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Q: The meaning of life ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   10 Comments )
Subject: The meaning of life
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: genericon-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 21 May 2004 01:46 PDT
Expires: 20 Jun 2004 01:46 PDT
Question ID: 349849
What is the meaning of life?

And for the price I am offering I expect a giant detailed response
with lots of expert quotes. I will even throw in a $1 tip if your
answer is prompt (within 2 hours).
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
Answered By: willie-ga on 21 May 2004 02:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, and thanks for the question

If you do a search on "meaning of life" on Google, you'll find more
theories than I've had hot dinners... and that's a lot!

One of the more amusing and thought provoking sites is at :
The Meaning of Life or What's it all about

It gives you access to different definitions depending on whether you :
- are questioning the meaning of life because you've been unhappy and
depressed a good bit
- want to know the meaning of life because you feel useless and worthless, 
- want to see their answer so that you can prove your intellectual
prowess by poking holes in it
- don't understand why bad things happen to good people
- would like to help the world but most of the rest of the world seems
completely insane
- wonder why there is so much hatred in the world.
- wonder why there is so much violence in our society
- really don't care about the meaning of life, you're just surfing

It then goes on in some detail in a short series of essays, and concludes:

"Meaning cannot be communicated to you through an intermediate. You've
got to experience it directly. You also cannot depend on others or on
a "system" to identify truth. You have to know what truth feels like
so that you can identify it for yourself."


On the other hand, the FAQ for The Meaning of Life at says that 

Only altruism qualifies as a genuine Meaning of Life. You should get
up in the morning because you will make the Universe a better place. 
Or rather, you will make it more likely that humanity's successors
will make it a better place.  Same cause-and-effect relation; the
length of the chain of events doesn't matter.


On yet another hand (how many limbs do we have here anyway?)you could
ask a philosopher (A philospher can best be thought of as someone who
thinks a lot so you don't have to.)

From The Meaning of Life According to Seven Philosophers,
Psychologists and Theologians - An independent study project in
psychology of religion, by Tracy Marks, in the summary it says:

- For Erich Fromm, man makes his life meaningful by living
productively, and by using his powers of love and reason to their
fullest capacity.
- For Abraham Maslow, meaning is experienced by the self-actualized,
growth-motivated person who delights in using his creative powers for
their own sake, and who can affirm himself and simultaneously
transcend himself through peak experiences.
- For Rollo May, meaning is experienced by a person centered in
himself, who is able to live by his highest values, who knows his own
intentionality, feels the power of his will to choose, and is able to
- For Krishnamurti, the world is experienced as most meaningful when
through the knowledge of self gained through self-observation, man
frees himself of the self and attains the state of passive awareness
and self-forgetfulness which is love.
- For Paul Tillich, man can choose to make his life meaningful by
surrendering in faith and love to Jesus. By opening to Jesus and
experiencing His acceptance and forgiveness, one experiences the joy
and freeeom of "new being" and the courage to be oneself.
- For Abraham Heschel, man experiences his life as a meaningful when
he lives in God's presence - not simpy by encountering God in the
world, but primarily by serving God in everyday life, infusing every
moment with the spirit of God, and by dedicating himself to ends
outside himself.
- Finally, for Viktor Frankl, meaning is experiencing by responding to
the demands of the situation at hand, discovering and committing
oneself to one's own unique task in life, and by allowing oneself to
experience or trust in an ultimate meaning - which one may or may not
call God.


And on the last hand for now, you could always peruse Google Answers
and join the brave travellers here who have been trying to ansswer the
question for some time

Hope you got your 2 bucks worth.


Request for Answer Clarification by genericon-ga on 21 May 2004 03:42 PDT
Not bad! But you are missing one thing I would like to see. (and I'm
sure that other people will add a few comments like it themself :) I
would like you to give me a one-sentence response that you believe the
meaning to life is, and perhaps a short summary.

Request for Answer Clarification by genericon-ga on 21 May 2004 03:47 PDT
Let me clarify my claification. The one-sentence answer would be what
you think the meaning of life is personally, and if you don't know
then that would be a correct answer. And the summary would be a
summary of your own answer (a couple sentences maybe.)

Clarification of Answer by willie-ga on 21 May 2004 04:15 PDT
I personally subscribe to the theory that life in itself has no meaning. 

Life is an opportunity to create meaning by our deeds, our actions and
how we manage our way through the short part of infinity we're given
to operate in.

And once our life is finished, our atoms go back to forming other
interesting configurations with those of other people, animals, plants
and anything else that happens to be around, as we all roll along in
one big, ever changing, universe. I like the idea that some of my
atoms will still be around long enough to see the end of our sun.

genericon-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Answer was prompt and detailed.

Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: nawaf-ga on 21 May 2004 03:59 PDT
My answer to this question, if and only if someone asked me, is life
has not a meaning, life is a mission with a clear goal, it's just a
path we cross to the next life, or eternity.  It needs not to be
explained nor needs it to be sought for.  Life in this world is going
to end sooner or later, and sooner than later it will end.  For me,
I'd rather ask the question why are we here, who made us, and finally
are we in the right path.
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: strangelittleman-ga on 21 May 2004 06:51 PDT
way to complicated ! the answers 42 !
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: yesnomaybe-ga on 21 May 2004 09:58 PDT
Have you ever noticed that the only people who ponder the meaning of
life either don't have kids, or don't get involved in bringing them

The purpose of life is to have children and pass on the responsibility
for fathoming the meaning of life to them...
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: erkowit-ga on 23 May 2004 00:54 PDT
As is very well known, "the meaning of life, the universe and everything" is 42.
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: genericon-ga on 23 May 2004 02:56 PDT
I'd to point out that I typed in "meaning of life" into the search box
and since the first two pages didn't contain anything near an answer,
I had given up. Clearly Google's search function could use some work!
In any case, I hope that people could tell I wasn't entirely serious

Personally I believe the most likely meaning of life is to entertain God.
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: silver777-ga on 26 May 2004 08:53 PDT
Hi Genericon,

The meaning of life is .. "TO EXPERIENCE"

The summary: If life has a purpose, our meaning is to make a
difference, be it good or bad, from our experience, good or bad.

Kind regards .. I trust that I have made a difference !!
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: probonopublico-ga on 28 May 2004 11:21 PDT
On the First Day God created the cow. 

God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and
suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer.
I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for
sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty."

And God agreed. 

On the Second Day God created the dog. 

God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone
who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty

The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and
I'll give  you back the other ten."

So God agreed (sigh). 

On the Third Day God created the monkey. 

God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make  them laugh. I'll
give you a twenty year life span."

The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't
think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?

And God agreed again. 

On the Fourth Day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, have
sex, enjoy. Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy. I'll give you twenty

Man said, "What? Only twenty years? No way man. Tell you what, I'll
take  my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the dog
gave back  and the ten the monkey gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God. "You've got a deal." 

So that is why for the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, have
sex, enjoy, and do nothing; and for the next forty years we slave in
the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey
tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we
sit on the front  porch and bark at  everyone.

That is the Meaning of Life.
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: genericon-ga on 29 May 2004 12:03 PDT
I now see why my Google answers search didn't work well. I didn't
include quotes. "meaning of life" yields a lot of good hits, yet
without quotes it doesn't yield a single hit. Interestingly, this page
is currently the top result for "meaning of life" (without quotes)

I also see the problem. The other meaning of life questions don't have
very good titles ("interesting question" for example). None of them
have good titles, causing a meaning of life search to yield no results
(except this one) in the first two pages. The solution to this problem
is for Google to have researchers type in a title after they answer
the question. So, for answered questions, instead of using the subject
as typed in by questioners for searches (who type in poor subjects),
they use the "title" field for searches as typed by the the researcher
after it has been answered.

Do you researchers think this is a good idea? If so, please let me
know if you would submit the idea to Google. I'd rather have you do it
than me. So that would be roughtly my 20th official recommendation to
a website. So far zero have actually implimented any changes, so I'm
not too optimistic.
Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: probonopublico-ga on 29 May 2004 12:24 PDT
Hi, Genericon

Regardless of whether or not your idea is good, I doubt if it's
practical because the Subject Field is necessarily of finite length
and some Subjects are so long that they just don't fit fully into the
space available.

But, of course, whatever facilities are provided, the Researchers can
(in my experience) do a very much better job than any of us poor

Subject: Re: The meaning of life
From: genericon-ga on 30 May 2004 22:03 PDT
probonopublico, I'm not sure you understood my idea. The idea each new
question gets a "title" field (in addition to the subject field that
already exists). After the question has been answers, the Google
researcher provides a title for the question. This way, the Google
search engine uses the title field for the keywords instead of the
subject field.

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