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As a human being, it is hard to make a decision because of the uncertainty of the outcome, but it is definitely essential for human being to understand clearly the concept and connection between freedom and responsibility to recognize the existence of human being and it is only by the process of existence that somebody realizes or defines himself.
I. Definition of freedom and responsibility
A. A person may acquire freedom, but he has not fulfilled responsibility and this may keep grief inside him.
B. Sartre asserted that complete responsibility should not be believed as resignation, but it is just the necessary condition of the outcomes of the freedom.
II. Relationship between responsibility and freedom
A. Freedom is attained if a person accepts responsibility since responsibility and freedom possess a symbiotic connection in philosophy.
B. A man attains his essence by personal selections and activities and it is only by the process of existence that somebody realizes or defines himself.
III. Philosophical life
A. The meaning of the expression that existence precedes essence is that, to start with, there is existence of man, develops, emerges on the scene, and, just eventually, defines his identity.
B. The first clear value that Socrates declares concerning a society is justice and truth.
Freedom and responsibility play a crucial part in determining our decisions in life. As a human being, it is hard to make a decision because of the uncertainty of the outcome, but it is definitely essential for human being to understand clearly the concept and connection between freedom and responsibility to recognize the existence of human being and it is only by the process of existence that somebody realizes or defines himself.
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand and if a person does not want to assume responsibility, perhaps, he will not have freedom since the two ideas accompany each other. If a person avoids responsibility, he will eventually undergo slavery directly or indirectly.
Definition of Freedom and Responsibility
Some people can dream about freedom without considering that different responsibilities will accompany their freedom. A person may acquire freedom, but he has not fulfilled responsibility and this may keep grief inside him. Everybody can remove completely this grief through accepting both the responsibility and freedom.
Sartre stated, “the essential consequence of our earlier remarks is that man being condemned to be free carries the weight of the whole world on his shoulders; he is responsible for the world and himself as a way of being” (Sartre 52).
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Thoreau (375) stated that the essence of freedom should be also similar in God and to the people, and this shows that every human being has a freedom of indifference.
Additionally, Sartre (98) asserted that complete responsibility should not be believed as resignation, but it is just the necessary condition of the outcomes of the freedom. Sartre does not agree on the existence of inclination or taste, permitting just “choices of being,” although this insufficient inspirational description does not allow someone of his responsibility.
Man can be uninformed about all his selections, but they are owned by him even so. Sartre praises the idea of responsibility; even though he permits that it concurrently attacks and frees man (Sartre 98). Thoreau states, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” (Thoreau 116).
This means that by going to the Walden, he showed that he is free to make that decision, but also had to assume responsibility and find all the essentials in life as consequences.
Relationship between Responsibility and Freedom
Freedom is attained if a person accepts responsibility since responsibility and freedom possess a symbiotic connection in philosophy. In line with Sartre, every person is basically free and is free to create choices and initiate since there are no previous morals narrow their personal perception.
As free creators, people are responsible for every component for themselves, including emotions, actions, perception, and more importantly, people are free to decide. According to Sartre, “one may choose anything if it is on the grounds of free involvement” (Sartre 48).
Even though all people are free to decide their fate, they should, as well, accept responsibility for their decisions. Personal freedom of perception, hence, is both a curse and a blessing, and it is a blessing since it provides humanity the reward of free will to form a person’s life and the universe. It permits somebody to make an individual kind of values without certain limitations or restrictions.
According to Socrates, virtue and wisdom have close relationship, so his hard work provides to develop society altogether. In line with the perception of Socrates, if human beings are bright, nobody will ever do wrong, and their wisdom will result to healthier and more satisfying life.
Therefore, the philosopher, in accordance with Sartre, does not simply follow conceptual intellectual paths for the benefit of pleasure, but is dedicated in practices of the greatest moral value.
There are no specific reasons for judging a certain action good or bad, or right or wrong, nor are there any reasons for concluding that a change is moral setback or moral advancement. Sartre explains that existence precedes essence, which addresses that freedom and responsibility relative to human decisions or selections.
Only through action and choice do values form, for “value is nothing else, but the meaning that you choose” (Sartre 49). This notion signifies that human being, together with human reality, is in existence before any impression of morals and values.
Therefore, because no preformed essence or implication about the meaning of ‘being human,’ people should create their personal idea of existence through stating responsibility for and control of their activities and decisions.
As a result, a man attains his essence by personal selections and activities and it is only by the process of existence that somebody realizes or defines himself. Whether a person will die or live due to their decisions should be secondary in their decision making and they should simply ask if their actions are wrong or right, or bad or good (Cooper 26).
Sartre said: “in any case, what is that by existentialism we mean a doctrine which makes human life possible and, in addition, declares that every truth and every action implies a human setting and a human subjectivity” (Sartre 10).
Normally, people put focus on the dark side of human life and rarely put the emphasis on the positive side and consider existentialism as anything unattractive. This is the reason people are considered naturalist.
The close relationship between freedom and responsibility informs us about the value of philosophical life. This is demonstrated when Sartre states that if there is no existence of God, at least another being exists in whom existence precedes essence and a human being that was present before may be identified through whichever concept, and this existing being is considered a man.
The meaning of the expression that existence precedes essence is that, to start with, there is existence of man, develops, emerges on the scene, and, just eventually, defines his identity. Just eventually, he will be something, a man himself will have created what he has defined himself to be and this shows that human nature does not exist since God does not exist to conceive it.
Through daily living, everybody is engaging endlessly in the process of forming themselves or one’s identity. With nonexistence of any previous moral principle to adhere to, man has the basic freedom to make their personal system of beliefs and this personal freedom of perception is accompanied with the load of responsibility for the selections and decisions somebody creates.
Every human being should be responsible for the choices they create and if somebody does not accept responsibility for the actions and choices he or she makes, one will be operating in bad faith, a kind of self-deception that results to sense of forlornness, anguish, despair, and anxiety.
The first clear value that Socrates declares concerning a society is justice and truth since he reveals this in the initial step of his defense, which shows these as essential values for him (Cooper 17).
He presented clearly that he does not undervalue justice and truth, and consider them as important elements of nationality and society.
Therefore, citizens might be believed to be ‘good’ in his perception if they adhere to the good value of justice and truth in their community, particularly as Socrates performs during the court proceeding. All through his life, Socrates administered that the unexamined life does not merit questioning whatever thing.
In conclusion, it can be established that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand and if a person makes a choice, he or she must assume the responsibilities that accompany the choices made.
Freedom is achieved if a person accepts the responsibility and it is considered that a man is responsible for all elements for themselves, which contain the ability to make choices and do anything. Through daily living, everybody is engaging endlessly in the process of forming themselves or one’s identity.
Nevertheless, even when operating in bad faith, one is creating the selection of shunning responsibility, and it demonstrates that everybody cannot shun choice that helps them recall the fact that the destiny of a man is within himself. Freedom is also a curse since the responsibility of structuring somebody’s life is accompanied with freedom to decide.
Cooper, John. Plato: The Trial and Death of Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2000. Print.
Descartes, René. Meditations on First Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism and Human Emotions: Selections from Being and Nothingness. New York: Citadel, 1957. Print.
Thoreau, Henry. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 2009. Print.