Thursday, September 29, 2005

What's the meaning of "the meaning of life?"

"What's the meaning of life?"

I hate this question, mostly because it's so damned vague. First of all, the word "meaning" has several different definitions, each of which would significantly change the intended question. Basically, "What's the meaning of life" could mean:

1) What information or lesson is life meant to convey?

2) What's the purpose of life? Is that purpose intended/predetermined or chosen?

3) What's the consequence of life? Or alternatively, what is life the consequence of?

4) What is the importance or value of life?

The possible meanings are even greater when you consider what's meant by "life." Do you mean your singular life, all human life, all life on the planet Earth, or all life in the universe? Are you considering life as a physical entity, a ethereal entity, a process, or as a span of time? Perhaps you are considering "life" as the more abstract concept of existence?

It seems to me that the people who ask "What's the meaning of life?" don't even know what they are asking. How can you find an answer if you don't even know the question? Ask yourself: what do you mean when you ask what the meaning of life is? All of the above? None of the above?

So, what's the meaning of life? We may never know the answer, not because there isn't one but only because the question has no meaning.


Blogger AKG said...

This was prompted by:

So you'd like to... avoid failed "Meaning of Life" books

11:48 AM  

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