The Meaning of Life Essay

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A number of literary, philosophical, psychological, religious and other writers are of the view that the subject of 'the meaning of life' forms one among the most central issues experienced by people. Tolstoy (Rowlands) claims that science is unable to provide assistance in this regard. While it can describe what life is, it is incapable of describing its meaning. It is able to explain the things in this world and what's possible; however, it is unable to explain their meaning and importance. Tolstoy states that faith provides an answer to this question. Hence, he asserts that irrespective of the answers provided by faith, it accords the finiteness of humanity's existence a sense of infiniteness, which fails to get vanquished under conditions of death, afflictions, and hardship (Tolstoy). As a result, faith alone provides the possibility and meaning of life. One may describe faith as knowledge regarding life's meaning, as a result of which humanity endures rather than perish.

Faith is of two forms: specific and generic. The latter apparently implies the notion that all will be fine. However, one must consider the extent of truth behind the statement that the adoption of faith's generic form simply means asking oneself what life means. Or does it merely deal with not considering the question at all? Have the hopelessly optimistic resolved this question? This does not appear possible. Desperate optimism might stem from refusing to tackle this problem. That it arises from a successful resolution of the problem appears highly unlikely.

But, in the end, Tolstoy depends on a relatively specific version of faith, based on the argument that everything will be fine as the dots can be filled by a number of methods. Nevertheless, all entail a feel of infiniteness, which may assume numerous forms, some of which are (irrespective of the way we word the question): "How am I supposed to live?" to which the answer would be "In accordance to the Divine Law"; "What is the real end outcome of my life?", to which the answer would be "Eternal bliss or torture"; and "What meaning doesn't get destroyed with death?", to which the answer is - "Paradise and union with God"' (Rowlands).

What's challenging about the above explanation of life's meaning is: it is impossible to successfully oppose Tolstoy by raising the following arguments: 'How can we be sure of the presence of a Lord who has established for humanity a purpose in life?' 'How can we be sure of the existence of an afterlife?' Tolstoy would simply state that it is faith. Attempts at persuading Tolstoy to believe he's mistaken will fail as one simply cannot raise objections against the man's faith -- he would truly not care if….....

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Works Cited

Tolstoy, Leo. My Confession, archive.May 17, 2015. Web.

Rowlands, Mark. The Meaning of Life 4: Tolstoy's 'My confession', Philospot. 08.10.09. Web.

"David Swenson: "A View of Life"", Reason and Meaning, (January 7, 2015). Web.

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