What Is The Meaning
The most influential God-based accounts of life meaning are those with the extreme view that one’s existence only matters when one fulfils the purpose God assigned. There is no objective meaning written in the stars, in the sacred books or in the DNA sequence. When we begin to say that life has meaning, we realize that we are a species.
We have not asked the question of the meaning of life, and the answer is missing. The familiar idea is that God has a plan for the universe and that His life is only meaningful to the extent that one assists God to realize that plan in the way that He desires. One might object that all this talk of the meaning of life and its prelude to some form of the eternal afterlife has nothing to do with whether one leads a purposeful life.
Today many people believe that we, humanity, are the creation of a being called God and that God has an intelligent purpose in creating us for this purpose that is life’s meaning.
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I am not proposing to repeat the well-known arguments for and against the existence of an entity called God, let alone take sides. I assign the meaning of life from the viewpoint of an astronomer motivated by new challenges to our civilization on the cosmic stage. Driven by the desire to understand the new universe, to change our cosmic perspective and to stimulate our aspirations in space.
What seems to cause people to complain about the loss of meaning in their lives is a special kind of misfortune. You say this in a sad way, but at other times life has no meaning. Wondering about the meaning of life marks you out as difficult, strange or naïve.
In order to live a meaningful life, we have to see that certain things have to happen. The purpose of life is to pursue human prosperity through communication, understanding and service. Armed with such ideas, we can move from the definition of “less than” to the “meaning” of life.
A prominent view is that the concept of the meaning of life is an amalgam of overlapping ideas such as the fulfilment of a higher purpose that merits considerable appreciation and admiration, has a remarkable effect that goes beyond animal nature, makes sense or has a compelling life story (Mark 2003; Thomson 2003; Metz 2013, 24-35; Seachris 2013, 3-4; Mawson 2016). Some philosophers claim that this is monistic and that the true concept of meaning as the meaning of a person’s life can be regarded as a single quality.
As we have learned from Dave’s remarks, Frank’s distinction between meaning and meaning changes according to their context and the perspective we take. This is one of the reasons why it seems absurd to me to consider the meaning of a word as a complete meaning when there is only one answer. The same distinction that Frankl made between global (verse) and situational meaning of meaning is called global meaning versus situational meaning.
Meaning is the only ultimate, integrative point of reference for a person. This is why we are so focused on discussing the meaning of life and its relevance, meaning and value. The debate revolves around cosmic verses and earthly meanings, one between the outer world and the verse and another between the inner world.
In the most likely case, life was a fortuitous result of natural circumstances, a soup of chemicals on isolated earth, and thanks to communication with civilization, we received a new sense of life. We were born through a process of targeted panspermia, and our purpose in life is defined by the blueprints of the technological projects that led to our synthetic origins. My Harvard colleagues are getting closer and closer to producing synthetic life in the lab and exporting it as a simple matter to spacecraft.