On another blog, someone commented with a quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein (1989-1951), an Austrian-British 20th Century philosopher:
To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning
As I read this, I asked myself, “Self, does this mean life has no meaning without a belief in God?”
In a cursory reading about Ludwig on Wikipedia, I found it rather interesting that he made the following comment as he lay on his death bed, just before losing consciousness for the last time, “Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.”
In the last years of his life, Wittgenstein was said to be agnostic — in a qualified sense. Qualified in that he did not accept any religious faith. In fact, he was impatient with “proofs” of the existence of God and any attempts to give religion a rational foundation.
So it would seem his original thinking, as stated in the above quote, had changed by the end of his life. He had found meaning in life despite his agnosticism … to the extent he was able to say on his death bed, “I’ve had a wonderful life.”
In his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), he wrote:
Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.
I like this: eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
There is no other time but now. There is no other life but this one. Enjoy the life you have at this moment. Even if you are living with pain and suffering, always remember, you still have LIFE! You are still able to enjoy the magnificence of the universe, the love of friends and family, the joy of simply “being.”
And when the time comes for it all to end, may each of us join Ludwig and say, “I’ve had a wonderful life.”