Mark Mintoff My superpower is common sense

14Sep/110

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning of life?

Why are we here?

The above two questions and many variations thereof are all questions which have baffled humanity for years and years, leaving many turning to God as the answer, concocting baseless claims of afterlife and whatnot and many others in despair. I do not hold the answer to such questions, but rather I would like to challenge you by re-framing the questions we often ask. Often times I wonder if these questions are fair questions to ask. "Why are we here?" is a syntactically correct question to ask, but is it a logically valid one? For example, other syntactically valid questions to ask would be:

  • What is the colour of jealousy?
  • What does purple taste like?
  • What is the total mass of one second?

Most of us (if not all) would recognize that these questions make absolutely no sense, despite the fact that they are framed within a syntactically correct question. So, with that in mind should a question like "What is the meaning of life?" be taken seriously? Should we persist in trying to come up with an answer to a question that is nonsensical to begin with? Is it fair to assign purpose and meaning to everything? Additionally does a purpose of something simply exist because we say so? Are we arrogant enough to assume that everything in the universe has a purpose for us as a species? For example

  • The purpose of the air contained within our atmosphere is there so that we can breathe.

For some, this might be considered a valid statement. However all air-breathing life on earth came about after the Earth's atmosphere was filled with air. Consequently, we exist because there is air. So, what is the purpose of air, if we (as a species) came to be because there was air? Without us existing, what would be the purpose of air? Nothing; because it's a nonsense question to ask in the first place. Just like the meaning of life.

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