The question ‘what is life?’ is fundamental to science and to philosophy; it is the starting point for many of the most rigorous arguments about the nature of the universe, human beings and their place in the pecking order of the animal kingdom. The existence of a self-regulating process that governs the evolutionary development of all living things can give science a new and more sophisticated way to look at origins, evolution and extinction.
Philosophy – the study of how best to live – has a great many topics to choose from when it comes to the question of what is the meaning of life; but the most common answer to the question ‘what is the meaning of life?’ is ‘existence.’ Existence is the unifying theme that unites the many different philosophies about the world and human life; it is the theme that underlies all attempts to make sense of metaphysics, history, ethics, sociology and political theory, to name just a few.
When asked what is the meaning of life, the answer must surely be ‘existence.’ And what about life, if not existence? What is the meaning of life for those who deny its importance, discount its value, or hold it in disfavor; what is the meaning of life for people who are materialists only? And for people who believe that all living things have a value, a purpose and a future, is there any meaning at all? Is there a definition of ‘life,’ and if so, what that definition is.