Freedom and Responsibility The Desire to Be God

Freedom and Responsibility The Desire to Be God

I. Freedom and Responsibility The Desire to be God Philosophy 157 G. J. Mattey 2002 Condemned to be Free Man is responsible for the whole world

Only through the for-itself is there a world The for-itself makes itself be, against the forces of the coefficient of adversity The advantages or disadvantages of anything are only relative to the individual project Complaining is therefore senseless My World is My Choice As I am free, whatever happens to me

happens through me The choice to flee to the non-human (e.g., through magical transformation) is a human choice Even a war is mine, since I could opt out through suicide or desertion It is as if I bore responsibility for the whole Situation Each person is bound to the time in which he lives

He is responsible for that epoch and what happens in it: We have the war we deserve He is responsible for everything but the fact that he is responsible He even chooses his being born: in appealing to its facticity, he makes it his own Anguish Anguish is the result of recognizing that one is not the foundation of ones own being,

another persons being, or the in-itself, yet one is responsible for everything One could recognize this abandonment without remorse or regret But most often, we flee anguish in bad faith The Impulse Toward God There is a human impulse toward something greater than the immediate object Love of a woman stands in for love of God

This orientation toward what is greater is fundamental to human reality Our fundamental project is to be God Our impulse toward God is toward the fundamental limit of human reality Freedom and the Desire to Be God If our fundamental impulse is to be God, how can we be free?

Freedom creates its own possibilities Being God is like an essence or nature, which cuts off possibilities We must distinguish the fundamental desire from empirical desires But the possibilities embodied in empirical desires do not explain our freedom Being-in-itself-for-itself The fundamental project is to be God

God would be the being that it both in-itself and for-itself God thus would be pure being which is the cause of itself: causa sui The causa sui is impossible But there may be a way to overcome the dualism of the in-itself and the for-itself Freedom might take itself for an end Futility?

Every human reality is a passion in that it projects losing itself so as to found being and by the same stroke to constitute the Initself which escapes contingency by being its own foundation, the Ens causa sui, which religions call God. . . . But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion (Being and Nothingness, Part Four, Chapter One, I)

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