Tuesday, December 8, 2009


My wife listens to books on tape and she recently rented at the Library a lecture series by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto who is a Professorial Fellow in History and Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, and a member of the Faculty of Modern History at Oxford University. It is called "Ideas That Shaped Mankind, A Concise History of Human Thought". She played just a few short passages with me and it led us into a discussion of ideas, human history, and the motivations and curiosities of people. It brought up an interesting question. Preservation of Life. We all have it in common. All living things possess the need to stay alive. Why? Even the simpler organisms on the earth will do whatever they can to maintain their own life. Do humans fear death because it is unknown? Do animals fear death? Is it a concept that they even understand? Do we simply seek to avoid pain? Did we invent God to justify the long expanse of death? Why the need to preserve one's own life at almost any cost. Where does this come from? Is it in the DNA of all living creatures?


  1. You asked: "Did we invent God to justify the long expanse of death?"

    Some people will say, with confidence, that God wasn't invented by us, we were invented by God. Asking such a question may suggest your lack of faith.

    Some will say this is a perfect example of "God of the gaps." That god exists in the "gaps" or aspects of reality that are currently unexplained by scientific knowledge. (paraphrased, Wikipedia)In other words, God is a convenient solution to questions we don't have solid proof to answer them with.

    I think I'm someplace between the two schools of thought.

  2. Is it possible that we all try to stay alive because we know deep down inside that life is precious? (Seems I remember reading that somewhere and I agree with that.)

    My grandfather was shot, caught in barbed wire for days, and blown up during WWII. If he hadn't lived through all that, he wouldn't have had any children and so I wouldn't be here either.

    I think we also fight to keep living because we haven't finished what we came here to do yet. We have work to do.