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A Goodreads user asked:

Is it possible to be happy in life but see no meaning in it? I say yes...what do you guys think?

J Realizing that life is objectively meaningless is the best, most liberating thing in this life and is exactly, paradoxically, what gives it meaning (though totally illusory, subjective meaning), and therefore, helps me with happiness. Happiness itself, though, is ephemeral. Our emotional state is not consistent.
Todd Your question is too vague, really. I imagine you just wanted to start a conversation.

Life is meaningless and purposeless. That is fairly obvious to those brave enough to consider the possibility.

Happiness, then, can't be absolute, given the inherent suffering in life. Relative happiness can be acheived. In as much as we can find freedom from the natural and self-created suffering we can have qualified happiness. Distractions can provide happiness, but only for a short time, and they inherently require more suffering before and after achieving that happiness. Sustained happiness has to come from freedom from self-created suffering and the ability to endure the suffering coming from outside of ourselves with as little suffering as possible.

That's why I'm Buddhist. I see the Dharma starting where philosophical pessimism stops. Even given that, though, I still do not see how absolute, sustained happiness is possible. The Dharma isn't about happiness, but freedom from suffering.
Marko it's possible, but your happines is meaningless.
Damien Zehnder Absurdism is the only solution to this problem. That, or if you are ok with cognitive dissonance and lying to yourself you can just try really, really hard to believe in some cause like communism or humanism or some religion.
Jalen Anderson "The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain."


Happiness is - as was stated earlier by Jason- an entirely ephemeral state: empty, hollow, and devoid of any real substance due to the fleetingness of time.
Naomi Ruth I think it is rare to be happy about a life that is meaningless, but I do think it is possible. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by happy, and if we're assuming that we can ever actually believe life is meaningless.
Animal Happiness is meaningless, but then suffering, sadness and despair are as well, so, when faced with the fact of our having no purpose, what is one emotion over the other? I'm personally not *happy* about it, but I'm not unhappy about it either; the question of purpose/meaning on a cosmic scale is inconsequential and meaningless in itself.

When people lament life's meaningless, I wonder - 1) what did you want or expect life's great end to be? and 2) how is our existence inherently "tragic" (a word that repeatedly appears early on in this book) if you don't believe purpose is a good thing to begin with? I wonder if people who despair over meaninglessness and call our consciousness of it a "tragedy" are just disappointed that the institutions and belief systems that arbitrarily assign some purpose to life out of thin air probably aren't based in reality.

I'm bewildered that idea of "meaning" should even applicable to nature. It's like ascribing meaning, or some great end, to evolution - any biologist will tell you there's no "end goal" of evolution; it's a mechanism propelled by feedback between organisms and environmental conditions. Life in general is logically the same. How you deal with that fact is subjective and completely up to you.
HerbDaisy Is there any meaning to all games?? :))
Amanda Absolutely, we've just come here to play. The meaning is experience and creation. We're here to make things and experience what life is like on this planet. There are probably many more habitable planets that we could have chosen, but this one is probably one of the best ;)
Macaylla Silver Words like meaning, like purpose, are not in itself well defined. The constructed meaning and purpose of life could be invented as a hypothesis that could not be verified until the experiment to prove it is fully played out... far far into the future. Most of the universe is dead and empty, and it is indeed incomprehensibly vast; we see it as so; and as big as it is, the universe is incapable of not seeing us, small and sentient. A curse? Or is some long evolutionary game being played out, and we become, reluctantly, the eyes of the cosmos.
Sbfrazier Maybe there is no meaning to life. I fight with this question constantly. But, IMHO,. Mr. Ligotti and other "cool cats" like him should do us all a favor: kill themselves and quit wasting my oxygen.
León You can *feel* happy, but happiness is ultimately useless.
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