Futility and the Meaning of Life Debate

Sorites (14):70-84 (2002)
Abstract
Some pessimists claim that all of our efforts are futile. Our lives, they claim, are no different from the mythical Sisyphus. Sisyphus would push a large stone to the top of a mountain, only to have the stone roll down the mountain. Despite his repeated efforts, Sisyphus accomplished nothing. As individuals, we may expend great effort in our lives, but each of us will die and humanity will eventually go extinct. Does this make our efforts futile? An effort is futile when there is a repeated failure to bring about one’s envisioned goal. Therefore, whether an effort is futile will depend on the nature of one’s goals. If one adopts unrealizable goals, such as the goal to leave an everlasting trace of one’s existence, then one’s efforts will be futile. However, if one adopts goals that are challenging, but physically possible, then one may experience accomplishment and fulfillment, instead of futility. Even if some of our efforts are futile, one’s life can still be worth living. There is more to life than just having and achieving goals.
Keywords Futility  Meaning of Life  Meaning in Life
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Brooke Alan Trisel, Futility and the Meaning of Life Debate
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Amir Halevy (1995). Is Futility a Futile Concept? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):123-144.
Aaron Smuts (2013). The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
Wayne Shelton (1998). A Broader Look at Medical Futility. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (4):383-400.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-10-24

Total downloads

84 ( #15,566 of 1,102,917 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

23 ( #6,943 of 1,102,917 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.