Visiting a distant land, getting to know people who live in completely different conditions from ours, witnessing seemingly insurmountable poverty, or observing ascetic life in a remote monastery are all experiences that compel us to rethink our answers to the fundamental questions that have always accompanied human existence. The author believes that religion cannot provide those answers; therefore we must follow more worldly and secular paths. Discarding radical solutions such as nihilism and scepticism, this book outlines a search for meaning based on an individual and subjective dimension and promotes the idea that each of us has the right to find our own way in order to make existence meaningful. Nevertheless, we must not neglect the public dimension: we need to find acceptable ways to regulate ethical and legal issues arising from the confrontation (and sometimes the veritable clash) between differing conceptions of meaningful living.
Eugenio Lecaldano is professor emeritus at the Sapienza University in Rome, where he used to teach Moral Philosophy.