Life Has No Meaning. So What?


| 11/26/2010 1:45:54 PM


Tags: meaning of life, existential indifference, Miller-McCune, Will Wlizlo,

 Woody Allen Mural 

According to a survey conducted by Austrian research psychologist Tatjana Schnell, an unexpectedly large proportion of Westerners feel that their lives have little meaning, and they don’t really care, reports Miller-McCune. Sampling more than 600 Germans, Schneller’s research found that “35 percent [of the sample] were ‘existentially indifferent,’ those who ‘neither experience their lives as meaningful nor suffer from this lack of meaning,’” and only 10 percent of that group were bothered by their own existential apathy.

Schneller identified variables that did and didn’t correlate. Gender, education level, and employment status don’t seem to be good predictors for indifference, but age does. As reported by Miller-McCune, “the indifferent skewed younger, on average five years younger, than those who found meaning in their lives.” On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone who feels that their life has meaning, look no further than the married couple down the street. The study found that 70 percent of married people find meaning in their lives.

What can replace meaning in an otherwise dispassionate soul? “Surrogates for meaningful commitment abound,” Schneller explains in the study. “They range from material possessions to pleasure seeking, from busy-ness to sexuality.” One famously reflective Westerner knows all about surrogates for meaningful commitment:

 

Source: Miller-McCune 

Candice_2
12/29/2010 5:59:08 PM

What the article refers to as surragates I call recess. Being mindful can be tiresome so I'm thinking that's why God created sex, chocolate and music. Hallelujah and praise God.


Candice_2
12/29/2010 5:59:03 PM

What the article refers to as surragates I call recess. Being mindful can be tiresome so I'm thinking that's why God created sex, chocolate and music. Hallelujah and praise God.


Occum
12/6/2010 3:20:37 PM

So if I am follwing Mr. Patterson's post correctly (although it was truncated) "meaning" is method we learn to use to "calm" what could be a problematic cycle for models that may have a perpetuation beyond our everyday rational processes (ie. we do have to sleep at some point.) Therefore finding a answer, real or imagined, prevents overload. Sort of like the movie WarGames where the computer plays itself until it proves the only solution was to never have illicited the arguement Although a very technical explanation way above my pay grade (and I could very easily be misunderstanding it) I would guess this dynamic could apply to any number of possiblities and if my guess is correct "meaning" could be as individual as the number of people on the planet unless a common concept or conditioning was introduced.