Exis­ten­tial­ism as a phi­los­o­phy, or world and life view, is large­ly a 20th cen­tu­ry phe­nom­e­non. It is the very antithe­sis of Chris­t­ian belief in that it asserts the total auton­o­my of man. Hence it is one of the most vir­u­lent forms of human­ism. It spread rapid­ly because its adher­ents often con­vey its mes­sage in more artis­tic form rather than in dry philo­soph­ic tomes. Instead,their medi­um is often nov­els, plays, art, or movies. They are often pro­found­ly mov­ing and enter­tain­ing because they speak to real human con­di­tions.

One can­not prop­er­ly under­stand the cur­rent state of west­ern civ­i­liza­tion with­out a min­i­mal under­stand­ing of exis­ten­tial­ist phi­los­o­phy. Its influ­ence is all-per­va­sive. The vio­lence and break­down of mod­ern soci­ety in the 20th cen­tu­ry can large­ly be attrib­uted to this phi­los­o­phy.

R. C. Sproul says: I doubt if there has been any philo­soph­i­cal sys­tem that has had as much?influence on Amer­i­can cul­ture in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry as this school of thought. LIFEVIEWS, p. 28.

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