What do you think the meaning of life really is?

I don’t mean in the philosophical or religious sense necessarily although you can answer in any way that you want. That is always up for debate. I mean in the practical and day to day sense.

I went existential a long time ago and decided my own happiness is the top priority no matter what. That includes the health and welfare of my children and a few others close to me but not much else. I have no greater causes other than that. Have the most fun you can every day and don’t let anyone else take that away from you (because many will try). Fuck’em. I will go to great lengths to save select people in need once but I make no priority to save the world. That is for others with a larger conscience than I have. I consider myself agnostic but certainly I am not an atheist.

How about you?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” - Jesus

I don’t really have a ‘meaning of life’ philosophy or ethos. My purpose is to live as long as I can, to create others’ lives and to enhance those to the best of my ability.

IMHO, happiness is a transient experience and not the actual meaning for my life. Avoidance of unhappiness though? Yeah, I can get behind that one.

Welcome to life. Most of it will be shitty and painful. Every now and again you’ll have a respite from that, and your memory of the ‘not shitty or painful’ event will keep you alive until the next one.

Rinse and repeat until you die.


Yesterday’s “Doc Rat” online comic. Jarrad solves the meaning of life.

(Short answer: “Be good to each other.”)

I also know “The Secret of Life,” which is “Move aggressively, fight defensively.” Get right out there in the other guy’s face…and block and dodge.

Protein. It’s all just protein.

I don’t know for sure but I will turn my attention to it when I work out what the meaning of broccoli is. It must be related in some way. You know they are both present on this current plane of existence.

You are asking a fundamental Philosophical question: is it better to live a life of virtue or pleasure? Virtue here means to establish a set of values and define your success by how true you are to them in your life. Pleasure here means to maximize success within the moment/life you are living.

You state you have chosen Pleasure. I have found that attempting a life of Virtue is part of how I am wired. In my case, I am focused on being a good parent - can I look back and feel like I got my kids started on “good” lives? I actively decide against my own Pleasure in big and small ways regularly in order to feel good about my role as a parent.



Above my pay grade.

OP, I’m existentialist and yet am far removed from your personal approach. I look for meaning in humanity as a whole, and our twin greatest achievements, Art and Science. I choose to dream big, and that creates fulfilment.

I consider myself a theological noncognitivist first, and an “atheist” only on this board, when that’s the closest category in a debate question or poll that applies to me.

Even given the idiosyncratic way you’ve defined pleasure , this is contradictory.

There is the school of thought that the sperm is the life form, and the body of a more complex organism is simply a construct that the sperm occupies parasitically, and evolved to maximize the survival of the sperm and the chances for it to reproduce successfully. Analogous to the flesh of an apple, which evolved physical properties that encourages distribution of its seeds.

It is easy to see that an apple is sweet and edible not to make it economically marketablel in human commerce, but to exploit humans and other animals to distribute the seeds.

Idiosyncratic? Nice. I am speaking to the classical definitions. Here is a summary from the Wikipedia page on Virtue:

One way to speak to the “Meaning of Life” question is to look at how Philosophy has framed the Virtue vs. Pleasure discussion, so I brought it up.

My example isn’t contradictory at all. I am stating that I feel better about staying true to my “code” vs. seeking nearer-term pleasure.

The meaning of life is what every individual person thinks it is.

Leaving the world a little less pissed off than I entered it.

Be excellent to each other.

The word “the” could be taken to imply there’s just one. There are as many meanings as you choose to apply… and, again, as many as every other person chooses to apply. Or none, if you choose to see none.

See life as futility full of anguish and pain ending in death, or as an adventure challenging you to show all the courage and love and intelligence you can bring to it, whichever you prefer. Or something else. That may affect your attitude, your success, the entire course of your life, so an “affirmation” has incentives, but don’t let that force your choice. After all, bitter gloom and doom are gothically romantic, right? Of course, then there’s the romance of high chivalry…

That Life is in the small moments of everyday joy and beauty. Pile them up as you can, because they make Life, not the huge big moments you work so hard for, or that happen upon you. They are fleeting and pass by same as the small moments, but you can lose ‘everyday’ by vainly chasing more big moments (and foolishly thinking they are what makes your life).

Money, power, woman…

The Master* speaks:
(old R. Crumb cartoon)


  • not Unca Cece – the other one