Entertainment / Literature / Existentialism: A twentieth-century philosophy arguing that ethical human beings are in a sense cursed with absolute free will in a purposeless universe. Therefore, individuals must fashion their own sense of meaning in life instead of relying thoughtlessly on religious, political, and social conventions. These merely provide a fa???┬žade of meaning according to existential philosophy. Those who rely on such conventions without thinking through them deny their own ethical responsibilities. The basic principles of existentialism are (1) a concern with man's essential being and nature, (2) an idea that existential 'angst' or 'anguish' is the common lot of all thinking humans who see the essential meaninglessness of transitory human life, (3) the belief that thought and logic are insufficient to cope with existence, and (4) the conviction that a true sense of morality can only come from honestly facing the dilemma of existential freedom and participating in life actively and positively. The ethical idea is that, if the universe is essentially meaningless, and human existence does not matter in the long run, then the only thing that can provide a moral backdrop is humanity itself, and neglecting to build an encourage such morality is neglecting our duty to ourselves and to each other.