Existential Ethics ApproachJuly 1, 2021
It is the ethic of existentialism interpreted as a noble and glorious reaction against the values of the Enlightenment, modern rationalism, liberalism’s mass culture and mass morality.
Existential ethics must first of all be an ethics of freedom. Ethics, which focuses almost entirely on the problem of freedom, has developed as a practical philosophy that, after diagnosing the situation of modern man, has undertaken the mission of regaining the sense of freedom they have lost, saving them from illusions and enabling people to see their lives in a new light. Because existentialist thinkers saw the problem of freedom as a practical problem, not as a theoretical problem to be dealt with and discussed within a system of philosophy.
Existentialist ethics wants to show people that the causality expressed by scientific and objective thought is an illusion, to remind them of the sense of freedom they have forgotten, to make them accept that they have absolute freedom in terms of assigning value to them and deciding how to live. In other words, the existentialist ethical, which asks people to experience and realize their freedom, claims that the view of the world and the person’s view of his place in this world will actually change and transform from now on.
Representatives of the existentialist ethic who want to change and transform people, then, are not only missionaries, but also innovators emotionally and practically.
Another very important point that confirms the innovation that existentialist ethics brought to the theory of ethics with its understanding of freedom is that existential philosophers set off from the human being who defines and determines himself/herself directly in the field of moral philosophy. Existentialist ethics, which argues that universal systems embracing everything, objective truths about existence and society are inevitably alien to the individuality of human beings, and therefore general syntheses that dissolve people in themselves cannot respond in any way to the individual’s interest in his own life, moral problems, these problems are essentially the problems of individuals themselves. He claims that moral consciousness can never be resolved by subordinating it to objective criteria, the universal moral law, or the will to disinterested reason.
According to this ethical understanding, which claims that there is an indispensable relationship between ethics and subjectivity, moral questions must be asked from the point of view of the first person, and the real subject is not the knower, but the morally existing subject. However, the moral subject who asks how to live deceives himself when he takes the position of an observer to himself, adopting an impersonal objective grasp of his human condition. From the point of view of the ethical tradition in question, man is the morally existent subject, or genuine individual, not through knowledge, or through greater knowledge of objective facts or the world, but in choices that enable him to develop long-term interests that will give meaning and moral structure to his own life. It can be by being present and making engagements.
From the point of view of this ethical tradition, which is not only individualistic but also subjectivist, moral philosophy should address anxiety, fear, alienation, the sense of nothingness, the human condition, instead of seeking objectivity in the field of ethics, and should definitely turn to subjectivity, because truth is subjective and the reality of individual existence is no abstraction. can never be grasped or expressed.
Existentialist ethics is a voluntaristic theory of ethics. Because this understanding means that man is a being with a will rather than a rational being. Will defines as perpetrator. Existentialist thinkers, who argue that man differs from all other beings in the universe in that he has a will, whose existence is the source of all values, attaches great importance to the creative dimension of will, while there is little value in things that somehow exist, occur in some way, or are not the object of anyone’s choice. They say that the only thing that has value is the act of will, that the things that have a value on them are created by voluntary acts themselves. Even in its humanist or atheist dimension, existentialist ethics argues that the universe, which has no intelligible development direction, is essentially absurd and meaningless, and that meaning is given to the alien and indifferent world by man. Since in such a world devoid of meaning, order and purpose, there are no moral rules that people find ready, existentialist ethics insists that moral principles are created by people who are responsible for the actions of other people besides their own actions.