Do living things on Earth have a purpose?

Some people think living things on Earth were originated by Darwin´s natural selection, without an explicit purpose. Others think that living things were made by God without natural selection, with a purpose. Do living things on Earth have a purpose?

Search terms: Does life on Earth have a purpose, what is the purpose of life on Earth.

Living things on Earth have a purposeEdit

Arguments forEdit

  •   Argument for Living things were created by God for a purpose[citation needed]. Whether we know the purpose--and some of us think we do--is beside the point; the purpose exists.
    •   Objection Many people believe God does not exist, therefore preventing this purpose from applying to them.
    •   Objection There being God is implausible. See Does God exist? for a further debate on this.
    •   Objection There is no empirical proofe that living things have been created by God(s). What if God had other things to do?
  •   Argument for The purpose of living things is to stay alive.
    •   Objection There is no philosophical value to the purpose of simply staying alive and nothing else.
    •   Objection The quasi-purpose driven by Darwinian natural selection is the maximization of copying of genes into future generations, not individual survival. There are plenty of examples of this in nature, individuals including insects giving up their lives when it fits genetically. And it is not true purpose either; the natural selection is no true artifact maker and cannot give true purpose.
  •   Argument for The purpose of living things is to reproduce.
    •   Objection This might be true for many species, but not for all. For example, human being (in our days) does not have the purpose to reproduce, but to live, be happy, enjoy life, etc.

Arguments againstEdit

  •   Argument against There is no all-mighty, all-knowing, and good-wishing creator of the universe, the Earth and living things. Instead, living things originated by Darwinian evolution by natural selection. This process does not involve purpose, merely quasi-purpose. The quasi-purpose of living things is to serve as survival vehicles of their genes and maximize the spread of the genes to future populations. Since that is no true purpose, living things have no purpose. If one needs a surrogate purpose, the quasi-purpose of gene propagation is a candidate.
    •   Objection What if we are in a simulation and the simulation operator had a purpose for creating living forms or at least for starting an evolutionary process? He does not need to be all-mighty, all-knowing or good-wishing for this to work.
      •   Objection We have no good reason to believe we are in a simulation. Assuming no simulation absent evidence is more parsimonious, doing away with entities not required for explanation.
        •   Objection Less parsimonious does not mean untrue. It is possible.
          •   Comment If one assumes that the world including living things was made by a maker for a purpose, regardless of the properties of the maker, then indeed they have a purpose, whether known or unknown. But that is part of that assumption, and no good arguments to support that assumption are known.
    •   Objection While Darwin's theories may explain how life evolved, they are silent on how Life came into being, and therefore should not be used to prove it or disprove that it has a purpose.
      •   Objection Darwin's theories do not explain the origination of the very first forms of life or proto-life, but they do explain origination of all that followed, including living form, function and complexity from single cells to huge multi-cellular complexes of patterns called organisms. Nearly all functional and behavioral being of an organism is explained by the Darwinian natural selection.
        •   Objection Darwin´s theory prove that forms of life have no purpose. However, if we can´t prove that the very first form of (proto) life did not have a purpose, then we should not refute that.

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