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Meaning of Life: Contemporary Analytic Perspectives

Meaning of Life Essay - Please review and give comments.

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I would exclude negative and destructive desires; for example of a brutal dictator who may find torturing others absorbing and engaging and thus meaningful. Such cases would be too perverse and morally repugnant to regard as anything other than pathological. The meaning of life for individuals may diminish or fade as a consequence of decline or difficult or tragic circumstances.

Here it might, sadly, be difficult to see any meaning of life at all. The meaning is also likely to change from one phase of life to another, due to personal development, new interests, contexts, commitments and maturity.

It is clearly internet shopping, franchised fast food and surgically-enhanced boobs. No, this is not true. I think the only answer is to strip back every layer of the physical world, every learnt piece of knowledge, almost everything that seems important in our modern lives. We should just be thankful that our lifespan is longer than, say, a spider, or your household mog.

Our over-evolved human minds want more, but unfortunately there is nothing more. To phrase the question in this fashion implies that meaning is something that inheres in an object or experience — that it is a quality which is as discernible as the height of a door or the solidity of matter. That is not what meaning is like. It is not a feature of a particular thing, but rather the relationship between a perceiver and a thing, a subject and an object, and so requires both. There is no one meaning of, say, a poem, because meaning is generated by it being read and thought about by a subject.

As subjects differ so does the meaning: But it would be wrong to say that all these meanings are completely different, as there are similarities between individuals, not least because we belong to the same species and are constructed and programmed in basically the same way.

We all have feelings of fear, attachment, insecurity and passion, etc. To use utilitarian language, the best that one can hope for is a life which contains as great an excess of pleasure over pain as possible, or alternatively, a life in which as least time as possible is devoted to activities which do not stimulate, or which do nothing to promote the goals one has set for oneself.

The question is tricky because of its hidden premise that life has meaning per se. A perfectly rational if discomforting position is given by Nietzsche, that someone in the midst of living is not in a position to discern whether it has meaning or not, and since we cannot step outside of the process of living to assess it, this is therefore not a question that bears attention.

However, if we choose to ignore the difficulties of evaluating a condition while inside it, perhaps one has to ask the prior question, what is the meaning of meaning? Is meaning always identical with purpose? I might decide to dedicate my life to answering this particular question, granting myself an autonomously devised purpose. But is this identical with the meaning of my life? Or can I live a meaningless life with purpose? Or shall meaning be defined by purpose? The point of these two very brief summaries of approaches to the question is to show the hazards in this construction of the question.

One thing one can hardly fail to notice about life is that it is self-perpetuating. Palaeontology tells us that life has been perpetuating itself for billions of years. What is the secret of this stunning success? Through natural selection, life forms adapt to their environment, and in the process they acquire, one might say they become , knowledge about that environment, the world in which they live and of which they are part.

Life is tried and proven knowledge that has withstood the test of geological time. The history of science and philosophy is full of examples of people who have done just that, and in doing so they have helped human beings to earn the self-given title of Homo sapiens — man of knowledge.

Life is a stage and we are the actors, said William Shakespeare, possibly recognizing that life quite automatically tells a story just as any play tells a story. But we are more than just actors; we are the playwright too, creating new script with our imaginations as we act in the ongoing play. Life is therefore storytelling. As playwright, actor, and audience you are an heir to both growth and self-expression. Your potential for acquiring knowledge and applying it creatively is unlimited.

These two concepts may be housed under one roof: Liberty is the freedom to think and to create. But with liberty life is a joy. Therefore liberty is the meaning of life. The meaning of life is understood according to the beliefs that people adhere to. However, all human belief systems are accurate or inaccurate to varying degrees in their description of the world. Moreover, belief systems change over time: Beliefs that are held today, even by large segments of the population, did not exist yesterday and may not exist tomorrow.

Belief systems, be they religious or secular, are therefore arbitrary. If the meaning of life is wanted, a meaning that will transcend the test of time or the particulars of individual beliefs, then an effort to arrive at a truly objective determination must be made.

So in order to eliminate the arbitrary, belief systems must be set aside. Otherwise, the meaning of life could not be determined. Objectively however, life has no meaning because meaning or significance cannot be obtained without reference to some arbitrary belief system. Without beliefs to draw meaning from, life has no meaning, but is merely a thing ; a set of facts that, in and of themselves, are silent as to what they mean. Life consists of a series of occurrences in an infinite now, divorced of meaning except for what may be ascribed by constructed belief systems.

Without such beliefs, for many the meaning of life is nothing. Surely, however, life means something. Thus the meaning in the act of giving creative expression to what may be ephemeral insights.

What, exactly is created, be it artistic or scientific, may speak to the masses, or to nobody, and may differ from individual to individual. The meaning of life, however, is not the thing created, but the creative act itself ; namely, that of willfully imposing an interpretation onto the stuff of life, and projecting a creative expression from it.

The best purpose for which I can live my life is, refusing all the easy ways to destroy. This is not as simple as it sounds. Refusing to destroy resources, to destroy loves, to destroy rights, turns out to be a full-time job. I propose that the knowledge we have now accumulated about life discloses quite emphatically that we are entirely a function of certain basic laws as they operate in the probably unique conditions prevailing here on Earth.

The behaviour of the most elementary forms of matter we know, subatomic particles, seems to be guided by four fundamental forces, of which electromagnetism is probably the most significant here, in that through the attraction and repulsion of charged particles it allows an almost infinite variation of bonding: All these are involved in a constant interaction with surrounding chemicals through constant exchanges of energy.

From these behaviour patterns we can deduce certain prime drives or purposes of basic matter, namely:. All our emotions and our rational thinking, our loves and hates, our art, science and engineering are refinements of these basic drives. The underlying drive for bonding inspires our need for interaction with other organisms, particularly other human beings, as we seek ever wider and stronger links conducive to our better survival.

Protection and extension of our organic integrity necessitates our dependence on and interaction with everything on Earth. Our consciousness is also necessarily a function of these basic drives, and when the chemistry of our cells can no longer operate due to disease, ageing or trauma, we lose consciousness and die.

Since I believe we are nothing more than physics and chemistry, death terminates our life once and for all. There is no God, there is no eternal life. But optimistically, there is the joy of realising that we have the power of nature within us, and that by co-operating with our fellow man, by nurturing the resources of the world, by fighting disease, starvation, poverty and environmental degradation, we can all conspire to improve life and celebrate not only its survival on this planet, but also its proliferation.

So the purpose of life is just that: Answering it requires providing an account of the ultimate nature of the world, our minds, value and how all these natures interrelate. The answer I propose is actually an old one. Nihilism isn't a systemic foundation.

He didn't popularize the term. He wasn't the first to use the term. Dies to Weeping Angels. Siquid novisti rectius istis, candidus inperti; si nil, his utere mecum. In other words, Theism is the belief in an afterlife where one shall find eternal satisfaction. Nietzsche believed that one should create his own individual values as there are no definite values put in place by some higher order in life. I think that it is the refusal to believe life ceases the moment one dies that leads to the concept of an afterlife.

As I delved more, I think that believing in a higher entity and afterlife is just an avenue for not realizing the truth that there is no life beyond death. I also do not subscribe to Nihilism either as I believe life has a meaning. If life had no meaning in the first place, how did the human race advanced so far? I believe that it is because of life that we are here, doing the things we want to do. According to the nihilistic view, life has no purpose either.

However, if life has no purpose, why are we still living when life is the same as death? Perhaps I do deserve toture. But who amongst us besides myself has what it takes to toture me?

Originally Posted by Highroller Compared to what? I think compared to chocolate ice cream, women, unicorns, and kung fu, the state pretty much sucks.

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- The Meaning of Life According to Victor E. Frankl The meaning of life, defined by Victor E. Frankl, is the will to find your meaning in life. It is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.

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The universal question "What is the meaning of life?" has been asked since the start of civilization. The answer from people in today's society may differ greatly from the answers of those from Roman and Greek civilizations thousand years back.

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I can truly connect with your essay man. I am myself a constant searcher of meaning, and Albert Camus I beliece once said that human is a meaning-making machine trapped in a meaningless universe. The Meaning of Life. essay. Many people have debated over a proper way to denote a meaningful reading the Bible, one side may argue that a life lived without belief in an afterlife is meaningless. The other side may oppose this by stating that a life lived in the pursuit of happiness as attributed to each person’s views is certainly meaningful.

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When you write an essay, YOU have to decide the answer and we can help you structure it. Let's say that you decide the meaning of life is to struggle with whatever obstacles come our way to find. The Meaning of Life The meaning of life, defined by Victor E. Frankl, is the will to find your meaning in life. It is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.