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Questions, Questions

truthIn his encyclical last week PopeFrancis/Benedict XVI poses two questions that surely must be at the core of our understanding of the meaning of all human life: What is Truth? What is Faith? Or are they the same thing?

What is Truth?  - what we are told by the scientist?

What is Faith? - knowledge? superstition?


These answers seem to be very superficial,even for non-intellectuals.

There must be more to human life than this,

I could also ask 'What is Beauty?'

What is 'Love?'

All these words appear to have been stripped of a deeper, richer, meaning.
"Truth is Beauty, Beauty Truth. That's all ye know of heaven, and all ye need to know."

Don't literally believe that quote, but does contain some Truth, or at least truth, which is also a thing I love.
If you want to try to construct elaborate fantasies about the meaning of human life, well that's OK if you enjoy that kind of thing. But it won't get you anywhere and it won't make you happier or a better human being.

There is nothing superficial in understanding that there is no underlying "meaning" to human life.

As to what is beauty, it's what we point to when we say, "That's beautiful!" There is no universal agreement as to what is beautiful. It varies from culture to culture and also over time. For example, before the Victorians, mountain scenery was seen as awful and dangerous. It was the Romantics who first started describing landscapes as "beautiful". Just have a look in a good art gallery at portraits of women who were hailed as "beauties" in their time. Most of them wouldn't get a second look on TV or in the tabloids.
Is that all my long life was about?
Would it be any different if your life was short?
Life is about living a good life to the best of your ability. We are, however, only human and we make mistakes -- something I have to keep reminding myself of because I am my own harshest critic! But if on balance the good we do outweighs the bad, then we're doing OK.

Why do you feel that there has to be a meaning to life? Isn't the miracle of being alive and sentient and able to appreciate all the beauty and wonder of the world and the universe beyond it enough for anyone?
You imply that we are not intellectuals?
Can we have a definition of intellectual?
I mean that even non-intellectual types like myself try to find a meaning to our lives, otherwise we are, as I see it, nihilists who empty human existence of meaning, truth, purpose, and value.