New Years is a good time to ask the three big questions: Where are we coming from? To where are we going? What is the Meaning of Life?
What is the meaning of my life? All three thousand religions offer answers, albeit each a different one.
Could it be I have to submit myself do God, or else I am going to burn in hell forever? And will my serfdom on earth be rewarded post-Mortem with attending a never-ending party, complete with endless sexual pleasures (if I am a hetero man) and alcoholic excesses without drunkenness?
Or could it be that I just need to accept the existence of God and his love for me to live forever in a city of jewels and gold as member of a heavenly choir? And are hellish pains in store for me if I don’t?
Or might my existence on earth be a mere collection of pain, agony and distractions which I must learn to overcome in order to achieve blissful nothingness? Are never-ending rebirth and earthly sufferings waiting for me if I don’t?
None of these promises and warnings can be proven right or wrong, so we leave them be. Let everyone believe what they choose to – as long as you and I are allowed to find our own answers as well.
As it turns out, science offers us answers about the meaning of life that reflect our current scientific understanding -and can be proven right or wrong.
The meaning of my life is – my life and what I make out of it. The meaning of all life is – life itself, its sustainability and its never-ending evolution.
Since nature works by trial and error, harmful developments are a necessary part of evolution. Life learns to overcome them – or it chooses a different path. Over 99% of all species have disappeared from the earth.
Take the UN Charta of Human Rights: they are a direct result of the judicial victory over Nazi War criminals who acted in accordance with valid German laws at the time. Only the discovery and proclamation of the inalienable rights of each and every human being made the conviction of Nazi criminals possible. Today, people everywhere profit from that insight.
What is the meaning of „good“ people? For themselves: that they exist. For us: That they contribute to a dignified life for all. The meaning of „bad“ people? For themselves that they exist. For us? Perhaps that we learn to protect dignified life for all in ever better ways.
Thus the meaning of life is also – to learn.