A Meaning to Life
Does human life have any meaning? Does the question even make sense today? For centuries, the question of the meaning or purpose of human life was assumed by scholars and theologians to have a religious answer: life has meaning because...
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Does human life have any meaning? Does the question even make sense today? For centuries, the question of the meaning or purpose of human life was assumed by scholars and theologians to have a religious answer: life has meaning because humans were made in the image of a good god. In the 19th century, however, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution changed everything--and the human organism was seen to be more machine than spirit. Ever since, with the rise of science and decline of religious belief, there has been growing interest--and growing doubt--about whether human life really does have meaning. If it does, where might we find it? The historian and philosopher of science Michael Ruse investigates this question, and wonders whether we can find a new meaning to life within Darwinian views of human nature. If God no longer exists--or if God no longer cares--rather than promoting a bleak nihilism, many Darwinians think we can convert Darwin into a form of secular humanism. Ruse explains that, in a tradition going back to the time of Darwin himself, and represented today by the evolutionist E. O. Wilson, evolution is seen as progress.
Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Florida State University. He is the founder and editor of the journal "Biology and Philosophy", and has appeared on "Quirks and Quarks" and the Discovery Channel.
- Prefaceintroductionchapter One: The Unraveling Of Beliefchapter Two: Has Religion Really Lost The Answer?chapter Three: Darwinism As Religionchapter Four: Darwinian Existentialismbibliographyindex