In this Youtube video, the social experimenter walks up to random strangers and asks them “What is the meaning of life?” Most of them didn’t have a response and others said happiness, peace and doing good to others is the meaning of life.
My question in response to this question is, “What preconditions must be true in order to intelligibly give an answer to ‘What is the meaning of life?'”
Firstly, “The” assumes objectivity. There is one meaning of life for all people, independent of their contrary beliefs. The meaning of life then, cannot be grounded in the subjective beliefs of people- it must be found externally.
Secondly, “meaning” is packed with a lot of meaning. “Meaning” includes a sense of purpose- there is intention for the existence of life. Value is assumed- people believe life to have worth. Significance is also assumed- people seek some bigger end life contributes to. However, value and significance both presuppose, purpose. Without life having a purpose, how does the life have value and significance?
Thirdly, where did “life” come from? How one answers this question, will determine what the meaning of life is and whether there even is a “the” or if meaning of life is all subjective and hence trivial. If life came from an impersonal naturalistic process, then there is no intention and hence no purpose. On the other hand, if life came from Life, then there is.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”