Both eastern and western philosophers have wondered about the meaning of human life. For example, in the Confucian tradition, meaning is said to be found in the fulfillment of social roles and in the development of character virtues. The tradition of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle agree on the importance of character development. Character development is an important of religions such as Christianity. In this section, you will consider whether or not human life is objectively meaningful and, if so, why. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, read the article, The Meaning of Life.
Listen to The Meaning of Life audio presentation about a fictional dialogue that takes place on Mars Hill, Athens, on the anniversary of Socrates’s death and after a symposium held in his honor by his student, Plato. The series of papers delivered at the symposium were to comprise a festschrift (commemorative volume) to Socrates. The dialogue follows the symposium and is an informal gathering of the scholars who convened, along with inquisitive students who attended.
We all wonder about the meaning of life, but is the answer to this question subjective or objective? A subjective meaning of life would mean the actual meaning is open to interpretation and that the answer is relative to individual or social opinion. An objective meaning of life means that there is only one right answer, and the truth of the answer is independent of individual or social opinion; that is, the answer is true even if nobody believes it.
For this discussion, distinguish between a subjective and an objective meaning of human life. What is the difference? Is there an objective meaning of human life? Why or why not?