Life is highly overrated. We make such a fuss over it - “It’s a life and death question”. I don’t get it. You live you die. You were you aren’t. You became something else, some other compound. We don’t fuss over sugar dissolving in our tea or yesterday’s rotten vegetables composting into topsoil. Things exist and reconfigure. That’s how it goes, and not just in life. Molecules do their eternal dance, bonding, separating, generating electricity. Some have bonded in such a way as to acquire cognition in some mutated apes. After a short while they disintegrate and go back to being Hydrogen and Nitrogen. No big deal, really.
The narcissistic mirror-gazing that characterizes our species is the most ridiculously elaborate nonsense ever created by Nature. It permeates every human thought and activity. The most cynical nihilist still labors under the delusion of being special. Life is considered a miracle for some reason and, by extension, human life must be an extra-special-miracle, so special in fact that it is sacred. And from this unfounded premise flows every concept, every mythology, every god, every moral our harebrained imagination ever concocted.
Life is no miracle. It is a very common phenomenon that follows ordinary laws that have been replicated in the laboratory. It is probably as common in the universe as carbon. Whatever is special about life is what we make up about it.
Not even the will to live is that remarkable. All living things have a will to live, until such time as they recognize that their game is up. All except humans. Only humans believe that there is something inherently wrong with dying. Death must be conquered.
And so we have metaphysical interpretations of Life, an “after-life”, souls, spirits, resurrections, eternal bliss, and invocations of a sacred “Life Force”. We now also have longevity research, and Cryopreservation, and cloning, anything but the simple fact, known to any chipmunk, that life and its cessation are the commonest ripples in the vast natural fabric of the physical world.
And a physical world is really all there is, if you leave out human fiction. In the physical world whatever exists dies, be it you and I, the bacteria in your gut, or our galaxy.
No big deal.
An intelligent alien would find the bizarre stories we humans make up fascinating, amusing, or perhaps nauseating in their pretentious self-centeredness.
The Kvetching Factory
"Start every day with a smile and get it over with" (W.C. Fields)