The meaning of life is certainly an old question - often asked or contemplated as long as there have been creatures with the ability to contemplate. Developed in man is a drive to seek coherence, an ability to find logic and patterns in the environment. This ability has been developed according to Darwinist theory, as it gives the proprietor a survival advantage. The one who can perceive rhythms and sequences in nature such as the change of seasons can prepare and survive the best. As a byproduct, there is a longing for understanding even oneself and ones place in the universe. Now meanings and questions need a 'container' to develope in. - A subject. There must be 'someone' who is inquiring. Somebody who is searching for words. Reality: What is, need no meaning for its being. The reality is, as it is, regardless of all theories. An old Chinese has said: If you understand, the thing is as they are. If you do not understand, the thing is as they are. Nevertheless, it is tempting to imagine that there would be an 'objective' meaning with everything. A 'true' meaning that transcends all subjective meanings. For this, a creator is required. If you need objective meaning, you must construct a creator. Someone who started it all, and thus defined the rules that apply in this reality. Often called GOD. This is called Creationism http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreationism There have been a lot of gods throughout the ages. - There still is. Religions that believe in ONE god are called monotheistic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoteism. If we return to subjective life wishes: I dare do the following generalization: "We all want a good, long and happy life." Most of what we are doing is therefore focused on this goal. However, most religious followers have the view that mortality exclusively is a trial period for 'real life', which is achieved only after death. Their entire existence will therefore be subject to requirements and regulations, as they imagine their creators have invented to 'test' them in order that they be rewarded with a place in the sky when they die, provided that they have followed all the rules. Usually these performances are not consistent with "a good, long and happy life" on earth. Often the rules of religion are directly in contrast to all that gives us, at least transient, joy and happiness. However, this can be accepted by the practitioner, as the reward is expected to come when they die. Even though, like Piet Hein, he believes that the world is for us to take care of him as he expresses the following: "It was created by an old-fashioned old god once upon ten zealous negative commandments. The Prophet smothered them with scared eyes, went out among people, and reported: You should not. I think that there is a single commandment with human call, one that says: You shall. "- Then there is no guarantee that life can be 'good, long and happy.' It can take most of life to come to realize that, that the happiness gained by acquiring items such as experience, experiences and material 'things' are volatile, transient. New needs arise unconditionally when one has been satisfied. The only way to get the lasting happiness we seek is to realize that our true nature is happiness. This happiness has never not been, but it is easily hidden from us by all desires. Every thought that reality should be different from just as it is. This recognition is called self-knowledge or liberation. There are thus two ways to be successful: To instantly get everything you want as soon as your needs arise. Or: To be satisfied with exactly what comes to one, nothing else. The last way has a much bigger chance to succeed. If we win on the lottery while we are in a transient psychosis, such as love, then we have for a moment no intrusive requests that need to be met. In such moments, the happiness that has never not been, will be able to shine through. However, such events do not occur with any regularity or high frequency. The Scientific Method The scientific method is the most powerful intellectual idea, the most effective framework for thinking and exploring and understanding and challenging the outside world that exists. It rests on the principle that all ideas and theories as soon as they appear will be subjected to rigorous attacks. As long as they can handle all attacks, they are allowed to survive one more day but if they do not resist the attack, they shall be immediately rejected. Superstition In contradiction to the scientific method is superstition including: Religion. Much superstition is relatively harmless, especially if the practitioner keeps it for himself. Medical ideologies such as homeopathy, branches of chiropractic and many others. may at least in the best case give the practitioner a placebo effect. On the other hand, ideologies that spread to large masses can be the greatest of threats humanity can be exposed to, easily bypassing the worst natural disasters. Here are included dogmatic, political ideologies such as communism and nazism. Even the great religions have unimaginable suffering on their consciences. Religions are still considered to be unique. They have some key ideas that they call 'holy' that they are not willing to be questioned about. What that means is: "Here is an idea or an idea about which you are not allowed to say anything bad, you are just not allowed! Why not? - Because you are not!" We can discuss the value of different political, economic systems. We can discuss different climate models. If someone votes for a party you do not agree with, it's free to argue as much as you want, Everyone will have their arguments but nobody feels violated by yours. If someone thinks the taxes should go up or down, it is free to have an opinion about it. But on the other hand, if you are confronted with someone's irrational opinions about how the universe began, about whoever created it or someone says "God will not let me clean my toilet on a saturday," or: "You may not make a picture of my holy prophet." "If you violate my god, I'll kill you" "HIV is not so good, but using condoms is worse." "We must cut off parts of our children's genitals" Then you say, "Ok, I respect that." So these barbaric practices can continue. Even in else relatively civilized societies.