The immortality requirement for life's meaning

Ratio 16 (2):161–177 (2003)
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Many religious thinkers hold the immortality requirement, the view that immortality of some kind is necessary for life to have meaning. After clarifying the nature of the immortality requirement, this essay examines three central arguments for it. The article establishes that existing versions of these arguments fail to entail the immortality requirement. The essay then reconstructs the arguments, and it shows that once they do plausibly support the immortality requirement, they equally support the God-centred requirement, the view that God's existence is a necessary condition for life to be meaningful. The paper concludes by explaining why we should expect any argument for the immortality requirement also to constitute an argument for the God-centred requirement.


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Thaddeus Metz
Cornell University (PhD)

Citations of this work

Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
New developments in the meaning of life.Thaddeus Metz - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):196–217.
Between hoping to die and longing to live longer.Christopher S. Wareham - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-20.
Infinity goes up on trial: Must immortality be meaningless?Timothy Chappell - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):30-44.
Infinity Goes Up On Trial: Must Immortality Be Meaningless?Timothy Chappell - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):30-44.

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References found in this work

My Confession.Leo Tolstoy - 1997 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the good life. New York: Oxford University Press.
The Meaning of Life.Charles Hartshorne - 1996 - Process Studies 25:10-18.

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