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Meaning of Life

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Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Lives In her article The Meaning of Lives, Susan Wolf, a moral philosopher and philosopher of action, investigates whether meaning can exist in lives without postulating the existance of God. Wolf establishes her position on this philosophical question from an agnostic perspective and rationally argues that such a question can in fact “fit within a negative or agnostic view about the meaning of life” (Wolf 63). With this paper, I will first summarize the prominent points of Wolf’s article then highlight and expound upon areas of her argument that contradict her line of reason. Lastly, I will introduce the theistic perspective on meaningful lives along with presenting Wolf’s reason and argument as supporting evidence for the theistic view. In the Meaning of Lives, Susan Wolf opens briefly with an evaluation of the philosophically ambiguous question, “What is the meaning of life?” She argues this particular question is impossible to rationalize because it dependents upon a postulation for the existence of God. Wolf claims it is necessary to postulate the existence of God in order to argue this original question because if God does exist, then He “may have created us for a reason, with a plan in mind”(Wolf 63). Thus, if God exists then there would be purpose and meaning to human existence dependent upon the creator God. Wolf does not deny the existence of God; she simply suggests that a divine existence is improvable. Therefore the question of a grand purpose and meaning in life is an unnecessary and an improvable argument to find an answer to, due to the improvable nature of God. However, she does believe that meaning in lives is not contingent upon the existence of God stating, “Meaningfulness is an intelligible feature to be sought in life” and that “a positive view about the possibility of meaning in lives can fit with a negative or agnostic view about the meaning of life”(Wolf 63). She expounds on this argument in three distinct sections.


Cited: Borchert, Donald M. "Theism." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd ed. 10. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Web. 25 Apr 2012. Di Muzio, Gianluca. "Theism and the Meaning of Life life’s meaning?" Ars Disputandi . 6. (2006): 1-12. Print. Klemke, E.D. “The Meaning of Life”. 2nd. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print. Metz, Thaddeus. “Could God’s purpose be the source of life’s meaning?” Cambridge Journals. (2000): 293-311. Print. Wolf, Susan. "The Meaning Of Lives." 62-73. Print.

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