In this blog post I describe my thoughts on the purpose of life. I approach this not as an attempt to find the meaning of life, but rather trying to find the answer to WHY life exists. In my opinion, the reason or circumstances leading up to how something has come to exist correlates to its purpose of existence. We invented toasters to toast bread. Thus, a toaster’s purpose is to toast bread.
So what imperative resulted in life? Subsequently what is the imperative that should continue to drive us as life forms?
Let me preface this by saying that this ‘theory’ relies heavily on the assumption that life evolved. If you do not personally believe in evolution, this theory might be a little ridiculous to you. However, maybe it can be appreciated nonetheless as a thought experiment.
The universe as we know it today has developed based on a set of predefined principles. Anything not capable of existing within those principles simply does not exist. Existing is not a conscious effort, it is just a state made possible by the laws of the universe. This imperative of existence is what links all things in our universe together, what we share with all of creation. All matter, all energy, and all life.
This is the first boolean. The first value of true or false when determining the purpose of life. The first imperative. To exist.
To Perpetuate Existence Through Time
However, existence is at the mercy of time. What exists at one point in time, may no longer exist the next. Anything can be created or destroyed given enough time.
The difference between life and not-life is the ability of the form to influence and manipulate its environment to increase the likelihood of the continued existence of that form through time.
A random structure of molecules cannot actively pursue a course of action to create more structures like itself. However, a single-celled organism can gather resources to undergo mitosis and create another of itself, doubling the likelihood of continued existence of its form.
In all probability, forms equivalent to life have probably existed countless times throughout the endless epochs. However, an organism needs some sort of perfectly balanced entropic system that equates to immortality, or the capacity to reproduce, duplicate, or perpetuate in some way, as well as the ability to survive its environment long enough to accomplish this reproduction. Otherwise, nothing will emerge from its existence. It existed and then it didn’t.
Thus, for life to exist, it must be able to perpetuate its existence through time. This is the second imperative of life.
To Perpetuate Form Through Time
Whatever common ancestor or ancestors of life that there may have been, mutations of form occurred. Limited resources available in the environment forced competition between these forms. Those forms which prove themselves more capable of surviving competition than others are the ones that have been able to perpetuate through time.
This basically equates to evolution. Any forms with mutations that improve an individual’s ability to compete with other forms will make that individual more likely to perpetuate its form. Throughout time, that form will become more frequent as individuals that cannot compete with it die out, unable to perpetuate their own forms.
A specific form of life exists because up until that time, that form has proven itself to be a successful competitive form in its environment. Thus, the third imperative of life is to perpetuate its form.
As humans this basically comes down to perpetuating the human species through time. Anything that a person can do to ensure the survival of the human species fulfills this imperative.
Things get Tricky
From here things start to get tricky and opinionated. From this point on, this is generally what people really mean when they talk about finding the ‘Purpose of Life’. They want to know what our duty as humans is, what our duty as individuals is, what our purpose as unique snowflakes humans is.
I may write another blog post going more in depth on my beliefs on these points. But for now, I leave you with some fundamental purposes to your life. To exist, to continue to exist, and to contribute to the human species.