What Is The Meaning Of Life?

1457 words - 6 pages

What is the meaning of life? This statement presupposes that there is meaning to life, which is a question with in itself. Accepting the notion that there is meaning to human life, thus denying the philosophical concept of Nihilism. The fundamental belief of Nihilism is that the world, especially human existence, is without meaning, truth, or value. I have no qualms with removing this philosophy from the discussion, much like Friedrich Nietzsche who is commonly associated with the theory but fundamentally disagreed with its values. "A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, ...view middle of the document...

There are numerous religious beliefs with many different values and practices, but the essential meaning of life in a theistic sense is to live a good life based on the "golden rule", "Love your neighbor as yourself" -Moses, "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." -Muhammad, "What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." -Confucius, in the hope of entering Heaven (for lack of a more universal term) in the afterlife. Religion undoubtedly has given the majority of mankind a meaning in life. I believe that religion guides the modern man to live a good life as well as being the catalysis of countless wars; this is the double edged sword that theology carries commonly called Faith. I was born a man of reason, inspecting the world and life rationally so faith is a rather foreign concept to me. I once again agree with Nietzsche on the ideal of faith, "Faith: not wanting to know what is true."Sigmund Freud offers his own theory on mans need for a Higher Power in The Future of an Illusion. "When the growing individual finds that he is destined to remain a child for ever, that he can never do without protection against strange superior powers, he lends those powers the features belonging to the figure of his father" Freud states that man's view of God is a reflection of man's concept of a good father. Once grown a man enters the world, leaving behind the protection of his father, and so to overcome this feeling of helplessness he finds protection in a Higher Being created in the image of his father. He goes on to say, "Religious ideas have arisen from the same need as have all other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushingly superior force of nature… the urge to rectify the shortcomings of civilization which made themselves painfully felt" This is Freud's interpretation of the "golden rule". It is a source of protection from his fellow man, creating theological restrictions more powerful then any law, if one finds their meaning in life through the eyes of God.I have drawn many conclusions about modern religious practices from ancient religious beliefs that seem to have fallen to the wayside as there ideals of explaining the unknown have been explained through scientific principles. I can not help but believe that one day the three major monotheistic religions will be studied the same way modern civilization studies the beliefs of ancient Greece or of the Native American societies, purely to understand there culture not to explain the meaning of life.Science has uncovered many of mysteries of the world, so is it only a matter of time until science uncovers the meaning of life? Science gives us many biological, psychological and sociological insights on life. How we physically live, why one may live the way one does, and possible purposes for life though the advancement of the sciences. But in no way can science interoperate the human soul. Yet again I turn to Nietzsche who beautify...

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