Chichester Humanists discuss The Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything 19th March 2012

After discussing local and national news, members turned their attention to the topic of the evening: The Meaning of Life.

This was the shortest discussion so far, perhaps an indication that this is a question of more importance to those of a religious persuasion. The following points were made about the meaning of life for Humanists.

  • In its broadest sense, the meaning of life is procreation and the perpetuation of the species. Why should there be any other meaning to life?
  • The meaning of life varies between individuals. There is no over-arching meaning of life. We need to find our own meaning.
  • Meaning for some is the pursuit of happiness and the avoidance of pain, for ourselves and others.
  • Meaning can be confused with coping with our environment, e.g. the need to work. Meaning is the reason why we do things.
  • For others, the meaning of life is to make the most of life, i.e. to live life to the full. This is the one and only life we have.
  • Meaning is a human idea and refers to how we can get along socially. We are social animals with a need for community.
  • Historically, people have searched for a meaning of life to explain suffering and uncertainty. Religious meaning grew out of fear and ignorance. We still have fear and suffering but are growing out of ignorance (in spite of the best efforts of vested religious interests).
  • Meaning is getting to know yourself.






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