Existential humanism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Existential Humanism is a concept that can be understood in several different ways. Sartre said "Existentialism is a humanism" because it expresses the power of human beings to make freely-willed choices, independent of the influence of religion or society. Kierkegaard suggested that the best use of our capacity for making choices is to freely choose to live a fully human life that incorporates traditional human structures such as marriage. Camus, in his book The Plague, suggests that some of us may choose to be heroic, even knowing that it will bring us neither reward nor salvation, and Simone de Beauvoir, in her book The Ethics of Ambiguity, argues that embracing our own personal freedom requires us to fight for the freedoms of all humanity.

Several recent films seem to be heavily influenced by Existential Humanism, such as I ♥ Huckabees, Garden State, High Fidelity, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, each of which explores the struggle to make freely willed humane choices in the absence of clear, unambiguous moral guidance.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Existential humanism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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