Written by Robert Charles Sproul

Dr. Sproul provides a very dramatic description of Existentialism and the defining ideas that have made it what it is. He is a very effective speaker and makes his point with confidence and clarity.

Dr. Sproul talks about the book Being and Time by Martin Heidegger during his lecture.
For Martin Heidegger, what defines the human being is this capacity to be perplexed by the deepest and most enigmatic of questions: Why is there something rather than nothing? So, the task of Being and Time is reawakening in us a taste for perplexity, a taste for questioning.
The first line of Being and Time is, "We are ourselves the entities to be analysed". This is the key to the crucial concept of mineness (Jemeinigkeit), with which the book begins: if I am the being for whom being is a question – "to be or not to be" – then the question of being is mine to be, one way or another. This brings us to a very important point: if the being of being human is defined by mineness, then my being should not be matter of indifferenceto me. A table or chair cannot recite Hamlet's soliloquy or undergo the experience of self-questioning and self-doubt that such words express. But we can. This is the kernel of Heidegger's idea of authenticity (Eigentlichkeit), which more accurately expresses what is proper to the human being, what is its own. For Heidegger, there are two dominant modes of being human:  Authentic  vs Inauthentic.