Existentialism is the “philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for his acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad.”¹ There are two types of existentialism: Atheistic Existentialism and Theistic Existentialism. Existentialist believe the world to be made up of two parts. The first view is that the world has logical function and cause and effect. The second view is the conscience, which is made up of inner awareness and the freedom to choose to do what one desires. This means that they see the world as two units and choose to favor the subjective side. A human, then, is not fully understood because there is no standard of right or wrong or even morals since they see themselves as the final judge and jury on standards.
Theistic Existentialism stems from Christian theism, since they have faith in the deity of God. A human, to the Theistic Existentialist, starts with self and lives in a world that has love and hate. This type of outlook forces them to choose to believe or not to believe in God. This opens the door to Christian theism. However they will always choose what is best for self. Knowledge for the Theistic Existentialist is subjective to self. The outlook of right and wrong then heavily relies on self attachment and personal connection to the subject matter at hand. Since the focus is on self, their belief in God is not based on Biblical truth as far as the historical events of the Bible are concerned. Rather, they believe in the overall theme of the Bible. This leads them to not believe in the miraculous workings of God. So, how does one obtain faith in God if it’s not solely through the Word? They take a blind leap of faith and trust themselves to be their moral compass for the here and now.
- Webster, Miriam: Colligate Dictionary 10th Ed. Springfield, 1995