As a sort of joke, in one of those yawning 4 o’clock-hour moments, this afternoon I googled, “What is the meaning of life?” I figure if the iPhone can answer that question, so can the Google.
About 50 million results.
I made it through the first page–none of them were kidding. Except Fox News, which was only reporting that the iPhone is programmed to answer the question.
I read an entire article from the UK Guardian by some philosopher I’d never heard of who spewed 1,000 words that began, “I know!” and ended so inconclusively that I’m beginning to wonder if my existence has any meaning at all. (Remember, this started out as a joke.)
Ask any well-formed 7-year-old in circles like the one I grew up in, and she’ll just laugh at you and say, “To know, love, and serve God and be happy with him in the end.” Granted, she doesn’t really know what any of that means, except in a general way that she’d better obey her parents, not be mean to her brothers and sisters, and eat all her vegetables.
But it leads to a rather interesting question: Is it possible to acknowledge a real meaning of life if you have no religious faith? You can make up a few reasons to keep going, or decide not to think about it, but can you say definitively “There is a purpose to my existence” if you don’t believe in a creator who infused it with that purpose?
Next time I’ll just Google “cute yellow shoes” instead.