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Death is not the truth - Essay Example

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Tolstoy saw life as something that ought to be avoided, rather than sought or wished for. But a critical analysis of Tolstoy’s view on life shows that his view on life is flawed and untrue. Tolstoy’s view of life is false, first and foremost, on logical grounds. To lay bare the logical weaknesses of Tolstoy’s anti-life argument, it is necessary to first analyze his argument logically, and then point out its weaknesses. Tolstoy’s nihilistic attitude to life was informed by his experiences in life which made him to conclude that life is utterly meaningless. Tolstoy was brought up in a Christian Orthodoxy family and he was taught catechism, but later in life, he lost his faith and stopped going to church. Prior to developing this anti-life attitude, Tolstoy had attempted many things in life in an effort to become wealthy and famous. He had committed all sorts of evils to achieve this goal (Tolstoy, 18). Tolstoy, also, tried very hard to be perfect in whatever he did, so as to become a respected and a famous person. Eventually, Tolstoy’s efforts paid off and he achieved his objectives of becoming wealthy and famous; Tolstoy had stable family, his businesses were doing well, and he was a respected and a well known person. But despite these achievements, Tolstoy wasn’t a happy person; he became deeply distressed in life. At one point he contemplated committing suicide (Tolstoy, 29). Amidst this emotional torture, it dawned on Tolstoy that despite all his achievements in life, death was the inevitable eventuality awaiting him. Tolstoy realized that soon or later, he would die, decompose, and all his efforts and achievements in life would be all in vain. Tolstoy, therefore, conceived life as one big evil that ought to be avoided. He saw the whole of life as being useless since no matter how much we struggle to be successful, we will ultimately die and leave everything that we have worked for.Tolstoy’s argument of life as being meaningless can be logically expressed as follows: First premise, it is meaningless to live and eventually die Second Premise, in human life death is inevitable Conclusion, human life, is therefore, meaningless A critical and logical analysis of this argument shows that the argument is indeed valid, for the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises, but the argument is, however, unsound. While the second premise is true, that death is an inevitable eventuality to all human beings, the first premise, however, is false because the meaning of life doesn’t lie in whether or not human life is mortal or immortal. A critical analysis of this proposition that, it is meaningless to live and die, shows that Tolstoy is wrong in this claim. The main reason that Tolstoy would use to counter my thesis and to support his claim that it is meaningless to live and eventually die, is that after death, we will not be able to enjoy the fruits of our labour and all our fame and our knowledge/learning in life will become of no more use to us. So on this basis, Tolstoy concludes that life is meaningless. Tolstoy was influenced to make this conclusion by the fact that, even while we are alive, despite our outstanding achievements in life, life is full of misery and, therefore, there is no point of living in perpetual struggle and misery, and eventually we die. Tolstoy, therefo ...Show more


Henry Nabea Professor # Philosophy # 07/ 05/ 2013 The Meaning of Life What is the meaning of life? Does life have any meaning at all or is life meaningless? This philosophical question is one of the most intractable questions in Philosophy. It is difficult to give a universal definition of life because different people have different conceptions of life…
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Death is not the truth essay example
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