If you’ve read some of Sartre’s work, it can be slightly misinterpreted what he’s getting at but there are certain parts, especially in ‘Nausea’ that interest me.
Theres a part where he says that existence of people is contingent rather than necessary. It stuck out for me as this is a world where it appears necessary for humans to be here due to the intelligence that we have reached. The fact that we’re able to read and write and drive and do these day to day things that seem so normal to us, seem to point to a purpose of some kind. What if it’s not though?
Existence can be worthless unless we have those around us who make our own existence more than just a ‘walking consciousness’, we rely on interaction. We rely on those around us for acceptance as thats the development path we as humans have taken. It’s not great but it’s true. It’s like the development intended for us is finally reaching the pivital point where we choose to mess it up or actually do something that gives us a purpose. Without a purpose, we are just contingently acting wrongly on a dying planet that we’ve decided to ignore.
See, if existence was necessary, we would be guided towards a purpose and on one hand, the destruction of our planet maybe is that? But on the other hand, the planet would be fine without us. Ecosystems would flourish and live in harmony as no machines would be around to take out forests. We really aren’t necessary to this world and it sucks but what I think Sartre occasionally includes is that, even though we may not be necessary, we can make ourselves seem necessary by being a person who appreciates that around us by looking back and understanding the world as it is. We can make the world we live in meaningful by our actions and what we do otherwise it is meaningless.
The world is here and we’re on it and there’s no ultimate gain from us here apart from what we can do to communicate to each other and protect the world as natures pretty awesome but it’s being destroyed. Perhaps it’s by reading Philosophy that you can really appreciate that even though there’s a separation between humankinds actions and the natural world around us, we have the freedom to create a meaningful world that we live in and that’s what we should aim to do.
If you have any views on Sartre’s books or this post, comment and i’ll get back to you.