Why continue life?

Is there a reason to continue life if all an individual does is produce wealth, pay taxes and wait for death sometime in the future. If you have no family, and no heirs, what is the purpose of existence?

42, of course.

Why is a purpose necessary? The need for a purpose is a human construct.

Pursue happiness. Everything else is mere details.

One man’s opinion: it’s been a heckuva fun ride, on the whole. Not always, of course, but on the whole. And when its time for me to get off the ride, well, it’s only fair that others have the same chance to enjoy themselves that I’ve had.

And I might have done some good while I’ve been here. No, any good that I’ve done won’t last for very long, but it seemed worthwhile when I did it.

Er, this isn’t really a GQ-type answer, but I suspect there isn’t one.

Do you gain pleasure from reading, music, puttering around in a garden or being alone with your own thoughts?

Do you fear the non-existence that comes with death?

Are you simply curious to see what’s going to happen next in Japan?

Those are all as good a reason for existence as someone may need.

Why do you need a reason?

I don’t plan on dying.

It’s the chance to have heirs that counts, not whether you have any at this moment.

I’ve never understood the idea that there should be a purpose or plan for my existence. I’m just here to see what happens. There’s too much to do to consider living ‘waiting for death’.

Moving to Great Debates, our forum for Deep Questions.

General Questions Moderator

What’s the purpose of existence even if you have family and heirs? What’s the purpose of their existence? What’s the purpose of existence at all?

We find ourselves here and we want to hang around as long as possible. We’re a long time dead, so why not make the most of it?

Enjoying yourself. Life being at least somewhat fun is more important than “family or heirs”, since what’s the point of either of those if they are miserable? A legacy of misery is worse than nothing.

As for a purpose for existence, I don’t believe there is one and I reject it if there is. Tools have purposes not people, and I have no interest in being reduced to someone’s tool. I give purposes to things, I don’t have one.

Why would you NOT need a reason? What would be the purpose of living without a reason to exist?

If you have no one to continue your being here on Earth, why not move on to what’s next?

So you just exist for existence sake? I think I’ll take not existing than leaving a legacy of misery to be remembered by. Then again, if there is no family or heirs to remember you, then I guess it doesn’t matter.

from The Books of Bokonon

Here’s a better solution: don’t leave a legacy of misery. It isn’t that hard; lots of people manage it.

It beats the alternative?


By paying taxes and creating wealth, you are bettering your fellow man. That is your purpose.

Do we know the alternative that it beats? Don’t you have to no longer exists as you to know the alternative?