THREE ESSAYS ON THE MEANING OF LIFE
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
- William Faulkner
Too much of humanity is presently swimming in a sea of meaninglessness. This is evidenced by the growing numbers of us with drug and alcohol problems, and, that too many of us are drowning in said sea, is evidenced by our ever-increasing rates of suicide.
We find ourselves in this predicament because the sea in which we are swimming is bounded by two hostile shores, neither of which allow safe landing for any seeking some credible meaning to our existence. These are the shores of the opposing lands hosting the House of God and the House of Disbelief. The House of God is hostile to life having any credible meaning because it is home to an incredible god (the ancient, male, Abrahamic god of the Hebrews) and an equally incredible meaning and purpose of life (that it is a once-only test for an eternity in either heaven or hell). The House of Disbelief, on the other hand, denies outright the existence of any God or any special meaning or purpose to life – only allowing that in an accidental, thus necessarily Godless universe, meaningless must rule – and that we can only construct our own personal meanings and must only have the survival and genetic purposes of our animal bodies (which physical bodies totally describe us).
Before too many more of us drown in our steadily deepening sea of meaninglessness, perhaps it is time to take Faulkner’s advice to “swim for new horizons” – to take the courage to swim beyond sight of our present hopeless shores? This work of three essays and a conclusion will attempt just that. The first essay examines the House of God, and the second the House of Disbelief – to find out why most find both hostile to any credible meaning and purpose to our life. Then the third essay attempts to swim beyond sight of our presently discouraging shores for new horizons – hopefully those of a land more hospitable to credible meaning and purpose.
Those who feel they are too close to drowning should skip the essays and paddle straight to the conclusion – wherein they may find some hope. If unconvinced, then they are sentenced to read the essays – which contain arguments from evidence for that conclusion.