Death and Faith from Existentialist Point of View Essay

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In order to understand the underlying concepts of faith with respect to philosophy, first it is important to understand 'philosophy' adequately. Jaspers was concerned about noting the originality and singularity of philosophy and he frames it as "to elucidate" (erhellen). As per Jaspers, this clarification or elucidation does not come to philosophers through an external agent but it happens by itself during the philosophical process and this happening is an innermost act. (Wildermuth, 2007). Philosophers understand the meaning and philosophy behind actions and things as they seek to explore hitherto mysterious, unexplained happenings and phenomenon.

However, only a few philosophers speak about the death. Even then, the best they can reveal about death is about its awareness. As such, although death is an unavoidable event and that is the only knowledge we have about it. All are aware that they have to face death one day and it will come eventually. It is an inescapable fact, a reality that happens in everyone's life. Martin Heidegger had been grown up in an environment that gives more importance to traditions and religions but he had discarded those with Being and Time. Also, he avoided referencing statements about God in his writings (Peach, 2000).

The article in the form of an essay by Karl Jasper's reflected only his ontological thoughts with respect to his faith in philosophy. Comparing Jaspers essay on philosophy with the ontology that deals with existence by Heidegger, helps explain how to philosophize the concept without deploying the actual philosophy. Whereas the philosophy of Jasper has an open view and deontological thoughts, through another perspective, the frankness in his words challenges the readers by interconnecting with the theoretical concepts of Kant (Wildermuth, 2007).

Philosophical Faith

As per Jasper, the theory of philosophy never fits directly to the subjects dealt in universities and in particular, to "humanities," and there exist quantitative differences. It has become more common and the German universities faced the problem with the more orthodox philosophy, "Neo-Kantianism." Jasper's work Diegeistige Situation der Zeit, that meant a lot to him, had a major impact on the lives of many people when published (The Spiritual Condition of the Age). The question to which Jasper gave much importance was, "What is philosophy?" The first point is dealing with "What is philosophizing?" and the second point is dealing with "How to philosophize?" The questions that appear at the end were actually changed by Jasper to "How" from "What." This change leads to a further question, what does Jasper value as a valid traditional philosophy? When we understand Jasper's words, we capture his intention and the revelation is that human existence by itself plays an important role in philosophizing. Therefore, he stands by his point that all human beings should be conscious of their intentions (of life) and that such meaning has nothing to do with education or academics (Wildermuth, 2007).

The Magnum Opus theory of Heidegger concentrates on another metaphysical subject that means -- 'the study of being', that is a different ontology. This theory never takes account of the evidence, subjects, or any sciences; according to Husserl, it considers only 'phenomenological' methods. Husserl opines that Phenomenology is a construct of philosophy (with a claim that every phenomenon that includes mental thoughts has a link to an object in the outside world). However, Heidegger had tried to reflect it as a method of consciousness from our current state that helps us to understand the state of Being and not the Being itself. He called such existence 'Dasein', and explained it as 'being there' that refers to our actual existence (James, 2012).

Heidegger's Analysis on Death

Understanding Heideggers's views on death requires deeper understanding.

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As per his views, death is not about the feelings people ascribe to, instead it is a mere biological happening. The focus of Heidegger is completely of existence after death that is 'yet-to-come' and as explained through Dasein, it is referred as being-in-the-world. Heidegger states that, understanding death as a phenomenon is to understand the Dasein completely. If Dasein is interpreted as a living possibility, then Dasein Being means 'Being-towards-death'. Dasein clearly states that we should face it one day and for what it posits. This process is the main idea behind the analysis of Heidegger. Just to get a better clarification on being, Heidegger differentiates it as inauthentic and authentic. Dasein also seeks to propose that death is a constant event that should occur in the world and is also a 'case' that must occur. There is a general saying which states that "At the end, one has to die but nothing can be done right now." Also, the anonymous happening, the death, has got no connection to the pronoun "I" (Peach, 2000).

As per Heidegger, the analysis presents a better understanding of finitude and it helps in knowing about the existence. Also, he never gives us an explanation for death but presents a phenomenal relationship to it. Though it is thoughtful, it is glooming as well. In addition, his thoughts were criticized for letting no hope of Being (Peach, 2000).

Jasper's Point-of-View

Before understanding the views of Jasper on death, we should understand that our life is full of situations. Also, it is an unavoidable condition of the human existence. The second point is that there are also four 'boundary situations' (that threatens our security and basis of existence) and the most important of them is death. It is important because it ends 'being-in-the-world'. Jaspers gives two meanings to death. They are ceasing of life or a boundary situation. The one such boundary situation is facing his or her own death and it remains personal. It is referred so because Existenz by itself expresses Dasein which is the temporary existence with respect to body and it requires an end. Also, it is the end of only the 'empirical being' and the Existenz never dies. It signifies death and the relation to it. We are aware that the comeback for Dasein is nothing and we need to agree on it. (Peach, 2000).

The end of survival of humans results in the opening of a new dimension of philosophy. This apprehension is just the parallel of humanity and it preserves life and its conditions. The death of individuals and the humanity runs closer and lies tangible with power-hungry and pathological individuals (Wildermuth, 2007).

Quest for Being The philosophy of Jasper follows the guidance of "quest for being." There is a gap between being a "real being," Jasper matches it with "absolute," and the conditions, intentions and abilities of humankind and that means manifesting everything including the thoughts, dreams, etc. as a universal being. The acceptances or failures of being are an ongoing inquiry that should assert for it. It is a great challenge that enhances the "certainty of being" and it never comes to an end. This presents a further deeper understanding and it states that until existence takes full control of being, it just remains as "possible existence." Also, as per the observations of Jasper, the conditions cannot be….....

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James, D. (2012). Notes on Continental Philosophy: Martin Heidegger. Sophiaomni.

Peach, F. (2000). Death, Faith & Existentialism. Philosophy Now.

Wildermuth, A. (2007). Karl Jaspers and the Concept of Philosophical Faith. An International Journal in Philosophy, Religion, Politics, and the Arts, 8-18.

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