Meaning of Life IVMeaning of Life: Is pleasure meaningful?
Going back to the meaning of life topic, I want to look at it from a different perspective this time. The concept of contemplation and action should ring a bell if anyone's studied virtue ethics or something similar. Today I want to look at this from a sort of a hedonist point of view.
Hedonism, for those of you who's just about to reach for a dictionary, is the view rooted in the ancient Greeks stating that pleasure is the good. Our project here is a little bit different from the classic hedonist project in the sense that we're not here to think about whether or not pleasure really is the good, but rather, whether or not pleasure is in anyway meaningful to our lives.
And surely it is! I would say, and I reckon that you would too. Recall Renatus, he's is the kind of guy that does everything that pleases him at the moment. (Read about the life of Renatus in detail here.) Last t
Meaning of Life IIIMeaning of Life: Is contemplation sufficient?
Before I go on to talk about pleasure, I just want to end the topic on contemplation. The question is this: is contemplation sufficient in making life meaningful? Well, I suppose that you can argue that since I'm about to talk about the meaningfulness of pleasure, I'm implying the non-sufficiency of contemplation. And in fact, I am inclined to reject the sufficiency of contemplation. By "contemplation is sufficient for making life meaningful", it means that having only contemplation is enough for your life to be meaningful; meaning, you don't need anything else. But that's absurd! Here's an example.
Suppose that Renatus has a sister named Rena. Unlike Renatus who goes about living life without contemplation of meaning, Rena does nothing else but contemplate about the meaning behind everything. In fact, Rena spends so much time contemplating about the meaning of life, she ends up not doing anything else. Now, if I ask you whether or n
Meaning of Life IIMeaning of Life: What is it?
Alright boys and girls, here's the big question: What is the meaning of life? From the drift of what I was getting at last time, it seems that I wanted to say that the meaning of life is to actualize whatever values any individual hold to be important for themselves. In all honesty, I think it's too hasty to make that conclusion. To make this claim is to say that the meaning of life has an objective definition, realized by a series of subjective components. (Meaning, there is only one true definition of the meaning of life, but people go about achieving it differently.) I'm hesitant to defend this claim; I don't know if the meaning of life should be objective.
About two weeks ago, me and a couple of friends were having a chat with one of our professors. A friend of mine asked the professor, semi-jokingishly, what was the meaning of life. My professor gave us a paradoxical answer, but probably also the best one I've heard as of yet. He said to us:
Meaning of Life IMeaning of Life: We wonder about it all the time
Everybody is going about looking for the meaning of life. No, it's probably a little more than just "42", if you were going to stop me there. Admit or not, even if you're one of those people who say "I just live life as it comes to me, I don't contemplate about the meaning behind it", chances are, you're just fooling yourself because the question is too hard. Much easier to just avoid it, no?
We all ask about the meaning of life; think about it this way. Everyday we ask "why": "why should I lend you twenty bucks", "why can't I just sleep in", "why do I have to eat these horrible tasting burssel sprouts" Every time we ask a "why" question we're essentially contemplating the meaning of life. Sounds a little radical, I know. Let's take the sleeping in example and examine it.
You, an university student just like me, gets violently woken up at 8:30am. It's a Thursday. You reach for your alarm and turn it off after two failed atte