Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The meaning of life

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself "why am I doing this?", "whats the end result?". I am assuming almost all of us have at some point asked these questions. Lately I realized practically no one knows the answer and they have trained themselves to ignore the question entirely, or rather fear it.

Because such a question, if answered properly, can give a complete purpose for one's entire life, and if answered incorrectly, can lead to endless despair, finally culminating with the thought "There is no intrinsic meaning to life".

For a few years now I have attempted to debate on this topic with various people, my parents, grandparents, cousins and friends with a philosophical bent, what I observed was very disturbing.
Most people tend to skirt the question by answering something about "spiritual being" "god" "prayer", and just let it go. Few people fear the question so much they will not be willing to go near it. And some people have just and never want to think about it.

I however believe that a question of such seminal importance should be pondered over endlessly until an answer is that is satisfactory to oneself is found.

And after my months of pondering, I have answered this question at least to my satisfaction.

Here is what I think (and this answer may very well repulse you, or may not feel right, but it fits in with my logical reasoning well). I believe at a fundamental level the role of an individual in a species is simply to pass on genes and ensure survival of the species, nothing more nothing less. Our only task is ensuring humans as a species survive and genetic evolution continues. Everything else is just blither.

And lately this survival has moved on from the basic needs of food, game and shelter to a more advanced one i.e. the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Essentially all we have as a species is millenia of accumulated knowledge. From basic stuff like how to cook, to how to build a cruise missile.

So essentially, today, the intrinsic meaning of life or reason for living is simply to further the frontiers of out knowledge base, therefore we must ensure that each one of us is on a constant quest to better our species through this relentless pursuit.