Cell Block TangoWhat is the purpose of life? That's the age old question humans have been asking since we evolved the capacity to do so. This is the question that gets stuck on so many people's minds when their life seems to consist of dealing with one pointless task after another with no overarching goal in sight, with no moral to the story, with no real plot. If there is no plot, nothing to be learned, nothing to be gained from life, from living, from doing, then what is the point of the whole damn thing anyways?
In our bodies we have millions of tiny microscopic cells. They come from stem cells which following the directions they receive from this magical compound called DNA and from their environment are able to perform tasks and eventually differentiate and create more of themselves which do the same thing and ultimately result in US. We are a large mass of cells and the gunk in between cells which came from a few chemical signals received from ONE cell at the beginning of our lives which forced it to do its thing. But why does it even have a thing to do? What is the ultimate goal here? What is it moving toward? Creating me? Why does it want to create me? Why is it so important that I am here to ask these questions, that the cells of my body interact among themselves and everything else to form this complex machinery which will one day just die anyways? Why build something complex just for the sake of it? Why don't things just happen randomly and there be no directions, no machinery, no mass mobilization, no organization, no order, no rules? Why do these things exist?
A cell is not a living being. I don't care when the cells of my body die. They do continuously so that I can live. Everything they do is for the purpose of sustaining me. In a sense, it seems very noble of them, but in another sense, they are cells. They follow directions because they do not have anything resembling free will. Their "actions" are dictated by chemistry and physics. In a sense, so are mine. The difference is that cells don't KNOW things, therefore they can't think about why they do things like I can. They can't change their "behavior"; they just respond. In a sense, we just respond too. We are animals, we do what we think is best for us, why? Why do we care about number one? It is all that we know. It is the only signal we have. We can't see from another person's eyes or feel what they feel. We can only feel what WE feel.
What is morality? It is a social construct created for the goal of achieving a society in which people can help each other survive. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. It is beneficial to all, but the reason it exists is because it is beneficial to number one. That is what matters after all. That is what everything we do is for/toward. Is there a reason for this? I guess the only thing one can hope is that these things we have no control over doing, these signals that dictate every action we perform are as noble as a cell's are for us. If we care about our lives, a cell's existence and healthy functioning is vital. If a cell were like a person sustaining our life...if it had the ability, the option, the choice not to...and yet, for some unnatural reason, decided to live for the purpose of sustaining me...I would be eternally indebted to it. However, a cell doesn't choose anything, but I am still thankful that it exists so that I can...so that I can be here to wonder about its existence and my own...and ask why, and try to understand what purpose may exist in all of this.
I wonder if I am like that cell. I don't know why I do the things I do. I don't know why I receive these signals that tell me what to do. I don't know why I am here. But maybe my existence allows something more complex to exist...why complexity is so much better, I also do not know. Maybe my existence is, unbeknownst to me, for the purpose of sustaining something which is thankful that I exist, even though I do not choose to sustain whatever it is and am controlled by simple chemical signals and my environment. And maybe this thing that my existence is part of sustaining knows the answer to the question of why all this machinery has been orchestrated in the first place.