A Unified Theory of Meaning can't truly be unified if it isn't aligned or compatible with most philosophies. In this blog post, I thought I'd start to show how all philosophies have the eight core concepts of meaning embedded into their ideologies. Let's begin with Christianity, which has a lot of relevant concepts. Here are five ideas from the religion and how the principles behind them are key to finding meaning:
Note: This post is neither promoting nor criticizing these ideas but rather exploring the underlying concepts that make them significant. The Unified Theory of Meaning, which is a Growth-Centric View that shows growth, experience, desire, belief, emotions, ethics, support, and choice as the eight key factors in whether someone finds meaning in their life, could only have been developed after studying the ideas of various religions and dissecting why and how they formed and worked.
What is interesting about this list is that the underlying ideas behind these concepts can be beneficial regardless of whether you believe in or adhere to the religion. Having a set of core values and ethics can help you to behave appropriately in society. Treating others well can benefit others and lead to reciprocal treatment that is beneficial to you. Taking time to be clear about what you want and be grateful can be beneficial to your emotional well-being. Admitting when you have done something wrong and asking for forgiveness is important to positive social interactions. Knowing the power and responsibility of your choices and how you might have to choose between the easy path with short-term benefit or the harder path with long-term benefit is critical to life planning and decision making.
What I like about the Unified Theory of Meaning is that I can look at the common elements across philosophies and see how these important concepts manifest without having to be critical of them or judge their appropriateness. You will ultimately find the life philosophy that works for you, and hopefully you can analyze the potential value of holding different beliefs or exhibiting different behaviors and leverage them where appropriate—regardless of whether you decide to adopt a specific belief system or not.