Finding meaning in life is a pursuit that many individuals embark upon, yet it often seems elusive. The prevalence of a sense of meaninglessness in society can be attributed to our belief in the existence of a predetermined life mission. However, it is important to recognize that there is no objective measure of what is meaningful. All the laws and guidelines we perceive as governing life are merely constructs we have created.

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

May 02, 2024

4 min read

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Finding meaning in life is a pursuit that many individuals embark upon, yet it often seems elusive. The prevalence of a sense of meaninglessness in society can be attributed to our belief in the existence of a predetermined life mission. However, it is important to recognize that there is no objective measure of what is meaningful. All the laws and guidelines we perceive as governing life are merely constructs we have created.

The existentialist perspective emphasizes the freedom and responsibility of individuals to create their own meaning. As the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously stated, "You are free, so choose; in other words, invent." In this view, there is no universal code of ethics or predefined path to follow. Each individual has the agency to determine their own values and make choices based on their understanding of themselves.

This notion can be intimidating, as committing to something without certainty can be unnerving. We often find ourselves hesitant to fully embrace a particular path, fearing that there might be better options available. To assuage this fear, we seek to create more options, believing that if we have more information, we will be able to uncover our true mission in life.

Existentialists, however, approach this dilemma differently. They advocate for living authentically, which means accepting the responsibility of being the sole creator of one's values and acting in alignment with one's understanding of oneself. To invent oneself requires making choices in the absence of clear answers or right and wrong options. Instead of searching for an external validation of our choices, we must recognize that committing to something is valuable simply because we have decided it matters to us.

By embracing the ambiguity of life, by committing to something despite the lack of certainty, we begin to develop the granular aspects of ourselves. It is through commitment and dedication that we give meaning to our lives. The meaning is not inherent in life itself; it is a product of our choices and the significance we attach to them.

In the realm of logical reasoning and communication, there are also fallacies that hinder our ability to engage in productive discussions. One such fallacy is the non sequitur, which occurs when a statement or conclusion does not logically follow from the preceding arguments or premises. It is an abrupt shift in topic or an unrelated statement that lacks a clear, logical connection. Non sequiturs can occur unintentionally as a failure in logical reasoning, or they can be used deliberately for rhetorical effect or humor.

Another fallacy that impedes rational evaluation is personal incredulity. This fallacy arises when someone dismisses an idea as false simply because they find it difficult to believe or comprehend. Personal incredulity is the act of disregarding a claim based on one's own inability to imagine or accept it, without providing substantive evidence or logical reasoning. It is important to recognize and avoid personal incredulity in discussions, as it does not contribute to a rational assessment of evidence or the merits of a claim. Open-mindedness, consideration of evidence, and logical reasoning are crucial for constructive and logical discussions.

In light of these insights, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace the freedom to create your own meaning: Understand that there is no external authority dictating the meaning of your life. You have the freedom to invent and choose what matters to you.
  • 2. Commit despite uncertainty: Recognize that the fear of missing out on better options can prevent us from fully committing to something. Instead, focus on the value that committing brings to your life, irrespective of external validation.
  • 3. Avoid fallacies in discussions: Be mindful of non sequiturs and personal incredulity. Strive for logical reasoning, open-mindedness, and the evaluation of evidence to foster constructive and meaningful discussions.

In conclusion, the search for the meaning of life is a deeply personal and subjective journey. It is a quest that requires us to embrace the freedom and responsibility of creating our own meaning. By committing to something and giving it value, we infuse our lives with purpose. In our pursuit of meaning, it is crucial to recognize and overcome fallacies that hinder our ability to engage in rational discussions. By embracing these insights and taking actionable steps, we can navigate the complexities of life and find our own sense of meaning and fulfillment.

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