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Exploring The Differences Between Existential Freedom And Traditional Freedom

624 words - 2 pages

For centuries the term “freedom” had been a heavily discussed topic for many reasons. It has acquired many different definitions, understandings and ideas on how it affects our everyday lives. In the eyes of a Philosopher it takes on two extremely different and contrasting views. These views are what we call: Existential freedom, and traditional freedom. Though the two accounts of freedom in turn, have preferable views and critical perspectives, the traditional freedom is a more preferable definition of freedom in today’s modern society because of majorities understanding and the terms legal association.
To begin, existential and traditional are two very different views of freedom. While one may be free in a traditional sense, one may still be bound to society’s implemented values, norms, and ideals. In another sense, one may also be enslaved in a traditional fashion, but existentially still maintain his, or her freedom. To illustrate the latter explanation we look upon an example such as Dr. Vicktor Frankl, who was a survivor of the Jewish holocaust. During his days at the concentration camp, he was held as a slave and imprisoned by Nazi solders. Having to obey their every command and perform each task that was ordered of him, his freedom in a traditional understanding was lost. Dr. Vicktor Frankl, who was an existential annalist, viewed existential freedom as “The freedom of choice. The freedom to come up with a decision.” Furthering his explanation he added “I would like to become this way or another, in spite of conditions that should only seem to fully determine my behaviour”. Putting these ideas into practice Dr. Frankl, in order to “maintain his own feeling of being worthy of his sufferings in the dismal conditions” would on most days be seen “[delivering] a lecture to an imaginary audience about ‘Psychotherapeutic Experiences in a Concentration Camp.’” His understanding was that by...

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