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Where Do We Find Meaning?

Yesterday on the Friendly Atheist blog, Hemant posted a a clip from an upcoming Christian film called, “Blue Like Jazz.” The clip posted shows a debate between a Christian and an atheist with an audience member asking a question, “Where do we find meaning?”

Here is the clip:

Now I have a lot of issues with the clip as does Hemant, but let’s focus on the question of meaning. This is how I would have answered the question about meaning in that setting:

It depends on the meaning of the word meaning (laugh). Seriously though, if you are referring to one singular purpose like that of writing for a pencil, then I don’t think you are going to find it. But if you are referring to a purpose greater than yourself, something to strive for, then I see no reason why we should limit our meaning or purpose to just one thing or to allow someone else to tell us what the meaning or purpose in our own lives should be. This is the great existential question of human existence and I for one am glad that we live in a society that gives us the freedom and the tools to answer it as individuals rather than imposing some answer from an invisible deity from on high on us. We have the freedom to create our own meaning in our lives. For me, one of the meanings in my life is my children. But I also find meaning in learning about the world around me and in advancing human knowledge, fighting for human rights, and human dignity. Today, I find meaning in refuting ridiculous beliefs which are detrimental to human well-being and which stifle freedom.

What do you think of my answer? How would you answer this question?

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