What is the meaning of life? Nothing. Life has no meaning. There is no rhyme or reason to life; there is no purpose or master plan to the existence of anything, let alone life, and certainly not intelligent life.
There cannot be purpose without design. And the universe was not designed. It the product of natural forces working without direction but by precise laws of physics and logic. The inter-working of these rather simple forces can produce pretty complex things, and these complex things can produce more complex things over time. This is where life came from. But it was not planned, or designed, and therefore not purposed. Hence, life has no purpose.
This may sound nihilistic. And at first glance, with good reason. When I de-converted from belief in God, I felt alone, afraid, and cold. I felt a world that was empty, harsh, remorseless, transient, ephemeral, and meaningless. I despaired. I was broken.
But I began to learn new things about the universe and about life. I realised that although life is meaningless, lives are not. There is no purpose to living things, but intelligent living things have the unique ability to give their own lives meaning! What does that mean? It means that the purpose of life is an irrelevant question. It is viewed as the apex of metaphysical questions…the ultimate riddle that only perhaps the very wise could ever answer. But I believe the question is a red herring. It has no meaning. The real question should be: “what is the meaning of my life?” And the answer is: “whatever you want it to be.”
The purpose of life that we should all give ourselves is: happiness. It’s as simple as that. Do things that make you happy. Aim to bring as much happiness to your life and the lives of others as possible. Of course if you hurt or exploit people you are not making anyone else’s life happy, and ultimately, if this doesn’t make you unhappy, perhaps you are not a human being worthy of the name.
But life is about being happy. I can’t tell you what that means for you, as I’ve barely begun to figure it out myself. We all have to figure it out for ourselves. The meaning of lives is, to find happiness.