Decision Creates Our Desires

This is the third day of a series. Get caught up if you need to!

From yesterday: According to Sartre’s way of seeing, I only know how I feel about something once I’ve decided how I’m going to act on it. This means we have great freedom and great responsibility when making decisions.

I often feel paralyzed when I’m trying to search my feelings and determine how important one set of feelings are in comparison to another set of feelings. It would be nice if there was some way to measure them. Now, if Sartre is right, when it comes to making decisions between two opposite outcomes, we have no desires or values until we make the decision. The decision itself is what creates our desires and values.

So, in my example of choosing to take a job in California vs. staying in my current job (totally made up), I do not know what I truly value until after I’ve chosen. If I choose to go to California because I want warm weather year-round, then, at that moment, I have valued it more heavily than staying close to family. But, those values are not determined until I’ve acted.

If this is correct, trying to follow my heart by attempting to discern my values in advance of making a decision is kind of a waste of time, because it is not possible. We only know what we value in retrospect.

I’m trying to go through this slowly, because I know it’s going to seem very unusual.

More to come tomorrow.