The very idea of a meaning of life is one that has been the subject of philosophy for time immemorial. There have been so many writings and speeches given on the topic, that one must be able to weigh all of the possible ideas against one another in order to determine meaning for themselves. This is why reading the ideas of different thinkers throughout history is something that more and more people are doing, even in a world of fast answers via the internet. Thankfully, there are different websites out there that will allow you to get quick quotes from great thinkers about this very topic. Being able to access something like the life quotes library can be very helpful for anyone out there who might be trying to investigate this particular topic in order to get a greater understanding for themselves.
Throughout history, there have been few topics that have been more controversial than the question as to what the meaning of life might actually be. For the classical philosophers, often referred to as “essentialists,” the meaning of one’s life is to fulfill their purpose as a human being. For the existentialists, however, life itself does not have any inherent meaning, and so any sort of meaning that an individual places on it is entirely subjective and up to them. For the existentialists, the individual human himself does not serve any inherent purpose, but he creates that purpose as he lives his life and makes decisions based upon his own free will.
The modern existentialists took the ideas of thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard and took them to the next level. While the idea that life has no inherent meaning might appear to be nihilistic on the surface, the simple fact of existentialism is that it places the power of determining the meaning of life into the hands, and on the shoulders of, the individual self. This not only gives the individual self a power that he simply does not have if his essence is predetermined by his birth, as the classical philosophers would argue, but it also places a whole lot of responsibility on his shoulders. If I am to determine my own meaning for my life, then this leaves me with a terrifying responsibility. Every choice that I make is my own, and each decision plays its role in determining who I am. Being responsible for all of my own decisions without any higher power to look to is something that can be difficult to deal with, and that is why Jean-Paul Sartre said that man is “condemned to be free.”
Whatever position you might hold to in regards to life’s meaning, it is nice to know that there are resources out there that can give you some quick quotes from great thinkers that will help you to make your own judgments based upon their ideas. For modern thinkers, the internet is definitely a positive when it comes to discovering these ideas.