Is there a purpose or a reason for being here? What is the meaning of life? Is life just a series of coincidences and meaningless choices? Or are there greater forces at work, directing our lives in ways we can’t even imagine?
The world has been asking these questions for centuries, with no clear answers. But if you search for them in the right places, you might find some clues. The meaning of life is a philosophical and theological question concerning the significance of life or existence in general.
One possible approach to defining meaning is called the “nihilist” or “absurdist” view. This approach holds that life has no meaning because there is no God, no author of our lives to give it meaning. On this view, the search for meaning is ultimately a futile one.
Another view holds that life has a purpose set by a creator God and that this creator-given purpose gives life its meaning.
The meaning of life is a philosophical question concerning the significance of life or existence in general.
In religious contexts, the question relates to the significance and meaning of human life as contrasted with the non-human life of animals and plants. In existentialism, the question relates to the meaning of life in general in relation to the individual’s own existence.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system—including the universe itself—increases up to the point at which equilibrium is reached, and God’s purpose in creating us, and, indeed, all of nature, might have been no loftier than to catalyze this process much as soil organisms catalyze the decomposition of organic matter.
We are sure of one thing: life does have substantial meaning, and our life matters.
A useful way to begin to get clear about what thinking about life’s meaning involves is to specify the bearer. Which life does the inquirer have in mind? A standard distinction to draw is between the meaning “in” life, where a human person is what can exhibit meaning, and the meaning “of” life in a narrow sense, where the human species as a whole is what can be meaningful or not.
“Defining the meaning of life in philosophy is difficult,” says Emily Thomas, deputy director of philosophy at Durham University. “You could be asking for the purpose of life – for example, God created us to worship him, or procreate. Or the value of life – for example, life is valuable because it makes us happy, or brings beauty, or moral good.”
We are all trying to sleep well at night, the reason why the question about our ‘life meaning’ may occur more often than it should. Many psychologists call knowing your life’s meaning “presence,” and the drive to look for it “search.” They are not mutually exclusive: You might or might not search, whether you already have a sense of meaning or not. Some people low in presence don’t bother searching—they are “stuck.” Some are high in presence but keep searching—we can call them “seekers.”
Meaning of life quotes
Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned. – Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality
If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. – Viktor FranklViktor Frankl
I believe that I am not responsible for the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of life, but that I am responsible for what I do with the life I’ve got. – Hermann Hesse, Verliebt in die verrückte Welt: Betrachtungen, Gedichte, Erzählungen, Briefe
Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. – Joseph Campbell
What is the meaning of your life?
We should not put questions where there are no answers. If you haven’t found a sense of the meaning of your life, you should not be angry with yourself. This is not an easy answer, and for sure we should keep it simple. The right approach is to take this philosophical question and make it manageable.
Just don’t get obsessed about this question. Searching for meaning should not make you personally less happy, if so, you are not doing it right. You should find a productive way of seeking for the meaning of your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out how to do it on your own—philosophical and religious traditions have been doing exactly that for millennia.
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. – Albert Camus
We may not have meaningful lives yet, but it’s central to affirm that the concept of a meaningful life is eminently plausible – and that it comprises elements that can be clearly named and gradually fought for.
When it comes about yourself as a person, seeking for your purpose in life, search slowly, be happy, and we are confident that you will find your own way in this life, we just have to search for in our own way, from our own view. Keep seeking your own purpose.