Thu, 26 Feb 2004

The First Question

Why was I born?

To some extent, this is not a question at all. A question usually implies a choice - why is it x and not y? It is impossible to ask the converse of this questions: asking "why wasn't I born?" leads to a contradiction. How could you ask it if you weren't born?

Some would say that the real question being asked here is "Why do I exist?", but that comes awfully close to the second question in the set ("What is the purpose of my life?"). I prefer to interpet the question along the lines of "What is it about me that makes me unique? Why am I 'me', and not somebody else?"

I remember when I was a little kid, it had to be when I was 6 or seven, the girl next door - was her name Becky Flores? - insisted that her mom and dad had "made" her. I was equally adament that God had made me, and her and everybody else. My Sunday school teacher said so! But she asked the obvious (and pretty perceptive) question: if God made her, why did she look like her mom?

We are, biologically, our ancestors. Here's a thought that'll blow your mind: fifty thousand years ago, somewhere in Eurasia or Africa, two humans mated. If they had not done so, you would not exist.

On a biological level, it's safe to say that you were born because all of your ancestors successfully mated, and raised their brood to maturity. Sounds kinda sterile, eh? But take a look at the emotional side...

What's the primary motivation for human mating? Is it mere attraction? Availability? Lust? I think it's probably safe to say that the primary motivation for mating, across cultures and across the centuries, has been an emotional desire. This may be for security, or to please one's family, or it may be a violent outburst (as in rape - but rapists don't have an especially good track record as parents), but commonly the emotion that motivates us to make the beast with two backs is love.

I think it's probably a safe bet to say that the vast majority of your ancestors felt an emotional bond with their mates, and that that bond was commonly what we would call love.

This love - this desire to mate and raise children, is the basis for our survival as a species. If we, as sentient creatures, are the Univere's attempt at self-expression, then love is the Universe insuring it's own propagation.

You were born because your ancestors loved.

(original post)

/Asatru | 1 writeback | permanent link

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