#01—Does life have meaning?

pleasurably pondering pointlessly

To answer the question we need to consider what meaning means, does it mean purpose? Or, does it mean a deeper meaning? (whatever that itself is meant to mean! It is said that Plato once said (wo)man is “a being in search of meaning.”

Because in fact life has a very simple — prosaic — point and purpose and it is this:

As Burton (2018) confirms, historically and today also, many people believe that humankind is the creation of a supernatural entity… yet at Lawton (2016) points out, no one has proved that God exists, but then no one has proved there is no God. Is working out the truth a supernatural feat?

Human life may not have been created with any predetermined purpose, but this need not mean that it cannot have a purpose, nor that this purpose cannot be just as good as, if not much better than, any predetermined one.

And so the meaning of life, of our life, is that which we choose to give it.

As Hendricks (2018) argues, Dewey encourages us to stop looking at education as preparation for a job. Rather, it must be considered as a tool to help giving meaning to our lives. The contention was that this would not only improve a given country’s educational system (etc.) but would also allow its citizens to live more meaningful lives.

This is of course the foundational and seminal philosophical question, it is seemingly articulated somehow in the following works of art:

Clockwise, [1] The Venus of Urbino (1533) by the Italian painter Titian. [2] The Scream or The Scream of Nature (1893) by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. [3] Ascent of the Blessed (c.1510) and [4] The Garden of Earthly Delights (c.1500) by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. [5] Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897) by the French painter Paul Gauguin.


Burton, N. (2018). What is the Meaning of Life? Psychology Today.
Hendricks, S. (2018). 5 American philosophers on the meaning of life. Big Think.
Lawton, G. (2016). Metaphysics special: What is the meaning of life? New Scientist. Retrieved, https://www.newscientist.com/round-up/metaphysics/
Metz, T. (2013). The Meaning of Life. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/life-meaning/
Steed, E. (2018). Philosophy Illustrated. The New Yorker.
Wikipedia (2019). Meaning of Life. Wikipedia. Retrieved, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_of_life

Author: Anna Bidoonism

You'll find poems, prose & literary analysis on my blog -- this is who I am.