1) What does life mean?

2) Is there a word you prefer to “happiness”?

3) Does love for a pet dog constitute true love, by your definition?

4) Do you find that having children adds meaning to life?

5) Where do you think all these neo-atheists like Darwin are coming from?


1) Perhaps the two strongest candidates for the answer to the question are happiness and love. But one of the terrible things about the word “happiness” is that it is so utterly feeble. It evokes the idea of people cavorting around with manic grins on their faces.

2) Aristotle, of course, uses a term, which is better, translated as “well-being.” The term I like is “fulfillment.”

3) No. Because it’s a biologically different species, it doesn’t realize itself, doesn’t flower into its own being, through that.

4) I find that for a left-winger like me, the problem is that either your children out-left you or they become fascists.

5) I suppose it is a reaction to various ugly types of fundamentalism. I’m entirely with Dawkins in condemning redneck fascist from Texas to the Taliban. But the trouble with Dawkins is that he thinks that’s what religion is.

Source: Summarized of New York magazine, April 22, 2007

Note: Terry Eagleton is literary critic and Professor of cultural theory at the University of Manchester in England. Also Terry values his catholic background very much.