"Why are we here?" is a question that I think we should always be asking and be on a look out for an answer to, however it continues to stump us every way we turn. Just by looking at this forum there are drastic differeances in why people think we are here (from an accident with no purpose to satisfying ones needs to drinking beer to even finding out the purpose and in result losing purpose). However I, being a Christian, believe that the purpose of being here is plain and simply quite simple. It is to worship our Creator, God. For instace, if an artist makes a sculpture of say, and eagle, what purpose does that scuplture have? Can the eagle sculpture fly? Can it talk? No. It is simply there to show what the artist can do. How much more complicated are we than an eagle sculpture!
"Why are we here?" is actually two questions rolled into one. Perhaps this happened consciously, but I think the fact that the surface question is unanswerable leads to the divorce between the two questions. In fact, they are really just one question, expressed as two - "why are we here?", as in, why is our human community (or perhaps some lower scale community) in existence, as well as "why am I here?" The first question really rests upon the other, and thus cannot really be separated.
As a species, we are forced to recognize the similarity among our peers and those who pass by. While we like to focus on the differences, it is the similarity that really leads towards the answer to this question. It seems to me that this truth necessarily points along the path of human interaction. What I mean to say is that the question "Why are we here?" can be simply answered with, "To interact with other people". I stress the word simply, because that notion obviously fails to reach the deeper meaning that people seek when they ask that question. I don't think an answer can be reached, because humans cannot think as a genus. They can only think as a species. Any answer that anyone comes up with is bound to fall short (even if it's on the right track, eg to worship God, or for no purpose) because human beings aren't able to take in the whole picture. But I think that human interaction is an important first step, because it is the lack of a satisfying answer for the communal question that drives the search into the second question, "Why am I here?"
If human interaction is a piece of the puzzle, we must ask ourselves what that means for us. Since we, as humans, must interact with other humans, we need to determine how to act with other people. "Why am I here?" personalizes the question, and the answer - which is to some degree self-determinable, to some degree not - determines what I do and who I am. People can choose to be good (whatever that means, although I would contend that if the word good is to mean anything at all it must be objective and external to people) to one another, or they can choose to be bad (again, this carries the weight of objectivity. It is difficult to discuss human interaction purely descriptively, especially when it is the choice that is being discussed. Normative claims inevitably creep into the discussion). Maybe a better word would be "indifferent". And that choice, people will make based on loads of individual factors - faith, experience, ideas, situations, etc.
So summarizing all of what I just said and don't feel like erasing in a much simpler way I literally just thought of, human beings cannot determine why "we" are here, but they can determine why "I" am here.
The problem with the question is that the context is unidentified. This fact was, in fact, played with throughout RvB, first in the pilot episode conversation between Grif and Simmons, then later in a conversation between Church and Caboose, and then near the end of Revelation during Sarge's inspirational speech.
The common understanding that establishes the context of the philosophical question implies that 1: we were intentionally placed here, and that 2: our placement was part of a greater plan. The problem I see with these assumptions is that it assumes something we do not have any empirical evidence to support. The other problem is that it invalidates the idea that we have anything to do with our presence where we are. This will then start to include the question of free will vs. fate, as well as intelligent design vs. accidental presence.
There's an awful lot of claims in an awful lot of directions. However, I know a few things (whether I'm right or not, I'll leave up to you). I make a decision, and I have the power to follow through. Evolution is real, as evidenced by observation on simpler life (bateria colonies). The universe has a beginning and will an end, as evidenced by the fact that entropy is real (energy is lost when changing the state of matter). I have not been informed of any ultimate purpose by a higher being.
What all this means is that, as far as I can tell, there is no intentional reason for us to be here, other than the fact that we're here. What this means is entirely up to us to decide and act upon.
In reply to reteo, #33: Could you clarify what you mean when you say "The other problem is that it invalidates the idea that we have anything to do with our presence where we are"? I am not exactly sure what you are saying with that, and since I do not understand that I do not understand that relationship with your final two questions. However, I do see the connection between those last two questions in the second paragraph in relation to the "why are we here?" problem.
Well, what I meant was this: if we were here because someone else decided we needed to be here, than what we want doesn't matter. This may have been the case for our birth, but our continued presence on this blue/green marble has been our decision ever since. And even our birth wasn't part of some great plan, but the rather amourous interaction of our parents.
Simply put, humans are here to exist. Out of all the other species out there, humans prevail. Why? Because only humans have such a quenchless thirst for knowledge, an insatiable curiosity, and an absolute will to survive. And though it seemed impossible, we populated the globe, and have thrived. We exist because we are an incredible group of people that can get anything done, no matter what the cost.
That is all done over time...Evilution even if you don't believe in evolution it still happens and espically in humans .instead of living in castles and crapping in ditches we have electricity hot showers and the Internet. Having said that do you believe another species could evolve past us? Could we see a real life Planet of the Apes? If you look at it in all it can get pretty scary.
But why are we here? Its pretty much exactly what MrMajiggles said, we're here because we can be here. We have adapted to our surroundings we survived and evolved.
Honestly, I don't think there's a "why" to our existence.... we simply are until we aren't.... Humans have a tendency to think we're special in that regard but are only remarkable talent in our ability to rape our planet on a scale nature never thought possible... Pretty much the equivalent of s dog shitting in its food bowl... We dumb smart monkeys....
So yes, I'm going with accident for a thousand, Alex.
This is one of the reason's why I like Red vs Blue. they provide interesting answers to this question that I have been obsessed with everyday since I was four. They're not the answer I want, but they do satisfy parts of the question. It's why I'm thankful to them and for them.
Speedy's year old comment is pretty fucking smart, summarising the 'obvious' that I'm too uneducated to say like he did. Theologically though.. why are we here is a question that can be answered subjectively for each person under the masses of context that influence their lives. The posts about the purpose of oneself being self created are true on theological side. We are living out this perception, this time and this existence out of curiosity and self establishment, for the overall goal of whatever we perceive as contentment and reward, under every external and internal influence that makes us who we are. And so we should.
For me.. I am here to fulfil my potential to some extent. To see how good a life experience I can make for myself, and how cool and altruistic I can be to those I care about.
This is essentially the problem with your approach to discourse and argument, dear boy.
How so? The only criticism I would have given is vagueness. Give the universe the potential to do something and in most cases, it'll do it. Give a chef the ingredients to cook one of ten different meals, and something will happen. Due to the enormity of the universe and the verity of processes occurring, eventually you'll have what we have now. Whether or not it's happened elsewhere in the universe is debatable. There's no deep, underlying, universal purpose to creation. There's only what you assign that purpose to be. I'm not asserting determinism but given enough variables, it'll happen in one form or another.
And as for how we got here, my answer was indeed correct, albeit very vague. But I'm not about to give a 13.7 billion year history lesson when searching through basic text books would give a much more informative and articulate answer. There's even videos on youtube that give simplified and brilliantly produced information on the formation and development of the universe, earth and life. If the question was more specific then it'd be easier to give a more detailed answer.
Look at it. I mean really look at your post. Is there truly that much different from what you posted in its useless brevity and saying "A magic man done it"?
What on earth are you talking about? I'm arguing that there is no intrinsic 'why' apart from the result of natural processes to the question other than what you assign it and the 'how' is ridiculously complex.
I'm trying to explain that you're approach to these sorts of things rely on absolutist and truncated responses and that's why you're not being taken seriously quite as much as you like. Now the meat in a pot analogy above is closer to a more thoughtful and effortputinnit than the previous one, albeit still rather vague.
In reply to Chi_Mangetsu, #56: I'm trying to explain that you're approach to these sorts of things rely on absolutist and truncated responses and that's why you're not being taken seriously quite as much as you like.
How exactly is it absolutist or truncated? OH NO! You're being vague without explanation! I demand satisfaction and I'll keep ironically saying it over and over again ;)
Now the meat in a pot analogy above is closer to a more thoughtful and effortputinnit than the previous one, albeit still rather vague.
The real meat of your posts is you can't actually address any meat in any pie I serve up. All you do is make the same critique over and over again which (hypocritically) you offer no explanation and it's a series of vague claims. If you want detailed and articulate explanation, read a text book.
What exactly is wrong with my post? I'm offering up a natural way to explain why we exist. And the answer why we exist is just that, to exist itself. Because however unlikely it is for life to exist (assuming we actually do exist), the enormity of processes and variables occurring throughout the universe if given enough time it'll arise sustainable life. In a universe that's nearly 14 billion years old, the earth is less than 5, life is less than 4 and humans are less than half a million. Since the Big Bang it took the universe a plentiful amount of time to create what we have right now.
Your claim on my critique might have merit if I was the only one making it.
Your critique is a positive assertion. Your claim is I'm being too vague and not explaining things yet you've not given any detail on which part needs explaining. You also claim I feel I'm not being taken seriously, claim I'm being absolutist, truncated and useless. Actually, you've barely managed to slip past two sentences while I'm writing walls of paragraphs and you dare say I'm being vague?
I'm not the one making the claim, now am I? Besides, sometimes real life things interrupt full answers at the most inopportune times. In any case...
If you want detailed and articulate explanation, read a text book.
Then why bother discussing it here? As we've mentioned elsewhere, the onus is on you to present your proofs, not for us to do your research. That's how peer review works: you make a claim and provide evidence for it and peers review and respond to it.