Questions tagged [life]

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26
votes
15answers
16k views

Being alive today: the most improbable coincidence?

Think about it; modern humans have been around for at least a couple hundred thousand years. Yet, your mind, your soul, your very awareness, happens to be "alive" today. If time is a flow, moving ...
22
votes
17answers
7k views

The “point” to an Atheists existence [closed]

I've recently become Atheist (I am 45). I've slowly transitioned from my childhood's strong Christian upbringing; through Agnostic; to the point where my rational brain has now extrapolated the ...
11
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4answers
3k views

Did Charles Darwin say anything on why life was formed in the first place? [closed]

To be viewed from the perspective of epistemology and/or the philosophy of science. Preamble: Darwin, like scientists of his day, often spoke of “Laws” that inevitably cycle forth the results ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Which philosophers have posited that our mortality gives meaning to our lives?

Cancer researcher, Doctor John Wynn gave an interesting talk this year. In it he argues, in short, that it is the fact of our mortality that gives our lives meaning. Which philosophers have discussed ...
9
votes
5answers
288 views

Is there a philosophical conception of not necessarily biological life?

Biologists usually think of life in terms of the ability of a system to harness energy from the environment to grow and to reproduce. However in Stanislav Lem's book 'Solaris' there is a vivid ...
7
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3answers
276 views

Is there a formal presentation of Maturana's “Autopoiesis”

I have been reading through "Autopoiesis and Cognition" by Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. One of their goals in defining autopoiesis and the supporting concepts of simple and composite ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Would all anti-entropic forces be considered living?

I don't exactly know how to phrase the question, but it seems like most forces in the universe are governed by physical processes where entropy is constantly increasing. Then you have Earth, where ...
6
votes
8answers
689 views

Will God ever die?

It seems to me that believing in the Big Bang theory and believing in God are not completely mutually exclusive. The Big Bang theory states that from a moment in time, caused by some conditions, the ...
6
votes
1answer
213 views

What are the counterarguments against abortions in rape cases to the Thomson paper?

Came here from Christianity StackExchange "A Defense of Abortion" (Thomson): You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious ...
6
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2answers
210 views

Why do humans make infants? [closed]

Considering that humans are the most intelligent species on earth, why do humans make infants? I cannot understand the reason why humans make infants, when humans can't predict whether the ...
5
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5answers
4k views

Is fire a living thing?

According to Biology Online, life can be defined as "A distinctive characteristic of a living organism from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

If there is life, then there is more complex life as well?

Researchers in Switzerland have developed an Altruism algorithm that shows how altruism in a swarm of entities can, over time, evolve and result in more effective swarm behaviour. For an ant colony, ...
5
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6answers
493 views

What are some arguments for why lives are valuable?

In ethics, the idea that lives, in and of themselves, are valuable (with a complete disregard of the consequences that followed from that life) is often used to prove some point, but the claim that ...
5
votes
5answers
841 views

Is it possible to justify any purpose in life?

A long time ago I've come to believe that there is no inherent purpose for existence, that is, we can't find any single "unifying" goal of living. So - I thought - we all have to find a purpose for ...
5
votes
4answers
244 views

If you know something has the potential to be sentient is it unethical to intentionally prevent it from gaining sentience?

In Star Trek TNG, TOS and Voyager they at some point debate what sentience is and what makes a person a person. Picard with Data/Moriarty, Janeway with The Doctor/holos, Kirk and Spock with the Horta ...
5
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6answers
411 views

What happens to consciousness after death?

Is it possible that our innate sense of self, our egocentric outlook on the world, could be wrong? After all, our brains are never REALLY connected; so we cannot know for sure that our consciousness ...
4
votes
3answers
87k views

What is the purpose of life? Why should we live or even be created? [closed]

I have this empty feeling in life and no matter how many times I try to question myself, the answers don't seem to emerge. I feel like I don't have a purpose to live and consider myself as just one of ...
4
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5answers
3k views

Is it ethical to be friends with a bad person?

I am sorry if this is too broad of a question/a not so common or a more particular, personal problem than I think it is. It just happened to me, but it is not the first time. In the past, there have ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Significance of life in Bhagavad Gītā

I'm watching lectures of prof. Jay L. Garfield named "Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions". The first three lectures are discussing Bhagavad Gita. Two ideas (...
4
votes
4answers
196 views

How to live the present instead of just surviving?

When I was younger, I always tried to imagine how my future would be, and how it would feel like. I tried to imagine how my relationships would be, how my house would be, what my job would be, etc., ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is it right to judge if the life of one person is worth more than ten others?

Let us take a hypothetical situation where you are on a train that is approaching a fork. You are the only person who has the power to control the direction the train takes. If you leave the train ...
4
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6answers
2k views

Does all matter exist forever?

I was reading about non-duality (spirituality / philosophy) that discusses the idea that everything in reality is one, since any matter can become any other matter, (a tree can become a chair and a ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

How much the world is logical [closed]

In her book The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng writes:"I have already asserted the fact that nothing in the world actually behaves according to logic. So how can we use logic in the ...
3
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2answers
167 views

What does Helmuth Plessner mean by : 'the human being is at a distance to her boundary'?

Plessner defines living organims in terms of a boundary between It and the environment. http://helmuth-plessner.de/en/helmuth-plessner/denken/ This question concerns the following statment: ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Is existence a feature of life? Can a stone exist without life to recognize it?

First of all I would like to make clear I am not an expert in philosophy. With the question "Is existence a feature of life?" I mean the following: Could something exist without the presence of an ...
3
votes
5answers
462 views

How is the modern philosophical definition of life shaped by evidences from natural sciences?

How does philosophy define life? And how does it overlap and contrast with the concepts and nuances of other sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, and how has it been ...
3
votes
1answer
933 views

Death and Epictetus

In the Enchiridion, Epictetus seems suggest that goodness and badness are not “in” the world. They are “in” our reactions. For example he says that, “Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Would immortality be good or bad for humanity? [closed]

I had a flash after watching some videos of Dr Aubrey de Gray's researches on postponing aging indefinitely. According to him, it will be possible – in a near future – to cure aging process of every ...
3
votes
2answers
295 views

Why do we exist?

I have on several occasions, now-a-days often, thought about the purpose of our existence. It's frustrating. We are born and then proceed to die after some time performing actions that don't have any ...
3
votes
1answer
269 views

A question on Bataille's belief

George Bataille, the French philosopher, believed that death is a means of connecting us, the so-called "discontinuous" creatures, to the "continuity" of being. We desire this, at the same time of ...
3
votes
1answer
427 views

How does the physicalism discuss the line between life and death?

In this day and age with modern medicine, the line between life and death are blurred, as the brain dead may act as if it's alive, and the alive, due to being comatose may be reposed as if dead. What ...
3
votes
1answer
445 views

Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic?

Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic? All I know, right now, is that he had a book The Birth of Tragedy, about theater I think. And, I think, that all life is a struggle ...
3
votes
2answers
226 views

Why is having a child and killing it worse than just not having it?

Consider these two scenarios: Parent(s) have a child. Mother and father realize they cannot feed the child, so they kill it. Parent(s) think about having a child, but realize that they will not be ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

A variant on the burito microwaving God

A epistemological variant of Homer's question about whether God could microwave a burito so hot He himself could not eat it, is about whether God could know what it is like not to know everything. ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Is the right to an abortion the same as the right to kill human being? [closed]

If a fetus could be safely and simply removed from a woman and put in an artificial womb where it could grow normally, would a woman have a right to kill it instead?
2
votes
3answers
831 views

How is life defined mathematically? [closed]

I'm interested in the topic life, as every one should and when it crosses my mind I started reading about its different explanations like in biology they say life is combination of metabolism and ...
2
votes
1answer
884 views

Does human existence have absolute worth?

Kant says that only something “whose existence in itself had an absolute worth” could be the ground of a categorically binding law. He then boldly proclaims that Humanity is this absolutely valuable ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Using embryos in stem cell medicine

To what age of embryo (if at all) it would be considered socially/morally acceptable to use embryo as stem cell source to potentially save someone's live? EDIT: I would like an answer to give ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

What sort of values are Nietzsche's?

What sort of values are Nietzsche's? They are not, according to some, moral ones, or at least Christian ones. Do they all share in any (other) quality? To be more specific: how can we tell some ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

When is a robot considered alive?

I originally posted this question in robotics se, but it was deemed off topic there and it was recommended I post here: I was watching a youtube video of a robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Schopenhauer on the unworthiness of life

In which book and section does Schopenhauer say that "life is so short, questionable and evanescent that it is not worth the trouble of any major effort"? I often see this quote attributed to him, ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Has any philosopher written approvingly of “living each day like it was your last”?

Has any philosopher written approvingly of "living each day like it was your last"? Or even, each thing you do (big or small) like it was the last thing you could?
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Death penalty or isolation [closed]

If everybody's life is equal in rights, and has the basic same value. Let's say, there was a person who was considered a danger to all people(i.e. Serial killer) and was a harm to himself as well. ...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

What is the point of staying alive if everyone dies eventually? [closed]

We all will die one day. We all know the life is difficult. We may live long lives, but death will come sooner or later for everyone. It is inevitable. Why should we bother living at all, facing the ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Would there be any point in mind-uploading?

If you cloned a human being, atom for atom, you would almost certainly find that you've created a new entity, with its own consciousness, and memory of having been previously conscious. Assuming the ...
2
votes
1answer
636 views

Virtue and Vices associated with Pleasures in daily life?

I've been reading through the Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle, translated by Terence Irwin. I have found his work far more to my liking than that of Mills in Utilitarianism and the work of Kant. What ...
2
votes
1answer
432 views

Kant on Euthanasia

I know there are many permutations of questions pertaining to euthanasia, but in the interest of specificity, let's keep it to these two cases. How might Kant respond to: A) The claim that ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Is the origin of Dasein the same as that of image making?

I'm reading Being and Time and have got to the passage where Heidegger says [...] we are to destroy the traditional content of ancient ontology until we arrive at those primordial experiences in ...
2
votes
0answers
104 views

I am a physically dying human. Will I limit myself to consideration of physics or will I consider that which is extra-physical? [closed]

Humanity has understood the physics of proton bound to neutron orbitted by electron as atom. As a human aware of my impending demise, I determined to consider is death or cessation of mere physical ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

What are the phylosophical implications of the definitions of life? [closed]

What are the philosophical implications of having life defined somehow? How can our worldview be affected by the definition of life we accept?