I am reading "Existenstialism is a humanism", the text of the famous conference by Sartre in which he explains his own version of existentialism. I think is full of logical inconsistencies, but maybe it's just because I don't understand it or I don't know enough about existentialism. Anyway, my question is about a specific passage. After having "demonstrated" that there is no way one can derive an ethics outside of Man (God does not exist and reason is insufficient), he asks himself according to what principle a person should behave and he says:
"For I declare that freedom, in respect of concrete circumstances, can have no other end and aim but itself; and when once a man has seen that values depend upon himself, in that state of forsakenness he can will only one thing, and that is freedom as the foundation of all values. That does not mean that he wills it in the abstract: it simply means that the actions of men of good faith have, as their ultimate significance, the quest of freedom itself as such."
So it seems Sartre says that when deciding a course of action, people will always choose "freedom," (and also, elsewhere, that "freedom" is always a good thing). That is for him the only principle, the only moral that governs or should (because we can do wrong judgments about what is freedom) govern our action.
My questions are:
1) do I understand correctly Sartre's thinking?
2) He says: a) freedom is absolute; b) the values that man chooses are also absolute because no God or reason can tell him what to do, c) therefore man will choose freedom. Is there any logic in this statement? If I replace freedom with X where X is "pleasure" or "justice" or "pain" or "zero temperature", wouldn't I "demonstrate" by this logic that man will choose X?
3) assuming what I said makes any sense, how can existentialism ever find a rule of moral conduct? and if it does, what is it and how can be demonstrated? and if it cannot, why is or has been important at all as a philosophy?