The Meaning Of Life YKTTW Discussion

The Meaning Of Life
When a work or character specifically defines what the meaning of life is.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-02-21 18:43:32 sponsor: ThePope edited by: Patachou (last reply: 2014-12-12 15:37:27)

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What is the meaning of life? Is it to create? To discover? Or is it to feel pleasure? Or to live an exciting and fulfilling life? Or is it to be pure and righteous to prepare oneself for the afterlife? Or is there no reason? Is the point of life just to live?

Or is it 42?

For the most part, there is no set in stone answer, and you could argue this with professors, colleagues, and internet-dwellers for hours. But in some works, a Meaning of Life is set in stone, whether it's by God or simply by the people living. Shows up commonly in stories with some form of Enlightenment Superpower, Ki or Right Makes Might; all of which provide a reward system for finding the correct meaning to life. Frequently, this is made into An Aesop. Just as often, it's also an Author Tract (the author giving opinion on what the meaning of live is through his work).

Related to the Straw Nihilist, who believes life has no meaning, and the Anti Nihilist, who believes that you can give life whatever meaning you want. See also Japanese Spirit and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Compare and contrast Goal in Life.

Not to be confused with that movie where the fat guy explodes.


Examples

Comic Books

Film
  • Near the end of The Matrix Revolutions, Agent Smith lectures Neo.
    Agent Smith: Can you feel it Mr. Anderson? Closing in on you. Oh, I can. I really should thank you for it, after all, it was your life that taught me the purpose of all life. The purpose of life...is to end.
  • Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life says this about the meaning of life.
    It's nothing special. Try to be nice to people. Avoid eating fat. Read a good book now and then. Get some walking in. Try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.

Literature

Live-Action Television
  • In the Dinosaurs episode "The Greatest Story Ever Sold", Baby starts asking how and why all dinosaurs exist. Since this is the first time this question was ever asked, it sends all of Pangaea into a state of panic since no one knows the answer. The Council of Elders ends up creating a new cult to give cheap easy answers so that everyone will get back to work. The cult: Potatoism. Robbie is the only one who doesn't buy into it.
  • The Replicators of Stargate SG-1 found the question very easy.
    First: I managed to stop the machine before it activated and eventually used it to suit our purpose.
    Jonas: Which is?
    First: To increase our number. That has never changed.
  • Subverted on Step by Step. J.T, Dana, Karen, and Cody try to see who can go without sleep the longest. Somehow, Cody becomes smarter as a result and has several epiphanies. At the end of the episode, J.T, Dana, and Karen all finally pass out and Cody suddenly realizes the meaning of life. He's about to state it when he passes out too.

Video Games
  • In Oracle Of Tao, the meaning of life is defined twice. First, it's defined as bonds to nature, family, and love (but this is part of some religion). And then later, someone asks as a test what the meaning of life truly is. The answerer basically says that it's a self-defining question (as in The Meaning Of Life is "the meaning of life", that is to say what life means to you is the meaning of life, making it a personal question).

Western Animation
  • In Futurama, while Fry, Bender and The Professor are watching the universe end.
    Fry: Hey, uh... What was the purpose of life, anyway?
    Professor: Who knows? Probably some hogwash about the human spirit.
    Bender: Mm-hm.
    Fry: Sounds about right.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Grim tests a talking computer's knowledge by asking it the meaning of life. It responds that, "Life has no meaning. Only machine intelligence is truly important on a cosmic scale." Grim's surprised that it got it right.
  • In The Venture Bros. while 21 is talking to the ghost of 24.
    24: Seriously, ask me any question.
    21: Okay. What's the meaning of life?
    21: Really?
    24: No idiot. Ask me something less Hitchhiker's Guide, dork.


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