The Life Within Reason

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

it is a philosophical writting about life from my opinion

The  Life WithinReason


The meaning of life is one of the most profound question of human existence since the development of philosophy in intellectual world.The life is deeply related to conceptions of existence,  consciousness, happiness, and to some other issues. Scientific contributions focus primarily on describing related empirical facts about the universe, exploring the context and parameters concerning the 'how' of life. Besides, many people have already said , "the meaning of life is happiness, love, living life to the fullest," and so on. But these explanations is on suspicion to satisfy in answering to all logical questions so far.  But, why we think about worth of life ? We think because, as natural being, human is endowed with natural powers and it drives him as tendencies which we call as instincts to think about himself and surroundings. Precisely, human mind is genetically designed to do and think on himself and his surroundings . Social psychologists, broadly called Terror Management Theory, states that “human meaning is derived from a fundamental fear of death, and values are selected when they allow us to escape the mental reminder of death.”

In the history , there was relative disinterest in enquiring the purpose or meaning of life by analytic philosophers for a long part  in twentieth century, there has been a growing body of work on the topic by contemporary analytic philosophers since the 1980’s.  Several discussions ,debates conclude that it is  not a question about the semantic meaning of the word “life,” but it is a question about human life, it is a question about all biological life, it is a question about all of existence including universe. Because without perceiving the wideness of the question philosophy can not come out with a satisfied answer. The four basic philosophical views on life used by the people to understand the purpose of life since long past .


·Subjective Naturalism (naturalism)

·Objective Naturalism (naturalism

·Pessimistic naturalism, Nihilism


Supernaturalism views the meaning in life must be related with a spiritual realm. It constitute mainly god and soul based theory and entails most of the religions around the world .God’s existence is necessary for securing a meaningful existence like objective values are plausibly anchored in an entity like God .  If God or a soul does not exist, or if they exist but one fails to have the right relationship with them, then one's life is meaningless. For God to be solely responsible for any significance in our lives, God must have certain qualities that cannot be found in the natural world, these qualities  must be qualitatively superior to any goods possible in a physical universe, and they must be what ground the meaning in it. This theory is suffering from number dilemmas on showing relation between  finite life and infinite divine which are indeed asymmetrical  and relation between  purpose of god and meaning of life .

Soul-centered theory view that meaning in life comes from relating in a certain way to an immortal, spiritual substance that supervenes on one's body when it is alive and that will forever outlive its death. If one lacks a soul, or if one has a soul but relates to it in the wrong way, then one's life is meaningless. There are two prominent arguments for a soul-based perspective. Leo Tolstoy argues  that nothing is worth doing in life if nothing is done to make permanent difference to the world, and that doing so requires having an immortal, spiritual self. Many of course, question whether having an infinite effect is necessary putting life into a meaning.

The another rationale for  soul-based theory of life's meaning is that a soul is necessary for perfect justice, which, in turn, is necessary for a meaningful life. Life seems nonsensical when the wicked flourish and the righteous suffer, at least supposing there is no other world in which these injustices will be rectified, whether by God or by Karma. Soul-centered theory becomes more when both God and a soul constitute a meaning. In that God -Soul theory life is meaningful when one must have spent sacred life and after physical death the soul  is succeded in  uniting with God in a spiritual realm such as Heaven.

As with God-based views, naturalist critics offer counterexamples to the claim that a soul or immortality of any kind is necessary for meaning. Great works, whether they be moral, aesthetic, or intellectual, would seem to confer meaning on one's life regardless of whether one will live forever.However, if indeed soul-centered theory ultimately relies on claims about meaning turning on perfection, such a view is attractive at least for being simple, and rival views have yet to specify in a principled and thoroughly defended way where to draw the line at less than perfection. What less than ideal amount of value is sufficient for a life to count as “meaningful”?

Claims and questions  for soul centred view are like :

1. Immortal would be sufficient to make our lives insignificant is that persons who cannot die could not exhibit certain virtues . Immortality or soul appears the life as meaningless .

2. Immortality whether spiritual or physical is not required to make life meaningful or make an infinite effect because it turns life pointless and without any  positive engagement .

3. Is there a promising reason for thinking that fulfilling God's (as opposed to any human's) purpose is what constitutes meaning in life? Many of course question whether having an infinite effect is necessary for meaning ?Others point out that one need not be immortal in order to have an infinite effect because of one's mortal existence would be sufficient for that.

Naturalism is the  both subjective and objective narration of life . It narrates that purpose  of  life is possible without spiritual realm. Meaning of life is dependent to the subject depends on an individual's pro-attitudes such as desires, ends, and choices. Subjectivism was most popular and it was dominant for much of the 20th century when pragmatism, positivism, aexistentialism, noncognitivism, and Humeanism were quite influential. People believed that  one's life is more meaningful, if he gets what he wants strongly or the more he achieves  highly ranked goals what he believes . Again,  subjectivism is plausible since it is reasonable to think that a meaningful life is an authentic one .Those who continue to hold subjectivism remain suspicious of attempts to justify beliefs about objective value . To justify the rationality on subjectivism method was started to practised called “reflective equilibrium” which is widely accepted argumentative procedure, whereby controversial normative claims are justified by virtue of entailing and explaining claims that do not command universal acceptance. This method has been used to defend the existence of objective value, and, as a result, subjectivism has lost its dominance over last few decades . Arguments on subjectivism are:

 1. If a person's life is significant insofar as she is true to herself or her deepest nature, then we have some reason to believe that meaning simply is a function of satisfying certain desires held by the individual or realizing certain ends of hers.

 2. Another argument is that meaning is an outproduct of involvement into an activity or realizing an experience . It ignores the role of objective value both in realizing oneself and in losing oneself.

Objective naturalism claims that a meaningful life is a function of appropriately connecting with mind-independent realities that are entirely natural without any supernatural existence. Objective naturalists believe that meaning is constituted by something physical independent of the mind about which we can have correct or incorrect beliefs. Searching an  object derived from variable pro-attitudes of subjects can not be considered  as meaningful . Instead, there are certain inherently worthwhile conditions that confer meaning for anyone, neither merely because they are wanted, chosen, or believed to be meaningful, nor because they somehow are grounded in God. Large majority of them believe that a life is more meaningful because of objective factors, but subjective contribution such as cognition, affection, and emotion are involved in it .Therefore, Susan Wolf slogans : “Meaning arises when subjective attraction meets objective attractiveness .” This theory implies that no meaning accrues to one's life if one believes , satisfies, cares about a project that is not worthwhile and If one takes up a worthwhile project but fails to judge , be satisfied and care about it. Ideally objectivism should  capture all experiences, states, relationships, and actions that intuitively make life meaningful.

Frederick Nietzsche was a  german philosopher who  characterized nihilism denying human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value . Nihilism straightly rejects the existence of supernatural power .He claimed that life is will to power: affirming expansion, incorporation. Implementing power which  are also on the process of  evaluation with the time . These activities are inherent to life . Life should be  a " sign of strength, a wilful destruction of the old values and lay down one's own beliefs and interpretations by the constructing of new meaning.  According to Nietzsche , this wisdom is  called as 'free spirit’ or the model of the strong individual who posits his own values  inlife as work of art .Again on the other side ,  devaluing life can be seen as a symptom of sickness. Degeneration and decay, the symptoms in the organic world of encroaching death, are for Nietzsche signs of a stifled or weak will to power, “where the will to power is lacking there is decline.” Nihilism denies meaningful life is not possible because, literally, nothing has ultimate value and no higher state of reality exists . What called morality does not inherently exist, and if anything exist then  it must be a human  construction . Besides ,constant feeling of boredom which sufficiently infuses life so as to make it meaningless, or that human lives lack the requisite amount of satisfaction to confer meaning upon them. A remarkable quote was forwarded by Albert Camus that “the lack of an afterlife and of a rational, divinely ordered universe undercuts the possibility of meaning .”

Some nihilist forwarded that human is capable of comprehending the world from a variety of standpoints that are either internal or external.External standpoint may be the point of view of  physical universe and internal is human desire at given instant . Debate shows external standpoint influences more than internal one because of finiteness of human life in comparison to the universe in terms of space and time.Though nihilism is not rejected in wide  range and somewhat  it is sidegrown with western culture and science it faces questions about concrete entities like natural numbers and mathematical existence in human culture.

The meaning of life is closely linked  with a cluster of related issues surrounding death, futility, and the way life is going to end, in regards to both the individual life and to the universe as a whole.The common pessimistic claim is that cosmic futility supervenes upon the entirety of human existence, given a naturalistic view of the ultimate fate of life, both human life as well as the universe itself, where death and entropy will very likely be the final, irreversible state of reality. Death of subject and of  universe is a barrier to the meaningful properties and activities that populate human existence continuing on in any strong sense.

The kind of futility surfacing in this context can be thought of as strong futility or weak futility. In the strong sense, it is claimed that if the final state of affairs of the universe (e.g. heat death) is one in which nothing matters, then nothing ever really mattered and everything is irredeemably futile. In the weaker sense, it is claimed that if the final state of affairs of the universe is one in which nothing matters, then the mattering or significance of current states of affairs is, either minimally or considerably, though not completely destroyed. This futility partly arises, then, through an asymmetry between the present and future threaten the meaningfulness of the entire . For being blind to the distant future , thinkers put more importance of present state of existence .

Postmodernism is  very much a  comtemporary thought what  broadly look human nature as constructed by language, or by structures and institutions of human society. Anything resembling a "meaning of life", in postmodernist terms, can only be understood within a social and lingual framework, and must be pursued as an escape from the factors that are already infused in all forms of speech and interaction. Postmodernists see contraint and limit of the  language and  to make the language  free and more meaningful  , theorists take different views on the nature of this process: from radical reconstruction of meaning by individuals to theories in which individuals are primarily extensions of language and society, without real autonomy . In general, postmodernism seeks meaning by looking at the underlying structures that create or impose meaning, rather than the epiphenomenal appearances of the world.Postmodernism is waiting for more and universal acceptance.

The debate has been continued to settle on a point to confer a meaning of  life because basic views of philosophy which were described earlier are not in perfection. Few assumptions has been  forwarded below  and in future some other narration could be concluded by someone .

The concept of meaningfulness should be fits within the normative realm shared by the ethical, aesthetic, and eudaimonistic (happiness)  . If the ethical is one component of the meaningfulness, it seems unreasonable to think that morally exemplary life may not be fully meaningful. While a number of philosophers agree that a universally binding and warranted morality is necessary for meaning in life. Furthermore, contemporary work in meta-ethics has led many to believe that such a moral system exists.

We question what we do if logical with the rest of reality, and whether reality, at the deepest level, in any way cares about us and our pursuits. We eternally  view our lives and experienced with profound angst, indifference, or hope, among other reactions, depending upon what we think that viewpoint entails. In normative appraisals of life, it is reasonable to privilege our eternal views over our immediate, human perspective is beside the point. It is a fact that human propensity is correlated with inquiring into the meaning of life.

Meaningfulness analytically concerns a variable and gradient final good in a person's life that is conceptually distinct from happiness, rightness, and worthwhileness provides a certain amount of common ground. Some have maintained that objectively meaningful conditions are just those that: transcend the limits of the self comprise human excellences maximally promote non-hedonist goods such as friendship, beauty, and knowledge exercise or develop rational nature substantially improve the quality of life of people and animals .This objectively meaningful conditions overcome challenges that one recognizes to be important at one's stage of history are positively oriented toward final value beyond one's animal self.

One can observe the perfectionist tradition including objective theories of what a significant existence in life is, even if their proponents did  not frequently use contemporary terminology to express this. Consider Aristotle's account of the good life for a human being as one that fulfills its natural purpose of being rational, Karl Marx's vision of a distinctly human history characterized by less alienation and more autonomy, culture, and community, and Nietzsche's ideal of a being with a superlative degree of power, creativity, and complexity. Metaphysically one can say  objectively attractive, inherently worthwhile, or finally valuable conditions have in common insofar bear the meaning of life . Notably ,one would not be conceptually confused to claim that a meaningless life full of animal pleasures is most (or even alone) worth living. Furthermore, talk of a “meaningless life” does not simply connote the concept of an absurd , unreasonable futile or wasted life . I have closed the discussion by uttering a quote , “ Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. “- Albert Einstein .





Dr Dhrubajyoti Saikia

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Submitted: June 02, 2013

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