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Jeremy Bentham The origins of utilitarianism can be traced back as far as Epicurusbut, as a school of thought, it is credited to Jeremy Bentham who found that "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure", then, from that moral insight, deriving the Rule of Utility: He defined the meaning of life as the " greatest happiness principle ".
Friedrich Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world, and especially human existence, of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, and essential value; succinctly, nihilism is the process of "the devaluing of the highest values".
To Martin Heideggernihilism is the movement whereby " being " is forgotten, and is transformed into value, in other words, the reduction of being to exchange value. If God, as the supra-sensory ground and goal, of all reality, is dead; if the supra-sensory world of the Ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory, and above it, its vitalizing and up-building power, then nothing more remains to which Man can cling, and by which he can orient himself.
The knowledge disclosed by modern science has effectively rewritten the relationship of humankind to the natural world. Advances in medicine and technology have freed humans from significant limitations and ailments of previous eras;  and philosophy—particularly following the linguistic turn —has altered how the relationships people have with themselves and each other are conceived.
Questions about the meaning of life have also seen radical changes, from attempts to reevaluate human existence in biological and scientific terms as in pragmatism and logical positivism to efforts to meta-theorize about meaning-making as a personal, individual-driven activity existentialismsecular humanism.
Pragmatism Pragmatism originated in the lateth-century U. Moreover, pragmatism posits that anything useful and practical is not always true, arguing that what most contributes to the most human good in the long course is true.
In practice, theoretical claims must be practically verifiable, i. Pragmatic philosophers suggest that the practical, useful understanding of life is more important than searching for an impractical abstract truth about life.
William James argued that truth could be made, but not sought. Philosophical theism Theists believe God created the universe and that God had a purpose in doing so. Theists further hold that if there were no God to give life ultimate meaning, value and purpose, then life would be absurd.
According to existentialism, each man and each woman creates the essence meaning of their life; life is not determined by a supernatural god or an earthly authority, one is free. One can live meaningfully free of despair and anxiety in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes that meaningful life to the commitment, despite the vulnerability inherent to doing so.
Salvation, deliverance, and escape from suffering are in aesthetic contemplation, sympathy for others, and asceticism. Accordingly, he saw nihilism "all that happens is meaningless" as without goals.
As beings looking for meaning in a meaningless world, humans have three ways of resolving the dilemma. Suicide or, "escaping existence": Both Kierkegaard and Camus dismiss the viability of this option. Religious belief in a transcendent realm or being: Kierkegaard stated that a belief in anything beyond the Absurd requires a non-rational but perhaps necessary religious acceptance in such an intangible and empirically unprovable thing now commonly referred to as a " leap of faith ".
However, Camus regarded this solution as "philosophical suicide".
Acceptance of the Absurd: Camus endorsed this solution notably in his allegorical novel The Plague or La Pestewhile Kierkegaard regarded this solution as "demoniac madness": Per secular humanismthe human species came to be by reproducing successive generations in a progression of unguided evolution as an integral expression of naturewhich is self-existing.
Humanism seeks to develop and fulfill: It is based on the premises that the happiness of the individual person is inextricably linked to the well-being of all humanity, in part because humans are social animals who find meaning in personal relations and because cultural progress benefits everybody living in the culture.
In this light, every living creature has the right to determine its personal and social "meaning of life".
There are many therapeutic responses to this question. For example, Viktor Frankl argues for "Dereflection", which translates largely as: On the whole, the therapeutic response is that the question itself—what is the meaning of life? The question then morphs into more specific worries such as "What delusions am I under?
The things people, events in the life of a person can have meaning importance as parts of a whole, but a discrete meaning of the life, itself, aside from those things, cannot be discerned.
Bertrand Russell wrote that although he found that his distaste for torture was not like his distaste for broccoli, he found no satisfactory, empirical method of proving this: Neither he nor his opponents could advance any argument. In a scientific question, evidence can be adduced on both sides, and, in the end, one side is seen to have the better case — or, if this does not happen, the question is left undecided.
But in a question, as to whether this, or that, is the ultimate Good, there is no evidence, either way; each disputant can only appeal to his own emotions, and employ such rhetorical devices as shall rouse similar emotions in others Questions as to "values" — that is to say, as to what is good or bad on its own account, independently of its effects — lie outside the domain of science, as the defenders of religion emphatically assert.
I think that, in this, they are right, but, I draw the further conclusion, which they do not draw, that questions as to "values" lie wholly outside the domain of knowledge. That is to say, when we assert that this, or that, has "value", we are giving expression to our own emotions, not to a fact, which would still be true if our personal feelings were different.
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Postmodernism Postmodernist thought—broadly speaking—sees human nature as constructed by language, or by structures and institutions of human society.We support America's small businesses.
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