|An Argument about technology's purpose.|
To be sure, in the language of metaphysics the word "existence" is a synonym of "being there": both refer to the reality of anything at all that is real, from God to a grain of sand. As long, therefore, as the quoted sentence is understood only superficially, the difficulty is merely transferred from one word to another, from 'being there' to 'existence.' In B.&T. the term 'existence' is used exclusively for the being of man. Once "existence" is understood rightly, the 'essence' of being there can be recalled: in its openness, Being itself manifests and conceals itself, yields itself and withdraws; at the same time, this truth of Being does not exhaust itself in being there, nor can it by any means simply be identified with it after the fashion of the metaphysical proposition: all objectivity is as such also subjectivity."
The being that exists is man. Man alone exists. Rocks are, but they do not exist. Trees are, but they do not exist. Horses are, but they do not exist. Angels are, but they do not exist. God is, but he does not exist. The proposition 'man alone exists' does not mean by any means that man alone is * real being while all other beings are unreal and mere appearances or human ideas. The proposition 'man exists' means: man is that being whose Being is distinguished by the open-standing standing-in in the 'unconcealedness' of Being, from Being, in Being. The existential nature of man is the reason why man can represent beings as such, and why he can be conscious of them. All consciousness presupposes ecstatically understood existence as the essentia of man - essentia meaning that as which man is present insofar as he is a man. But consciousness does not itself create the openness of beings, nor is it consciousness that makes it possible for man to stand open for beings. Whither and whence and in what free dimension could the intentionality of consciousness move, if instancy were not the essence of man in the first instance? What else could be the meaning if anybody has ever seriously thought about this of the word sein in the [German] words Bewusstsein ["consciousness"; literally: "being conscious"] and Selbstbewusstsein ["self-consciousness"] if it did not designate the existential nature of that which is in the mode of existence?
To be a self is admittedly one feature of the nature of that being which exists; but existence does not consist in being a self, nor can it be defined in such terms. We are faced with the fact that metaphysical thinking understands man's selfhood in terms of substance or - and at bottom this amounts to the same in terms of the subject. It is for this reason that the first way which leads away from metaphysics to the ecstatic existential nature of man must lead through the metaphysical conception of human selfhood (B.&T., §§63 and 64)."
"The question is: Why is there any being at all and not rather Nothing?
Suppose that we do not remain within metaphysics to ask metaphysically in the customary manner; suppose we recall the truth of Being out of the nature and the truth of metaphysics; then this might be asked as well: How did it come about that beings take precedence everywhere and lay claim to every "is" while that which is not a being is understood as Nothing, though it is Being itself, and remains forgotten?"
The Case of Martin Heidegger, Philosopher and Nazi
Part 1: The Record; By Alex Steiner, 3 April 2000
Documentary evidence exists that Heidegger expressed sympathy for the Nazis as early as 1932. Given his previous history, this should not come as a shock. Immediately following Hitler's seizure of power, Heidegger joined the Nazis. Heidegger was a dues-paying member of the NSDAP (the Nazi party) from 1933 to 1945. He became the rector of Freiburg University in April of 1933, three months after Hitler came to power. His infamous inaugural address was delivered on May 27, 1933. Heidegger apologists have claimed that this address represented an attempt to assert the autonomy of the university against the Nazis' effort to subordinate the sciences to their reactionary doctrines.
In fact, the address was a call to arms for the student body and the faculty to serve the new Nazi regime. It celebrates the Nazi ascendancy as “the march our people has begun into its future history.” Heidegger identifies the German nation with the Nazi state in prose that speaks of “the historical mission of the German Volk, a Volk that knows itself in its state.” There is even a reference to the fascist ideology of zoological determinism when Heidegger invokes “the power to preserve, in the deepest way, the strengths [of the Volk] which are rooted in soil and blood.”
On June 30, 1933 Heidegger gave a speech to the Heidelberg Student Association in which he gave his views on the role of the university in the new Nazi order. The following excerpt speaks for itself. It provides a glimpse of Heidegger's commitment to the Nazi ideals of blood, race and absolute subservience to the Führer.
“It [the university] must be integrated into the Volksgemeinschaft and be joined together with the state ...
“Up to now, research and teaching have been carried on at the universities as they were carried out for decades.... Research got out of hand and concealed its uncertainty behind the idea of international scientific and scholarly progress. Teaching that had become aimless hid behind examination requirements.
“A fierce battle must be fought against this situation in the National Socialist spirit, and this spirit cannot be allowed to be suffocated by humanizing, Christian ideas that suppress its unconditionality ...
“Danger comes not from work for the State. It comes only from indifference and resistance. For that reason, only true strength should have access to the right path, but not half heartedness ...
“University study must again become a risk, not a refuge for the cowardly. Whoever does not survive the battle, lies where he falls. The new courage must accustom itself to steadfastness, for the battle for the institutions where our leaders are educated will continue for a long time. It will be fought out of the strengths of the new Reich that Chancellor Hitler will bring to reality. A hard race with no thought of self must fight this battle, a race that lives from constant testing and that remains directed toward the goal to which it has committed itself. It is a battle to determine who shall be the teachers and leaders at the university.”
"The record shows that after the war Heidegger never made a public or private repudiation of his support for Nazism. This was despite the fact that former friends, including Karl Jaspers and Herbert Marcuse, urged him to speak out, after the fact to be sure, against the many crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime. Heidegger never did. He did however make a fleeting reference to the Holocaust in a lecture delivered on Dec. 1, 1949. Speaking about technology, he said:
“Agriculture is now a motorized food-industry—in essence, the same as the manufacturing of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same as the blockade and starvation of the countryside, the same as the production of the hydrogen bombs.” 
"The most important postwar statement Heidegger made about his prewar political activity was in a 1966 interview with the magazine Der Spiegel. This interview was first published, at Heidegger's insistence, after his death in 1976. A great deal of the discussion centers on the question of technology and the threat that unconstrained technology poses to man. Heidegger says at one point:
Having set up an ahistorical notion of technology as an absolute bane to the existence of mankind, Heidegger then explains how he conceived of the Nazi solution to this problem:
Interpretations of an author's words are called secondary sources, in that the author's words are primary.
"For him, the critical error made in so much of Western philosophy has been to erase the distinction between human beings and objects.
Heidegger did not believe that people could be treated like passive objects in any philosophical sense because unlike objects, only humans could raise the important questions about existence and human nature in the first place. Thus, humans must be approached as questioning, thinking beings — not as passive, remote, and impersonal things.
When we deal with impersonal things, we can better understand them by simply listing their key attributes — and this is generally quite sufficient. But humans don’t have static attributes that are central to their identities and which can be rattled off in a list. Instead, humans are ever engaged in a process of creating and understanding their attributes — a process which by its very nature defied easy comprehension from the outside. Only those immediately and intimately involved in it can comprehend it, and even then only from their own perspective.
Ultimately, this process is something dependent upon our willingness to make decisions and make commitments in our lives. We find ourselves “thrown into the world,” and here we must stay — but to create a life for ourselves we must also create ourselves, a continuous task that is never finished and that is always a consequence of the choices we must make every day.
In this, Heidegger was heavily dependent upon Husserl’s philosophy of phenomenology. Like Husserl, Heidegger took very seriously the original Greek meaning of the word “phenomenon,” which literally means “that which reveals itself.” For Heidegger, that which is uniquely human is also that which reveals itself in the ongoing process of choices, decisions, commitments, and being. Here, though, “being” is not simply passive existence; instead, it is the active engagement with the world — thus the German Dasein, or “being there,” sometimes translated as "presence." Because of this, Heidegger argued that for a person “being in the world” is not a matter of spatial and temporal location, but rather a mode of being — a way of living, not unlike “being in love” or “being in politics” is. The world is not an impersonal container of human beings like a glass is a container of water; rather, it is the field of human concern where we discover and develop our full potentials.