Why Are We Alive?

We go to work, we eat, are entertained or entertain others with movies, music, tv, drama and comedy, we party with friends, couple, have sex, yet behind all our activities lurks the question, why do we exist? What is it all about? Why should there be life rather than not? And why us—why are we the ones who should be alive?

I think it is fair to say that this is the ultimate religious question. All of our major religions have a “story” whose purport is to answer it.

It’s likely that humans are the only species on earth who asks such a question of themselves. That observation itself, that we alone ask the question of existence, is often thought to be a clue to the answer. Perhaps other animals fail to ask why they are alive because they have no “higher purpose”; perhaps we ask because we sense that we do. That we even wonder about such things could itself be evidence that there is something “untold” about our lives, that there is “something more”.

Before continuing, let’s ask ourselves what kind of answer could ever satisfactorily resolve this question of “why?”.

Imagine God asking himself (itself/herself)

Why do I exist? What is my purpose?

For God, what could the answer be to such a query? What is it that makes God’s existence meaningful for God?

If we try to address this question from God’s point of view (rather than our own) we are likely to conclude that no possible answer could do God justice. God doesn’t have a “higher purpose” because God is the higher purpose. God doesn’t yearn for “more” because God is the “more”.

God doesn’t have to ask why his life is meaningful, or what makes it meaningful, because God is the source of meaning itself. If your life is the source of meaning, it makes no sense—indeed there is no need—to ask why or whence.

The Meaning of Meaning

But to understand this, let’s look at what it means to be meaningful. Words, as we know, are (usually) meaningful, but what makes them meaningful? Their meaning derives from the fact that they reference—that is to say, they point to—something in the world. Sometimes, to be sure, words only point to other words which point to other words and so on. But eventually there are real, existing things being pointed at which are the source of meaning (even if only in a pretend way, as in fiction), or else the whole pile of words signifies nothing.

Put simply, something is meaningful if it points at something else which serves as its source of meaning. Thus a theist would say that our human lives are meaningful because they point back to a source of meaning in God. But notice a peculiar consequence of this. Unless there is a greater God who is God’s source—and by definition there isn’t—God’s life isn’t meaningful. God has nothing to point back to for a source of meaning.

In this sense in which we use the word meaningful, if applied to God’s case we have to admit that God is not meaningful. God’s existence doesn’t reference something else. This follows because God is a source of meaning, something which meaningful things reference, and not something whose existence references elsewhere.

To our God asking himself what makes his life meaningful, the correct response would be,

God, you don’t understand—that question doesn’t apply to you because you are not meaningful but a source of meaning.

And what if the question doesn’t apply to us either? What if it makes no sense to ask the why questions about our existence because, like God, we are sources of meaning, because our living does not reference elsewhere.

Unexplainable Us

It’s not even that we must create meaning for ourselves, as Sartre maintained. After all, do we imagine God making up stories about himself, creating “reasons” for his existence? It would be unnecessary. Existence doesn’t need meaning, and the attempt to apply “meaning” can only bring it down a notch. Real beings exist; they don’t exist for a reason.

In fact, reasons are only explanations. They come afterward, when we want to talk about things. When we want ideas to work with. Just as it would demean God to say he exists for the purpose of bringing us into the world and furthering our human careers, so it demeans us to say that God created us to carry out some grand plan of his. Meanings & explanations turn us into mere tools. To say we need a meaning is to say—beforehand—that we are tools for something else. It makes us illegitimate, makes us important for someone else, rather than important within.

All such efforts stem from the mistaken trap of believing that thought can legitimize existence. It never can.

We can smother ourselves in explanations (as we smother everything else)—and they are useful (extremely useful when the scientific method is followed)—but explanations can never justify usefulness itself, or justify us in our lives.

We are not the sort of things that need be or ever can be explained. We simply are.

De-Valuing the Body

What is curious is that theists cannot accept the possibility of bodily life being valuable on its own. From the natural perspective, this is difficult to comprehend. The atheist wonders how one could not see bodily life as inherently valuable. How can value not be embodied?

The answer is that theism derives from an incomprehensible but long-standing tradition of splitting body from soul, with all value assigned to the soul side of the equation. The body is devalued “by definition,” which means the theist faces a logically-defined barrier to identifying our bodies as valuable.

As one theist explained to me years ago,

The soul, the personality, is actually the being, not the body. The body is the mere tool or the puppet of the soul to be used for playing the game, and for communication. The truth is that you don’t need a body to experience joy and pleasure. Actually the pleasures that can be had on a ‘body’ level are quite low level when compared to the spiritual ones of serenity and exhilaration.

Life, the soul, the being, can exist with or without the body, but the body without the soul is little more than a hunk of meat with no goals, no hope, no desires, no personality. It is in short ‘dead’ for all practical purposes, except for that it can breath and perform the physical functions of life. —John Kendrix, Seekers BBS, Atlanta, GA, 11/14/1988, Msg# 6476, To: The Atheist, Re: Bodies (spelling corrected)

Kendrix’s devaluation of the body demonstrates the pernicious (if not outright evil) influence of spirituality. It represents a viewpoint endemic to theism, which effectively sets believers up for a life bordering on depression, unmoored from any stable source of value. Within its framework, God is essential of course, and in this sense devaluation of the body serves the religious priesthood well.

Yet God’s role is a disturbing one here, for deity serves as a last-ditch effort to introduce a stable and enduring source of value for our lives, a desperate way to make some kind of sense of life and why we exist as bodies.

But you can’t make sense of why we exist as bodies by denying that we are bodies or denying that bodies are valuable. And you can’t deny the body’s centrality to life and at the same time live and feel with any kind of sanity or moral ground. The problem is that adding God doesn’t make sense of things. A bodiless God, brought in to be the ground of life, is anything but grounded. Inevitably God floats off in the realm of non-existence, weightless, groundless, absurd.

The core problem with God is that he has no body, and therefore no way to move or exist, no way to be valuable, much less to serve as a source of value for us. A disembodied mind—whether God’s or ours—can’t bring value to life.

It takes a body for that.

Getting Rid of the Middleman

The natural world view enhances our inherent value because it removes the “middleman”—God—which has separated us from our worthiness. Many claim that nature without God leads to despair and loss of intrinsic value to life, but in reality we ought to be delighted to be able to dispense with the middleman. Without God, ultimate worth comes back to bodily life itself.

Remove God from your world view and everything that matters gets redirected to life.

If we think of ourselves as natural, and of the natural world view as one that folds God into nature, then we see that atheism can only enhance our worth as human beings. Naturalism eliminates God, but more importantly it eliminates the need for God. It brings value—everything we value—home to our bodies. Home to us.

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206 Responses to Why Are We Alive?

  1. ARSadri says:

    Dear Sir, I am Iranian and I love freedom. (please don’t think that I am someone who forces the others believe in what he believes in, thats not the case)

    I am muslim (highly). I am totally familiar with Kant, Rassel and also quran. I believe that ALTHOUGH no one can proove there is a god ,no one can deny it either.

    Its really intresting to me that your discussion has been discussed 1200 years ago in my land… and it is really intresting to me that my predecessors answered your views with easiest way they could and after 12 centeries you so called “Modern” or “Post Modern” -if you like- people are in that position. But don’t worry. you’ll manage to live that way.

    I think your problem is about three wrong Ideas you have. First that you assume all of your understanding comes from mind or feeling. second that you think human cannot live without the body. Also you think that material cannot be created.

    they are wrong to me. spirit is nither feeling nor reseoning. so you can’t reseon it nor feel it. but its there. I have it. and I know too many people out there who believe they have it. You just “think” that you are ignoring it. by what? the life you talked about that way. eat and work and …

    I have thousands of traditions and beautiful things and places to enjoy in my life that you cannot even imagine and never have had. (even my corrupted government is an experience to me) But they all are helpful only when I “feel” that my “reseoning capability” is manipulating what comes from my spirit and that spirit is everyday growing and growing only and only using these reseonings and feelings.

    that spirit could be said that is source of i.e. hope. love. and then they are manipulated by mind called “reseoning” and the result is “felt”. The aim, the goal is realized in spirit. Then the spirit grows or fades and if it grows, will make more hope, more love and more power.

    Human can live without the body. Already tested in hospitals called “Intensive Care” you can live without legs, arms, total stomach, and heart… they dialize and enrich blood and send it to brain by machine. you only need brain. but recently they took away half of a girls brain in US and she is fine. also all other parts of it in many people have been ruined by tumors and they have not died. therefor there is no part in human body that you can call HUMAN.

    and finally that you think that the world is infinite and material cannot be created.

    I think it could be wrong and philosophically I don’t come up with any paradox. World is definitley infinit and material whatever it is, is already being created. (I know enough physics to know that this is not acceptable in physics. I am a Medical Engineer studying in Karolinska Instutet in stockholm).

    You rely only and only on what you think you know from concurrent physics. which of course is so weak and unacceptable to give you a perfect idea about God.

    Religion is the only way to god. If you don’t understand it and there are many clerks out there who never got it, thats not religions problem.

  2. ARSadri says:

    sorry meant to say that World is finite.

  3. Spades says:

    hey im back, got to deep in some shit. you still posting nameofyournextgod?

    -Spades

  4. Martin Story-Kapusta says:

    So, I’m reading this article and thinking “Wow, this guy is doing a pretty spot on job summarizing existence WITH the inclusion of God”. Up until the last paragraph or so, of course. I don’t understand how you can place so much value and recognition on the “soul” when you don’t even believe in God? Belief in something so spiritual and ethereal is belief in God Himself.

  5. Tracy says:

    why is it so inportant that we are alive today

  6. Spades says:

    Its not; theres no point to anything.

    -Spades

  7. Jeremy says:

    “Human can live without the body.”…
    Find someone without any material body, a floating nothing, and I’ll believe in your God.

    Do you do history ARSadri? Who told you that we had a spirit? There is no evidence to prove we do. No evidence that makes it as obvious as reason or feelings. Without this evidence you’re left trying to justify all the sources who told you that we had a spirit. Though the qu’ran Is supposedly verbal revelation – Allah’s direct words in scripture – that wouldn’t have any standing in the modern society. You’ve explained a mechanism to how the spirit works as well – how did you find that out?

  8. Martin Story-Kapusta says:

    Jeremy:

    Evidence, evidence, evidence. Fools like you atheists always require evidence and proof before you believe in something. Faith is nonexistent to you people and that is the sole reason society is getting more and more corrupted. Plain and simple, if you can’t believe in something bigger than your measly insignificant existence then you have no worth and nothing except for your materialistic and gluttonous lifestyle. Have fun living a life clogged with false truths and devoid of importance, just because you fail to see anything beyond what your eyes show you.

  9. Jeremy says:

    It’s not just evidence Martin. It’s justification. If we’re to live in a coherent society we can’t have decisions based upon nothing but faith, it leads to jihad, crusades etc.

    There is corruption in more an more societies. I’d rather live in one where MPs are claiming expenses than in one lead by sharia law and in a time where Christians didn’t let women have rights.

  10. Martin Story-Kapusta says:

    I’m glad that you responded without retaliation and anger, as most people do when I provoke them. And for that you score a point.

    I agree that a lot of absurd actions have been taken due to faith, however there is a difference behind those faiths that will allow you to commit suicide for abnormal reasons or harm others, and those that have a background of sincerity, love, and devotion.

    Also, the past is the past. I agree that in previous eras ‘supposed’ religious communities created grief and stood by ridiculous laws and punishments, but it is the present that we must focus on.

    However, it isn’t about following a community or group of people. People are human beings, no matter how high up the social, political, or religious ladder they are. It’s about having faith in something so much more powerful and bigger than us humans, and relying on other humans to order us around based on that belief is ludicrous.

    I myself believe in God (the Christian-Catholic one), however, I choose not to follow the Catholic church verbatim because I believe that they have misinterpreted the message and have corrupted it’s meaning. That doesn’t mean that I don’t attend church every so often because I feel God’s presence there once in a while, but I don’t choose to confess my inner most wrongs and pains to another HUMAN BEING in a box.

  11. Jeremy says:

    But what is the difference between the faith that leads to jihad or faith that leads to love and sincerity? Both sets of people will be unshakeable in their belief that they’re right; Neither will give reasons for their decisions that are based on any logic we can understand. Why can’t I shoot someone under the pretence of being told by papa smurf? Faith is dangerous because it’s a nothing, it’s a conviction that something is right because of nothing.

    Your argument about everyone being equal and therefore the need to have something much more powerful for human beings to depend on is just very defeatist. Can’t you see the power of the human mind? It isn’t Gods that are researching cures for cancer, Gods didn’t set up Oxfam, Gods didn’t put a man on the moon, Gods didn’t write the works of Shakespeare. Religion reduces our self-worth, organised religion you may argue even more so, but why not feel confident that you can work with others and rely on other human beings to be at the top of a political and social ladder for you.

    Human reasoning is something we can all understand, so is emotion. Yes, it’s hard to swallow giving a politician more power than a shop employee because WE’RE JUST HUMAN BEINGS but we are in a democracy whereby those with power are put there by other human beings.

    The past is still the present!!! Just this year in Pakistan they allowed the Taliban to reintroduce Sharia Law in areas that sends women back into the household. I really recommend you read up on current day Religious affairs because there are still “ridiculous laws and punishments” around today.

  12. Martin Story-Kapusta says:

    Regarding the difference between Jihad and well….anything religious that does not result in death or the harming of others (or anything negative for that matter), is just that. The answer lies in the question. The difference is what actions you see the two separate believers conduct. It’s exactly the same as comparing a murderer and a normal, non-destructive human being. The actions and thoughts that they are associated with prove which is right or wrong. Just because one person believes they are right does not mean that is so. Regardless of what someone who would conduct such an action of destruction and suicide believes, it cannot be correct. It’s common sense. Any attempt to justify their position is completely ludicrous and a waste of time.

    Faith is not a nothing. Faith is something so important that the majority of human beings fail to shun it due to it’s vital presence. Once again, to use comparison, saying faith is nothing is just like saying love is nothing, or compassion, or forgiveness. Abstract concepts are only sometimes perceived as nothing because they are not concrete and not visible right before our eyes (clearly from your standpoint and views expressed, I can tell you are somebody that only lives through what he witnesses and can only believe in something with proof). A larger body grows continuously in this modern era due to people becoming less and less wise every day. Human beings are slowly becoming more and more corrupted, and allowing what truly matters to slip through our grasps. Materialistic concepts have conquered most people’s lives, and it really is sad. Although people may say that the future is friendly and that we have improved drastically in technology, look at all the things we have lost. I’m young, and I’ve already realized that in the past at least more important concepts and knowledge were embraced and held on to.

    All those things you’ve stated we have only achieved because of God. Nothing could have possibly been done without him, and just like countless stories and tales passed around, the student and creation attempts to overcome the creator. It’s laughable really, because the only thing we can possibly hold against what made us is the fake illusion that we are better than what made us, which is entirely not true, and only hangs above us like a poisonous cloud. I do have belief in the human mind, but honestly, what have we really achieved? A bunch of different types of scrap metal and several ways to indulge ourselves gluttonously? Just look at the majority of the human population, especially in the more ‘developed’ countries where supposedly intelligence has peaked. Extremely high obesity rates, overgrown laziness, a sickening lack of true communication (I’m afraid cellphones don’t count), fake attitudes towards each other just to fool the other person, etc. The list goes on. The truth is, we haven’t achieved much, and in the end, all we have achieved will be for nothing because of one word: death.

    Death is what unites us all, and no matter concrete possessions you carry in this world, unfortunately it’s not coming with you. I find it really hard to believe that people like you can even exist believing that there is no afterlife. How do you get by day to day thinking that nothing awaits you when you die? And if so, why do you care about all the insignificant things in life? It all ends for us anyway, so without something to save us, what is the point of existence? Because of the hope and knowledge of an afterlife, THAT is why this planet means nothing to me, and I have the willpower to not be possessed by materialistic and petty things like “social ladders”.

    Then again, that isn’t entirely true. I do value my life and every day I try to live a better life. There is meaning to this existence. I choose to exert myself truthfully and to be as happy as I possibly can be, because that is all I see fit to do. However, I know not to be tied down by worldly possessions because I know that there’s something much bigger and better awaiting me in the end.

    Politics provide no purpose, what so ever. It’s just a system that has been developed to allow weak human beings to feel better about themselves because they wish to control others. I see no point in them at all, and really if the world was united through honesty and faith, we wouldn’t require them at all. It is because ‘intelligent’ govern the weak that such a system even exists. If human beings were more strong (proving that human beings aren’t as amazing as you say) then they wouldn’t require others to manipulate them. Anarchy would do just fine in a planet where everyone loved each other and were strong enough to govern themselves.

    Sure, the past IS still present. But only with regards to lesser religions that clearly have no control and are so far diverged from the truth that they have chosen to continue existing in such a ruthless and pathetic form. There is only one God to follow, and all other religions are a waste of devotion. Proven by their actions.

  13. Jeremy says:

    “The actions and thoughts that they are associated with prove which is right or wrong. Just because one person believes they are right does not mean that is so. Regardless of what someone who would conduct such an action of destruction and suicide believes, it cannot be correct. It’s common sense. Any attempt to justify their position is completely ludicrous and a waste of time.”

    Unfortunately what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘right and ‘wrong’ is very hard to define. But it CERTAINLY isn’t common sense – if it was – why is there even the question of whether the iraq war right? Common sense by definition is held as common between us all – surely we’d all know?
    Furthermore, tell me how you would say it is/isn’t without giving me any reasons? Explain to me how you could justify your actions – prove their common sense – using just faith.
    Would killing your sister to save your mother be ‘right’? There is no common sense ‘here’s the answer!’ in that. At least giving reasons would allow for some insight into why you think it’s right and wrong – faith doesn’t. That’s what I mean by faith as a nothing.

    “Faith is not a nothing. Faith is something so important that the majority of human beings fail to shun it due to it’s vital presence. Once again, to use comparison, saying faith is nothing is just like saying love is nothing, or compassion, or forgiveness.”

    True, they all ‘exist’ abstract concept but the difference here is that we’re addressing Faith as a method, a way of living life and of being imparted knowledge (you criticised me for asking for proof of a spirit and it’s functions as I didn’t except Ards’s faith could show that). Faith doesn’t give you anything to justify an argument. It’s clear from what you’ve said that you believe right and wrong to be intuition (‘common sense’). I would argue that if we’re to live in an ordered society we have to provide reasoning for our arguments. Saying to do something out of Faith is not acceptable – it is a nothing of an argument – just an ‘it is (right/wrong)’.

    (I’m simply elaborating on why Faith is a nothing there)

    “Materialistic concepts have conquered most people’s lives, and it really is sad. Although people may say that the future is friendly and that we have improved drastically in technology, look at all the things we have lost. I’m young, and I’ve already realized that in the past at least more important concepts and knowledge were embraced and held on to.”

    I get frustrated when people claim materialism to be the bane of western society. Western society may be held by materialism (in the end we are consumers) but for heaven’s sake! Only a small minority of people are selling their values and principles to corporation. True, you could argue there are those who play WOW all day long, but like most cynics you’ll undoubtedly class them as without value or devoid of principles and beliefs. Just because most people look forward to Christmas because of the presents doesn’t devoid us of ‘soul’ (love, compassion, principles, values, beliefs) it’s seemingly innate within us all. YOU’RE BEING A DRAMA QUEEN! Our investment hasn’t just been into pleasure machines we’ve built x-rays, discovered penicillin etc. technology has been implemented to make compassionate thoughts and ideals a reality and a UTILITY.
    Abortion is a good example. It can be deemed a horrific act but legalising it was done to prevent ‘backstreet’ abortions (women using needles to remove their fertilised eggs, without any medical assistance). It wasn’t a materialistic ‘I want a new car not a child’ based decision it was those of western society trying to help.

    “What have we really achieved?” Human Rights? Freedom of Speech? You mourn about the ‘death’ of past principles and values. But you don’t give ANY specifics. We could look to the past and ask ‘though they saw Christmas as a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, (better value to hold on to?) they didn’t give blacks or women equal rights (better value to hold on to?)’ and would you still feel like you’re missing out?

    You’re saying it’s ludicrous not to accept a divine creator but you’re yet again basing that argument on a ‘because I know’ nothing argument of Faith.
    But isn’t that just doctrine that told you that? The doctrines that you dismiss because the Religious churches are corrupt? St. Thomas Aquinas shaped Roman Catholic Doctrine, the idea of an unmoving mover or an uncaused causer are all linked back to him and Aristotle. Men have shaped your view of God, all your views are aggregates of other’s – these men aren’t divine or God’s messengers – they’re you and I.

    “The truth is, we haven’t achieved much, and in the end, all we have achieved will be for nothing because of one word: death.”

    I am honestly speechless, you’re so wrong. To reduce everything to ‘scrap metal’ to claim that life is some walking misery in the shadow of death. To cast asun any achievements because they wont last for eternity is just a wimpish attitude. Why dwell on death! Having faith in an afterlife is missing an opportunity – or even to make one for yourself. Why think about death? Why not think about the beauty of this world? The caring nature of your mother, the way your Dad helps/helped you with your work as a child, the health reform Barrack Obama passed through Senate. Why do you emphasise all that’s wrong with our society but still cling to a faith that argues there’s no point in changing those wrongs? (In the end we’re going to die!)

    “If human beings were more strong (proving that human beings aren’t as amazing as you say) then they wouldn’t require others to manipulate them. Anarchy would do just fine in a planet where everyone loved each other and were strong enough to govern themselves.”

    So God messed up really?
    Yet again you’re just emphasising what’s wrong with us. Your idea of a society is just far too idealistic – you’re saying we’re not amazing because we don’t have almost God like perfections. Politics is a naturally developed system. We work in societies (I recommend you read Plato’s The Republic, the first 100 pages will explain to you in very simple terms why we have a government). But alot of what we expect from a Government is not someone telling us what to do or manipulating us but managers who can help coordinate our efforts with one another; to make sure that if I want bread there is money in my pocket, a man to get it from and a baker to make it. But as I said – please read The Republic.

    “There is only one God to follow, and all other religions are a waste of devotion. Proven by their actions.”

    You’ve simply implied it’s obvious and is common sense that they’re wrong and you’re right. Tell those religious groups that! Are they not part of the ‘common’ in ‘common sense’? You can’t just dismiss every other religious group like that when they are all working on the same principals as you do – under the banner of Faith.

    There are a number of Contradictions you make which really frustrate me by the way;

    – “The actions and thoughts that they are associated with prove which is right or wrong” yet you say! ; “Any attempt to justify their position is completely ludicrous and a waste of time”.

    Firstly, alot of their beliefs are – like yours – Faith based. So their isn’t much thought but a committal to an action but then you say that it’s their thoughts that prove and action is right or wrong yet then discard justifying a position as a ‘waste of time’. Justification is thoughts and is very important! You said so yourself really! (1st of the 2 quotes)

    – “Faith is something so important that the majority of human beings fail to shun it due to it’s vital presence” juxtaposed with “Just look at the majority of the human population… Extremely high obesity rates, overgrown laziness…fake attitudes towards each other just to fool the other person, etc. The list goes on.”

    You seem to say most of us have faith but most are fake and obese, oh and you mention most of us have been conquered by materialistic concepts.

    – “How do you get by day to day thinking that nothing awaits you when you die? And if so, why do you care about all the insignificant things in life?”

    If there isn’t an afterlife than it only highlights the importance of everything we have now.

    and

    – You say the world means nothing to you and then say you value your life. But you know that’s a contradiction. You said so yourself really when you said it isn’t true.

  14. Jeremy says:

    I feel left in the cold by Martin!

  15. Martin Story-Kapusta says:

    Patience, I’m a little busy at the moment. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can :D.

  16. HeKnowsMy Name says:

    Why am I alive?…to prove the existence of God

  17. Jeremy says:

    Well you’ll have a tough time my friend. It’s pretty impossible.

  18. Paul says:

    Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand,
    but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

  19. Human says:

    Thank GOODNESS for empiricism.. otherwise we’d still be worshiping the sun.

  20. Human says:

    Then again, how is the sun different than an invisible god.

  21. Jeremy says:

    The sun’s evidence rests upon repeat evidence of human experience that’s uniformly for it’s existence. It can be verified in a number of ways. God however cannot be.

  22. Jeremy says:

    *rests upon repeated observation and human experience*

    There is more evidence for the existence of the sun than there is for God.

  23. Philosiphizer says:

    Why do we exist? Why did each one of you reply to this topic when most of you won’t even visit the page again. Because quite simply, it was presented to you and you did. You acted on your will and exercised the freedom to respond. Nobody told you to come to this page, nobody told you to respond, you did because you were able.

    Why do we search so far into the meaning of life that the answer is seemingly incomprehensible? Is it possible that the answer is just really simple and we choose not to believe it to be a potential answer? What if the reason of our existence is just simply that – to exist.

    We choose not to believe this and disregard it as the answer, because humanity doesn’t want to believe that we are alone in this universe. That it is possible nobody in the universe cares, or is even aware of our planet’s existence, and that if Earth was suddenly purged of all life – the universe would continue.

    So why are we alive?
    Everything has a purpose in this universe.

    The purpose of force – to provide interaction.
    The purpose of energy – to provide resource.
    The purpose of life – to provide change.

    So the real question, what is the meaning of the universe?

  24. anna says:

    i don’t think there really is a clear answer in this discussion, we are here because we were, well, here. It is like asking ourselves is there a end to the universe, and if so, is there anything on that precipice? What colours can we NOT see? When i think about it, its beyond my understanding it makes me feel insignificant and trying to pull my head inside out for something i shall never understand, i just can’t comprehend. Then again we may just be here to live and enjoy our lives, go through pain and joy to learn something else? In my personal opinion, i don’t think we go anywhere after death, we just end up being something else.

  25. Brandon says:

    Food for thought: Do you understand what the human ego is? The ego is what I think “devil” is. The ego wants to protect itself(part of you, so wants to protect YOU too) but often leads to violence and other “sins” that are harmful to the well-being of ourselves and others.

    And our super-ego is the opposite, our inner voice that speaks from the perspectives of peace, unity, and prosperity. Is it possible to defeat your own “inner devil”? I say yes. Once you understand the ego you can understand how to defeat it and ignore it.

    When you think about religion as a sense of explaining our egos, super-egos, conscientiousness, and subconscious aspects to our own minds, you being to make sense of it. I was an atheist too before I discovered my ego and understood it.

    What do you think?

  26. Jeremy says:

    That’s just basic freudian psychology. Religion isn’t necessary after you have an understanding of that – particularly when it’s just psychological theory and not validated or scientifically proven.

    In fact, many use the idea of a super-ego, ego and subconscious as an explanation from morality and a conscience that does include the idea of God.

    A confused argument brandon.

  27. Kathleen says:

    Ahhh, such a looong time since i’ve been here. NoYNG? Still here? I miss our back and forth banter. (we played it out like a nicholas sparks novel; all dramatic start to plateau to dissolving end).

    Anyway, I’ll admit, I haven’t even skimmed the comments that have followed (seriously, it’s been over a year and a half and Idon’t have the patience) So i’m going to open it back up with this general question: Does anyone disagree that there must be some form of universal moral standard that humans (the cosmos, even) must abide by?

  28. leo b. says:

    Truth be told,I read most of this page in the span of three weeks.lovely arguments on both sides.kathleen, I’ve read ur previous posts(pardon my shorthand,I’m using a small keypad nd I’m sleepy) and I’m hoping I can get across to noyng as well. I believe in God.I’m a christian(I’m not perfect though, who is?).I believe anyway, that our moral standards are ultimately based on our belief systems. The only universal moral rule that is a consequence of society and civilization itself is respect of our fellow man. The rest all comes back to our beliefs, desires,and so many other factors. I think this moral is the blueprint for all others.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Leo b.

    Tell me if I understand you correctly: You believe that moral standards are subjective? Morality is not universal (barring respect for others), but rather individual?

    And you chose the Christin God to be your standard? I find that very…interesting…Could you expand some on your belief in God?

    Anyway, nice to have you on the boards 🙂

  30. Sarah C says:

    I didn’t opt to be innate so can’t take to die
    Its a simple evidence (i can take to die anytime!! but this superior comes after infanthood) and rich of fallacies (What is I ? Select? Born (accumulation of atoms,quarks or something many fundamental)? Die?).
    Module is a wonderful creation but it pains me to put my mentation into text 🙂 I haven’t read your stake and am vindicatory placard my thoughts.

  31. Spades says:

    Let me summarize this, everyone searched “why do we exist” in fear of what happens after death. You can believe in fairy tales or you can believe that it just ends. I am hopeful there lies something after death, but the higher being would not be human. Or maybe were all energy that will one day return to the earth, and we (who we use to be) will die, but our energy will live on. I do not pray, because it is a story, the bible is a story of one mans sacrifice; and was drastically changed to create a heaven and hell, and serve as a catalyst for changing how people behave. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but for just one second in your life push them aside. Just for one moment think, actually think why is there anything, why am i alive and what happens when i die. Not even the strongest mind can comprehend those three questions. Be careful not to dwell over them though, they can change your life. I have never been able to stop thinking about them since i was a child. If you do not experience anything over these three complex questions, then you are so far in denial that you will be sent to heaven or you have come to terms that your life will end. I have not yet come to terms, it still scares the shit out of me.
    -Spades

  32. Lowell says:

    I can prove God exists. Answer-Intelligence. I was watching a documentary on the Hoover Damn being built by mortal men.
    The human mind is an amazing thing. Synapse to Synapse.
    The simple ability to choose doing good or evil indicates to me that God exists. Every culture in mankind has laws of some kind.
    My God, people, the INTERNET, COMPUTER, ATOMIC BOMB, INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE, DNA discovery by Watson, and Crick, Thomas Edison, OPEN HEART SURGERY, c’mon man, there has to be some
    INTELLIGENCE preceding human mindful observation of itself.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_circuit
    THINK. ……..just the existence of LOVE.
    At night, I go outside look up at the myriad of stars on fire in my
    telescope, and KNOW.
    This planet is so small and our SUN is only a LITTLE STAR on the edge of the MILKY WAY.
    Just look at the face of a child, and know there is an INTELLIGENCE that some call GOD. …

    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-it-enfold-you/

    Just look at Selma Hayak and you KNOW there is a GOD, somewhere.
    The simple fact that I didn’t blow my brains out after the divorce, finally stopped drinking, and survived my bicycle crash into an 18 wheeler.
    Indicates to me there is a GOD somewhere, laughing………
    and a little dog laughed, while a dish ran away with the spoon……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQYNM6SjD_o&feature=related

    This planet is just the right distance from the Sun, not too close or too far for life to exist. The only known life in the Universe on a planet.
    Just LOOK at a houseplant, or a bird.
    It is too bad that we die, though……but like someone here said,
    that is what makes LIFE valuable
    I am the one black guy in these photos
    http://www.webshots.com
    see
    lowellinseattle
    also
    http://www.wideopenroad.co.uk
    see
    Bordeaux to L’Alp Du Huez photos

  33. Bystander says:

    None of this answers the question why do we exist? Why.

  34. Also ran says:

    Hie, not sure if this is the right thread for asking this, but feels right (‘faith’ may be) and seems natural (‘logical’ may be). I could never bring myself to believe in the cultural construct of God and causal reasoning has somehow always worked for me, however, astrology intrigues me. The whole ‘as above so below’ has enough empirical evidence of being true (I myself has seen my life unfolding just the way my stars had predicted when I was born). Can anyone help me with the connect, in absence or presence of god at the background of this grand design/chance happening we choose to call life. Gracias

  35. brandon says:

    I stopped reading at the whole human being the only ones to think about existence. It is possible that other animals in the past have, or perhaps current ones do. Apes, dolphins or elephants maybe have questioned this. it is simply arrogant to think that humans are the only to have thought this, as if we are important or have ‘higher meaning’. j

  36. Imran Khan says:

    If God exists, does He do anything without reason? If no, then why did He create the universe and life?

  37. Also ran says:

    I guess he was just plain bored! and the idea of PS 3 stuck him quite late.! else he could have done away with this whole thing about universe and black holes and Stephen Hawking and what not 😛

    But the trouble is, even if there is no God, why does universe exist and why do we.
    Or, do we really exist? what is it about me that is making me think this in my mind, write it here and then also expect a reply 😛

    Or may be the answer is so blooming strange that we cant decipher it through our current set of faculties. May be one day we will be so intelligent that we will be able to reason it out.

    There has to be reason, it cant just be by the way.

  38. Nathan son of our Creator says:

    Hehe you guys, are funny. You all right and all wrong. Something that exists is created and when something is created there has to be a purpose. This purpose is to overcome the oldest and biggest fear anyone could imagine or have and where every question we have is born from. I won’t use the names God, Allah, the Allmighty etc anymore…i use the word Creator as neutral as it can be. The Creator overcome that fear for us, and have therefore the biggest burden one can carry, to be the Creator. For us humans, with our spirit within its simple to enjoy the love and return it to our Creator. To fulfil our solepurposes and in return we gain peace, love and eternal happiness. Unfortunately not many of us have such chances….

    Why are we alive? Because we are the answer of the fear our Creator once had.

  39. think.. says:

    Its funny how certain everyone is at the origins of our existance. We’re only human, we only have 5 senses. We’re not moving forward by cancelling out other beliefs.. Who knows what’s real and what’s made up, there’s always gonna be contradictions..?

  40. Vrael says:

    Sometimes, when i sit and think about life, i think to myself, “Is there any point to this? Contemplating life ?”, and that’s when i realised…that IS the whole point.

  41. siouxz says:

    In this blog, people are able to disagree without others being rude in response. Ahh… maturity, what a joy! So why are we alive? Several friends recently have died of cancer and I am going to retire soon. I have been wondering (and not for the first time) what is the purpose of it all. We are born, we die. For the first time I am really looking at what I value for the remaining years of my life. Everything up to this point has been a distraction; organized religion, parents, husband, children, career. What I have figured out is two rules, ” live in the moment with an attitude of gratitude”, and “treat others like you would like to be treated”. I still don’t know why we are all alive, but it makes the aliveness tolerable.

  42. banemi says:

    Please can you tell me “why are we alive” on biology sense do you understand me because i have a test tomorrow!!

  43. Compound says:

    like Nathan “son of our creator” has wrote: “your all right and yet, your all wrong”… Im only going to mention one thing, and yes it has been wrote by men, please lets not debate about it… It the Bible, Please read this http://www.gotquestions.org/image-of-God.html this might help in answering the big question.

  44. Remon says:

    Life has no deeper purpose. People make things up so it feels a bit better. (Like religion, a soul, spirit, ghosts, etc, etc)
    I am alive, I might as well enjoy myself during this ride. I treat people with respect because I hope they will treat me with respect too. And after a while I will die.
    And I’m ok with that…

  45. rogue says:

    when i was 28 years old i thought i had cancer and i thought what will i do with my life now? i wasnt scared of dying. i just thought that i will make a lot of money for the people that i will leave behind.

    now im 31 years old and i recently lost a boyfriend. we just finished surgical training. our relationship was very difficult then he just died of a vehicular accident. this made me think of our lives.

    it seems so cruel that we people endure so much pain and struggle and sacrifices to just die in the end?

    its not fair. im overwhelmed with pain and grief. why do we have to suffer in this world only to die? why do we need to be here at all? and all our feelings mean nothing in the end? i cannot understand.

  46. Pete Cho says:

    I have a couple of questions if I may!

    Does attributing value to the body (to life) mean there is no soul?
    Does it mean there is no “after”-life?
    Does it explain everything non-corporeal that happens to us? (Provided you think of these occurrences as non-corporeal.) Then is the appearance of non-physicality, in your opinion, a façade, and actually corporeal in origin?
    Is a God necessary to justify our existence as more than mere physical bodies (not just physical bodies in and of themselves)?

    “We are not the sort of things that need be or ever can be explained. We simply are.” – You cannot know that. You can only believe that. Am I wrong?

    Are you sure that despite the fact we can imagine our lives having some deeper (non-physical) meaning (possibly found in God) that the meaning is not there? Doesn’t that automatically mean that not everything we imagine exists? How do you know that? How do you know that everything we imagine doesn’t exist somewhere?

    I’m sorry if I sounded abrasive at times, but I really want to hear your thoughts on the subject! Thanks for the great article and thank you for responding to my questions!

    – Mr. Four

  47. siouxz says:

    The older I get, the more I don’t know. So i guess I will enjoy the moment because we do not know when it will be our last. Whether we believe in god or a higher purpose or nothing at all, if we we are loved and if we make a difference with our lives, that is what matters.

  48. Mr. Four says:

    Siouxz, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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