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Blobman's avatar

Why does humanity exist? Is there a reason for its existence?

Asked by Blobman (509 points ) September 6th, 2012 from iPhone

Was the human race created for a specific duty? Do we play a role in the future of the universe? Or do we simply exist by pure chance and live without purpose?

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28 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

The meaning of our lives, our reason for living, our reason for being here is something that we determine for ourselves. I do not believe that we were created, or that we have a purpose for existing – unless you count reproduction as a specific duty.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Nah. We’re some crap that just happened.

Sunny2's avatar

It just does. Why ask why? You will play whatever role that you choose or that happens to you.You don’t exist by pure chance. Your parents probably procreated it on purpose and that’s our duty. . . to reproduce. You get the choice of when and how often, but that’s our basic usefulness to the world. A small per cent of us have the opportunity and power to do more.

Symbeline's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe LOL that made my night, bro. :D

Eh, how could anyone answer this? I don’t think anyone knows. If God exists, then I guess He did it. Simplest answer if you believe in a god.
But I don’t believe that…while I certainly DO believe that we have some role to play in nature, as in, maintaining ourselves as decreed by our survival instinct…for whatever reason this ’‘happens’’, who knows…I’m pretty sure that whatever ’‘decides’’ this isn’t even sentient. Just the laws of nature to which we obey, as much as with fight or flee experiences all the way to social structures and how we exist in them. But how far does this go into the whole universe, and how significant is it for its entirety, I couldn’t say…for all we know, we’re just molecules inside some giant dude’s dying eye crusties.

King_Pariah's avatar

We simply exist by pure chance and live without purpose

Nullo's avatar

God created us for company, basically.

gailcalled's avatar

MIlo here; That’s an easy one…to take care of me and my feline and canine relatives.

Coloma's avatar

No reason, some of the life bits emerged from the primordial soup pot as humans and others as seagulls, redwood trees and tortoises.
Bummer, I’d have rather been born a Tortoise quite frankly.

Symbeline's avatar

rule 34

wundayatta's avatar

Pure dumb luck.

However, when we developed consciousness, we developed a need to have a purpose. We create purposes for ourselves, as well as meaning for our lives. In many cases, people do this in such a way that they can make themselves believe the meaning comes from outside themselves. It’s really a clever thing we humans can do, although it drives some people nuts when they figure out what is going on, and they want to tell everyone else the “truth.”

Forget it. People tell themselves a story and once they latch onto a story, they can’t change it for nothing. So just try to be aware of the story you tell yourself. Then you can change it when you need to in order to make it work better. If you story comes form you, it’s easier to change and make it better, but if you believe the story comes from outside you, it can be easier to believe. Catch-22, I’m afraid.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I think of life as we are the universe becoming conscious of the universe.
Some may get there, some may not, unfortunately.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Do you remember in “Pokemon the Movie” when Mewtwo questioned his existence? And he had to find out by being on a power trip? And he had to learn what he did to others not only affected others surrounded by who he had hurt but also made him restless and even more angry?

Maybe we’re here to learn? Or just to enjoy. It’s an open ended question. You could do with your life whatever you please.

ETpro's avatar

Carrying on with the thought @_Whitetigress expressed about the universe: we exist because life took hold somehow on this planet out in the boondocks of the vast Milky Way Galaxy. And once life takes hold, the survival of the fittest begins; and ultimately, an alpha predator results. We are that alpha predator. We eat Orcas.

What is our purpose now that we exist? Well, aside from feeding ourselves and reproducing so we continue to exist and evolve, it is to ask why. It is to explore. Why must we put a man on Mars? Why then figure out how to sail out past the Ort belt and explore distant exoplanets that are habitable? Because that’s what we do. Humans have always asked “Why?” and “Why not?”. We have always explored. And if we do it long enough, we will someday learn why we exist—why abiogenesis happens.

If there is an intelligence that rules it all, we will meet that intelligence someday on equal terms. And in that day, if there is no such intelligence, we will become it. And whichever the outcome, that’s reason enough to exist.

psyonicpanda's avatar

As an accident that happened out of pure chance. our relativitiy is mute. The world itself only exist out of instinct, and of course Evolution.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Humanity exists to annoy me by stopping suddenly in the street when I’m walking behind them and standing on the wrong side of the escalator.

At least it certainly feels like it sometimes.

Apart from that, The History Boys (IMDb) has a great take on existence:

“How do I define history? It’s just one fucking thing after another.”

augustlan's avatar

This is how I see it.

Even though I’m not a big fan of Eckhart.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@augustlan That is both beautiful and devastating to read :/ :) :x

Keep_on_running's avatar

Well @Blobman, one day there… ahh, I can’t do this…

Blackberry's avatar

It’s my opinion we’re here by chance and with no purpose. There are most likely animals on other planets throughout the cosmos asking the same thing.

Don’t worry, we’re all lost together.

ucme's avatar

Cartoons, to make/enjoy & laugh at cartoons.

ragingloli's avatar

The cause is evolution. There is no reason.

flutherother's avatar

Purpose is too small a word for something as wonderful as life.

Coloma's avatar

@Blackberry Lost in space
@augustlan Yes, Tolle and others have been sharing that philosophy for a long time. We are pure consciousness expressing consciousness. If you really want to boggle your mind read up on non-duality,Advaita Vedanta, my head almost exploded a few years ago studying this. lol

kess's avatar

Life is the reason for Us being…
Life is the purpose for our being…
..so therefore be Life.

dabbler's avatar

The Urantia Book describes Earth and humanity as a celestial incubator for innovation.
Earth is an exception to the normally highly-structured and purpose-built planets and civilizations.
To the question “What’s new in the universe?” the answer is “Take a look at what humanity is doing today!”.

orlando's avatar

I’ve been struggling with this question for ages myself. The best answer I came to it comes from transpersonal psychotherapist and researcher Stanislav Grof. Here it is;

“Ultimately, one cannot justify life and find meaning in it by intellectual analysis and the use of logic. One must reach a state in which he or she experiences emotionally and biologically that is worthwhile to be alive and feels active excitement about the fact of existence. Agonizing philosophical preoccupation with the problem of the meaning of life, instead of being a legitimate philosophical issue, should be seen as a symptom indicating that the dynamic flow of the life process has been obstructed and blocked. The only effective solution of this problem is to be found not in the invention of contrived life goals, but in a profound inner transformation and shift in consciousness that reinstates the flow of vital energy. A person who is actively engaged in the life process and experiences zest and joy will never question whether life has any meaning. In this state, existence appears to be precious and miraculous, and its value is self-evident.” (Grof, Beyond the Brain).

Now this is quite different from the existential analysis of Victor Frankl, who dealed with this issue extensively too. His solution was intellectual fabrication of meaningful goals in life, which were different from person to person and their pursuit.

wundayatta's avatar

There’s a lot to be said for Stan’s thinking. And indeed, that is kind of how I experience it. When I’m depressed, I know there’s not meaning to life and I am worthless. When I’m not depressed, the question doesn’t even occur to me. Of course, I’ve figured out how not to let the question occur to me. The question, itself, is a sign of depression for me, so I take every opportunity to answer the question as an exercise in learning to ignore it.

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