The Meaning of Life Essay Example
Do you have an essential meaning in your life? Is there a finite purpose that you set out to achieve before you breathe your last breath? Often times, people battle within themselves about what exactly it is that they are supposed to be doing in this life that we experience. Human beings frequently seek out a blueprint for the perfect life, but no one has yet to discover the perfect answer. Many philosophers have sought out to give benevolent answers to the questions of the homo sapiens existence.
Per human nature, to be coined “happy” we often crave the need to fulfill desires and to be at peace with the purpose of one’s life. The problem at hand with the meaning of life is, what happens when you no longer know what your reason for living is? People often possess multiple purposes and no matter what environment a man is born into, he will always come into a time in his life when he seeks the need for more. There will always be a phase in the average human's lifetime where they are seeking validation, hope, direction, and meaning.
There are three things that need to be fulfilled for a happy life according to Tolstoy: Fame, Fortune, and Pleasure. Tolstoy was a famous British writer who seemed to have a successful, wealthy and comfortable lifestyle. Late in his life, he began to experience a crisis of his meaning. Like many human beings, Tolstoy began to feel meaningless and empty. We often reach this state of transcendence that is quite unavoidable; humans have this irreducible tendency to feel the need to go above itself and lose itself to the world. Once Tolstoy accomplished everything that he felt he needed to be happy, he didn’t know what to do next. He no longer cared about what made him famous, his family, friends, fortune, or anything is his current life. “My life is a stupid, mean trick played on me by somebody,” Tolstoy said, he understand why he needed to be here anymore. This is the problem with life, why can’t we just always be happy? We do we feel the need to continue going higher and higher above ourselves?
Humans typically try to do things to fill voids in our lives by having children, changing jobs, getting into relationships, and many other things that they feel when giving them new meanings to hold on to. Although these things may bring you temporary pleasure and fulfillment, they seldomly are the actual long-term answer. Tolstoy ultimately attempts to give us a way to reason with and how to solve these midlife crisis's that we are subject to going through. Tolstoy believes the key to beating despair is simply faith. The ultimate take away for the majority of the theist philosophers we’ve been studying involves some sort of belief in a higher power. Tolstoy, Augustine, Quinn, Pojman, Pascal, and other theist philosophers all believe in some way that the answer to beating despair is to look for a higher purpose.
Theist philosophers present the notion that life is more satisfying when you choose to believe in God. When you believe in God you are a wiser person according to Pascal’s wager because if he truly does exist then you are winning external life, but if he doesn’t what do you really have to lose? God provides a way to escape from your despair because it gives you an infinite reason to keep living. Quinn believes that God can present the answers to hope, directions, and internal feelings you need to be fulfilled once you’ve reached your capacity. If God truly does exist, then my righteous actions will reward me to live happily ever after, but if he doesn’t exist then at least I was still a moral person. It is still solely important to believe in any god is because you truly have faith and not because everyone else believed or else you will be doomed to hell according to Silverman.
The faith of a God was the answer presented for the problem in the meaning of life by many philosophers we have been studying, especially Tolstoy and St. Augustine. I personally think that the strengths of this answer are that, a higher power provides an escape to many of our problems. When something doesn’t go our way or as expected, maybe it wasn’t in the will of God. Once you have reached your max good potential that you feel you can do, God provides a reason for you to keep being good as you know your end reward is eternal life.
The downside in faith is that it is just that, faith. It is often times hard to comes to terms with and believe in something that you cannot physically see. Being of Christian faith, I’ve had my own personal doubts when I get frustrated with the world. Of course there will be times when you feel like life has knocked you down and it even starts to seem as if God doesn’t even hear your cries, but that’s exactly when true faith comes into play. If you genuinely believe in something then there is always that little hope deep down inside that everything is going to be alright if you just keep on believing. God to adults is almost like Santa Claus to children. You never see them, but you still believe that they will come right on time as they are expected to.
I think that one the biggest human downfalls are that we turn to look for one meaning of life, and we are so wound up in being the perfect person when in reality, perfection in the human nature does not exist. Theist philosophers sought out to provide an answer for beating this inevitable fight of despair in the human life. Believing in God gives you a reason to continue to fight when you don’t want to anymore. When sickness, hurt, evil, depression and everything comes all at once faith is what seems to be the answer, according to the philosophers we’ve studied in the first half of this semester. The destination for finding the true meanings of a person's life can be a true bittersweet fight, but faith is said to make it all worth it. According to Tolstoy, Pascal, Quinn, and many more theist based studies: we fight through hell on earth to get some sort of eternal life happily ever after.