PHIL 115 BCC Meaning of Life

M 9 Discussion — Meaning of Life

The existentialist Soren Kierkegaard asks if there is something we are willing to live or die for. That question tells us how seriously he considers how we are to value our lives. We can simply settle on an ordinary existence, or we can set about finding a rich and meaningful one. Kierkegaard in the end found meaning in religion. Not formal religion, but a leap to find God in his own way. Another existentialist, Jean Paul Sartre, rejected religion but agreed with Kierkegaard as to the value of our choice of life. Both philosophers offer good ideas to think about as we end the course. To see the value of both answer the following questions:

  • From the readings Kierkegaard explains his three lifestyles. What does he say?
  • From the commentary in the chapter, why does Kierkegaard emphasize choice?
  • What is his famous “leap”?
  • An atheist, what is Sartre’s view of God and religion as quoted in the reading?
  • What is the value of choice for Sartre?
  • What does the author of the text mean when he says, Kierkegaard and Sartre “reveal another possibility”?
  • What ideas do you find of value in this discussion about the two men

M 9 Q Questions –Does Life Have Meaning

Using the information in Chapter 9- on a different page (insert page break), please answer the following questions:

1. According to Hegel, you can find meaning in your life by helping humanity move toward a better, more perfect, and freer world. How does he arrive at this conclusion, and do you think he is right?

2. Sartre claims that if God does not exist, then there are “no values or [moral] commands to turn to.” What are his reasons for this claim? Is he right?

3. Read my lecture for this Module. That lecture reflects Aristotle’s view of life. It’s simple and yet if you think about it covers all aspects of our lives. Could you live this way?

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