Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why is life existent?

  1. Aug 21, 2003 #1
    Why do living beings stride to keep living? many people would deduce that it is because it is neccesary for life; So i now ask, why is life existent? what motives to live did life have when it just began to live, and where were they derived from?

    'the will to live is a function of life itself' defines the most integral property of life, but why is the will to live existent?

    as you may see, im confused about this subject so will someone here please enlighten me?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2003 #2
    for some reason, i read your post and wanted to cry...

    i think you're asking for the meaning of life, and i doubt you'll get an answer. not everyone wants to live anyway. people commit suicide everyday. some people are unhappy and but have a slim hope that it may get better, and continue to live anyways. many people want to die, or rather not live, and yet cannot will themselves to die.

    i think that really, we want to be happy. we want joy in our lives, and as much as possible. for some i suppose, a long life is the only way to gain maximum happiness. when you look at many people who are truly happy and content with life itself, they would be able to die with no regrets and would die happy and so have no overwhelming desire to live long as possible.

    aside from that, the earliest organisms to exist lived only to live. it was innate to their nature. it is animal instict to survive. call it god or chemistry, it's somthing that is a part of every life form.
  4. Aug 21, 2003 #3
    I'll have to treat this with the broadest strokes as you need to further define the question for me to be more detailed.

    We could say that life strives to exist because the alternative is nothingness, or nonexistence. Life exists because of random genetic mutations, but life suceeds because of free will and choice.
    That leads into the free will vs determinism dichotomy. But that's another subject alltogether. Do you believe your life takes it's course through the choices you make, or do you believe it's all controlled by "fate"? When you answer that question you're at last ready to begin.

    As to the origins of life, I would have to say that if it was determinism that brought us to existence, then it was free will that kept us in that state. Of course all of this is from the viewpoint of the evolutionary perspective. Someone else will have to present the religious view. that isn't for me to say.

    As to why we have will to live- I belief that's a trait inherent to life on this planet, but it may not be so elsewhere in the universe. We do not know that all life in it's beginnings had will to live. Some may have simply given up on life, thus passing on. While others may have had the determination to exist, to live, however many obstacles it may have had to overcome. And it goes beyond mere living. Not only do humans have to will to live, but also the will and the curiosity to improve ourselves and our life. that is why we consistently evolve. If man did not have this will, this tanacity, then we may never have progressed past the stage of homo erectus. We may never have walked on 2 legs, or even discovered fire. There are other species that evolved much more slowly, or not at all, and others that became extinct. Yet we did none of those. What drove us to set ourselves apart from our ape ancestors? The will to live, and improve.

    I don't know if that answers the question, but as I said, I need a more defined question to give you a better answer.
  5. Aug 22, 2003 #4
    I hate to para-phrase your comments Zantra, but:

    Because all that didn't strive to keep living are extinct.
  6. Aug 22, 2003 #5
    Exactly, Glen, you took the words right out of my mouth or mind. To expand on it a bit consider it pure evolution. Any life form the developed without the insinct, propery or desire to survive didn't. Any life form the had that will to survive did. The form with the strongest will to survive survived the longest and developed better means to survive. It is natural selection at it purest and most basic. Once that will developed and became strong it has been an arms race ever since right up through the Cold War to present day.

    There have been other stratigies of course rather than arms or war such as overwhelm the opposition with numbers by breeding prolifically or producing millions of spawn. Another stratigy is to become too valueble or useful or tasty to wipe out but instead become culivated thereby making other more powerful life forms provide for and insure your needs to survival. This of course requires payment in kind by supplying food or necture or some other valuable.

    This starts at the most basic level of single celled organisms to mankind and his societies and cultures today. Its simply survive or die. Those are life's only choices. Take your pick. To be or not to be.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Why is life existent?
  1. Why value life? (Replies: 26)