commentary: Victims of Existentialism
The Nation Was Led Into Judges 21:25
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 09-Feb-13; Sermon #1142c; 14 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the philosophical stance of existentialism (each individual has the responsibility to find his own meaning in life, stressing that people are not answerable to any higher power, but are totally responsible for what he does and subject to the consequences of his actions, bringing to him a great deal of angst and dread), explores its effect on American culture. Existentialism, a philosophy growing out of humanism, became a major force in America following World War II, ushering in a steep and precipitous moral decline which has continued unabated. The current fiscal cliff manipulations of the Democrat Party, having refused to draft a budget for three years while pushing for no debt ceiling, demonstrates the futility of existentialist doctrine, guaranteeing that "unless we experience a miracle, America will go over the fiscal cliff by 2025-the point of no return. The hypocritical cry for 'gun control' is ludicrous when it is revealed that for 12,600 total deaths from gunshots per year, medicine malpractice kills 780,936 per year, dwarfing into insignificance the danger posed by firearms. But higher education, the media, and the gullible sheeples, created by that media—have all been hypnotized, or perhaps poisoned, by existentialistic, humanist-progressive thinking.
There is a philosophical term that we may come across while reading from time to time that we may not understand clearly. This has happened to me, so I'm going to briefly define that term for you so that we will not be quite so far from grasping the meeting and its fruit. It is existentialism.
The root of that term is "to exist," and it has to do with philosophers' thoughts regarding mankind's existence and choices regarding how one lives his life. Existentialists believe that each individual—not society or religion—is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and "authentically." They believe that they are answerable to no higher power.
The philosophical usage emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual in what they consider as a hostile and indifferent universe. The existentialist regards existence as unexplainable, but at the same time, he stresses free choice and responsibility for one's actions.
A second source defined it in this manner. "Existentialism stresses that people are entirely free and therefore responsible for what they do and what they make of themselves. However, with this responsibility comes a profound anguish and dread."
Did you notice that there was no mention of a creator God in either of those brief definitions? Existence is unexplainable to them. In this philosophy, there are no absolute answers to either this question or the correct moral, ethical, and spiritual standards. Everybody is on their own, but they must be prepared to deal with the consequences that will build within them when the wages of their belief and lifestyle are paid as they earn, because of what they admit they are responsible for.
This philosophy is a "Which came first—the chicken or the egg?"-sort of thought. I ask this because the overwhelming majority of existentialists—maybe all of them—are humanists. Some may call them secularists. It does not matter to me at all. These are two titles for the same way of thinking about life. I believe personally that humanism came first. It is outright idolatry. The rejection of God, combined with the worship of the self. Existentialism is nothing more than an attempt to justify their idolatry. God may not even be an afterthought to them. Man, man's accomplishments, and individualism are worshipped. Man is the pinnacle of human life and does not answer to anyone higher. Hang on to that. Do they never wonder where this anguish and feelings of dread come from? I am sure they do, but in their pride they cannot admit they are responsible to the Creator as well as being responsible to themselves and fellow man.
God's truth says mankind is without excuse because He has shown them, and besides, He has placed within man a conscience that gives all of mankind a basic knowledge of sin. Existentialists are rebelling and they do not want to admit it. So they come up with this excuse for a way of life they call existentialism.
Very interesting to me as I was doing research, a Google search revealed that existentialism became a major philosophical force in America following World War II. And that, brethren, coincides with the beginning of the steep moral, ethical and spiritual decline in the American culture, and this decline affects the entire culture.
Let's update things. At this time, the fiscal cliff is still with us. The cliff is the result are spending money as if there is no tomorrow. To me, that pattern of spending and the resulting indebtedness is clearly a fruit of following the principles of existentialism. The fiscal fiscal cliff did not suddenly disappear with that pre-January 1 agreement. We are still facing it because that agreement just kicked the can down the road a few feet. By March 1, the fiscal cliff will be back in the news, loud and clear again, when the two parties will wrangle over whether to raise the debt ceiling.
Are you aware that this Democratic administration has not even put forth a budget for three years? That's existentialist thinking. They are not responsible for anybody but them. The citizens of the United States are above them. Are they listening, brethren? Existentialists do not listen. What this is, is existentialism applied to politics. But brethren, the clock is ticking.
I read an article by a man named Mike Bondurant, who in turn (in that article) quoted a very famous MD that I'm also aware off named Patch Adams. Mr. Bondurant, quoting Patch Adams, said that it looks to him as though this nation will go over the existential cliff around 2025. Patch Adams meant that man's irresponsibility, by taking advantage of his self-determined, self-given freedom to do as he pleases, will have reached the point of no return, and mankind will have to face the full effect of the consequences of his existentialism. Existentialism guides that if one believes he can do something, he will do it.
Consider these results that are compounding rapidly. Even today, the food supply is largely poisoned. The water supply is largely poisoned. The oceans are poisoned. Modern medicine contains much poison. Mental health is in the same boat. Government, along with corporate entities, are the entities promoting the poisoning. The air we breathe is very polluted. Our monetary system is deflated in value, but is on the verge of inflating into worthlessness. Modern education is largely responsible for producing people who do not think well, becoming little more than sheeples. Modern corporate entities prey on the people, and media hypnotizes people. This is existentialist thinking. "Just do it. Don't worry about the results." We've got virtually an entire nation that has been led into existentialist thinking, usually by the universities, and it is being hidden by media, making numerous excuses for what is really happening.
Right now, the big issue is gun control in order to stop shooting massacres. Are you aware that, according to the Journal of the Medical Association of America, 290 people are killed every day—every day—by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) -approved prescription drugs? That's 106,000 deaths a year. In order to match that, an Aurora theater massacre would have to take place every hour of every day for a year. Which is worse—what happened in Newtown, or what's happening here? Not here in this room; what I just read and that's being reported by the doctors' association.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the number of people killed by gunshot in 2007 was 12,600 people. According to the book Death by Medicine, written by five doctors, doctors inadvertently kill 783,936 Americans every year. Your chances being killed by conventional medicine is 6200 times higher than being murdered by gunshot. The major difference is that the doctor does not intend to do so. He's probably doing the best he can do to help you.
But do you not think that our existentialism-driven government should be doing something to regulate Big Pharma—what they are producing—so that it is safe for public consumption? Existentialism teaches one to do what is right in his own eyes, and we are living in its fruit—Judges 21:25, which Ted quoted ["Light is Precious"]. You're living right in the midst of it.