Religion, Meaning, Truth, Life

10 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2014 Last revised: 9 Jun 2015

See all articles by Frederick Mark Gedicks

Frederick Mark Gedicks

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Date Written: January 28, 2015


First presented at a conference, “Is Religion Outdated,” held at the University of San Diego Law School February 28 & March 1, 2014, this essay provides an ontological and experiential critique of Professor Steven D. Smith’s argument that only religion provides the transcendent meaning necessary for human beings to conceptualize themselves as persons. The author argues instead that ontology should be premised on being-in-the-world rather than the Cartesian separation of mind and world employed by Smith, and illustrates this with his experience of a personal tragedy, concluding that nontranscendent experiences and commitments can provide life meanings as powerful as those supplied by religion.

Keywords: being-in-the-world, Cartesian dualism, death, Heidegger, life meaning, meta-narrative, mind, religion, transcendence, truth, world

Suggested Citation

Gedicks, Frederick Mark, Religion, Meaning, Truth, Life (January 28, 2015). 51 San Diego Law Review 1069-78 (2015), Available at SSRN:

Frederick Mark Gedicks (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

504 JRCB
Provo, UT 84602-8000
United States
801-422-4533 (Phone)
801-422-0391 (Fax)

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