Thomas Nagel What Is The Purpose Of Life

Since the dawn of time humanity has been asking the same question. What is the meaning of Life?
The simple fact that we have found no conclusive answer to the question speaks for itself as to the complexity and difficulty of the question. However while there has been no single ‘meaning’ that has been accepted by all, throughout history different philosophers have argued countless points on the topic. This essay will address the question itself and whether it is one worth asking, it will touch on whether life can have meaning and if so, how is that meaning prescribed? It will also discuss what the purpose of life is. Whether given by god, evolution or assigned by ourselves. It also raises the problem of humanity never being satisfied with an
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Perhaps we should instead be asking, ‘What is the Purpose of life’? This interpretation of the question helps us refine what we are trying to find out and helps prevent linguistic confusions. This attempts widen the scope to find purpose in our existence. Many answers as to this question have been suggested, some have suggested that we are assigned purpose by God. There are two main problems with God’s purpose. Firstly we have no way of knowing what Gods purpose for us is. Interpreting the will of some all-powerful omnipotent being is far beyond our capabilities as humans. Secondly why should we accept Gods purpose for us as ours? Thomas Nagel in his Absurd Argument presents a hypothetical situation where the sole purpose of human existence is to act as a food source for some other beings. He goes on to argue that in this situation technically the purpose of human would be to serve as a food source and be a meal for these other ‘beings’. However, “Although we may acknowledge this culinary role would make us meaningful to them, it is not clear how it would make it meaningful to us”. Just because these other beings have assigned us purpose, it doesn’t mean we should accept this purpose as our own. The beings are an analogy for God, not that he wants to eat us, but to show that even if he assigned a purpose to us, that we may not accept it as our own. This may be an abstract but it is enough to call into question the …show more content…
By restructuring it to ask, ‘What is the purpose of life’, it makes more sense. Evolutionarily speaking an individual human’s purpose at its core is survival and reproduction, however many are not satisfied with this answer, they want something more meaningful. This leads many people seeking to derive some sense of purpose from the purpose God gave to us. However how do we know what Gods purpose is? And what makes his purpose for us our purpose? The Absurdity argument demonstrates that just because some other entity has assigned purpose to us, it doesn’t mean we would accept it as our own. The ergon argument enforces this showing that there is nothing wrong with choosing a different purpose for your life than that which was intended for it. This essay puts forward the idea that even if there was one single quantifiable understandable discoverable purpose to life, we may not be satisfied with it. Each person should and is free to choose their own purpose for their lives, people can find meaning in simply living, derive purpose from fulfilling goals that they set out for

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