Does life have meaning? The sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” attempts to tackle this question and it makes for some good laughs.
However, the question of meaning hits at the very heart of existence. What is my place in the universe? Is there ultimate meaning, value and purpose to life? This is a very good question. A question that every worldview attempts to answer. Let’s consider some possibilities. 1) Life is ultimately meaningless 2) Life has subjective meaning. 3)Life has ultimate meaning.
#1 Life is ultimately meaningless
(See my post on Monopoly & Atheism’s Absurdity)
Philosopher William Lane Craig in his book Reasonable Faith writes,
“Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding, and everything in it is growing farther and farther apart. As it does so, it grows colder and colder, and its energy is used up. Eventually all the stars will burn out and all matter will collapse into dead stars and black holes. There will be no light at all; there will be no heat; there will be no life; only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the endless darkness and the cold recesses of space–a universe in ruins. The entire universe marches irreversibly toward its grave. So not only is the life of each individual person doomed; the entire human race is doomed. The universe is plunging toward inevitable extinction–death is written throughout its structure. There is no escape. There is no hope.”
#2 Life has subjective meaning
Is it possible that we give our lives meaning? Of course this is possible but I think it is also problematic. If God does not exist, mankind is the product of time + matter + chance. We owe our existence to a huge cosmic accident. Therefore, the meaning that we do give our lives only serves as an illusion. It helps us cope with the day to day activities of life and serves only as a temporary distraction to the overall big picture, which is the eventual heat death of the universe where all of life as we know it will eventually be extinguished.
#3 Life has ultimate meaning
This is the option we all want, but I think it is conditional. Life only has ultimate meaning and purpose if God exists. Furthermore, we can actually know what the meaning of life is because it has been revealed to us. The Bible describes God as a personal being who created mankind in his image (Genesis 1:27) with the capacity to have relationships. This is a magnificent concept! The God of the universe desires a relationship with his creation. This answer is tremendously satisfying intellectually speaking. Because it demonstrates in plain language that the meaning of life is “To know God, and to make him known.” This knowledge brings hope, joy and assurance to mankind.