The Meaning of Life?

Is there a meaning to life?

No, but I think that you meant to ask: What is the meaning of life?

What is the meaning of life?

Well, okay, that is a shit question too, but the answer is 42. No. The truth is that there isn't a meaning to life. That isn't really satisfactory, is it? The problem here is that nothing that is gives meanings. The existence of life doesn't imply anything about life. More particularly, nothing subjective can truly be derived from that which is objective, as anything subjective doesn't actually exist outside of the mind. This is, perhaps, the single most important philosophical concept. That which is simply is. The existence or non-existence of anything implies nothing. On the right, people frequently rightly assert that guns do nothing without a human actor and therefore it is the human who is at fault; a gun cannot be at fault as it has no capability to act. This extends to everything. Indeed, this extends to existence itself. There is nothing in nature that provides a moral structure to the anything. Humans prescribe moral value and meaning to things, and not the reverse.

Classically, people thought that morality and meaning were given by G-d to man. This is unsatisfactory as not all people believe in G-d, and yet the overwhelming majority of people still have beliefs about morality and meaning. Thus, it would seem that there is something inherent to humans that attempts to prescribe meaning and morality.

What faculty could this be? Likely, it is part of the brain, and it likely evolved to help man work in groups as pack hunters. Much of this comes from emotion, and often people poorly understand their own emotions. Emotions are part of man's instinctual behavior. Emotions motivate us to perform or not perform and can save our lives. We are all more or less aware of "fight or flight," but are we are aware of our "argue or concede" instincts or our "stand fast or compromise" instincts both of which are nearly identical to that fight or flight instinct?

All of this is to say that you have options when it comes to a meaning of life. There is no "given". You will need to determine this for yourself, because there is not a single, objective meaning of life. My purpose, my meaning, my drive is to acquire knowledge and truth. Purpose can be something as large as the elimination of poverty, or as small as finding the perfect cup of coffee. There is no one purpose and there is no purpose that is better than any other.


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