Well there's a fun and lighthearted question for you :)
Dear reader, if you are human, you have probably asked yourself this question more then once.
So what if I told you I have the answer? I know the meaning of life and I am about to tell you. Would you believe me? Or would you question my claim?
Sure you would question my claim, you would debate and give me other meanings of life, but then how could we possibly know which one answer to life, the universe, and everything really is The Answer?
You could ask God. But he generally doesn't pick up the phone or do conference calls. So you'd have to wait till you are dead and ask him/her yourself. Which is of no use to us now, so that is not really an option.
You could turn to science, and the scientific method is really great at finding out things that might be true if they can be repeated and tested by other people, if the same result pops up, it is probably true. But it can't really answer this particular question.
There is just no way that we can prove that one particular meaning is the meaning of life so all that we are left with is an endless debate and many different opinions.
One answer that science can answer though is "why do we ask this question?"
It is in our nature. We have asked ourselves the "Why" question many times and when we come up with an answer it helps us to deal with the situation at hand in a better and more effective way.
"Why did that window pop up just now?" "Because you clicked the banner" So if you don't want any windows popping up, don't click banners. Situation dealt with.
But what if there isn't any answer?
Well then, our nature keeps nagging us with the question over and over again. Which is kind of what is happening right now and has for centuries so perhaps there is no answer?
That's it ok, end of article.
The answer to the meaning of life is, there isn't any.
But there is really no stopping this nagging feeling, is there? Unless you give up. But that is not really in our nature either, is it?
What if you knew the meaning of life, if you knew the reason why you are alive, what would that do for you? How would it affect your life? Would you be living your life in a more effective manner, would you achieve this apparent goal faster? And is that really what you are after?
And what about not knowing? Not knowing the answer to this question makes us aimlessly wander in all kinds of directions like we have been doing for centuries.
One of the reasons religion is so popular is because it gives us a goal, the meaning of life in almost any religion is to achieve enlightenment or a kind of promised land like Heaven or Nirvana. But the problem here is that there is no scientific proof that this is the real reason, goal or purpose of life in general or your life in particular. It is based on belief. But it has helped us give our lives a direction, it makes us feel better because we now have a purpose and a goal.
So religion gives us the answer and if you are not the kind of person who asks a lot of questions, then this is the time to stop reading.
Still here? Good, let's figure out the real answer then..
While science is unable to give us a definite answer, we could just have a look around us and see how things work and possibly infer a meaning from that.
So where do we come from? Evolution theory says that once upon a time, a long long time ago, we were just a bunch of amino acids in a pool on a planet with a lot of lightning storms.
We then found a way to replicate and build cells. Then we came up with the bright idea to clump together a bunch of cells.
Why did the single cell organism clutter together?
When you work together, you have more chance of survival.
The single cell had less chance of survival just on it's own. With dehydration as one of its major threats, it is far likely to survive in a big groups where only the cells on the outside take the big hits.
Each and every cell, is working together even at their own expense to keep the entire organism safe from harm. And it is That Decision that still governs each and every cell and with each and every cell of our body, also each and every decision we make. Because the brain are cells too.
It's simple, you just go from the micro scale to the macro scale. We humans are a weird bunch tho because we took it even further then our own bodies. We started working together in groups of humans and achieved grand things. That no single one of us could ever have done.
We don't even question why we work together anymore. We just do it because it is our nature.
From that first clutter of cells came a huge variety of creatures. Some went extinct and some of the oldest are still alive now.
So what is up with all that diversity? Well Evolution theory also teaches us that if a species gets too specialized they are more likely to go extinct if that specialization is no longer relevant. Situations have a nasty tendency to change just when you got used to them.
Now we have this system of life with a huge variety in all shapes and forms and even when most of this planet is somehow destroyed or has become uninhabitable, life is so diverse that it will most likely continue.
Life is like a brute force attack, it just simply tries every variation, every possible option until it finds the right answer and then they get to survive.
But what is the answer?
Through the ages life seems to have had one single drive, one reason and that is, to survive, to simply stay alive, procreate and try again.
Every organism dies, but when it does so, it will have passed on to it's offspring, all that it could to ensure the survival of that offspring.
So there you have it.
The meaning of life is to remain alive, produce, and ensure the success of offspring and be as diverse as you can.
Or in simpler words; Stay alive.
Because the rest comes naturally.