God, religion and two existentialists: A critical appraisal
The world is replete with forces which are beyond hwnan comprehension. Thus, man’s attitude to these forces has been that of awesome perplexity. Religion is one of the means by which man seeks to enhance his understanding of phenomena or the mystery behind his existence. The interesting thing about religion is that it provides man with a bower of hope during tribulations. However, the core attribute or nature of religion has been a subject of controversy. Some philosophers see religion as an attitude of mind in recognizing a transcendental power, other than man, while others like Jean-Paul Sartre see it as a practice of Bad faith. It could be said, however, that religion emerged out of man’s genuine quest for meaning in his life. This assertion finds expression in the fact that “Religion speaks of a given reality of life and a necessary function of spirit. Religion speaks of culture, relation of that which lies beyond (man) and time’’.
The debate on the existence of God has raised many philosophical questions. An inquiring mind is bound to raise questions on the existence of God thus: “How is talk of God like, and how unlike other universes of discourse in which men engage, such as science, art or morality? Is this talk of God self-consistent? Does it accord with other rational beliefs which we hold about man or the world which he inhabits?” Is Religion, therefore, not an illusive creation of man aimed to whittle down the luridness of his existence? Some Existentialists have shown a more than casual interest in man, God, and religion, hence our interest in the subject matter in focus. But for clarity, there is the need for us to understand the concept, “existentialism” which follows immediately.