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Life and Death posted 21 March 2007 in Philosophy DiscussionLife and Death by Jamara, Auditor

What is the Will to Live?

In my opinion the will to live is nothing more than instinctual. Our instincts, and every living thing's instincts are to live and procreate. That's it. All the other things which fill our lives, which we fill our lives with, are the selfish drive of sentience. We Need to fill our lives with the belief that we have a purpose. We Need to kill the time between feeding and creating offspring, and we fill it with things we believe give us a purpose. The greatest of these things are religious beliefs. Religious belief gives us the ability to be told what our purpose is. To me it is an easy cop-out.

The curse of sentience is that we are given the opportunity to ask why. Why are we here. To me the answer is simple. To be alive. But to most that is not enough. They feel that there must be a purpose to them being here. Something other than instincts driving them to be alive. I think allot of our problems with coming to grips with sentience is that fact that we are the only sentient beings on this earth. Since we can't ask others, we often create something higher, better, more knowledgable than ourselves whom we can ask and rely on. To me this is the greatest fallicy amongst the followers of organized religion. They have supplanted their ability to reason with doctrines that tell them exactly what to do, how to think, and answer questions that escape us.

That's not to say that there isn't a Human Will. Willpower gives us the ability to supercede those instincts which are meant to protect ourselves and keep us alive. It gives us the ability to run a marathon when our body wants nothing more than to rest. It gives us the ability to go to war and die for causes and beliefs. It gives a monk the ability to end his life to make a statement. But all of these are selfish acts. Running the marathon to win or complete gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Fighting the war or dieing for it is selfish because you are fighting for beliefs that give you purpose. The monk immolating himself in protest is selfish because he is fulfilling a purpose that has given him drive. They are filling the void created by sentience with acts that bring them a selfish sense of fulfillment. view post


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