What short stories have further defined your conceptual understanding of "the meaning of life?"
I recently read Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question
" and was blown away.
As an atheist, I found myself extremely attracted to the story's underlying notion of universal "indifference" -- that our lives occupy a minute space on the linear process that it entropy, and that in the end, the only thing that is certain is that "everything" will cease to exist. (This is my reading of the story; I understand that it may or may not be yours.)
Effectively, I feel that reading Asimov has helped me resolve some broader, personal existential issues -- and that I'm a more "grounded" person because of it.
So, MeFi, I'd like to know what short stories have helped you form your own understanding of the “meaning of life/existence.”
Two side notes: First, by “short stories,” I mean stories that can easily be read in one sitting. Second, I’d prefer to hear about stories that pose questions, rather than those that dictate answers (i.e. no biblical stories that are fundamentally predicated on a belief in God).