Do you believe in existentialism or do you just hate your life?

I understand that this question might come across as a little bit harsh, however, after the class discussion on existentialism, I felt very unsettled and confused. Why would someone want that type of outlook on life? Everything about it struck me as depressing and unhappy.

I think that the belief of existentialism stems from a place of unhappiness, because if you are able to truly feel love or joy, then you feel like you have a good reason to keep living. And that is enough to call it the purpose of life.

I am not going to lie, some of the points that were shared during the class discussion made sense to me, and I think it is a unique perspective on life. But I personally think that existentialism is not a belief to live by and that if you ignore what it is saying, you will live a much happier and fuller life. While it is true that society puts expectations on us that we need to have a family and friends and love to be happy, and many of these things are glorified, that does not mean that they aren’t real things that make life worth living.

The purpose of life is whatever you make it out to be. Society puts pressure on us to make certain things our “happiness”, but that doesn’t mean that there is no general purpose to life; it just varies with each person. I think that there is so much emphasis on finding a purpose to life that no one actually realizes that there truly is no purpose to life. We are just here, and all we can do is make it the best life that we can. So however each individual chooses to do so, is their own personal purpose to life. Whatever puts a smile on their face and fills their hearts with joy is what they can say is their reason for getting out of bed each day and enjoying the life they were given.

11 thoughts on “Do you believe in existentialism or do you just hate your life?

  1. SYDNEY G

    I completely agree and I love the points you made in this post Maya. My post was similar, and I definitely left the classroom feeling unsettled due to this perspective. I thought it was interesting how you made the point that this view stems from a place of unhappiness/dissatisfaction in your own life because that makes complete sense, and I agree completely.

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  2. Asta S

    I too felt pretty confused and sad after our first discussion on existentialism in class, so I am completely with you on that point. I have pondered upon existentialism throughout this week, and I too also agree that it is not necessarily the best way to focus your life on. I also like you how brought up that existentialism stems from a place of unhappiness; I had never thought about that and that statement makes sense and I agree with it completely.

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  3. Connor D

    The first sentence of your final paragraph is “The purpose of life is whatever you make it out to be.” I find it interesting that that is your critique of existentialism, because at its core, that statement is fundamental to existentialism. The whole point of existentialism is finding your own meaning in life. I don’t believe your final paragraph is as anti-existentialist as it maybe was intended to be, because what you are describing is in fact existentialism. The meaning of life is life itself, having the ability to interact with things that bring you joy.

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  4. EMILY I

    Honestly, it is hard for me to grasp the idea of existentialism because the idea itself frustrates me. I keep thinking to myself, how can family, friends and love all not exist? They are elements in our life that make us happy. Forming connections with the people around us is what gives us more of a purpose in life. We have so many expectations in society that we are expected to live up to, but that does not necessarily mean we have no purpose. I agree with your point that people make up their own purpose, depending on their own individual lives. Happiness is a natural feeling and not something that is forced upon us.

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  5. Simone P

    I agree. I think that people who truly admire and want to be like Mersault are lazy and are not willing to do the in depth search to find the meaning of life; to find what makes you happy and keeps you busy.

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  6. YUNHAO XU

    Well, personally speaking, existentialism is just an option for someone to seek the meaning of life. Living in modern society can be happy, but also can be sad due to too many restrictions. On the other side, living without any concerns, alone and ignoring something bother you can also make us happy. Maybe most people won’t be like Meursault do everything so extremely and negate all the stuff except himself, but we still can find a point fit us between locks ourselves into the system or be a full existentialism person. It’s just a way of evaluating life.

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  7. MEENAH H

    I agree with this, there is meaning in life, and some struggle to find it. Part of life’s journey is discovering what the meaning of life is for yourself, and existentialist deny that life has any meaning. The truth is, all life has meaning, whether one chooses to find it or not. I personally disagree with many existentialist ideals that disregard the meaning of life.

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  8. Geneva D

    If there is no real purpose to life then why do so many people agree to live rhtough it? In my class Mr. Heidkamp stressed the fact that there is a lot of random pain, suffering, and death in life. If life truly is so bad then why isn’t it more commonly understood that there’s no purpose? I would argue that there is a purpose to life but it won’t be the same for everyone.

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  9. mfriedman62

    I like a lot of what you wrote Maya. I agree that life should and does have purpose and it may be dictated by forces that are not the person living. I really like your last paragraph where you mention how society influences us to identify the sources of our happiness and how that’s okay. The beauty of living is navigating the source of happiness that is unique to us. That in itself is liberating.

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    1. JOHN V

      This is well put. Life in itself is chaos. Some things are able to be controlled, but most are in the hands of “fate.” Existentialists are those who look at life with a don’t care mentality.

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  10. Jack B

    I liked the connections you made. Especially, “The purpose of life is whatever you make it out to be. Society puts pressure on us to make certain things our “happiness”, but that doesn’t mean that there is no general-purpose to life; it just varies with each person”. This is a great way to refute.

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