I am not, by any means, a pure existentialist. Not because I disagree with most of the philosophy, but because I’m not yet familiar enough to make a decision. Recognizing this gap of knowledge, I decided to brush-up on the topic and I have found – as with everything I have ever come across – that I agree with some points and disagree with others. This is all rather trite, as I’m generally unconcerned with labeling myself as “this” or “that” type of a philosopher. I merely mention this as somewhat of a disclaimer; so if anyone feels like asking me questions with respect to Existentialism, please understand that I’m not in a position to answer most of them. I would, however, enjoy any exchanges about the topic if anyone so wishes. Insomuch as the philosophy is concerned, I agree that each of us are responsible for the choices we make, and so, we must be cognizant of the potential impacts of our choices. When I came across the quote below, I wondered, would the world be better or worse if each of us asked such questions. Call me optimistic, but I think the world would be much better off.
“When a man commits himself to anything, fully realising that he is not only choosing what he will be, but is thereby at the same time a legislator deciding for the whole of mankind – in such a moment a man cannot escape from the sense of complete and profound responsibility. There are many, indeed, who show no such anxiety. But we affirm that they are merely disguising their anguish or are in flight from it. Certainly, many people think that in what they are doing they commit no one but themselves to anything: and if you ask them, “What would happen if everyone did so?” they shrug their shoulders and reply, “Everyone does not do so.” But in truth, one ought always to ask oneself what would happen if everyone did as one is doing; nor can one escape from that disturbing thought except by a kind of self-deception. The man who lies in self-excuse, by saying “Everyone will not do it” must be ill at ease in his conscience, for the act of lying implies the universal value which it denies. By its very disguise his anguish reveals itself.”