The thread about why marijuana is illegal got some responses that I thought were disappointing, so let’s try something that might be more fun.
People have pondered for centuries about the meaning of life and why we are here. I have done some amateur research in this area and come up with an explanation that, so far, has not been dented by anyone – including the scientists and biologists to which I have offered it.
In order to discern the meaning of life, we first have to define what “life” is. That is, what is it that separates us and all the plants, animals, microbes, and viruses from the non-living rocks?
If you look around, you will find a number of definitions of life.
Dictionaries tend to define “life” as “that which is not dead.” If you look up “dead” you will usually find “that which is not living.” Not a lot of help.
Most of the other definitions, by more serious people, consist of a list of things that commonly occur in life. For example, it must have growth, metabolism, be able to reproduce, etc. The problem with all such lists is that there are invariably possibilities where some creature could fulfill all the requirements but one. For example, it is conceivable that an organism could be created that would grow and metabolize but didn’t have the capability to reproduce. Does that mean that the organism is not living? Sadly, nearly all of the conventional definitions of “life” have some failing in that regard – not that making a list of things it does is really a good definition for anything, anyway.
If anyone wants more knowledge of the various definitions, I refer them to http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/life If you want to play the devil’s advocate with those definitions you will quickly find that most have major holes.
The only definition that I have found that (so far) is not subject to those holes is my own: Life is that which seeks to continue its own existence.
That encompasses all the other explanations, and goes them one better. Think it over and research it yourself if you like, but no one that I have been able to find has been able to come up with a better definition.
Now, in order to continue its own existence, life must do two things:
It must consume something (eat) for purposes of energy and reproduction. (For those who will biologically nitpick, consumption also implies elimination of wastes, although it is conceivable that there is some creature out there that eats but doesn’t eliminate wastes.)
They must reproduce themselves. Living things have a finite individual life so, if they are going to continue, they must make some more of themselves.
Strictly speaking this is not a requirement of life, because there may be one-time creatures that eat, move around, and do other things we associate with life, but were born without gonads. It would be more correct to say that they must reproduce themselves in order to be noticed by us.
That’s it. The basic purpose of life in general is to eat and have sex.
For higher animals, there is a third requirement. That is, they have an advanced nervous system to help all the various parts of their body communicate and work together. The nervous system requires regular input, just like the body requires food. Without input, the nervous system dies, taking the creature with it.
Nervous system input is what you and I might commonly recognize as “entertainment”.
Therefore the reason we are here is to eat, screw, and be entertained. (And, if you consider what you typically want to do on a Saturday night, it all fits – dinner, a movie, and head home to hit the sheets – food, sex, and entertainment.) (Noting, of course, that food, sex, and entertainment often overlap.)
If you look around and think about it a little bit, I am sure most of you will be surprised to recognize the vast influence of the last item – entertainment. Look around you. Is there anything around you that IS NOT a function of entertainment?
You are here in this forum because of entertainment. You use a color monitor because of entertainment. The walls in your room are painted because the color is more entertaining. Your clothes have patterns and colors designed to entertain, etc., etc., etc. (That’s not to mention the far more obvious movies, TVs, music, cars, sports, etc., etc., etc.) Everything you do can be safely pigeonholed into food, sex, or entertainment (including my own writing here).
Now some of you will undoubtedly ask about “spiritual fulfillment” in one manner or another – what about God? I explained this idea to a Russian scientist once who immediately grasped the idea and agreed that it was the best idea on the subject so far. When someone asked him about “spiritual fulfillment” he responded, “That’s entertainment.” And, of course, he is right. “Spiritual fulfillment” is simply something to keep the nervous system entertained. In short, people go to church and believe in God because it is entertaining in one form or another.
It should be remembered here that nervous systems don’t just require input – they fairly well demand it like a junkie on a ten-thousand dollar a day habit. Consider all the input that is happening with your own body right now – from the soles of your feet to the top of your head, you are getting constant input. If input is inadequate, it is clear that the nervous system will try to create its own. Hence – religion.
There are another four or five pages I could do on the subject but, so far, nobody has put a dent in this theory. Anyone want to try?