Bad Faith

After reading this I thought about how it might also relate to agnosticism.  Is agnosticism the hand that lies still and unresponsive in the hand of another?

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7 Responses to Bad Faith

  1. Of course Satre was an egotistical bully and a grump who would interpret, who would interpret the couple that way.



  2. Darrell says:

    So are you saying that sometimes the fact someone is a bully, a grump, a jerk basically, that this “truth” is more powerful than their actual comments and observations no matter how “true” those may be in a purely factual way?

    Leaving Sartre aside, any thoughts regarding the main point?


  3. Hi Darrell

    No, not at all. Just wryly noting that Satre's interpretation of the couple shouldn't surprise us.

    With regard to the overall point, it's a metaphor, to be taken as we will. The alternative point, of course, is the beauty to be found in the ambiguity of the moment, the delicate anticipation and excitement of the moment when one hand slips into another, to find neither acceptance nor rejection, the seduction of possibility, of uncertainty…

    Which is why metaphor makes for lousy arguments. Many criticised Satre's philosophy for exactly these excesses, that beneath the rhetoric, it was not always clear what he was saying. In philosophy, clarity matters.



  4. Darrell says:

    I'm sorry, I meant the main point of freedom and responsibility. We could read this in a way where it would appear the agnostic is only kidding himself, true?

    “Yet Sartre’s point is that this attempt to flee freedom is just another manifestation of freedom. It is simply a futile attempt to deny it.”


  5. Hi Darrell

    Yes, absolutely. We can't live outside life, but must dive in, make our calls, live with the consequences. Such is the human condition. And many an agnostic does exactly this, staring unflinchingly at the mystery, and choosing to call it no other thing than mysterious.



  6. Burk Braun says:

    If I may interpret, I think Darrell is saying that if you are not taking up religion, you are not fully living. “For I am the way and the truth and the life”.. and all that.

    Those without an ear for religion are like those born deaf- lacking a key dimension of life.


  7. Darrell says:


    Did you mean to say you disagree with or were interpreting Sartre, the atheist? I was saying nothing beyond what he was saying. And he was saying nothing about “taking up religion” and neither was I.

    Your “interpretation” may indicate a deaf ear of another type.


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