I discuss this question in my new book "Savng Gaia". How do humans save the planet? What needs to be done? The main problem to be addressed is mankind's antropocentricism, placing humans at the center of everything. As a former biology teacher, I can safely say, humans are just another animal and we better learn that fast as Gaia is approaching the tipping point. We are in the Holocene Extinction and more than half of all vertebrates from the time I was born, I'm 74, are gone forever.
As far as the meaning of life goes, let's take the advice of the great physicist Niels Bohr. There is no meaning to life. What purpose or meaning can the universe have when everything winds up in a black hole. The universe just is. Humans have to give it meannig.
For me, the purpose of life is to live, to experience life as a gift and our habitat as a great gift that not only makes life possible but is the greatest beauty, To not appreciate all of this leads to a low quality of life and damage to the planet. We have no right to assume that human life is the only life that matters. To kill animals for fun, to torture livestock animals is a horrendous sin practiced by many religious people. Not to be taking steps to preserve our environment is a grossly stupid sin perpertrated by greedy corporations and congressmen on the take all of whom go to church.
That said, I had a deja vu in which I felt, saw, and now know that the energy that connects all life is love. Lately, I was happy to see a clip where Einstein said the same thing.
If I ever find the answer to that question I'll let you know...
In the meantime I'm enjoying the sunshine, the blue skies, hiking, contemplating the nature, skiing, meeting some friends for a night out, weekend breaks, work, sleep, spending the evenings with my favourite books, immersed in contemplation... Still haven't found out what is the meaning of my existence... But I'm busy living!
Life is temporary but it can have meaning while we're here. I like the saying, " the meaning of life is to find your gifts, the purpose of life is to share them" . If what you do in your life makes someone else's journey more fulfilling then your life has meaning and purpose. Everything is going to die. The only thing that will last forever is darkness. That doesn't mean life doesn't have meaning.
Agreed that it has no "meaning". But might I suggest that it has no meaning outside of its most fundamental definition?
After all, rocks, water and air don't reproduce. But the complex combination of the three that is "life" do.
From conversations on here, and from the materials I have picked up outside the site, especially from more qualified people, who likely have better language to put this idea into more succinctly and less words, I have come to think that life simply means:
To ensure the propagation of our species through reproduction - which includes breathing, eating, not being eaten and, because we've evolved, enriching our electrical biocomputer with new experiences, and with creative and scientific pursuits which ulitimately helps us to breathe, eat, and not be eaten in increasingly efficient ways. And until that time when we can reproduce by ourselves, without the need of others' DNA and experiences and knowledge, and without the need to eat other species, we have to live as a society that ensures the propagation of our species and of other species.
But outside of that, I mean outside the need to reproduce as efficiently as our complexities allow, I can't see any "higher purpose".
Can we separate the complexitiy that is "life" from, say for example, the chemical processes that form solid matter, liquids, gasses and plasma? Or is doing so egocentric?
The purpose of life is the same for every species - to simply survive and to thrive. But meaning is uniquing a human thing to worry about, and mostly we give our own lives meaning by doing things that make our heart sing and fulfill us spiritually. What specific things to do varies a lot because we are each unique in our nature and abilties and goals. People have endless choices for finding meaning in their lives, from being of service to others as teachers, doctors or fireman, to being inventors or rock stars, or poets, or farmers or a thousand other things.
People make choices to put meaning in their lives, and some are even content to not do much of anything remarkable and just drift along until they find something to set off the spark of their passion. Each person is limited by their own circumstances in life as well for what may be possible for them to accomplish.
And that idea is correct that the Universe just is, and only us confused complicated humans worry about meaning. Maybe we think too much? lol
I don't think life does have a meaning we all make our own I make my own meaning s as I go along but saving the planet isnt one of them -I live ethically enough have the same pair of trousers I bought fifteen years ago am not wasteful my food cuttings go to compost. I havea always known htat I am another animal .