Since rational thought first emerged in the minds of humans, the meaning of life has plagued the minds of scholars and peasants as they ponder their existence within the grand scheme of the world. The answer to the question has eluded discovery, but a 6-year-old girl might have unveiled the meaning of life in a simplistic way that everyone can understand.
In today’s world, corrupted by violence, war, famine, and technological advances that replace simple thought processes, the meaning of life is a question that is often dismissed as nothing more than a fairy tale. However, from an analytically perspective, the meaning of life has never truly gone by the wayside. Joshua Seachris, with the University of Notre Dame, shares that current views of the meaning of life can be broken down into four primary competitors.
“Beyond discussions over the nature of the question itself, one will find competing views on what gives life meaning, whereby meaningfulness is meant. That is to say, by virtue of what can life be said to be meaningful, if it all? The four primary competitors are: (1) Supernaturalism, (2) Objective Naturalism, (3) Subjective Naturalism, and (4) Nihilism (inter-subjectivism and non-naturalism are additional options, but are much less prevalent).”
He continues on by explaining the four primary competitors in a little more detail, before moving onward to full descriptions of each. His views coerce thought in the reader and where they stand within the four primary competitors, and whether the meaning of life is a single answer or a combination of answers that solve a complex problem that we may never fully understand.
“Importantly, both objective and subjective naturalism can be categorized as optimistic naturalisms, in that these views allow for a meaningful existence in a world devoid of finite and infinite spiritual realities. Pessimistic naturalism is what is commonly called “nihilism.” Nihilism is generally a view adopted alongside an entirely naturalistic ontology (though vigorous debate exits about whether naturalism entails nihilism), although there is nothing logically impossible about someone adopting nihilism while being a religious believer. One will be hard-pressed, however, to find genuine examples of this belief, save some sort of rhetorical, provisional nihilism, as found in Ecclesiastes in the Bible.”
Although his views on the meaning of life are intriguing, the concept becomes rather technical as you dig deeper into his research. A six year old girl discussed her view of the meaning of life in a recent YouTube video, which includes stop motion animation to assist in expression her thoughts. Somehow, she is able to speak to the meaning of life from her heart, rather than months of exhausting research, and fails to include bias in her explanation, possibly due to her age.
“How sad would it be to get to the end of your life and realize you never truly lived?”
The little girl does include scientific evidence in her speech, but the overall it comes from her heart.
“This is your life, you’re in control. You gotta do what feels right in your heart… A great man or woman will never fit in because they stand out.”
One of the most profound lines in her entire speech is as follows, it makes one think about themselves and wonder about interaction with others.
“If greatness was easy, you would see a lot of successful people, a lot of great people — astronauts, professional athletes or superheroes. But you don’t — you see a lot of people with big mouths making excuses on Facebook trying to get ‘likes,’ but they don’t even like themselves.”
What are your thoughts on the video, is she spot on or are her thoughts being guided by someone else?
[photo Courtesy: Straight Fresh]