The Meaning Of Life

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Richard Taylor and Susan Wolf express their thoughts about what they believe to be the essence of life. Certain elements of their claims are similar. Their assumptions regarding the importance or meaninglessness of existence, however, vary in several ways. Understanding their basic points entails analyzing their assumptions, the reasoning they give to support their claims, and determining whether their premises make their claims solid or weak. Furthermore, it is important to evaluate their views on the nature of life independently in order to determine if they draw valid conclusions on life. A general conclusion that Taylor offers concerning the meaning of life is it is to be found in the living process (681). Taylor also adds on his conclusion that human life is repetitive in many ways and the end leads to nowhere but death does not make life lose the worth of living through it. Taylor argues that the meaningfulness of life is based on doing what people like doing as long as they are deeply involved, life is meaningful in that sense. According to Taylor, even the lives of animals are meaning in a similar manner provided they do what they like the most (682). Nevertheless, the reasons offered by Taylor might elicit divergent opinions concerning his overall conclusions.

The first aspect that depicts how Taylor fails to support his arguments properly is depicting a situation where something essentially has come of what people do at the end of all possible quests. Taylor limits the number of concerns that people might have to find the significance or the worth of their lives. Taylor’s conclusion concerning the meaningfulness of life is limited by a focus on the fact that death is always the outcome of life. Besides, Taylor points out that it does not matter at all what people do as they are really into it (683). Nonetheless, such a conclusion is not offered a substantial explanation to reinforce it. According to what Taylor bases on to explain the things that make life meaningful, he suggests that doing anything even if it does not add any value in someone’s life makes living meaningful. Despite that the author makes meaningful conclusions about what life is all about, the reasons offered are not sufficient to reinforce his overall position. Some of the explanations fail to reflect the things that happen in real life which make the conclusions weak. Taylor seems a bit offhand with his conclusions. Taylor insists that the meaningfulness of life is realized if the person living the life can do what is in his or her nature to do, in addition to pursuing the goals that are in their nature to pursue (685). A question that emerges from this conclusion is whether it is the nature of Sisyphus to push rocks up the hills or the nature of the sex slave to wish to be abused sexually, and the nature of the pigs to be eaten because they have been designed to enjoy it. Whatever Taylor explains is not sufficient to make the conclusions meaningful, for instance, using things whose nature and life is very different from the life of humans, for example, the worms that live in the dark caves. Basing the argument on such creatures to make conclusions about life makes the concluding thoughts less meaningful and less useful to determine the significance of life.

Susan Wolf offers a conclusion related to what Taylor asserts concerning the meaningfulness of life. A central conclusion that Wolf gives is that people act in love for objects that an individual rightly perceives as worthy of love and the meaning of people’s lives is based on such actions. According to Wolf, people enjoy their lives depending on their capabilities to access what they love the most or what they consider as important or meaningful in their lives. Without love for something that lies outside a person’s self-capacities, or the active engagement with something that a person loves or likes engaging with, life does not have any meaning. Such a conclusion is also given by Taylor who explains that meaning of life is exclusively attached to doing what makes one happy or what a person loves (682). However, Wolf offers a divergent explanation that depicts some differences between their conclusions. Wolf also points out that not everything people do out of their love makes their lives meaningful.

The conclusions between Taylor and Wolf are the same but not exactly similar because Wolf explains a concept that slightly differs from what Wolf asserts. When Taylor insists that the opportunity to do the things, we love is all it takes to find life meaningful, Wolf offers a similar position but adds something that makes her conclusion unique. She also offers substantial conclusions to reinforce the hypothesis that not doing what we love most is a guarantee of happiness. Wolf supports his position by explaining that there are some things people do out of their love but they should not be doing the things at all. Despite that people find life enjoyable when they do what they love or consider important, sometimes the love might be misplaced. I agree with their arguments especially on the point that doing what one loves is what makes a person discover the meaningfulness of life. The point is agreeable because every individual strives to have the ability of doing what he or she loves the most min which achieving the ability is what makes life important and interesting.

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