I have tried reading definitions for this philosophy but I can’t really pin down what it’s about exactly. What is existentialism? Also why do some people take an issue with it?
Don’t you have access to Wikipedia?
Existentialism is not the worthless philosophy as many present it here, even if some of its outskirts are a bit too obscure, especially where existentialism ‘goes metaphysical’.
Existentialism tries to explain what it means to be an individual subject in an objective world. As an example: Kierkegaard, who generally is considered as the first existentialist, was very critical to Hegel’s world system, because it was just that: a huge world system that left totally unclear what ‘I’ had to do next.
With science the situation is not completely different. Of course, science is not a speculative world system like Hegel’s system, but it is true that science is silent about the experience of having to choose your way through life as a subject. Existentialism tries to analyse what makes a personal life in a universe that does not provide any ‘pre-configured meaning’. How should one orientate oneself in one’s choices and actions where there is nor given meaning, and therefore neither objective ethics. One must ‘design oneself’ in one’s choices and actions, which makes a huge responsibility.
Existentialism ruthlessly uncovers all kinds of ways that individuals try to escape the responsibility for their actions, e.g. by committing to a religious belief, hiding behind the masses, or denying its own subjectivity.
Reading into existentialism, however, is not the first way to go for a depressed person.
I also heard that moral relativism was a part of it.
I think this is a misunderstanding. It may seem so on the surface, but Sartre, de Beauvoir or Camus certainly had strong ethical ideas.
Sartre is the most famous of modern day existentialists. I think it’s a crock, myself, and objective science supports my view
Great example of avoiding responsibility (third example above). Are you a responsible person, Lois? If so, why?
Existentialism is about existence. Using this word to describe a philosophy tells us nothing.
No, of course not. It is a word. And unless you study what is meant by it, you will know nothing about it. Is this meant to be a criticism of existentialism? That they chose the wrong word for it?