Jun 20, 2016 1803 Words  Pages

This first half part of the essay will summarize the main points of naturalism, creationism and existentialism suggested by Baggini. Both pros and cons of the above positions will be discussed and the preferred position will be indicated. The later part of the essay will be focused on two moral issues, which are love, sex, marriage and euthanasia, and will be supported by the preferred position.

Naturalism is a scientific aspect to examine the meaning of life. All life has started with the Big Bang 15 billion years ago. This position suggests that the meaning of life can be found by the origin of life. However, as scientific fact shows that there is no time and space before the Big Bang, life is determined as meaningless. Naturalism is a position with concrete scientific research and theory supporting this position. However, Baggini argued that there is no causal relationship between the meaning of life and the meaning of our origin. He has given an example, that Frankenstein’s monster has no meaning of its origin, but could still find his own meaning, to support meaning can be determined not by the past.

Creationism is a religious aspect to examine the meaning of life. There is a creator that has created life. As creator would not create things without meaning, life should have a meaning. This position has the same viewpoints on the meaning of life as naturalism, which is the origin of life gives life a meaning. Baggini argued that the meaning of the creator created life is not equal to our own life’s meaning, we should find our own meaning of life instead. Moreover, Creationism is related to faith, which has been seen as a risk by Baggini because faith does not require any reasoning. Two examples have raised by Baggini, which are Thomas’s doubt of Jesus’s resurrection and Abraham killing his son. For the first example, Thomas had reasons to suspect Jesus’s resurrection as this is out of his understanding towards human life. For the second example, Abraham was going to follow God’s order to kill his son, he had put his faith in God over his own value. As faith is needed for this position, which does not require any reasoning, thus not supported by Baggini. Moreover, no scientific fact prove the existence of the creator.

Existentialism is the third position that Baggini has indicated and he is in favor of this position. This position is mainly focused on life itself. Human can create their own meaning of life by their own mind. We should set up a continuous goal, for instance increasing our knowledge, thus we can be meaningful in our whole lifetime. This can help us to avoid the difficulty that once a particular life goal has been achieved, for example, own a private car, out life would become meaningless suddenly. Moreover, as life is full of possibilities, we would not know when our life will end. We are better to live meaningful everyday instead of doing something meaningless in order trying to achieve a future goal. Baggini also raised up the idea that our own attitudes toward life are important no matter when we face rise and fall.

Pros and Cons of Naturalism
The following part will be the discussion of the pros and cons of the three positions. For the pros of Naturalism, as this position is supported by scientific research and theory, this leads this position convincing. However, as the things that happened before the Big Bang is still a mystery in science, naturalism cannot provide us a thorough explanation of the origin of life. Moreover, as naturalism suggested that life is only an accident which leads life meaningless, this can be argued by the fact that most people living on the Earth say they are living in a meaningful life and also by the Frankenstein example.

Pros and Cons of Creationism
For the pros of Creationism, this position explains the origin of life which is created by a creator. Although, some people claimed that they have seen the God, there is no such concrete evidence to prove the existence of creator. Moreover, religious faith, the major idea of creationism, is not a rational approach towards life. Faith can be altered by other people easily as there are different methods to explain God’s ideas. For instance, a person has got cancer and only has several months to live. As he was a Christian, he would listen to Father’s saying. For two different situations, one Father might tell him this is a chance that God gave you to treasure your families and friends, the other Father might tell him this is a challenge that God gave him to reflect on yourself which means you are required to find any possible methods to recover. Both of this God’s saying is rational, however the consequences might be totally different.

Pros and Cons of Existentialism
The third position will be discussed is Existentialism. First, lack of origin evidence and proof is a possible cons of this position. As this position is not based on science and history record, the idea has not been thought and discussed for a long period of time. Moreover, existentialism values death gives meaning to life which has violated most people’s willing as they hope for longer or even eternal life generally. For the pros of this position, our meaning of life can be determined by ourselves, thus we are free from fearing to be meaningless or living by creators meaning. Existentialism values the existence, dignity and value of human. Human can have their free will which is being for ourselves and this is undoubtedly accepted by most people. This position also benefits the society as bad faith is treated as a problem in existentialism. If people have become authentic, the society would develop in a positive way. For instance, if people can face themselves when facing difficulties and thinking they have the abilities to overcome that challenge, they would have a higher chance to overcome that difficulty, thus show a good example to the society.
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Preferred position
Among the three positions, I prefer Existentialism. This position gives people to think of themselves instead of the origin of life. Moreover, existentialism has no interference with scientific research and theory. This position also avoids some irrational thinking instead it goes through a rather logical approach. Existentialism will be applied to two moral issues in the next part.

Love, sex and marriage
The first moral issue that will be discussed is love, sex and marriage. Are love affairs necessarily wrong morally? In my opinion, love affairs are morally wrong in some circumstances but not all conditions. Love is a thing that help ones to search for meaning of life through human interaction (Feleke & Tavernier, 2011). If a person lost the feeling of love towards his spouse, he has the right to find the meaning of life through by loving another person. For instance, a married man had an affairs with a woman and lied to his spouse, this condition is morally wrong because he had cheated on other which is regarded as bad faith. However, if he got a consent from his spouse, since he was authentic when facing his feeling in his heart and honest to others, he is morally right.

Vincent Punzo has argued that marriage is a serious vow and shows courage to have commitment which tells others they have carry this responsibility. The Marriage vow ‘I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life’ shows that the couple need to be honest to their partner. In some perspective, such as sociology, love affairs are not necessarily include sex activity, a married person have a thought of having love affairs with others, it can be determined as mentally love affairs. By using an example to evaluate, if a married man fell in love with another woman even without sex and then thought that it had violated the vow, thus he broke up with that woman. In fact, he did not be true to his spouse because he did not tell his actual feeling to his spouse and decided to bury it. As a result, love affairs is morally wrong in this condition.

Another issues of love, sex and marriage that will be discussed is regarding to my own experience and expectations of love and marriage. As I have yet to have a girlfriend, I have limited experience of love and marriage. I have an ambiguous relationship with a girl. Since we does not have any commitment of being others boyfriend or girlfriend, this type of love is a romantic love. We share our personal live and feelings which is a self-disclosure performance. We also see each other as an important and special person which shows infatuation. However, romantic love is not my expectation of love.

My expectation of pre-marital relationship and marital relationship is different in some aspects. Both of the relationships are required to hold all three elements of the Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love but with various degrees. For pre-marital relationship, the intimacy extent is less than marital relationship because there is a higher chance to separate before marriage than after marriage which some of our things or thought can only be shared to our lifelong spouse. Moreover, the infatuation element is expected to be varying from pre-marital relationship to marital relationship. From my point of view, sex, especially sexual intercourse, is unnecessary yet accepted. Although sexuality is morally positive when considered merely in terms of the pleasure it gives, but as this pleasure can sometimes hurt other people for example, a girl may regret to have her first time of having sex, which it is more likely to be evaluated as morally negative (Ben-Zeev, 2010). In order words, adult have free will to live their life unless they have interrupted others. In order to keep the passion in pre-marital relationship, some body contact, such as kissing and hugging, is required. However, as having sexual intercourse may result a new born life, which indicates a new responsibility, this may be a burden to the lovers. The third element of the triangle is commitment, which also has different level. For pre-marital relationship, lovers will admit their partners as boyfriend or girlfriend, but they seldom give lifelong promise. For instance, they will just promise to be good to their partner. For marital relationship, lovers are required to make a solemn vow which is lifelong. For instance, they will promise to take care their partner till the end of their life. To conclude, my expectation of marital relationship is higher than pre-marital relationship for all three elements of love triangle.