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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