If you've ever read any Sartre you will undoubtedly know that bad faith was a central tennet in his "being and nothingness" as well as other essays (critique of dialectical reasoning maybe, ect). Bad faith to my understanding has always been this: Lying to yourself when you know the truth in order to allow a false position to become true (in your mind). In other words blinding yourself to the truth of a situation as if you didnt know the answer/truth, usually ending up in a positive (pleasure, praise, ect). I usually attach this behavior to an opiate addict (or a multitude of other addictions/attitudes), who needs to borrow money to get his/her fix. He/she tells the person that s/he can pay them back "no problem", when in fact the person has no way of paying them back (atleast immediately). The addict tells themselves this over and over in their head until it becomes second nature every time this type of event happens. When the truth behind the matter at hand is that the addict has no way of paying the person back, usually ever and not only just "later that day". Once the addict has their fix, they then try and figure out how to pay back the person. The addiction blinds the addict to the fact that they have no way of paying a person back since they spend every penny on their drug. so even if they got $ they would most likely use it for another fix, and not a repayment. The issue is cyclical. The bad faith employed is not only sickeningly frequent, but becomes second nature to the addict. So when they wake up in a state of detox, and all they can think about is getting "unsick", the cogs are already turning, the gears increasing. The bad faith employed becomes a type of secondary/and primary sometimes, consciousness. The addict uses internal speech as we all do, yet this person "in their head" is better at recongnizing bad faith than the normal person. And this is what im finally getting to. Most people employ bad faith and dont even realize it. Whether in a white lie to spare a loved one some minimal pain or headache, or to spare themselves some type of pain. The addict actually "sets up" this bad faith consciousness to help them in their sickness. They KNOWINGLY employ this "other" to keep the train rolling, and understandably so, dope sickness is no joke. So what is the significance in these two differing scenarios? Bad faith is almost a 3rd slot in addition to the fight or flight response in my mind. It has its uses in the survival of a species. If you are engaging in bad behavior due to choice or circumstance is irrelevant, but employing bad faith can be a useful tool in ending a bad situation. People can do things they wouldnt normally do by lying to themselves about the outcome. I know all of this because i used to employ this type of bad faith for over a decade of opiate dependance stemming from an injury to my spine. It got out of control after years of doctors and surgeons feeding me pills. I used to employ bad faith daily to get what i "needed" and knew i could never come through with the repayment, yet i would lie to MYSELF and whats more BELIEVE it each and every day. Your reasoning is this: "if i can just get unsick, then i can go out and (work possibly) to get the money i needed to repay the loaner". But somewhere deep down you damn well know it NOT to be the case. You KNOW the answer to your daily issue, yet you LIE to yourself in order to get out of a bad situation, in this case detoxification.
so i call on you my friends, are there issues of bad faith in YOUR daily lives? Have you ever knowingly lied to yourself to fulfill a promise, or covered up the truth of something to steer yourself in a different direction? Do you know of any other situations where bad faith is employed to the effect cited above? Id like to know your thoughts on the subject. I have always been fascinated by the act of bad faith. We lie to others daily whether youll admit it or not, usually to keep things on an even keel. Yet no one really talks of the anomaly of lying to oneself, and thats because most people do it unknowingly or know that "something" is going on yet know not what the action really is. Please respond. Thanks for listening, ~rookie~