Value of life in modern times

Earlier it used to be quite easy. Live good life, do good deeds and earn your place in Heaven for eternity. But today in wake of advancements made in material knowledge, dark clouds of uncertainty hang over such an abode, and the concept of life seems to have become confusing. Humanity seems without a goal, without meaning, just rolling on in an abyss of atoms which only know how to strike each other and create the wonderful reality for us. As such a man mindful of his disintegration may get up and ask, “What does my life amount to?” His near ones may console him with thoughts of fame, money, kids, pleasures, but there seems no permanent solution of the problem “Why?” Whatever equation you try, ultimate value seems null.

Not only the value of life, but moral values too seem diminishing. With no clarity  regarding the problem of existence, the beast inside sees everything around as a play. Only State Laws keep us in control otherwise we may come to think of world as a sandbox game where bashing pedestrians is a normalcy.

To both these problems, altruistic form of Humanism offers quite a unique solution. “Live for humanity” is the motto where value of your life comes through contributions you make to the continuing progress. You may die, but influence on the world remains and if a positive one it may even come to sustain mankind. In this humanists have used “inner nature” of man to their advantage and seem to be borrowing a lot from already established institutions of value i.e Religions. Charity, Help, Care are the values that are fostered. In addition, modern humanistic societies have well defined roles for individuals to fit in. Engineers, doctors, teachers especially have professions to be proud of where duty carries as good meaning as money does. Even scientists, researches fit into this new definition of life and their work carries great importance for society. Passion for God is replaced with passion for humanity, God becomes humanity in a philosophy reminiscent of Hegel.

One finds some kind of value and inner salvation within such a framework. But there still remains an ultimate problem for the  individual. The selfish human being forced into an organisation may still get up and ask, “What do I get?” He may even take a deep look into the future through Science spectacles and predict all kinds of doom for humanity, pointing out that this new bandwagon of “humanism” is still headed for a dead end. Whatever be his end answer, I believe all questions in the mind are created by gaps in reality we bring into our conscious. This question “Why?” at its core seems to be a result of realization of human mortality. If there were no death one would never ask “Why live?” Science thus  has a great job ahead of not only answering the questions but solving some problems that processes set within our human brain don’t like about reality. We may well transcend life one day, and even transcend existence.


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