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Written Assignment #1
Meaning and Life: A Reflective Exercise


In the comic strip below Calvin (boy) and Hobbes (cat) briefly touch upon the existential question of the meaningfulness or meaninglessness (absurdity) of life. Write a 2-page essay that incorporates answers to the following questions.

1. Calvin employs the expression meaningful lives. How would you define this expression?

2. Do you agree/disagree with Calvin’s assertion that “we all want meaningful lives” and “look for meaning in everything we do”? Briefly state the basis of your agreement/disagreement.

3. Calvin presents two mutually exclusive positions on the relation between meaning and life. Either everything is meaningful or everything is meaningless (absurd). Do you accept one of these positions? If so, explain why. If not, present an alternative position and indicate why it’s preferable.