What is the meaning of life? Big provocative question. Popular subject of debate. I have the answer. Really.
Granted, it’s an unsatisfying answer. It assumes one postulate and then dismisses the question as being kind of ill-formed. But it works for me as I now waste no time contemplating the big hairy “meaning of life” question.
It’s like that old “Can God make a stone she can’t lift?” question. Doesn’t matter what you believe about God, it’s a logically ill-formed question. It assumes two contradictory propositions as given — an all-powerful being and something that makes it not all-powerful — in the same context. Any freshman level logic student knows that assuming both P and ~P is a logic no-no. Still the answer is sort of unsatisfying.
So my unsatisfying answer assumes that you believe in God. Sorry, if you don’t believe in God, I can’t help you on the “meaning of life” question. My answer is that Life either has no meaning or is its own meaning. Whichever you wish.
Look at the word “meaning.” Without digging too far into semiotics and epistemology, I am defining “meaning” as having a relationship to a larger context. Well, if you believe, as I do, that Life *is* the context, since God *is* Life, God *is* Love, then there’d be no way to situate Life in a larger context. So my unsatisfying answer is that “Life is its own context so it has no meaning.”
I summarily dismiss all other questions that assume propositions that put God in a larger context, as they contradict my primary assumption. No more “What came before God?” or “Well then, who created God?” as they assume propositions that contradict the postulate.
Of course, the postulate itself is subject of endless debate (or at least another post).
There are better questions to ask. Like what is *my* meaning? I *do* exist inside a larger context. Thomas Merton points out to me that somehwere inside me is a place where my being and the ultimate Being (God) intersect. I am “spoken like a word” that expresses some aspect of God, and I must look within to determine my identity and purpose in God and assert that purpose in the world.
And it ain’t gonna happen if I waste all my time contemplating ill-formed philosophical questions.