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1 - Why Should We Care about Meaning?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

Clifford Williams
Affiliation:
Trinity International University, Illinois
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Summary

Chapter 1 gives two answers to the question, why should we care about meaning? The first answer comes from Blaise Pascal. He was appalled at people who appear to be indifferent to the meaning of their lives because, he believes, everyone naturally cares about meaning. Given this fact, we expect that everyone will care about meaning. This expectation is muted somewhat, however, by the fact that there are a number of causes of indifference. A second answer to the question of the chapter connects caring about meaning with believing in God: we should care about meaning because God has given us desires for intrinsic goods and right pleasures and because God desires for us to satisfy these desires. This answer is compatible with duty ethics (deontological ethics), happiness ethics (hedonism), and virtue ethics. The chapter suggests that caring about meaning can be regarded as a virtue alongside traditional virtues, and it describes the features of such a virtue.

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Chapter
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Religion and the Meaning of Life
An Existential Approach
, pp. 8 - 29
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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