Category Archives: Meaning of Life – Personal

A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 6 – Skepticism and Meaning

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  1. Skepticism

Yet, as we ascend these mountains of thought, we are brought back to earth. Looking to the past we see that truth, beauty, goodness, love, and meaning have emerged from cosmic evolution but so too have ignorance, loneliness, cruelty, despair, poverty, and pain. Surely serious reflection on this misery is sobering and we must temper our optimism accordingly. Continue reading A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 6 – Skepticism and Meaning

A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 5 – Transhumanism and Meaning

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  1. A Fully Meaningful Cosmos

There are then plausible reasons to believe that individual and cosmic death might be avoided. Yet immorality doesn’t guarantee a meaning of life, as the idea of hell so graphically illustrates. Immortality is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a fully meaningful reality. But what do we mean by fully meaningful? Continue reading A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 5 – Transhumanism and Meaning

A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 4 – Death and Meaning

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  1. Is There A Heaven?

Belief in personal immortality is widespread, yet there is little if any evidence for it. We don’t personally know of anyone coming back from the dead to tell us about an afterlife, and after people die they appear, well, dead. Yet people cling to any indirect evidence they can—near-death experiences, reincarnation and ghost stories, communication with the dead, proclamations from preachers, etc. However, none of this so-called evidence withstands critical scrutiny. Continue reading A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 4 – Death and Meaning

A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 3 – Philosophy, Science, and Meaning

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  1. Western Philosophy and Meaning in Life

Western philosophers typically ignore the question of the meaning of life for one or more of the following reasons: 1) they reject supernaturalism; 2) they are uncertain the question makes sense; or 3) they doubt that we possess the cognitive wherewithal to answer the question. I too reject supernaturalism, although I think we can make (a few) reasonable inferences about the meaning of life if they are drawn from our best scientific knowledge. I’ll return to this later. 

Regarding meaning in life, contemporary Western philosophers who reject the supernatural typically adopt one of three basic approaches—objective naturalism, subjective naturalism, or nihilism.
Continue reading A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 3 – Philosophy, Science, and Meaning

A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 2 – Religion and Meaning

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  1. Western Religions: Are They True?

Western monotheistic religions try to answer both the meaning of life and the meaning in life questions with an overarching worldview. However, religions consist of multifarious beliefs, expressions, and experiences. For example, there are considerable differences between Catholics or mainline Protestants, and Fundamentalists, Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. (The latter ones being even more absurd than the former.) We could plausibly say there are as many religions as there are religious practitioners.

Continue reading A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning – Part 2 – Religion and Meaning