wgu_hum_mod7_summary - Imagination Values and Emotions Key...

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Imagination, Values, and Emotions Key Concepts The search for meaning The search for meaning in our lives expresses a deep and timeless human impulse. It's this impulse which leads us to ask, in every aspect of human experience... What does such-and-such mean? Why does it matter? What purpose does it amount to? We seek answers to our questions about meaning through the faculties available to us, including: sensory experience; study, reasoning, reflection, prayer, meditation, and intuition. People's search for meaning manifests itself in religion and politics...through art and philosophical inquiry...and in systems of morality and ethics. The pursuit of meaning has been an abiding theme in the humanities since the dawn of civilization. Finding meaning through work In nearly every culture, work is central to the individual's self-identity and sense of self- worth. People find meaning in their lives through what they do professionally. In Western society, some jobs or career paths are more highly esteemed than others. But work of any kind is valued above no work, which connotes purposelessness and invites social scorn. This perspective asserts that work itself is a moral issue. It underlies the Protestant work ethic , which is a value descended from Calvinism. The Protestant work ethic emphasizes the necessity of constant work in a person's life as an expression of moral virtue. How we choose to make a living often reflects what we find important or profound. Career choice can say something fundamental about an individual's pursuit of meaning. Differing Views on the Purposeful Life People define purpose in their lives partly through the cultural values on which they were reared. The world reflects great cultural diversity. This diversity accounts for differences in values within and across societies. It also accounts for differences in the degree to which a given value is emphasized from one culture to the next. Influenced by these different values, individuals fashion different visions of what constitutes a meaningful life.
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Defining meaning in life is a moral exercise. It involves making judgments about right and wrong. Global cultural diversity gives rise to the thorny matter of moral relativism, which asserts that right and wrong have no universal meaning. They are deemed to be relative (that is, subject to change, depending on circumstances) rather than absolute (that is, fixed, regardless of circumstances). According to the moral relativist, right and wrong are defined by a particular cultural context. Sartre, secular existentialism, and meaning Jean-Paul Sartre was a twentieth-century French philosopher of secular existentialism , a philosophy which addresses the human struggle to locate the basis of meaning. In The Art of Being Human , Janaro and Altshuler observe that this philosophy is founded on the following precepts: God's existence cannot be proved; Religion wrongly teaches that human beings have an essence that defines their humanness. There is no such thing as a human essence or human nature;
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