The problem of morality is the problem of an individual’s choice and roles involving his commitment to a social context. It is however felt that philosophies of the last few hundred years or so have an orientation which can hardly be described as an argument for the individual. They have rather been concerned more with an order or context that is essentially trans-human.
In the first chapter we have tried to place this problem in various contexts. The contexts in which the problem has been discussed are theological, socio-economic, socio-political economic which allow a lesser place to the individual in the state of affairs than required by the moral context envisaged by us. We have also noted a change for man’ and the concern for the individual in recent literature leading towards the denial of transindividual values and atheistic stand point as adopted by Sartre.
In the chapter that follows, and the third and fourth, we discuss various theistic arguments about god as essential to knowledge (Berkeley and Spinoza), as necessary to being (Descartes and Leibniz) and as necessary for morality (some theologions, and Kant). Parallel to these theistic arguments, we develop Sartre’s atheistic thesis covering the tree theistic positions. In the Fifth Chapter we review and make some observations of certain theological concepts and his professed Philosophical method.
We then develop in the Sixth, Seventh and Eight Chapters the ethical implications of the thesis developed in the Chapters 2 to 4. we show that Sartre wrongly believes his notion of Freedom to involve the denial of the existence of God and then work out this concept of freedom in two chapters –Freedom versus God, make some comments on Sartre’s stand, and argue that he has over looked some important aspects of the moral context e.g. praise blame situation.
Following these two chapters we discuss and review in connection with’ freedom’ in the eighth chapter Sartrean account of our relations with other people and argue that it suffers form a correct and thorough analysis and further argue that human freedom need not be confined to such limited behaviour patterns. In the last chapter we raise three questions a developing out of the preceeding discussions and ask i) the relevance of atheism to moral situation ii) the possibility of making ethical assessments; lastly , iii) the possibility of a person’s committing himself to a role without falsifying his moral condition.
It should be stated here this study revolves round Sartre’s main argument as developed in his Being and Nothingness or in books and writings which are illustrative of this argument. References to more recent writings are incidental and elucidatory and provide different perspectives to the thesis developed here.