"when you say "art's function is to exercise the mind's capacity to find meaning" what's meant by "meaning"? A traffic light gives meaning but we don't call it art. Is there a specific sense of the word?"
This is a good question. When someone asks "what is the meaning of life?", they are in fact asking "what is the meaning of meaning?"The word can mean different things at different times. A data point that signifies a scientific fact can be said to carry meaning, but I'm not talking about that kind of correlative property.
I don't believe in the existence of God. Neither absolute nor objective morality exist. In the same sense that moral goodness can only exist because there are conscious beings, meaning can only exist if there are minds capable of appreciating it. Humans invent meaning. Humans can also be said to "find" meaning as an instinctive impulse to detect patterns. It's what makes us human.
― Peter Chung, Monday, 27 June 2022 23:32 (three months ago) link