Philosophy, in and of itself, cannot be the tool by which man can achieve truth. Since man’s reasoning is corrupted and flawed, the possibilities are highly likely that what emanates from it is corrupted as well.
Still, this truth wasn’t enough to stop the Greek, Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment philosophes from pondering, wondering and rationalizing everything under the sun – to the point of deifying their own intellects and conclusions in the process.
Among those whom thought that their own vaporous ideas were incontrovertible and supposedly managed to pinpoint the essence of human existence is French playwright and Marx disciple Jean-Paul Sartre. It can be easily asserted that Sartre is partly responsible for the culture of promiscuity and libertinism that has plagued the West during the last 50 years.
Sartre was the same man who classified the murderous Ernesto “Che” Guevarra as the “most complete human being” and the “perfect man” after meeting the Argentinian revolutionary in Cuba. Sartre was also the same fiend who carried an “open” sexual relationship with radical feminist Simone de Beauvoir whilst both deflowered underage boys and girls during menage a trois.
Not content with corrupting adolescents, he sought to promote his bohemian (which is to say slothful) and reprobate behavior via “existentialist” philosophy. Sartre proposed that anyone who was not being “authentic” to their “true selves” was acting in “bad faith”.
He gave three distinct examples to try to prove his ridiculous assertion:
- A waiter who is not naturally inclined to serve others.
- A woman who doesn’t return or reject a potential suitor’s advances.
- A homosexual who represses his debauched desires due to moral social norms.
Part and parcel of Jean-Paul’s concept is that God doesn’t exist. Therefore, existence comes before essence. In other words, man’s character comes after birth.
For those who adhere to Biblical values and common sense, Sartre’s ideology not only reeks of the odorous perversion it springs from, it is absolutely inconsistent and stupid.
If existence does come before essence, he is admitting that man is eventually shaped by upbringing and his own decisions. This runs contrary to the “authentic self” narrative since essence is not present at the point a person begins to exist.
Think about his first example. Decency and morality dictates that service unto others is good and that being self-serving and arrogant is not. Yet, in his hypothetical “waiter” who is “naturally” inclined to serve, Sartre is actually extolling selfishness as a sort of virtue.
What if that person finds that in their new line of employment they enjoy serving others while learning to be giving and thoughtful? Which of the two is the true authentic self, the selfish person before becoming a waiter or the serviceable individual who learned to be selfless as a waiter?
The idea of normalizing bad behavior, immaturity and sinfulness was always the point and essence of Sartre’s ludicrous concept. Take the third example he gives as the prime example.
He rebukes the homosexual for intentionally repressing his desires in order to submit to formal cultural norms in the West – namely that deviant forms of sexual behavior are disgusting and ought to be closeted for the public good. Even in this action, it could be said that some homosexuals of old were still somewhat considerate of others because they knew that their comportment was wrong and didn’t desire that the most vulnerable of society, children, would adopt their dangerous conduct.
“Not so!”, said Sartre emphatically. In his mind, the homosexual should give free reign to his inclinations and conceitedly thumb his nose at social standards because they opposed his “true self”, no matter who it corrupts (which was always the point of his doctrine anyways).
As the reader will have noticed, Sartre’s writings were and are an essential part of the current culture of what I call Generation Libertine. As the saying goes, “Do as you please and what makes you feel good and care less about morality and others in the process”. (I’ll admit the saying doesn’t quite go like that. Yet, I’ve added a clarifying statement in order to demonstrate what is really meant.)
The question begs to be asked: If Sartre was the quintessential degenerate and his so-called philosophy was designed to normalize godlessness and reprobation in society, why do many consider him to be an intellectual giant? The answer is simple: Many secretly share Sartre’s desire to live in open depravity.
But what about supposedly conservative persons quoting the chameleon-eyed pervert in order to diagnose the problems with the Millennial generation’s habitual stupidity?
Such is the case with Shane Ralston, associate professor of philosophy at Penn State. In an article written for Intellectual Takeout, Ralston attempts to make the case that the reasons Millennials are physically and intellectually weak (seeking safe spaces, demanding trigger warnings and the like) is because they are denying their Sartraian true selves by acting as objects instead of agents with free will.
Hold the phone. Using Sartre and his specious ideology as a fix for the problem of sniveling, bickering, shameless Millennials is contradictory. This is due to the fact that it was his ideology that inspired modernity to give free reign to immorality and bad character because Sartre denominated those things as authentic living.
Is Ralston ignorant of this or is he attempting to whitewash Sartre’s past and his pathetic excuse for a philosophical concept?
The apostle Paul was right when he wrote that we ought to be careful with philosophers and philosophy in general when he wrote:
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
Sartre attempted to turn the Biblical concept of Original Sin and humanity’s fallen state (Isaiah 54:1, Romans 5:12-20) on its head by redefining sinfulness as the “true self”. Furthermore, he found the perfect avenue to popularize his vain and wicked ideas –philosophy and the mentally fatiguing sophistry attached to it. He was a wordsmith who could twist arguments and convince the undiscerning that his libertine doctrine was moral and natural.
The truth is that Sartre would have probably been among the most vocal advocates for the current crop of irresponsible youngsters and their immodest behavior. This is because he preached what he lived.