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Meaning of Life Essay

  • Submitted by: aGingerCarrot
  • on March 27, 2014
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,958 words

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Below is an essay on "Meaning of Life" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Today I am going to be arguing about the question: Does Life Have Meaning?

My argument is that of a Subjectivist's response to this question. That an individual can give life meaning through their actions and choices and by committing to those choices.

My argument will be countered with the Nihilist response to the meaning of life, such as that of Thomas Nagel.

Firstly I believe it is necessary to have a somewhat general understanding of the question itself, and of the main responses to it.

Does Life Have Meaning? is a question that attempts to find the purpose and meaning of one's creation and existence in the universe, and to understand one's significance in accordance with all others.

Now, there are three main responses to this question: Nihilistic, Theistic and Subjectivist.

The Nihilistic response is based upon the claim that life has no meaning and that all values are unjustifiable. Nihilism can be argued from different perspectives, but their underlying theme is the same: that life has no meaning.

Two such different perspectives are that of Albert Camus and Thomas Nagel.

Camus' argument follows the idea: that if an individual believes that a God or a soul are necessary for having a meaningful life, but yet they also believe that neither of those exist, then that individual is in-fact Nihilistic. Because by denying that a God or the soul exists they are therefore denying that life has no meaning.

Nagel's argument centres around the idea that we have the ability to comprehend and perceive the world from a variety of view points. By perceiving from the most external point, one individual can view the actions of all others along with their own. That individual can then see how their actions and efforts, when compared to those of all others, appear minuscule and meaningless. Because that individual's actions are meaningless, their life is in turn meaningless.

These are two different styled arguments, but yet they still argue a...

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