A Remark from Dr. Būṭī Regarding Existentialism
In al-Madhāhib al-Tawḥīdiyyah, Dr. Būṭī mentioned the following regarding Existentialism:
“We observe human existence occurring based on a state of being; one cannot choose what it will be or not be. It is shaped by fixed norms and standards. This is observable in all peoples. In fact, it is a reality so apparent that it is undeniable.
While one may possess a degree of freedom and the ability to execute decisions, that is something one knows how to do based on those norms and standards. Accordingly, the main factors that shape one’s human experience and individual identity are known and distinct. As such, it is necessary that they shape one; and that does not happen based on something that one chooses for their own identity and essence without considering the reality of these structures.
This is reality, and reality is what we are concerned with. Regarding eloquently worded fantasies, that is something else altogether.
I have not read a chapter from any of the Existentialists’ writings except that I found myself reading about some sort of fantasy more than finding myself reflecting on a philosophical analysis pertaining to reality… I will mention what the Arabs say about their poetry: ‘The sweetest poetry is that which is furthest from the truth.’ (ar. aʿdhabu al-shiʿri akdhabuhu).”