Every person has a variety of questions about the meaning of life but how we as humans perceive and search for the answers to life’s ultimate questions will vary depending on what one’s beliefs and traditions may be. One of the most prominent and most publicized ways to search for the answers of life is through a practise of religion. Another way to find meaning which is just as significant as religion is science. Equally as important but under looked is the ultimate questions that are searched for in suffering. These three paths to solving the ultimate questions to life are the most prominent and yet the most common.
With reference to Lonergan’s quote people have a variety of questions about life, this essay will analyse how people search for life’s ultimate questions. Some people search for meaning through Religion, the religion that is practised often and is recognised for helping answer some of life’s ultimate questions is Christianity, people who are Christian say that God helps them find their meaning to life. According to the ‘chasing something more’ article Justin Langer went to visit a chaplain and said “I’ve got a beautiful wife and two gorgeous kids, a great house.
I should be happy- but something is missing. ” The Chaplain said “have you read the bible lately? ” This gave Justin a new mind set and he started reading the bible on his trips overseas now. According to the writer Michael McVeigh Justin said “I’ve being brought up catholic, but it’s not just about the teachings, it’s about what happens in real life. ” Karl Rahner who was a famous Catholic theologian believed “For if God really doesn’t exist, the hunger for meaning is absurd. ” [Rahner 1990] (Morgan 1996).
Rahner never forced people to believe in God but he says that it is realistic to suggest, because he thinks it’s a goal that cannot be completed within ourselves, without God, In the bible it says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13) this quote from the bible backs up with Karl Rahner and what he believes. Paul Davies a contemporary Australian physicist, thinks that although science gives you the answers to some questions but the deeper and more meaningful questions will not be able to be answered by science.
Science is the new way of challenging religion and the way we find meaning and answer life’s ultimate questions. According to Peter Morales a Unitarian Universalists he says science and religion share a common wellspring. He believes that through science you learn more about the world and how it works. He says that we can know and face the truth through science and then move on and define our own meaning through religion. Science proposes that we are an accidental outcome of a procedure of evolution, Peter Morales says that all science questions are questions that can be answered and we can compare the answers, and he says that we can choose the answer that best fits our experiences.
Sam Harris a neuroscientist says “science can help us get what we want” (TED 2010) he believes that no matter what our values are religion or anything you are still concerned about conscious and its changes, and when people from a religion say that changes can persist after death, this a fact and factual answers are from science. Paul Davies who is a scientist is so captivated by the universe that he like Lonergan believes that his questions are limitless.
Davies is indefinite to whether he believes in God, but what he does believe is the ‘theory of everything. ’ Suffering is an under looked experience that contributes to the search for life’s ultimate questions. According to Friedrich Nietzsche a prominent theorist he believes that ‘God is dead’ he felt that people went to God as an ultimate explanation for everything.
Victor Frankl also a prominent theorist says that through suffering and experience, According to Nietzsche he says “we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. ” Frankl believed that if there is a meaning in life, then there is essentially meaning in suffering, he says “suffering is an ineradicable part of life even as fate and death.
Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. ” Frankl says that even with a despairing situation, “the human mind can transform a personal tragedy into triumph” (Ed Batista website 2010) According to Frankl after a tragedy in someone’s life their tragedy turns into an achievement. Ulrich Diehl a philosopher in the making believes that all human beings share the same needs and that we all search for a meaning of life, but although human suffering can be a challenge to the meaning of life, the outcome from the personal affect actually helps people find meaning to life and answer some questions they need to know about their life.
Lonergan says that there is no limit to our questions, although finding the answer to these questions will vary depending on what one’s beliefs and traditions may be, through religion, science and suffering this is shown most prominent to help humans to find these answers. All these aspects help humans find meaning to life, and they are all equally as important as each other. These three paths demonstrate that they are most useful to use when searching for meaning and answers to some of life’s ultimate questions.