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Existentialism vs. Relativism - Essay Example

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Existentialism vs. Relativism

Existentialists believe that personal choices are unique and do not have to be based on an objective form of truth (Waugh, 2004: pp. 432). Relativism serves as the antagonist of absolutism. These are individuals who perceive every situation in life as having two different perspectives and understanding. Relativism personalities believe that the truth or falsity of a concept is relative to the social context from which the idea is generated. Their idea is that what is true for an age group, social class or tribe, might not be true for the same age group, social class and tribe in a different setting. They appreciate that there exists diversity in the norms that are upheld by various societies (McLachlan, 2005: pp. 92). Key Distinctions between Existentialism and Relativism Sartre used existentialism following the World War II as a basis of framing the political and social issues. Camus on the other hand assisted in the popularization of the philosophy, by focusing on personal freedom and individualism. It served as a justification to challenge the regimes at that time and the administrators and citizens embraced the philosophy as a solace to the frustrations they were encountering from domestic and foreign policies between 1960s and 1970s (Waugh, 2004: pp. 432). ...
Unlike the existentialists who try to understand the events in their life after happening, the relativists expose the events of other people to research and gain knowledge that depict their future events (McLachlan, 2005: pp. 92). Existentialists believe in human free will. They believe that religion, law, society, and ethics do not indentify an individual. They believe that an individual is able to define himself if he violates the norms set by the society and challenges the preset standards. They believe that an individual is at his best when he is struggling against nature and struggling to maintain his life. They are excited by challenges and find pleasure in going against all the preset rules. Existentialists believe that in doing this, they are able to attach meaning to what they believe in and also attach meaning to their life since they just do not follow rules without understanding them (Waugh, 2004: pp. 432). However, relativists believe that an individual is defined by the society in which he exists. They believe that rules define the norms of a society and set apart what is right from what is wrong. Besides, they acknowledge the fact that different societies have different rules and regulations and hence respect the diversity that exists in individuals. Relativists do not struggle with life and they believe that life flows with nature and the life of others should be used as a specimen not to make the same mistakes. They have the notion that life should be programmed and should not be haphazard in bid to discover oneself (McLachlan, 2005: pp. 92). Relativists believe in having their own way and they do not have the “it is my fault” mentality. They have the rationale that what they are experiencing is better placed than what ...Show more


Existentialism vs. Relativism Name Institution Philosophy Tutor Date Existentialism vs. Relativism Introduction Existentialism has its roots in the 20th century philosophy from the writings of Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Sartre and Camus, and entails an analysis of the way human beings find themselves existing in the world…
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