There is no eternal life
I propose that the knowledge we have now accumulated about life discloses quite emphatically that we are entirely a function of certain basic laws as...
I propose that the knowledge we have now accumulated about life discloses quite emphatically that we are entirely a function of certain basic laws as they operate in the probably unique conditions prevailing here on Earth.
The behaviour of the most elementary forms of matter we know, subatomic particles, seems to be guided by four fundamental forces, of which electromagnetism is probably the most significant here, in that through the attraction and repulsion of charged particles it allows an almost infinite variation of bonding: it allows atoms to form molecules, up the chain to the molecules of enormous length and complexity we call as nucleic acids, and proteins.
All these are involved in a constant interaction with surrounding chemicals through constant exchanges of energy. From these behaviour patterns we can deduce certain prime drives or purposes of basic matter, namely:
1. Combination (bonding).
2. Survival of the combination, and of any resulting organism.
3. Extension of the organism, usually by means of replication.
4. Acquisition of energy.
Since these basic drives motivate everything that we're made of, all the energy, molecules and chemistry that form our bodies, our brains and nervous systems, then whatever we think, say and do is a function of the operation of those basic laws Therefore everything we think, say and do will be directed towards our survival, our replication and our demand for energy to fuel these basic drives.
All our emotions and our rational thinking, our loves and hates, our art, science and engineering are refinements of these basic drives.
The underlying drive for bonding inspires our need for interaction with other organisms, particularly other human beings, as we seek ever wider and stronger links conducive to our better survival.
Protection and extension of our organic integrity necessitates our dependence on and interaction with everything on Earth.
Our consciousness is also necessarily a function of these basic drives, and when the chemistry of our cells can no longer operate due to disease, ageing or trauma, we lose consciousness and die.
Since I believe we are nothing more than physics and chemistry, death terminates our life once and for all. There is no God, there is no eternal life.
But optimistically, there is the joy of realising that we have the power of nature within us, and that by co-operating with our fellow man, by nurturing the resources of the world, by fighting disease, starvation, poverty and environmental degradation, we can all conspire to improve life and celebrate not only its survival on this planet, but also its proliferation.
So the purpose of life is just that: to involve all living things in the common purpose of promoting and enjoying what we are – a wondrous expression of the laws of Nature, the power of the Universe.
Peter F Searle, www.philosophynow.org