Sample Philosophy Paper on Truth and Meaning of life

Truth and Meaning of life

One of the main issues and questions that have bothered many people is regarding their purpose of existence. It is because by being able to answer this question in the right way, it becomes easy to understand the true meaning of life. However, people base their meaning of life on different things. There are those who consider their meaning of life to be God while others attribute it to their family, jobs or career.  Several speculations regarding the meaning of life have been established and made by theologists, philosophers, and scientists (Davidson 1). They both came up with different views to try to explain life’s meaning based on their different beliefs. The meaning of life lies on the truth on what a person believes and this connection is analyzed below.

Truth according to the philosophical language is beliefs, thoughts and assertions that are made in an ordinary discourse with the main intention of agreeing with different facts or stating the case. Truth is essential in life because it is the best way in which people can thrive (Davidson 1). It is because believing in something which is false involves deceiving oneself. When this happens, an individual’s plans may be spoilt to the point that it may cost them their life. It is for this reason why it is essential for people to pursue the truth which needs to have a central place in the lives of people. The symbolic meaning of life lies on the truth. It is through this that issues such as ethics, value, free will, and good and evil originates.

Some of the empirical factors that people use to describe the meaning of life include: being fully engaged in various activities in life such as job or when a person is in a position where they feel they have satisfied their dreams and goals. It is this feeling of satisfaction that is obtained from being engaged in activities that makes people find meaning in life. It is because of the belief which is derived from truth that makes them feel satisfied with life. The main idea regarding this view is the fact that the truth that people believe in is consistent with the things which they believe (Fieser 1). For instance, when a person believes that they find meaning of life in their job, it is because they believe that without their job, they may be dead as a result of starvation or depression. However, this also depends on the ways in which people interpret what they believe. Suppose a person believes that they find meaning of life in their job but they are struggling to make end meet or at the verge of dying, then it means that their experience is not coherent with what they believe in hence their no sense of truth is what they are saying.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) in his famous lecture titled “Existentialism Is Humanism” answered the question regarding the meaning of life. According to him, the subjective existence of people comes from the essence that they are alive. He argued that whatever a person thinks to be true or values have a great essence in their mind (Sartre 134). It means that the person must have been thinking of the issue or thought about it over and over to consider it to create or bring meaning in their life. For instance, a person who believes that God is the creator of the universe must hold some truth behind it to make such kind of an argument. The truth must be based on what they have been experiencing or must have experienced that ascertains their faith or believe in God being the creator and not science. The same applies when it comes to what people consider to bring or create meaning in life.

On the other hand, Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) main argument is that as people grow up, they begin to act more purposefully hence finding meaning in life. People develop plans for their life because of the fact that they view life to be meaningful because of the kind of engagement that they have on a daily basis (Elsby 12). It is these plans that will unite their various purposes. However, those who do not have a plan for their life ends up struggling to find meaning in life because they are not aware of the things that they should do or the reasons behind their struggle. It, therefore, becomes a challenge to construct any form of meaning to life. The main argument that Aristotle was trying to make is that the meaning to life is constructed based on the truth regarding the values that life itself brings to people (Elsby 8).  It is for this reason that those people who do not have a proper plan for their life may regard everything to be useless. They may not find something important to hold on to or find meaningful for them to value life. According to Aristotle, having a proper plan is the reason people find meaning of life because they are able to flourish and also to live well according to the standards that they have set.

Through a proper plan, all the actions or activities of people aim at an end which is a form of conviction regarding life being meaningful. However, there are some people who have flourished in life and are living well by having food, good shelter and clothing but they still cannot find meaning of life. According to Albert Einstein, a man who does not regard life to be meaningful nor considers the life of his fellow humans to be meaningful is not fit to live (Valiunas 1). It is because such kind of a person does not find any form of truth in life hence the reason for considering it meaningless hence not worth living. Such kind of an individual may not be inspired by anything or anyone to live thus the reason they may end up disregarding their life and that of other people.

Einstein did not regard material pursuit to be the reason people finding purpose in life resulting in them knowing the meaning of life. The truth that he holds on is the fact that no amount of wealth that a person acquires in life can help them to move forward if they cannot recognize the meaning of life. Even devoted workers and leaders may struggle to identify meaning of life because of the conception that they have about life. Einstein believed that only those people with pure and great characteristics are able to develop noble thoughts and deeds regarding life hence finding true meaning of life (Valiunas 1). These kinds of people would not look at their possessions or money to find meaning in life. Money may be appealing to them but they cannot use it to construct meaning of their life. It is because they are convinced by the fact that the meaning of life is based on the manner in which they live by being human and also by their deeds. It is this truth that they hold on that makes them find meaning in life without having to be concerned about the money they have or the amount of wealth that they have within their reach. It is these kinds of individuals who are able to value life even without proper shelter or something like property that they hold on to as a source of strength. The true value that they construct in life is mainly constructed by sense of liberation that they have established about their self.

However, Einstein believes that all actions should be aimed at achieving an end in order to find meaning of life. It is because people view things life wealth and money as a means through which they are living well. The truth that they have established about the meaning of life is, therefore, constructed on the benefits that they achieve from their possessions or wealth. However, Aristotle argued that there is a strong need for people to bridge the gap that exists between what they view as good life and being in a position to live it. He identifies moral character to help in bridging the gap that exists within people that prevents them from finding the true meaning of life.

In conclusion, the meaning of life lies on the truth on what a person believes to benefit them. In most cases, the flow experiences in people’s lives acts as the truth that they use to construct meaning of life. The activities that people conduct on a daily basis therefore play an important role on the ways in which they view life.

 

 

 

Work Cited

Davidson, Donald. Truth and Meaning. Spriner, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.uh.edu/~garson/Truth%20and%20Meaning.pdf

Elsby, Charlene. Aristotle’s Correspondence Theory of Truth and What Does Not Exist. Indiana University, 2015. Retrieved from http://opus.ipfw.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1299&context=philos_facpubs

Fieser, James. “The Meaning of Life.” Utm.edu. Accessed 1 May, 2016. https://www.utm.edu/staff/jfieser/class/120/1-meaning.htm

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism Is Humanism. Yale University, 2007. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Existentialism-Humanism-Jean-Paul-Sartre/dp/0300115466

Valiunas, Algis. “Einstein’s Quest for Truth.” The Atlantis. Retrieved from https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/einsteins-quest-for-truth