The ultimate meaning of life…or 42

I’ve been playing with an idea lately and I wanted to try putting it into words to see if maybe I can make sense of it. Bare with me while I do some massive brain farts.

Meaning of life? Check Google.

Obviously as an atheist I don’t think there’s any profound meaning to life. To be sure, that doesn’t make life meaningless, it just means there’s no purpose.

But a thought occurred to me the other day that I thought might be worth playing with, even if there’s no factual reason to believe it.

 

Hypothetically, what is God’s purpose?Meaning of life? Shrug.

This thought came to me because I’ve thought for a while now that no one, not even a God can give meaning to your life. All they’re doing is making you a pawn to their ideals, which you may or may not agree with.

It’s often said that God’s ways are mysterious (which I consider to be the biggest cop-out, but that’s another post), and that we just have to have faith in Him. So maybe it’s just that my feeble little human mind can’t possibly conceive of the wonderous plans God has in store for us all, but I just don’t see how adding a god to the equation makes any damn difference.

What possible plan could a god have that would magically add purpose to life? Usually this is the point where the believer steps up and talks about heaven and how God wants all of us to be there with Him, happy for all eternity.

Now I have some issues with the idea of heaven, but let’s give the benefit of the doubt and assume heaven really is that wonderful. So what? Don’t get me wrong, happiness for all eternity sounds kinda nice. But what meaning does that add exactly? How is being happy purposeful?

A beer on a hot Sunday afternoon around the BBQ is my idea of true happiness, but I don’t consider that to be meaningful. And being in a place that offers that every Sunday for eternity, with the best tasting beer, snags dripping with flavour and tomato sauce, my Mum’s homemade potato salad and still not putting on an ounce isn’t going to add any additional meaning.

I worry that religious people haven’t stopped to consider this. When they think about the meaning of life they get to God and stop. But what meaning does your god offer to your existence?

Pretend for a moment you are your chosen deity. You have infinite power, infinite knowledge, a swarm of worshippers and all the potato salad you can eat. What would you do with all of it?…

No really, think about that. Seriously, I’ll wait…

I’m already fucking bored.

You see this is the problem. Give someone infinite power and it loses its appeal. This is especially obvious to me as someone who plays a lot of computer games. I can’t for the life of me understand why people use the ‘God mode’ cheats (for those not gamers, that’s the cheat that makes you invincible), it makes everything too easy and therefore dull. But God always plays with God mode on. He doesn’t really have a lot of choice in the matter.

Now aside from being dull, what meaning does this new-found ‘God mode’ power give you?

I don’t mind waiting again.

Maybe I’m just not creative enough, but I can’t think of anything. So you have the power to create life. Awesome, so what? Just because you can doesn’t make it meaningful. Really, you can even give these little saps free will and let them choose whether or not they like you? Neat party trick, but again, so what? You’ve done a good job at giving them the illusion of a meaning to life, but what about yours? Has it added any profound meaning to your existence? I’m mean sure it gives you something to do to kill time, but when you have the power to wipe them from the face of the universe with merely a sneeze, how important are they?

You see this is the problem; a god can’t add any meaning to your existence because the god itself doesn’t have any reason to exist. Any profound reason you find in your religion is just you doing the bidding of your chosen deity and trusting that there’s some point to it. But if you stop and think about it, having ultimate power doesn’t add any more meaning to life.

It would be like saying just because you’re really rich your life is more meaningful. Or because you have more degrees your life is more meaningful. Or because you own a monopoly on potato salad your life is more meaningful. It doesn’t make any fucking difference!

I’ve got to the point where I really, really hope there isn’t a god. Because if there is he/she must be the most lonely, sad and pointless creature in all of creation. Ultimate power. Ultimate knowledge. And still no meaning…

Oh screw it, we can’t leave it on that depressing note! Okay, here’s what I think you should take away from this. No one can add meaning to your life. Not your parents, not your government, not your peers, not even your God. There is only one person who can make your life meaningful and if I have to tell you the person is you then you deserve a good hit around the head.

Any meaning derived from an outside source is just doing the bidding of someone else, whose ‘meaning’ you may not agree with. And if you do happen to agree with it, then that’s your choice. Don’t assign that meaning to the outside source; all it did was made you aware of what you wanted to begin with.

Own your choices and own your own meaning to life. It’s the only one that really matters, because it matters to you!

 

Oh, and to all you idiots out there who think Douglas Adams was hiding something deep and profound behind his joke that ’42’ is the meaning of life…you don’t fucking get it!

Meaning

 

– Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

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About Jamie D
I'm an entrepreneur and small business owner working in 3D animation and multimedia. I also have a keen interest in technology and education.

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