Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily in Europe. It is a school of thought that focuses on individual existence, freedom, and choice.
On the other hand, Humanism is an ethical philosophy that emphasizes the value of human beings, their dignity, and their capabilities. Despite their differences, there are certain overlaps between these two schools of thought that make existentialism humanism.
What is Existentialism?
Existentialism is a philosophical approach that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. According to this school of thought, individuals have full responsibility for creating their own meaning and purpose in life. Existentialists believe that there is no inherent meaning to life or the universe; it is up to each person to find or create their own meaning.
What is Humanism?
Humanism, on the other hand, emphasizes the value of human beings and their capabilities. It is an ethical philosophy that stresses the importance of individual dignity and worth. Humanists believe in using reason, compassion, and empathy to guide moral decisions and actions.
How Are They Related?
Existentialism and Humanism share some common themes despite being distinct philosophies. Both emphasize the importance of individuals making choices based on their values rather than following any predetermined path or external authority. Both also reject any notion of an objective morality or universal truth.
In existentialist-humanist philosophy, individuals are responsible for creating their own values and purpose while recognizing that they are part of a community with shared values. By taking an active role in defining their own existence while respecting others’ rights to do so as well, individuals can live authentically with a sense of meaning in life.
The Importance of Freedom
Freedom is a central concept in both existentialist-humanist philosophy. According to existentialists, individuals have complete freedom to create their own meaning and purpose, but this freedom also comes with responsibility. Humanists similarly emphasize the importance of individual freedom, but also recognize the need to balance it with social responsibility.
The Role of Choice
Both existentialism and humanism view choice as a fundamental aspect of human existence. Existentialists believe that individuals must choose their own path in life, while humanists believe that individuals should use reason and compassion to make choices that benefit themselves and society.
The Search for Meaning
Existentialism and humanism both recognize the importance of finding meaning in life. Existentialists believe that individuals must create their own meaning, while humanists believe that meaning can be found through social connections with others.
Existentialism and Humanism are two distinct schools of thought, but they share some common themes such as the importance of individual freedom, choice, and the search for meaning in life. Existentialist-humanist philosophy emphasizes creating personal values while respecting others’ rights to do so as well. By taking an active role in defining one’s existence, individuals can live authentically with a sense of purpose that benefits themselves and society.