Nausea: A Realization of Existence

Philosophers of all ages have had to come to terms with the existence of God. If God exists then ideas of philosophy such as determinism and a perfect ideal of existence are concepts which can be effectively discussed. However, if there is no God, then there is no higher moral power to strive for, no meaning to living than life itself. While many philosophers starting in the 18th century began to conceive of a world where God did not in fact exist, most were not willing to give up the idea that a code of being still existed in some perfect, objective form. What existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre did was to expose the falseness of any system of values in a world where God does not exist.

In "Existentialism and Humanism," Sartre writes that there is no possible concept of values existing a priori to what we make of them. He describes a French movement that attempted to posit that even without the ideal of God, values could still exist: "nothing will be changed if God does not exist" ("Existentialism and Humanism," 40). However, as Sartre posits, the inexistence of God changes everything. If there is no God then there are no a priori notions of good or bad, no ideals of existence which men do not...

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