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class25c07 - ful to the extent that they contribute to the...

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The Meaning of Life Happiness : pursue pleasures that do not involve pain (friendships, learning, art appreciation), satisfy natural desires (food, sleep), avoid vain desires (fame, fashion). The nothingness of death is not to be feared Stoicism: limit interests to things we control; help others to do likewise Objection : from the standpoint of the universe, our lives are meaningless Epicurus 341-270 BCE Epictetus (55-135 CE)
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The Meaning of Life Theistic Response: our lives have purpose and value because they are part of a divine plan Objections : If there is no God, life is pointless. And if there is a God, then our lives are merely means to fulfill his purposes, not ours Human Progress: our lives are meaning-
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Unformatted text preview: ful to the extent that they contribute to the advance of freedom or a classless society Aquinas Tolstoy Hegel Marx The Meaning of Life: Other Views • Nihilism: life is a constant struggle; satisfaction of needs produces only boredom and more struggle • Subjective meaning/personal choice: Kierkegaard : an “authentic” life is not based on doing what feels right (the aesthetic) or what is rational/universal (the moral) but on a leap of faith, a commitment to personally chosen goals J.-P. Sartre : life has meaning only in terms of our choices; to believe otherwise is “bad faith” A. Schopenhauer (1788-1860) (1905-80) (1813-55)...
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