Explain how Religion is a distinctive response to the human search for the meaning of life.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very profound question.  In speaking in the most broad of senses, I think that religion is a response to the human search for the meaning of life because of its stress on a divinely ordained set of value systems.  In all religions, faith in the divine and the path that the divine has set for individuals is what provides meaning, as human beings see the fulfillment of these edicts as a way to develop meaning in their own lives in submission to the will of the divine.  In being able to assign meaning to the divine, human beings feel that there is a meaning to existence through religious worship.   Meaning of one's life is seen as following the will of the divine. Different religions speak to different elements within it, but in the general notion of adhering to a set of values and ideas that constitute faith in that religion helps to provide meaing to individuals.  At the same time, religion is seen as a way to help understand and comprehend the various sufferings that are a part of consciousness.  In adherence to this, there is a response to the human search for meaning, according to Anthropologists John Monoghan and Peter Just:

It seems apparent that one thing religion or belief helps us do is deal with problems of human life that are significant, persistent, and intolerable. One important way in which religious beliefs accomplish this is by providing a set of ideas about how and why the world is put together that allows people to accommodate anxieties and deal with misfortune.

In this idea, the need to find paths to address issues of suffering, pain, and loss are ways in which religion offers a distinct response to the human search for the meaning of life.

novis | Student


The distinctive response from religion is nothing more than its own trumpet blowing. the meaning of life is imposible to know, there is nothing profound. life value does not have to be linked to anything devine. to comprehend anything beyond this life, you have to enter the realms of imagination.