What is life? This question can be debated for a long period. Life can be observed in different perspectives. It can be viewed in a philosophical point of view and scientific angle. Moreover, life can be argued in a literature perspective as argued by Frank (116). Despite its diverse views, one important aspect concerning life is the ability to distinguish between animals and human beings. One may argue that animals may be alive but not having a life. On the other hand, an individual may claim that animals too possess the aspect of life similar to human beings (Seckbach 12). This paper aims to provide an idealistic meaning of life from the philosophical, scientific and literature perspective.
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Philosophical perspective – According to Seachris, life can be categorized into two perspectives: its meaning and its purpose. This source elaborates that, life itself is the ability to grow and respond to the external stimuli. It entails moving, ingestion and the reproduction of offspring. This categorically differentiates between being alive and dead. Nonetheless, the purpose of life possesses a wider scope than its definition. It involves doing what is right at the correct time. An example is trying to rescue an individual who is drowning.
Scientific perspective – Science provides a definition of life as being alive. The discipline believes that the cell is the fundamental unit of life, which form the tissues and organs of the organism. The creature is said to be alive if it possesses the following properties: metabolism, Homeostatic or regulation of the internal environment, growth, reproduction, response to evolution (Seckbach). This definition is based on the classification of human beings as animals.
Literature point of view – As per the literature perspective, life is defined by its significance. It is based on the virtues that are observed in an individual. In other words, the importance of life is undertaking what is expected of a person. A suitable example for the perspective above is an individual working hard to make to build his future (Frank).
From the three perspectives, the philosophical point of view possesses the most comprehensive definition of life (Frank). It apparently gives a description of what life entails as well as its purpose/meaning. Many philosophers, however, have come forward to provide their understanding and view of life. Nevertheless, their descriptions point towards the same direction.
In the article What Is Life? Nicholas Taylor, a philosopher from Berkshire, defines life as a story that is embedded in the genomes of individuals based on their DNAs. He adds that environmental and chemical processes that they experience throughout their entire existence shape up the story. His argument is based on the different reactions that we as human portray when faced with difficult circumstances. One individual may be pressured to pursue a wrongful doing while another may be stick to the right action despite being faced with a challenging situation. Taylor further adds that life is ‘plan’ that does not have a definite end. He states “events can be cyclic but not iterative” (Metz). In addition, Taylor’s perspective stipulates that life is composed of different levels and actions that are impeccably linked to one another. This explains the belief on many philosophers that the destiny of every individual is dependent on their choices.
In Metz’s article The Meaning Of Life, Harry Fuchs believes that life is a self-chemistry that is passed on and on to the next generation. He too agrees with the idea that the properties of life are carried in the DNA of individuals. He argues that the coded characteristics located in the DNA of individuals mitigate the occurrence disorganization. Fuchs views life as a step of a planned ‘experiment’ with the possibility of two outcomes. The outcomes are that the characteristics are passed on unchanged, or they can be modified through evolution. Fuchs refers to life as an experiment since its results are unpredictable in the future. Life is truly and experiment since we all have a way passage that we are required to follow. This can be illustrated using a scenario of a child growing into an adult. An infant is born and taken to school. Upon completing his/her studies, they acquire a job and becomes a self-dependent adult. This is the right of passage even in the contemporary world today. However, the outcomes of the future are unknown despite the clear path of conducting activities thus proving that life is an experiment (Metz).
Seachris’ Meaning Of Life: The Analytic Perspective illuminates on Steven Brewer’s perspective about life. Brewer adds that life is much more than a planned experiment. He states that life is simply an embodiment of selfishness that is passed from one generation to another. He argues that the selfishness comes through the need for survival and reproduction. According to Brewer, human beings are selfish is the sense that anything that does constitute of themselves is considered as the external environment. Therefore, they would undertake any step to sabotage the surrounding situation to see that they attain their aim of survival and reproduction. Brewer gives an example of evolution as a depiction of the selfishness of organisms. During the development process, living organisms strive from survival by eliminating the weak in the society. They also care about the reproduction of the future offspring’s that will ensure that their species does not become extinct (Metz). This example proves that life is simply a pure embodiment of selfishness passed over generations. In our modern world today, we have seen leaders who have refused to step down and allow others a chance to rule. We have also witnessed individuals committing homicides due to their personal selfish interests.
Life can be comprehensively defined from the philosophical point of view. According to philosophy, life is a collection of traits that are passed from one generation to the next. The characteristics are contained in the DNA of organisms thus enabling their transfer to the offspring. The components are developed in an environment that resembles a planned experiment. It is viewed as a passed on experiment since its outcome cannot be predetermined and loom in a cyclic manner. Nonetheless, the common trait that is being passed on in the organisms is the property of selfishness. Both animals and human beings have been over the years shown selfishness in their daily endeavors through their reproduction and survival techniques. It can, therefore, concluded that life is an occurrence of activities that are passed from one generation to another. The characteristics can be found in animal, plants and human beings indicating that all living organisms possess life. This has changed the perspective that life was only found in human beings.
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