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Just because a question can be formulated, does not mean there's a satisfactory answer.  What color is a symphony?

The OP's question brings to light something that I've believed for some time but haven't examined fully or dug for research for: the only thing that *really* differentiates us from animals is language.  With language comes abstract thought, the ability to label things that are intangible. Once you label them, you can think about them.  And with the inception of abstract thought, come, well, abstract thoughts.  "How did we get here?"  "Why are we here?"  "What happens after we die?"

We can perceive things and think about things on a level no other creature can.  It makes us special.  And, it makes us WANT to be special, so we invented words like "soul" to describe what makes us different from animals.  Because we're special, we can think of abstracts like "meaning," we figure out questions like "why are we here/what is the meaning of life?"

ppfft.  The meaning of life is to live.  We're here due to chemical reactions and natural selection.  But because we have abstract thought, we can actually CHOOSE what we do with our lives (to a lesser or greater extent, situation dependent).  I'm fully aware that I shall become worm food when I die.  I have two awesome children, so hopefully my memory will live on with them, until they die (maybe they'll pass on stories of Grampa, but my memory will likely not live through more than 2 generations after me).  My legacy of having raised my kids as best I could, to improve the lot of our species in whatever paltry way I could through them, is the only thing that will be left of me.

and I'm OK with that.  So, THAT'S my meaning.

god takes away meaning in this life.  Everything here is a stepping-stone, a dress rehearsal, a shadow of what is (supposed) to come.  You do what you do, if you believe in a god who grants an afterlife, to get in that deity's good graces (if there's anything you CAN do, depending on what flavor of that god you subscribe to)
Changed Change Reason Date
Traveler agree that god takes away meaning. September 18, 2013, 10:33:14 PM
ParkingPlaces Nicely summarized September 19, 2013, 12:43:07 AM