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The problem of death and immortality in the context of the meaning of life

The topic of the meaning of life is currently one of the traditional for most humanitarian theories and practices, since it means identifying the underlying premises of the formation and development of the individual. Extensive acmeological experience has been accumulated by psychology, pedagogy, sociology, philosophy and other sciences in order to again and again confront a person with the problem of personal self-determination. As far back as the 18th century, the German philosopher I. Kant, in his anthropological theory, argued that each person must ask himself three questions, from the answers to which the meaning of his life is formed: “what can I know?”, “What can I hope for?” and "what should I do?" Until the 20th century, such a life-affirming position encouraged a person to be a Human being, with maximum responsibility to relate to the fate of his own being. However, the 20th century brought to European culture, along with the scientific and technological revolution, a state of anxiety, insecurity about tomorrow, fear for life and, ultimately, a sense of absurdity. The topic of the meaninglessness of human life was picked up and strengthened by existential philosophers J.-P. Sartre, M. Heidegger, A. Camus and others. First of all, they tried to “inspire” the idea that life is meaningless if it is finite. Then they debunked the myth of the appropriateness of “being a Man” in a volatile and unstable world that aspires to non-existence. And at present, existential philosophy appears as a doctrine of the “borderline states” of the personality in which the sensation of life is exacerbated and personal comprehension arises. Thus, existentialism reduced the problem of the meaning of life to one of the moments of our being, in which we can only understand that we exist.

In this study, I would like to criticize such a philosophical position and point out the possibility of another solution to the question of the meaning of finite human life. Firstly, it should be said that a person lives in several dimensions - natural, as a biological individual, and sociocultural, as a person. Accordingly, death must be considered in light of these two vectors of our lives. For an individual, death is a natural end to the life of an organism, the continuation of which - very conditionally - is possible in descendants (at the genetic level). For a person, death means a "transition" from one form of real existence to another form of social memory. In general, not a single person stops his life immediately after physical death; for some time he “remains” in the memory of his loved ones, in his work, in his teachings, etc.
Thus, sociality allows a person to become immortal for a while. The duration of this type of social immortality depends entirely on the person himself, who, with his whole life, should strive to overcome oblivion. Examples of social immortality are the many people who have made a personal contribution to the development of culture and society: historians, politicians, musicians, scientists, artists - all those whom we call “great”; they could become immortal, because they could become personalities with such a meaning of life that exceeded their individual life.

Secondly, continuing to criticize the position of existential philosophers who deny the existence of meaning in mortal human life, I would like to note the need for the boundaries of being. Human life has its natural limits from birth to death, and because of this, it has the dynamics of development. A man "walks" through life - from the past to the present and the future. Oddly enough, the end of the path not only determines the direction of the movement, it also determines the goal and integrity. In the most general sense, the end of any business is the achievement of a goal, the fulfillment of the meaning set at the beginning of the path. And what would happen if this goal were absent? Suppose a person has started a business, but he does not realize why he is doing this, what his ultimate goal is. Can such a person achieve a result? Probably not. It is impossible to achieve what was not in your forecasts and plans. But what about our personal life? Is she not the greatest Work for which we were born? Will she, devoid of a known and exact goal, still have meaning? Probably not. We cannot live aimlessly and at the same time have the meaning of life - this is absurdity. On the contrary, there is no absurdity if life "twists" around its core - the semantic center of personal existence.

Thus, the question of “what is the meaning of existence?” Is not idle or purely theoretical, philosophical. The presence of this question (and - preferably - the answer to it) indicates that your life is moving towards achieving a specific goal, which, under all other conditions, can ultimately lead to social immortality.
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The problem of death and immortality in the context of the meaning of life

  1. The problem of meaning in the context of a person’s life path
    Modern changes in the social context arouse in man the search for spiritual and semantic self-determination. Modern society is characterized by a wide range of acceptable value orientations and behaviors, rapid changes in people's lifestyle, erosion of social partitions, secularization of social and domestic life, expansion of world cultural contacts, reduction of influence
  2. Man's fear of death and the meaning of life
    Human thought has always tried to penetrate into the unknown and mysterious, but nevertheless the most incomprehensible phenomenon for man was and remains death, which frightens the uncertainty of experience and at the same time the accuracy of knowledge about its inevitability. The relation of mankind to death can serve as an indicator of the level of development of civilization. The concept of death plays a significant role in human realization.
  3. The mystery of life and death. Theoretical understanding of the problem of death and dying
    Sooner or later, any person experiences an emotional shock, faced with the problem of the end of his own life. At some age, he must solve the problem of reconciliation with the end of his life, try to comprehend his end, overcome the fear that, without understanding the beginning, he must certainly know that it is his life as a way of individual existence that will end, and bring
    Chudnovsky B.E. (Moscow) The problem of the optimal meaning of life * In psychosocial literature, the meaning of life is usually characterized as a phenomenon that ensures a normal and productive life of a person, the loss of which can have tragic consequences. K. Obukhovsky notes: “Just as the property of a bird is the need to fly, so the property of an adult is the need to find its own meaning
  5. The crisis is 30 years old. The problem of the meaning of life
    Around the age of 30, sometimes somewhat later, most people experience a crisis. It is expressed in a change in ideas about one’s life, sometimes in a complete loss of interest in what used to be the main thing in it, in some cases even in the destruction of the old way of life. What is the reason for the dissatisfaction with your life? According to I.S. Kona, "no one can
  6. The influence of self-esteem on the process of formation of the meaning of life of high school students
    An important role in the self-determination of a person is played by the process of awareness of the purpose and meaning of life. Understanding the meaning of life can be considered one of the main criteria for personal self-determination (Safin, Nikonov, 1984), and the presence of interest in the meaning of life and its active discussion can be considered as one of the parameters that determine the actively ongoing process of self-determination (Ginsburg, 1996). Particular
  7. The meaning of life as an object of psychological research
    Why does a person live? What is the meaning of his life? These questions are always exciting. The desire to realize one’s purpose, to realize how to live, how to make plans for the future, what goals to follow, is inherent in man. Everyone who poses these questions for himself is faced with the difficult problem of understanding his life. Being a global problem, the meaning of life is relative to a specific person
  8. The meaning of life: formation, dynamics, choice
    Behind the same term “meaning of life” are three completely different concepts. This is, first of all, the philosophical meaning of life, the synonym of which is the term “destiny” and its analogues (human destiny, human destiny). The second concept is the meaning of life after the fact, the meaning that is determined when a person has lived his life or its completed period. Example: Petrarch
  9. On the choice of the meaning of life in the modern era
    At the turn of the century, the psychological problem of the meaning of life acquired unexpected relevance and significance. The revealed inconsistency of the concepts of progress and the universal unification of mankind on the model of Euro-American civilization, the collapse of large-scale social utopias - communist and fascist - ultimately led to mass value disorientation of people both in the West and in Russia. IN
  10. The meaning of life and professional activities of a teacher
    The study of the applied problems of the meaning of life is one of the most important tasks of personality psychology. In recent years, a number of studies have been carried out in which the connections between the meaning of life and the achievements of a professional person have been studied. The objective of our study is to identify whether educators include their professional activities as a significant component in the system of their life-meaning
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