The problem of the meaning of life in US philosophy...

The problem of the meaning of life in United States philosophy

The problems of the meaning of life received a comprehensive development in United States religious philosophy. In the works of L. Shestov, as in existentialism in general, the right of a specific person to determine the meaning of a unique life is justified. "It happens that a person," wrote L. Shestov, "with all the force available to him in moments of despair or ecstasy of passion, tears apart the strongholds of philosophical and other prejudices".

Is it worth it to live? Does life have a positive value, and value is universal and unconditional, a value that is obligatory for everyone? These questions are posed by EN Trubetskoi. The philosopher believed that the meaning we are looking for in everyday experience is not given to us and is not revealed to us. Everyday experience shows the opposite - about the nonsense of human existence. Since then, as a person began to think about life, it always seemed to him in the form of a vicious circle in himself. This desire, not reaching the goal, and therefore fatally returning to its starting point and endlessly repeating. About this understanding of nonsense eloquently speak of the numerous images of hell in the ancients and Christians. King Ixion, eternally revolving in a fiery wheel, barrel of Danaid, Sisyphus's work - these are the classic images of a meaningless life among the Greeks. Similar images of infernal torment can be found among Christians.

E. N. Trubetskoi notes that our whole life is the pursuit of a goal. From the beginning to the end it is represented in the form of a hierarchy of goals, of which some are subordinated to others as means. There are desirable goals not in themselves, but existing for the sake of something else: for example, you need to work to eat and drink. But there is also a goal that is desirable in itself. Everyone consciously or unconsciously, according to the philosopher, assumes such a goal or value, for the sake of which it is worth living. This goal - or, what is the same, the meaning of life - is an inescapable assumption, necessarily related to life as such. That is why no setbacks can stop humanity from seeking this meaning. A complete disappointment would not be expressed in suicide, but in death, a complete stoppage of life, for suicide is, after all, an act of volitional energy directed toward the goal and, therefore, assuming the goal. This act testifies not to the termination of the desire for meaning, but, on the contrary, about the strength of this desire and about the despair resulting from the failure to achieve it.

According to NF Fedorov, the human race should have an inspiring global idea. It is necessary with the help of science to resurrect all people who have ever lived on earth. When a particular person dies, this is an irreplaceable loss. But a lot of people passed through the Earth. NF Fedorov demonstrates a radical and bold project of universal salvation. Man does not live for himself. He has in mind a noble idea - to return the ancestors. This is the "common cause". Fedorov's book is called - "Philosophy of the common cause". Here the Christian idea of ​​the resurrection of the dead turns into the idea of ​​resurrection as a human duty. "In the idea of ​​this there is a genius boldness, and consciousness is one of the highest up to what a man has just risen," wrote NA Berdyaev.

With. L. Frank, discussing the topic, focuses attention in determining the meaning of life on the setting of reasonable goals. He opposed sophistry: life is necessary-meaningless, even the question of the meaning of life is illegal. Life, in his opinion, should be a service of the highest and absolute good. Following the religious tradition, he believed that in order for life to make sense, two conditions are necessary - the existence of God and our own involvement in it.

According to NA Berdyaev, life should have meaning to be good and valuable. But meaning can not be learned from the very process of life. He must rise above life. Evaluation from the point of view of meaning always involves an elevation over what is being evaluated. We are compelled to admit that there is some real life in contrast to a plausible and fallen life. In addition to the biological understanding of life there is spirituality. It involves not only human, but also divine life. Life, the philosopher observes, can become for us a symbol of the highest value, the highest good, but also the value itself, the good itself is the symbol of the true being, and the being itself is only a symbol of the last mystery.

Developing this idea, Berdyaev emphasizes that the meaning of man is always in God, and not in the world, in the spiritual, and not in the natural. Life in this world makes sense precisely because there is death, and if in our world there was no death, then life would be devoid of meaning. Life, in Berdyaev's opinion, is noble only because there is death in it, there is an end that indicates that a person is destined for another, higher life. Subjecting to the theoretical analysis of the concept of mass consciousness about the meaning of life, many philosophers proceed from some unchanging human nature, constructing on this basis the ideal of man, in the attainment of which the meaning of life, the main purpose of human activity, is perceived. E. Fromm saw in the history of mankind the two basic modes of existence, two different types of self-orientation and orientation in the world, the predominance of one of which determines everything that a person thinks, feels and does-have or be. Two modes of human existence assume two different attitudes to the problem of the meaning of life and its realization.

A person with an orientation toward being strives to realize the unique meaning of his life. The tendency to be means to love, create, give, sacrifice yourself. Such a person finds its meaning in serving people, in love and in creation. Realizing the meaning of his life, such a person realizes himself. A person who is oriented towards possession, on the contrary, sees the meaning of his life in taking as much as possible and having. Fromm asserts: "There is no other meaning of life other than that which a person attaches to it, revealing its powers in a productive, creative life."

In a number of modern social theories, the meaning of life is still seen in the realization of non-historical tasks or in the achievement of certain consumer standards and individual well-being. Often, the senselessness and absurdity of any activity is proclaimed in the absence of any objective orientation. Distributed and theories that deny the possibility of a metaphysical or scientific answer to the question of the meaning of life.

When a person thinks about the secret of his life and about the connections that connect him with life, he inevitably has a different attitude to life. This can not lead to ethical self-assertion. Yes, it will be more difficult for a person to live than before, when he lived for himself. But at the same time, his life will become richer, more beautiful and happier. After all, a person will not just live. He will truly feel life.

For a person who is truly moral, any life is sacred. The universal ethic of reverence before life gives rise to compassion not only for another person, but also for animals, for everything living. A life-affirming position as a whole invariably gives rise to optimistic will and hope.

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