It occurred to me that the greatest question is why does life want to keep living? Why? Ultimate question.

  • Ultimate questions are hard to gauge. How would you compare that question to "what defines living versus non-living?"
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 3:56
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    Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. Please visit our Help Center to see what questions we answer and how to ask. One-line posts are discouraged because it is hard to tell from them what people are looking for, and they often invite users' personal opinions to fill in the blanks, which is off-topic. As phrased the question also has a trivial answer: they do not "seek", they are just driven to live instinctively as a result of evolution.
    – Conifold
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 3:56
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    The question seems very broad. I am planning to vote to close this, but I hope you come back with other, more specific questions that can be answered in a few paragraphs better fitting a Q&A site. Commented May 24, 2018 at 4:36
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    they do so for biological reasons, not philosophical reasons. Your question belongs on a biology forum, not here. Commented May 24, 2018 at 5:04
  • Yep, It's biology, specifically natural selection, every one of us is descended from an unbroken line of ancestors that have strived to survive for billions of years. .
    – JeffUK
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


Life forms which do not act in the interests of their own survival and reproduction do not survive and reproduce as efficiently as those which do.

It is the "ultimate" question in the sense that the normative principle of individual survival is what we derive many of our more visible normative claims from. There are other normative principles we might adopt, however, and that can exist in tension with this, such as group or species survival, individual prosperity, group prosperity, individual agency, to name a few. One example would be when a soldier accepts their own death or risk of death to promote the interests of the nation they are fighting for.

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