wish shrug off, implies that people are inherently irrational, de facto mystical, and prefer irrational faith or force acting upon them rather than their own independent consciousness. That is a statement about the nature of humanity -- in very clear words, Sartre in effect is saying, "man is an irrational animal" -- because to intrinsically not desire freedom, Satre is implying that men intrinsically do not desire to be rational.


Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Note: I am not implying that Objectivism believes that humans intrinsically desire to be RATIONAL...
No. Objectivism rejects all intrincism.

1/03/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose..."

Name that tune.

Ergoober, please tell me you do not honestly believe Sartre ever embraced or advocated dictatorship or tyranny. You may wish to read further. I don't think there is mention of man "choosing" freedom; in fact, man has no choice in the matter - it is thrust upon him. It's burden because of the awesome responibilities that come with it. The anguish comes at realizing we've no one to blame but ourselves for our actions - the devil did NOT make us do "it," and god (who doesn't exist anyway, and even if he did, etc, etc) has no divine plan for us.

Oh, and it seems to me upon a quick mental survey of the many people I've met in my life, that man IS inherently irrational and mystical. To state otherwise is either to ignore the overwhelming evidence, or to be blindly optimistic.

I should have just stuck with "name that tune."

1/03/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

Oh, I do so love Google. Here's a lurvly quote:

"The crucial concept in his [Sartre's] diagnosis is that of self-deception or 'bad faith' (mauvaise foi). Bad faith is the attempt to escape anguish by pretending to ourselves that we are not free. We try to convince ourselves that our attitudes and actions are determined by our character, our situation, our role in life, or anything other than ourselves. Sartre gives two famous examples of bad faith. He pictures a girl sitting with a man who she knows very well would like to seduce her. But when he takes her hand, she tries to avoid the painful necessity of a decision to accept or reject him, by pretending not to notice, leaving her hand in his as if she were not aware of it. She pretends to herself that she is a passive object, a thing, rather than what she really is, a conscious being who is free. The second illustration of the cafe waiter who is doing his job just a little too keenly; he is obviously 'acting the part'. If there is bad faith here, it is that he is trying to identify himself completely with the role of waiter, to pretend that this particular role determines his every action and attitude. Whereas the truth is that he has chosen to take on the job, and is free to give it up at any time. He is not essentially a waiter, for no man is essentially anything."


Voila, I guess.

1/03/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Rubicunt, I agree with you that the preponderance of irrationality displayed by people all around does give me the urge to classify humanity and "HUMAN NATURE" qua nature as inherently irrational...

But you are wrong in believing that (and I would be wrong in succumbing to that belief too). Human nature is not inherently, intrinsically born with irrationality HARD-WIRED into his consciousness -- and neither does Objectivism say that RATIONALITY is hard-wired.. so, no, I am NOT being "blindly optimistic".

The fact is this: (as you very well state in your comment, but then contradict yourself later on) the choices we makes are our own - and we bear all responsibility for them -- regardless of whether they are rational or irrational.

Humans have the capacity to be rational AND irrational. To classify them as inherently ONE or THE OTHER is a gross misjudgment of human nature, presuming an omniscient vantage point.

If humans were inherently irrational, then you take away ALL RESPONSIBILITY for their irrational actions because they would be acting in consistency with their INHERENT nature.

Hence, my condemnation of Sartre's implication that human's inherently wish to FLEE responsibility and freedom, thus implying an innate desire for the irrational.

Check your premises. I appreciate the intellectual joust, however! ;)

1/03/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

In that quote you quoted, well.. isn't it clear that Sartre is infact divorcing one's character and nature from one's actions? But how can such duality exist without also then creating a great gap between floating abstractions, theoretical principles and existent reality, practical actions?

I was not saying that Sartre explicitly promoted tyranny... I was merely saying how his ideas (and his divorce of abstractions from their real manifestations) could easily be construed as intellectual ammunition for tyrants, dictators, etc... just like the Communists took Marxism to a grotesque interpretation.

1/03/2006 04:35:00 PM  

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