What Justifies My Existence?

Subject: Philosophy
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 560
Topics: Humanism, Human Development, Human Nature

The question that boggles in every person`s mind is their reason to be. The purpose of an individual being in existence at a particular time is an issue that has raised a debate in philosophy and essentially, there has never been a conclusive argument regarding this matter. The justification by some people that living is a right that accrues from nature might be misleading, further, subscribing to atheism believes that religion does not work are subject to contest in scholarship with either side giving exhaustive explanations for their standpoints. These enquiries into the nature of God and our natural existence also find a dominant place in this discussion. This paper will be an academic research on the nature of self and justification for human existence.

Essentially, human beings exist in two selves, an inner and an outer one. The narrator in ‘Borges and I’ begins by distancing himself from the experiences of the storyteller. The relationship between the inner Borges and the outer is conflicting because he is publicly known to be an intellectual and from constant engagement in social activities. “I am giving over everything to him, though I am quite aware of his perverse custom of falsifying and magnifying things” (Borges, 2011). The pretense by Borges to be a good writer is also an epic revelation of the very big disconnect between the two selves. The narrator in this case tries to explain the struggle he has experienced in trying to define a self, outside the other version of his personality in Borges. In the end, there is no clear distinction of Borges and the narrator.

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The actions that are practical to the outer self are in actual sense a justification for the inner self. The outward self that the people want the public to and witness is usually an amplification of our inner desires and hence can be used to justify our existence basing it on our persona and inward forces that push us. The image of the self that Borges wants to propel leads to sadness and self-doubt because they are in conflict. “I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone)”, is an epic example of the narrator`s internal struggles (Borges, 2011). Notably, in the way human beings justify their existence is the adaptation to the different environments they reside and in this case the inner self is overcome by the pressures from the outside the fit in a particular society that has expectations on the individual(Laing,2010).

The aging process is also very crucial in human beings justifying their existence in the world, as the inner reservations that define their actions and persona are overwhelmed by the outer self (Swinburne, 2016). This story serves to reinforce the fact that as human beings we have no business assuming our own existence because it has no consequence on the lives we live, essentially, we just happen to live. The core of the inner self is however, the one that defines our persona ethics and the far we can go as far as being influenced by the environment and the outer self(O’Brien,2016). Conclusively, understanding our own existence can be a challenging philosophical question because there are many conflicting theories and concepts that strive to answer that question but the focus on the individual struggles with question can lead to clear revelation.

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  1. Borges, Arrabal-Jorge Luis. “Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986).” Phys. Rev 84 (2011): 044042.
  2. Swinburne, Richard. The coherence of theism. Oxford University Press, 2016.
  3. O’Brien, Dan. An introduction to the theory of knowledge. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
  4. Laing, Ronald. The divided self: An existential study in sanity and madness. Penguin UK, 2010.   
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