Analysis Of Paul Tillich's The Courage To Be

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A purpose, or even a sensation of purpose is perhaps a necessary element of human existence. The battle to find a purpose is at the heart of much of philosophy, and whole divisions of thought were dedicated to coping with a feeling of meaninglessness, with various degrees of optimism. Some, such as the French author and existentialist philosopher Albert Camus believe “The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself,” which necessitates embracing an absence of meaning beyond biology. However, some like Paul Tillich believe that one must have the courage to be despite this apparent lack of meaning to live a life without crippling anxiety about our imminent non-existence. One of Tillich’s most famous…show more content…
Paul Tillich, born in 1886 was born in Germany, and was rather conservative in politics, as indicated by his involvement in ‘Wingolf.’ However, in 1914 Tillich became a Chaplain in the German army for World War I, and his experiences on the frontlines shaped his views towards more socialist ideas, later putting him at odds with the Nazi party. By 1933, Tillich left Germany and joined the Union Theological Seminary in New York where he would go to publish The Courage to Be. The Courage to Be was written post World War II, after a devastating and pointless war rooted in vengeance for World War I and rampant nationalism. In wake of events such as the Holocaust, it could be argued that humanity is hopeless and meaningless. These events caused existential dread and the rise of existentialism. However, to live in this world, there must be a source of courage to prevent absolute despair. The Courage to Be is about finding a source of meaning that doesn’t lead to fatalism, depression, or delusional world views, suggesting that there exists a conception of God exists as the basis of all things, and can be the source that enables one to overcome their existential anxiety. The quotation in question occurs after a Chapter that attempts to clarify what a God above the God of theism means, which in summary is that the God above the God of theism is the only logical and practical

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