Jean-Paul Sartre “Bad Faith”

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Bad faith by Jean-Paul Sartre notes that human beings when they are under pressure act irrationally where they end up adopting false values by disowning their innate freedom due to the pressure of social forces. This is a close reflection of self-deception and resentment due to factors and conditions which an individual can not be able to change. Existentialism through a critical claim notes that human beings are free to make their choices and guide their life towards the path or goal which they have decided to follow. Therefore human beings can not escape this reality by going contrary to the existentialism freedom but outside and external forces may limit an individual's ability to go out of this freedom, and that is known as facticity. This means that these forces can not push somebody to act outside certain realms because another can not overrun one course of action. This is because no matter what an individual does they still have freedom of choice on the actions which they chose. The consciousness of a person is their being-for-itself because the consciousness is nothingness because it can not be pointed out as a thing the way people point out at tables, chairs or their hands and legs . Thus Sartre defined consciousness as being a definition of itself which is conscious. This is what consciousness means by being-for-itself because it can be defined as conscious to infinity, it will always be conscious of itself. Being in itself is existentialism being how a person conducts themselves when they are present with choices of being different they stick to the virtues which they know to be true without going out of the consciousness. Being for others means that the decisions which an individual makes are all influenced by outside forces and what they action would result to if they acted in a particular manner . In that instance, the person does not control their freedom because it is based on the reaction of others. By doing that the individual would be acting in an unauthentic deceitful manner which goes against existentialism. The look plays a major role in others because human beings are judgmental and the perspective which they offer to a stranger is what remains as the image of that person unless there is a change. This change is what the new definition of the individual becomes because there was a transformation from the first moment of encounter to the second incidence. Bad faith according to Sartre is the habit that people develop by deceiving themselves that the choices they have made are the correct ones for fear that there will be consequences for their actions. By acting on these parameters, it means that the chance of doing something which goes against the set virtues limits somebody’s freedom of expressing their true self. This sets a person as a being-in-itself rather than being-for-itself because they are akin to an object rather than acting as a conscious human being . The example where the waiter plays the role of bad faith by acting a waiter even though they are human being though they have been conditioned to give a service of waiting at the restaurant means that human beings can not live a life which is not in bad faith. This is because most of an individual's life is set to follow particular procedures by the systems which have been set by the law and the rules and regulations which people follow so that they can not be outside the normality. The daily activities that people engage in conform them to act in a certain manner, and this is exemplified by practicing those habits and making them seem normal . The waiter knows nothing else except to do that job which they have perfected over time and trying to control them to leave the role of acting as waiters will deprive them of a consciousness decision which they have made. This means that the waiter has another life which they do not live in pretense but due to the conditioning of the environment which is being-in-itself because they are at the mercy of their employer. Therefore no amount of persuasion can make them leave their post of doing their job unless they are given the freedom of doing as they please, and they still retain the status quo of providing to their dependants and find means of paying for their daily needs . The incidence where the woman gives her hand to a gentleman who has taken her to dinner, and he is openly flirting with her so that she knows his intentions shows a different existential freedom which involves a person making decisions by following their consciousness. The difference between the lady and the waiter is the choices and freedom which they have been presented with according to the role they are playing. The lady is given unlimited choices on how to act to the advances of the gentleman whereas the waiter is confined to act to the role they are tasked with. This shows that human beings are subject to the double property of coordinating and doing things which are between facticity and transcendence and when people understand these two dimensions then they can understand bad faith. In that context, it shows that people can not live a life which is not in bad faith because the existence of the universe is based on irrationality and no matter how a person behaves their choices will always catch up to them. The caress is like an extension of Sartre’s work on the look because of the close connectivity these two senses act in the definition of the consciousness of human beings. According to Mazis’s article on Sartre, there is close similarity on the definition of these two functions of human action because they are supposed to invoke emotions which make a person follow a certain degree when choosing what to act and follow. While the caress offers comfort and assurance, it is subjective to manipulate the recipient to act on varied reasoning which could not have happened if it was not there. This expression between people is being-for-itself because the person who this gesture is extended to will take some time before expressing the opinion which the caress is intended. To do contrary to this, the person needs an aggravated approach if they are supposed to act in a particular manner, but even in that situation, the person will still question the reason for the caress. This shows that in all the incidences the person had the freedom to chose what their actions would lead to and in that essence the absolute freedom comes from their consciousness . If consciousness is conscious then the person who the action of caress is being done on acts to imply the hand as an object and not part of their body which is an acknowledgment on their freedom to make choices . The look, on the other hand, acts with the same purpose as the hand but most of the time there are usually mixed reactions which an individual express from the look. By being given a look the person may act like they do not know what it means, but they would be acting in bad faith by pretending that they do not know. In that incidence, they will have lost their freedom because they will act to please themselves rather than act in according to the virtues which would guide them without fear of being judged. The context of the look shows that man being-in-itself because once they act in a manner that is contrary to what their observers require they then know there will be consequences whether they are good or bad . In committing bad faith, it does not mean that the person does not know what they are doing, but they direct and express themselves as that thing which is supposed to be judged by what it does. In doing that they forget that the consciousness of a human being acts mechanically to cause thoughts and actions which are subjective to personal freedoms of choice and they will always remain subjective to their conscious. Due to the implications by feminists that they should be subjected to the same opportunities and ideologies without discrimination and the means which those roles are achieved should not be subjected to favors due to the sex . This means that women would want to take full control of their responsibility and freedom which is contrary to Sartre’s belief of the existence of a human being should not be based on a reason to exist. By this response, the atheist nature of existentialist views that Sartre closely observed the reference of the female is defined by a phallus because the feminists demand the same respect as men. This reference by feminists is subjective to another object where in this instance is a man. By wanting to be treated as exactly how a man is treated, they objectify the man as being-in-itself because a feminist does not exist but a woman exists . This means that the woman makes herself to be a feminist and in doing so the woman comes to experience herself as an object like a chair. This is the reason why Sartre refers to women as objects who are constants demanding attention and approval from the males so that they can objectify some of the actions which they engage in their desire for equality. If women required to be treated as any other person because they exist as they are then consciously that would be being-for-itself because they would have accepted who they are without referring to the man and that is where freedom begins due to self-acceptance.
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Jean-Paul Sartre "Bad Faith". (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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