Jean-Paul Sartre, a prominent French existentialist philosopher, made the statement “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.” This quote reflects the core tenets of existentialism, a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom, choice, and personal responsibility in a world devoid of inherent meaning or purpose.
When Sartre says “every existing thing is born without reason,” he is expressing the idea that there is no predetermined or inherent meaning in existence. In existentialism, life is not guided by a divine plan or a cosmic purpose; rather, it is up to individuals to create meaning and purpose for themselves through their choices and actions.
The phrase “prolongs itself out of weakness” suggests that people often continue to exist out of a sense of habit or inertia, rather than actively pursuing a meaningful life. This reflects existentialism’s emphasis on the importance of individual choice and personal responsibility in shaping one’s existence.
Finally, “dies by chance” reinforces the idea that life is fundamentally unpredictable and contingent. Existentialists argue that death, like life itself, is not governed by a divine plan or cosmic order. Instead, it is a random event that can occur at any time, further underscoring the need for individuals to take control of their lives and make meaningful choices.
In summary, Sartre’s statement reflects existentialism’s central theme that life is inherently devoid of purpose or meaning, and it is up to individuals to create their own significance through their choices and actions. This perspective encourages people to take personal responsibility for their lives and to actively engage with the world in order to find meaning and purpose