On finding meaning

A nihilist, an optimist, a rationalist, a humanist. My biggest struggle? Finding meaning in life, which may not be the right word as I know there is no meaning to be had. I guess what I am trying to say is: ‘ what should I do?’. To this question, I do not believe there is an answer. There is, however, an innate desire to find one. Many books have been written on the subject of meaning; none of which answer the question as there isn’t one. Why do people try to better themselves if there is no meaning? Either, they believe in something – a deity usually – or they believe what the most charismatic person they happen to have come across has sold them.

I suspect there may be a biological answer to the question of meaning, hard-coded into our DNA. The better our standing in society, the more likely our genes are to be preserved. I am not convinced by that argument to be honest; In modern times, social standing does not seem to influence gene propagation. Then why do I have ambition? Has TV corrupted me? I don’t think this is the reason either, people have competed against one another since ancient times.

I come back to the same question; if there is no reason, why do I keep trying to find one? Perhaps if I had asked myself these questions earlier, I would have become a physicist, for searching for the origin of the universe seems like it is the ultimate search for meaning. I can see the comfort in partitioning my mind and accepting a deity; but doublethink is beyond me, especially when this question can be asked: ‘where did [deity] come from?’. ‘It was always there’, is not a satisfactory answer.