Thursday, May 6, 2021

Life Briefly Analyzed

Is life energy? It’s reasonable to think so. After all, all the motion that we see here on earth or up in the sky is produced by energy—either by suns of or by the original Big Bang that created the universe. Trouble is that energy as such lacks one of the important features of life, consciousness. If consciousness is viewed as more valuable or in a higher order than mere energy, then to say that life is energy is to assert that something (consciousness) can be derived from something that does not have the potential for it (energy). With a little effort, we can in virtually all instances trace energy to specific chemical or physical causes. Okay. The Big Bang is a little more difficult to prove.

Is life purposive? Of course. But by purposive I don’t merely mean such things as satisfying hunger or building a career. Nor do I mean the capacity for reproduction. Reproduction, after all, simply builds other individuals like myself; all of them, myself included, must die. So life’s purpose is to die? Absurd.

It does not surprise me, therefore, that humanity has ages ago postulated that life’s meaning must be found beyond bodily existence. Death is too poor a purpose to justify the complexity of life or the maintenance of the incredible chemical machines that we are just to let them return to “dust”.

Now materialists will claim that humanity’s projection of an afterlife is just another human desire to “hang on” to life. That charge seems reasonable until you become genuinely old. When you finally are, you become indifferent to such things. Fall asleep dreamlessly and never awaken? That’s perfectly OK for most of us.

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