What is the meaning and purpose of life, the importance of this question is to understand why humans were put on the Earth and how Catholics and other Religions provide reasoning to this question. The term “Meaning” in this question refers to the importance or value of a question. In this text I will look at the Non-Religious point of view and comparing the Catholic and Buddhism view to the question and will Focus on the following. What Catholics and Buddhism’s set of Values and Morals are and what I non religious persons values are.
In 1973, Theodosius Dobzhansky, a biologist wrote ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’. The description very much applies to us as evolution happened over a very long period of time, humanity appeared as one of the many products of evolution, and ever since we developed some level of consciousness, we have been seeking guidance on the meaning of life. Like any other life form, our ‘meaning’, such as it is, is to find food and shelter, and to pass on our DNA to the next generation, almost everything else is just details. It’s up to us whether we want to inspire our lives with more love and caring for others, acting respectably, morally and honestly, trying to do both what is right and what is good (while defending ourselves from evil), trying to create beauty in art, music, enjoying hobbies, learning, culture, other people’s culture. Many people find their meaning in worshiping a God. Worshipping a god or figure generally comes with a set of values passed on from that religion by which the individual follows or sets their standards by. These values and standards become a prerequisite to achieving the beliefs of the religion. A non- religious person does not have a set of religious values or beliefs so they live their lives with no common purpose amongst them, values or direction. A non religious person would make their own set of values based on there routine. It is true that many non religious people have a similar or same set of values but this does not mean they follow a religion.
A Religious person would say that their meaning of life is to be a disciple of their God and to live out their lives as they did. In this quote from Jesus “and so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:9-10, talks about how you will receive if you ask and if you keep on trying, That is relevant to the question as you can put this into your own life and continue to ask questions and keep on “knocking on doors” or questioning and you will be able to find your meaning and purpose. The question “What is the meaning and purpose of life” is important to understand as it opens up your view on your life and what’s to come in the future or how you can improve on what’s happened in your past.
Christianity follows a set of rules which can be found in the ten Commandments and beatitudes. The 10 Commandments are the guidelines on how to worship one God, respect your parents, and to keep the sabbath day holy, as well as blasphemy, murder, adultery, theft and dishonesty. The Beatitudes are the 8 blessings by Christ when he spoke on the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7.
Buddhism is very similar in that it also follows a core set of values similar to the 10 commandments. The Buddist are down to earth and peaceful people and their meaning of life is very understanding. As the Buddist have a belief of Reincarnation and Life after death there meaning and purpose of life is fairly simple as they have another chance to live which means that they live to understand life at its fullest and carry out the 7 virtudes perfections – generosity, proper conduct, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, honesty, determination, Good-Will, equanimity.
In conclusion the meaning of life is to be who you are and to follow your spoken morals or given virtues whether your a non religious person, a Catholic or Buddist and to live them out in your day to day lives and to enjoy life to the absolute fullest.