The Meaning of Life: Who Does the Culture Say We Are? — Part II
We are investigating the meaning of life. Today’s question: Who does the culture say we are? Last time we said we are the products of evolution; we worship the earth, not God; that God seems to be irrelevant; and truth is what we, ourselves, make of it. We continue with the second of a two-part post.
6. Personal self-fulfillment is the highest goal; life’s meaning is what we make of it.
Nothing can stand in the way of our personal fulfillment, for that is how we make meaning of our lives. Some of us put career as the final, ultimate goal—climbing higher, being successful, gaining status and maybe wealth. Our companies, ruled by men and women of like mind, encourage—nay, they force us toward—this goal. And if we do not comply, then we are fodder for unemployment, loss of income. Modern corporations are usually soulless, amoral entities that bend with the moral winds of popular whim.
We have an inalienable right to do what we want with our bodies, even if it means destroying ourselves. Especially if it means killing an inconvenient life in the womb. So let us rename killing the unborn and call it “choice” because personal choice is the highest goal, the greatest good. We will also call it “women’s health” because to call it by its real name—infanticide, or baby murder—makes us uncomfortable.
7 Life itself is meaningless.
Some of us have simply lost hope. Given all of the above, is there any reason we are even here? If we are the products of chance, simply accidents of nature, there really is no purpose is there? If there is no God, or at least no God that anybody cares to talk about, then what comes after but—nonexistence and the abyss? If truth is what we make of it, then we are in a heap of trouble, because most of the time our truths don’t seem to be very true. Nihilism and meaninglessness is the order of the day. If personal fulfillment is our goal, if that’s what gives life its meaning, then what a mess we’ve made of it. So we aren’t making very good existentialists of ourselves, either. There must be something more. Life seems chaotic, disastrous, full of bad choices, disorder, and disharmony.
8. We just don’t care.
What does it matter, anyway? Why think about such heavy issues at all? What comes will come and who can do anything about it? We’ll find out about God after we die, won’t we? So just sit back and take what comes and don’t think about it. We are making “apathy” our credo to live by.
As I review my list, I believe I’ve made myself depressed. But is this not what the culture tells us, repeated so often, in so many ways?
Next we’ll look at a poem that neatly summarizes the last two posts.