• Question: What is the meaning of life

    Asked by clarkey01 to Andreas, Arianna, Daniel, Gergely, Imogen, Joel, Kanta, Mario, Martin, Mary-Kay, Nayeli, Ophélie, Patrick, Pawan, Priyanka, Raquel, Rohan, Sabina, Sami, Sam, Sarah, Tom on 21 Sep 2017.
    • Photo: Kanta Dihal

      Kanta Dihal answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      42. Douglas Adams went to Cambridge… but this is something we can all agree on.

    • Photo: Mario Collura

      Mario Collura answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      I think that Monty Python already gave a perfect answer… maybe look a that film.

    • Photo: Rohan Kapitany

      Rohan Kapitany answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      Science can’t really answer this question, but as a researcher we can think about the question itself.

      Does life need a meaning? Why do you think there is an underlying meaning to life? My personal opinion is that the most rewarding life is one that flourishes (but not one that is necessarily happy).

      If you’re looking for guidance, one good approach, that Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaks about (who you can find on twitter at @neiltyson) is “know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others”.

    • Photo: Sam Parsons

      Sam Parsons answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      This is exactly the question that led me to studying philosophy originally (before i moved to psychology alone). In truth, I have no idea! I like to think that we make our own meaning.

      If you’re looking for a good intro to philosophical questions, Sophie’s world is a great book that covers loads of areas in a novel way 🙂

    • Photo: Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez

      Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      I would like to quote Viktor Frankl for this one: “The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment”

    • Photo: Joel Butler

      Joel Butler answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      I’m with Morty from Rick and Morty: “Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

    • Photo: Pawan Kumar

      Pawan Kumar answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      to live your time at best on beautiful planet called Earth.

    • Photo: Imogen Goold

      Imogen Goold answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      There isn’t any. So instead work out how to live a good, compassionate, fulfilling life and leave the world a better place than you left it.

    • Photo: Sarah Finnegan

      Sarah Finnegan answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      Probably its pizza. Or… living a kind and compassionate life so as to leave the planet a better place….In order to ensure there is always pizza.

    • Photo: Mary-Kay Thompson

      Mary-Kay Thompson answered on 24 Sep 2017:


      I’m not sure if I think there is any one ‘meaning’ to life. Maybe it’s easier to think about it for one person at a time– i.e. you. Probably for myself I would say it’s to enjoy as much as possible being alive (like spending time outside or spending time with people that make me happy), but also trying to contribute to humanity in some way. I think my research does contribute to humanity, but I also sometimes think I should be doing more on this front:)

    • Photo: Martin Pickup

      Martin Pickup answered on 25 Sep 2017:


      Ha! Good question. It’s the sort of one I get asked as a philosopher, though to be honest not much philosophy really looks at this.

      For what it’s worth, I reckon the meaning of life is happiness. But not the sort of happiness that’s temporary but deep and lasting happiness (Aristotle talked about this and called it eudaimonia). Of course, the next question is how to be happy!

      That depends, I think. But working out what makes you have that deep happiness is a pretty central part of life. What do you reckon?

    • Photo: Sabina Fiolna

      Sabina Fiolna answered on 25 Sep 2017:


      This is a question that everyone needs to answer by him- or herself.

      For me the meaning of life is to enjoy the fragile beauty of the world and to create beauty. The beauty can be hidden everywhere, it can be sensual, intellectual, moral and more. It can be the beauty of a spring scent or the beuaty of someone’s complicated personality. It can be the beauty of shining stars or someone’s sacrifice. It can be the beauty of elegant mathematical theorem or mystical experience. It can be the beauty of everyday family life. I want to share this sense of beauty with other people and try to convince them that it’s worth to protect it.

    • Photo: Raquel Pinacho

      Raquel Pinacho answered on 28 Sep 2017:


      That’s a really big question, and I think I am still on my personal quest to find an answer! In the meantime and since I do not know much about Philosophy but I do love a good movie, I kind of follow and adapted version of Monty Phyton’s advice: try and be nice to people, eat good food, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with others.

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