Answers to Everything
Meaning of Life Questions
What is the Meaning of Life?
The Meaning of LIFE:
This seems to be the central question in many cultures.
The answer really is dependent on what you are looking for.
Let me go through some of the possible answers, to find the correct answer for you.
First, the Meaning of Life is very simple to answer, but I am sure it is not what you are looking for.
The Meaning of LIFE, is in the dictionary. Look it up. It’s there.
But I’m sure that’s not what you meant.
The intent behind what this question actually means is:
What is the Purpose of Life. or What is the Reason for Life.
and that is a much more interesting question.
The answer to this will change depending on whether you are looking for the purpose of ALL life, or just Human-kind, or for any individual, or specifically for yourself… or for some other meaning that can be found within the question.
My most common answer to that question would be:
To grow towards death
(Although that may sound dark or negative, I don’t believe it is.)
I believe that that statement works in both the short and the long term.
For example, as an individual, our purpose is to grow physically, mentally and emotionally, with the aim of achieving our goals… creating our replacements, adapting our environments, for ourselves and our offspring,
then move off towards our end, with our replacements ready and waiting to take over for their turn.
But this also works for a species.
Their purpose is to grow in number, either adapt to the environment, or to adapt the environment to suit, and to continue multiplying until their excess waste products start to cause their own demise, at which point another species will come and replace them. One better suited to the environment as left by the previous life form.
This works for all forms of life, from humans to bacteria alike.
At times I also like to use some of these other answers in reply to the Meaning of Life question:
“to make a better me”
“to create worthy memories”
“to search for the meaning of life”
“to know the truth”
“to be loved”
"The purpose of life, is a life of Purpose"
Back to What is the meaning of life? and other interpretations of the question:
why does life exist?
why is there life in the first place?
Before life, there were simple chemical reactions, and perhaps some not so simple. These involved molecules joining in various combinations.
But once one molecule had joined with another, it became something else, (a different molecule).
In other words, once one chemical reacts with another, it becomes a different chemical, so that first reaction cannot happen again.
Perhaps, with the help of external energy sources (eg. light or heat), some of these 'end product' chemicals were able to be undone (molecules separated), so that the whole process could happen over and over again.
And/or different 'end product' molecules combined together, to create even more complex molecules.
The Sun is one of the main energy sources on Earth.
The Moon is one of Earths constant variants, that causes the tides to regularly come and go.
The rain contains carbon dioxide from the air, creating carbonic acid. This erodes rock, creating ions, chloride, and sodium (salt), which is carried to the ocean.
Salt crystals undergo a form of self-reproduction,
but they are not in themselves life.
Between high and low tides, salt water came and went, allowing basic chemical reactions to repeat for as long as there was time on the planet. An impossibly large number of chemical reactions cycled through time, with variable energy levels, variable chemical sources, becoming more and more complex, before the most basic form of life, a self-replicating, self-contained series of acidic molecules, gradually ticked all the boxes to be labeled LIFE. Chemicals naturally have a tendency to become more and more complex over time.
Time has been plentiful.
But, why are we here?
What is the purpose of Life?
Use of the word ‘purpose’ suggests there must be design or premeditation.
However like the self-fulfilling cyclic question that it is…
When a question asks a question of purpose, and at the same time uses the word purpose (or meaning), implying that there must be a purpose (or meaning), (or it wouldn’t have asked the question), one assumes therefore,
that there must be an answer.
…Even if there isn’t.
Can there be purpose without design?
On the other hand, What if there were design.
Does this suggest a God?
Yes, that is one possibility…
Although, to me, that doesn’t make logical sense, on so many levels.
But if you wish to believe, that is just fine.
If I did believe however, that we were created, I would still be tempted to ask the huge question… “Why?”
An answer to Why, could include:
-To play with
-To avoid loneliness,
-To feel Love,
-To find an answer,
-To be proud,
-To show off,
-To hand over the reins to.
Why does one have kids?
Why does one experiment?
Why does one create Art?
One thing I have learned in life… no matter what anyone or anything does… there is always a reason.
(A reason does not equate to purpose.)
But there are more possibilities behind creation and design other than the 'God' answer:
There is Pans Spermia. Although not normally connected to design, there is a design option possible.
If an ancient, distant, intelligent, biological and/or otherwise, life form, decides to spread itself throughout the universe.
There is a Previous, Superior, intelligence from other than earth.
Normally called Aliens, but could also be labelled God.
There is a Previous, Superior, intelligence from our future earth.
This involves the as-yet impossible ‘Time-Travel’, and could have also been labelled Aliens and/or God.
Or we all could be in a simulation… In which case the question should be, What is the Purpose of Simulated Life?
all of these options pose the questions:
Is it likely to affect our future?
And if not, does it matter?
There Must be a purpose, a Reason for us!
People tend to believe that there must be a purpose, because so many have died before us, and yet we are still here.
People tend to struggle with the possibility that loved ones, or anyone who has suffered, have done so, without there being a purpose.
This may have been where the original belief in religions came from. (There must be a purpose).
Although it can also swing some people away from religious belief. (How could a God allow this to happen).
I like to think that life is full of lots of random average shit, sprinkled with some very good, and some very bad shit.
Because of the way the human brain works, we live in the centre of our own world.
Because an essential part of surviving Life (and what it throws at us), is the desire to stay alive… we have evolved (or perhaps it has been with us from near the very start) the survival instinct… the drive to continue.
Life becomes very self-important. The prime directive is ‘I must survive’.
In some cases, this drive can transition into ‘My offspring must survive’,
or in some rare cases, a more advanced, ‘My species must survive’.
You would imagine that the forward-looking drive for species survival would come from the more intelligent species or individuals, but ants, for example, show a strong community survival drive, without any obvious individual higher IQ.
Another negative effect of Life is that the more intelligent and structured a species is, the greater the tendency to create leaders that create rules.
Rules override self-thinking.
So as long as there is a rule to cover it, there is no need to think about it in any depth at all.
This saves time, and avoids reinventing the wheel, but at the same time, it creates ‘sheep’… or non-thinkers.
In other words, the more intelligent the species, the less intelligent the individuals become.
Yet another downside to creating leaders, is the structure that is often used to create them.
In many cases, they are voted into the position, which sounds fair, or democratic, but creates a structure where instead of forward-thinking towards a better world, they are forced to focus on how to stay in power and become re-elected, how to change things simply to prove their own value or purpose, (and if not already in power) how to become elected, and how to prove that those that are in power… should not be.
To strive towards the greater good, becomes less important.
It appears that the fairer a structure is towards the individual, the worse it is towards the species in the long term.
What IS Life?
We seem to have a very narrow acceptance of what makes up Life, and where it may be found.
At the moment, Life is generally expected to be carbon based, and only to be found within a narrow Goldilocks zone (distance from their sun, depending on the temperature)…
But all this is based on the life forms of our planet, as if we are the only type of life possible.
A Goldilocks Zone is perfect if looking for an alternative planet for us to live on.
But has no connection to the ideal planet for life that evolved elsewhere.
Finally, as I Play with the Words:
The word 'Meaning' has two other interesting meanings.
One means Average,
The other means Nasty or Selfish.
So the statement in question, could mean:
What is the Averaging of Life?
or What is the increasing Selfishness of Life?
The Averaging of Life could be seen as how everyone is becoming physically more alike, as we travel more, and interbreed with others from every corner of the world; and socially more alike, as we watch the same tv programs, absorbing what we see into our own cultures.
The increasing Selfishness of Life, or Nastiness of Life, or even Aggressiveness of Life could be seen on todays TV News programmes…
however, I am not sure that it is true.
The News is watched, because evolution has built in a need to watch out for danger,
And The News shows us just that, from every corner of the world.
Danger is also an important ingredient in creating a need for strong leaders.
Fear gives strength to the strong… and keeps sheep doing sheepish things.
So, as long as the system stays the same, Danger and Fear will live with us in our living rooms.
Despite the fact, that the selfish, nasty, aggressive parts of Life have always been in the world. (Since they are a part of evolution).
So also are the friendly, social, co-operative, sympathetic, empathetic (why was pathetic ever painted to be so negative?) and the humane parts of Life… as they always have been.
They may also be the most important parts of surviving into our future interplanetary Life, where future non-Earth contact must be sitting, waiting for us Humans to show that we have grown up, so that we may take our place as fully fledged members, in the future Galactic and/or Universal Communities.
So what is the Meaning of Life?