Why Are We Here?

Why Are We Here?

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Ratings: 6.87/10 from 77 users.

Why Are We Here?In this short documentary, Dawkins takes a look at the purpose of human existance and asks the earthshaking question – Why are we here?

Pointing out that religious stories of human purpose fail miserably, Dawkins indicates that science may be able to offer a better explanation for human existence. Starting out with Darwin, he claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution may offer the only explanation for humanity’s raison d’état that we are likely to ever get.

Many religious believers may claim that answers for our existence offered by evolution theory mean that humans are nothing special, that we are just another species of animal. They are, of course, correct in saying that we are just another animal species but this does not necessarily mean that are not special.

Clearly humans are different from our animal brothers in that we have the ability to ask questions like why are we here. This also means, however, that with our ’specialness’ comes extraordinary responsibilities. This brilliant documentary helps clarify some of the arguments made by evolution and is in no way just more of the same from Dawkins.

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Any
Any
3 years ago

First of all animals show compassion to other animals really really really regularly and for me that's a virtue, but human beings are the only ones that destroy their own environment and we kill for pleasure . Ridiculous to think that we're the greatest thing on the planet Earth or that were even the greatest thing in the universe that's a sad sad thought in my opinion

Clayton Jones
Clayton Jones
3 years ago

Animals live by the seven vices, humans have a choice between virtue and vice, the two cannot exist in the same place at the same time, virtue does not even enter the mind of an animal. Virtue is a choice of the soul which opposes "survival of the fittest".

Al Gee
Al Gee
3 years ago

We create our own selection.

no u
no u
4 years ago

horrifying

Dr. Martyn Monroe
Dr. Martyn Monroe
4 years ago

Who says that other animals don’t ask the same question as we do about the meaning of life and why are we are . We just can’t understand their language .

Ramkoil
Ramkoil
5 years ago

To limit creation /universe / existence to what we understand with our 5 senses is very arrogant and egocentric of humanity. To assume what we see feel etc... is what is out there is very short sighted. one can not disprove God, and to insist it does not exist is by itself a belief. I understand what is written in the holy scriptures such as the Bible, Quran and what their believers admit to be their interpretation is beyond reason and fantastic, but even then to conclude that the world and all that there is, is understandable by human mind well, is to align yourself with the same believers of Bible and Quran!

Alan
Alan
5 years ago

to be honest ...real adults don't believe in fairy stories (or religion as most people call it)The world is just an incredible place and it doesn't need any justification through religion for its existence . It just IS and the people that can't get their heads around that have to invent a story (religion) as they can't understand the science behind it !

SadHeart
SadHeart
5 years ago

we are here to live miserably, suffer, then die to be forgotten and never to be remembered, no purpose, life is a jock

DustUp
DustUp
6 years ago

Then maybe we will have more time to contemplate our navels, and why we exist. The movie "Lucy" had a nice take on the subject. To pass the things we learned on to the next generation. Unfortunately this apparently isn't the reason for our existence since they don't listen and willfully repeat the same mistakes ever since things like bad choices were invented.

Contrary to @Hardy near the top, if God or a God like creator exists s/he would want to be appreciated; just like most people do.

For instance if you took great effort and created a thing of much benefit to mankind, such as water, wouldn't you prefer to be appreciated for that rather than your name be spat on, made fun of, ridiculed, and venomous vitriol?

Suppose you created the first pair of autonomous robots that could communicate with each other and you. They could repair themselves and make others similar to themselves. Would you prefer to have them despise you for having to exist, which they didn't ask for, or be grateful and appreciative?

When Dawkins can scientifically explain what love and hate is and how evil and good are atomic science battling it out all around us much of the time, even within ourselves, to choose to do right or to do wrong, his science isn't worth cow poop; which is far more valuable as actual vegetative fertilizer than his variety.

DustUp
DustUp
6 years ago

The key word is THEORY of evolution. The theory is false. We did not evolve from primordial slime. Otherwise mules would reproduce themselves. They cannot. Science has shown that when species ADAPT too far from their original form, they either revert back or dead end. The mule is an example of a dead end.

Survival of the fittest is another situation which only stands to reason...except in humans where the worst psychopaths and evil doers are allowed to reproduce more and worse. Until banksters, lawyers, politicians, and other serious criminals are sterilized by contract to the French, using their antique innovative technique for permanently preventing criminals from repeating repeatedly, humans will continue to suffer greatly due to evil humans.

Danny
Danny
7 years ago

Why is a one celled organism here?

Danny
Danny
7 years ago

I'm reading through all the comments but there are so many I cannot read them all I just want to mention something that I've been thinking about lately thought came to my head when we are born we don't remember anything or have anything in our brain most of the time when we get older closer to death we lose our memory as well with that being said I asked myself what is our purpose here I thought about multiplying and conceiving and if we are here for 80 years our purpose was to multiply and make more of the human race why because everything around us is in huge quantities big numbers sperm count is in a huge quantity, blood cells huge quantity, stars in the galaxy huge quantity, grass on the earth huge quantity, molecules,atoms,neutrons protons all around us in huge quantity. .. I'm stuck on this thought about a huge number has something to do with why we are here I just can't figure it out.

I keep asking myself if everybody on Earth was together in one big huge group what would we be capable of? we can lift anything we can build anything we could sing together we become more powerful so is it because of power the more and numbers the more powerful? I also think why are we were born from pain and we die in pain? To survive while we live of course.. but if there was a true creator..why such a painful life for us? I think us experience pain it's part of the way are genes we'll decide what our next natural selection will be? how long will it take for us humans to start changing because our genes have decided a natural selection is needed ?against drugs and crime and fatty foods and bad things that causes humans to die?

It must take a long time for natural selection to work? One thing natural selection is doing not sure if it's caused by our genes or because of our actions as human beings but the children of this generation are smarter and exposed to more things as an adult then I was when I was their age is that natural selection or is that the cars of the human race? Is there evidence of an era where natural selection was processing and eliminating the good and the bad in humans? Or when it made us we just arrived here from apes or something.. No humans without brains or sex organs or mouths and stomachs or ears on the head or eyes on the chest instead? No humans formed wrong? Where did the genes test humans out at?

John
John
7 years ago

We have no real existence..we just happened to pop up a million yrs ago from one celled organisms..their is no real purpose to us living.except exist in this world then die that's our purpose..

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

I apologize...CP, not CJ.

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

Also, CJ...dying is NOT scary. I mean, if none of the religious bull is true, then why would anyone fear laying in the dirt or burning in a fire absent from their flesh? If the HELLFIRES don't exist and we don't have to worry and fret on being accepted into that fluffy cloud in the sky, then what is there to worry about? KISSES!

Linda
Linda
7 years ago

Trust me...well that is probably something I should not ask, but...I used to think the complicated nature of our physiological being ensured we were more than ooze, nonetheless why do so many claim that demons and ghosts communicate with this realm? Do those on the negative side have that much more power? I would like to communicate with someone on the supposedly positive side.

CP
CP
7 years ago

Death = Absense of life

I'm 28. 29 years ago I was dead.

Why's everyone wondering what being "dead" is like when we've all already experienced it already?

Nobody is sitting around on water vapor all day with your interest in mind. I'm aethist and religion is a crock of sh*t. I mean anyone with basic logical thinking can arrive at that conclusion who isn't emotionally weak or plain scared of the fact when your dead, your maker won't be waiting because you weren't engineered along with the plains of reality we are in.

In my opinion, Man has a need to belong and be loved because we are a social species, and the thought some really great super great guy God was a security blanket man comforted himself with through time to ease that uncertainty.

Any religious person is convinced their religion is the one and everyone else is incorrect, even me being aethist. I have no quarrel with religion, but if you want to worship a pile of rocks or a sanitized set of fairy tales then suit yourself, but don't tell me I have to or should be doing that as I don't tell you my thoughts that your wasting your time and when you die you return to nothingness so quit telling me j should share the same imaginary friend you have.

I'm not meaning to attack religion, but I do challenge people to give my opinion on death a real thought for a few minutes and see if it makes sense to them like it does me. If not then that's your entitled opinion.

Why do religious people become offended if I say God is likely not on any level of existence? I'm not offended if they say he does exist and created me.

Dying is naturally a scary thought because it's human nature to fear the unknown. We think we know the unknown by shaping theories that make sense and this is mine. If it makes sense to you let me know, if it doesn't please don't try cramming your religious or deeper understanding of the infinite complexity of the fabric of existance down my throat.

Dee Thomas
Dee Thomas
7 years ago

How can you answer any question like this. All we know is what we are taught, told and feel on this wonderful planet. We do not know of anything else or have the ability to know further. There can be species far advanced than us, that we cannot see, feel or hear according to our earthly senses. For all that we know, they can be co-exiisting right beside ourselves, or ourselves can be co-existing in another realm. So many planets and we are the only one, so many situations, sleep, dreams, deja vu, familiar faces or conversations.
What man knows on Earth does not translate to something that is known / unknown.

I know
I know
7 years ago

Well, there is in fact, only ONE reason we are here!
It is done, by following Mother Nature!
Pairing up, a Male with a Female, for the purpose of procreation!
That is all, nothing else matters!
Only the Natural Procreation, of the human species!
Think about it!

makuce
makuce
7 years ago

IMHO Castaneda gives the best explanation as to why we are here. To enhance awareness.

Emmett
Emmett
8 years ago

I am one of those God believing Christian type. One this not mentioned in the video was the soul. As a child I had an NDE (Near Death Experience) Hardly anyone knew what it was back then, I paid no attention to it until just a few years ago. I have done some research and have concluded that we do have an ever lasting soul and need to follow moral life styles. There is a tomorrow over there after our dead body is put down here.

norda
norda
8 years ago

christians love to say they are being attacked ,it gives them an excuse to do evil acts and say it was gods will.

norda
norda
8 years ago

i think Shakespear had it right in the play Hamlet, said to be or not to be weather it is better to suffer the out ragious fortuns of the slings and arrows or to appoise them.

Judy LeBlanc
Judy LeBlanc
8 years ago

I just started asking me that question recently and no matter what the answer is I do believe it all started with God. Maybe he just wanted a Family so He created us. We for some reason have all left home and will someday return home. Those of us who have hurt our Father too much just take a longer time to get home since we have to make up for the hurt we have caused.

Shortride Harley-Davidson
Shortride Harley-Davidson
9 years ago

I think the question, "Why are we here" is more simple than some of us make out to be. The intellectuals of our time have a tenancy to complicate things when it comes to the arguments between evolution and creation theories. The simple fact that as children, we trust the judgement of out parents to keep us safe should lend credence to the fact that our creator knows best for us. To think that everything just happened as a matter of coincidence show absolutely no evidence of our existence through any other means.

lReprovo a
lReprovo a
9 years ago

How you must drown your conscience everyday Mr Dawkins and for what ?
Soon the day will come as It will for all of us where you will have to Justify your actions.
Please don't attack me atheists.I must have a genetic predisposition to believe In a deity.Sorry.
Anyway were all fading to black so who cares ?

tim
tim
9 years ago

ultimately life has no meaning other than copying itself. We create meaning to justify our existence and not to go MAD! That is all Dawkins has done, create a rationalization to justify living.

Junior Ten
Junior Ten
9 years ago

Science is really interesting bu the argument about the fact that we evolved from monkies needs a lot of faith....why i say this? Because you will hve to believe the studies of Charles Darwin. I bet no one has seen evolution in action, therefore how can you believe in something that you havent seen? You need faith in the argument. Im just saying!

Chris Mortensen
Chris Mortensen
10 years ago

We are all but one infinite consciousness subjectively experiencing reality in space-time geometry. The natural world in which we experience is created by consciousness.. Consciousness bridges the gap; or perhaps creates a gap between the the quantum world of super positions; information existing in waves of a holographic reality not bound in space or time .. We are the awareness. We are consciousness. god is consciousness. we wouldnt be here without it. Remain open minded..

PLOTCH
PLOTCH
10 years ago

Science is pretty good at discovering the answers to "how" things work in most cases and for phenomenon that is occurring now that we do not yet understand how it works just yet.

Steven Hawking stated at one time

“Our picture of the universe has changed a great deal in the last 40
years and I am happy to have made a small contribution. . . . The fact
that we humans who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental
particles of nature have been able to come this close to an
understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a great
triumph.”

and also

“Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”

and

“What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

As you progress through Stevens comments, here is something that can be gleaned from them:

You have to ask yourself like Hawking where did the equations themselves and particles come from and is there a why to their existence that can be found that we as humans could understand?

Phil Dor
Phil Dor
10 years ago

We're here to reach enlightenment, to discover our true selves and to spread love, tolerance and wisdom.

Val
Val
10 years ago

Why Can't we just accept that we're here because of Love :) Despite all the fighting and killing and horrible things going on in this world, I still don't want to be a thing that was created out of nothing. I have explored many beliefs but one thing that stands out is when Jesus Said "Your Heavenly Father Created you for his pleasure, he knows every details of your being" that calmed me it fitted what I longed for Love from someone who know me more than I know my self someone who can direct me. “why did God create us?” is “for His pleasure.” Revelation 4:11 says (Being he called us) not created thing.

Because of our free will we have been given away to our own doings but if we seek God, Meaning place him first, he will give you the answers-- God has a plan and purpose for you. God is waiting to help you discover your purpose – just ask Him! ---

You might be asking why all the Honorable things -- Well read the bible-- God created us in his own image -- But we had to follow rules to protect us from harm and we didn't!!! and so we fell--- The wages of Sins is? now we have free will to choose Good or evil even though God knows our needs we now have to asked for it. Even Protection from Evil -- How selfish of us-- This world is now run by the Opposer of God A created being who wanted to be above God whom created us so he fooled us and keeps on fooling us even after God send his only Son to die for us--- People!! God is love if you read the bible you will find out that he will not love us more or less though matter what-- But he cannot tolerate sins and so it is up to us to find him because we are the one who disobeyed him and rejected his law the very law he gave us for our own protection. The Enemy is Jealous of us so much so that his plan is to destroy us completely just so he can break our Heavenly Father's heart-- Read Psalm 91 please it will show you that if you ask him he will Command his Angels to watch over you and all your loved ones... But the Key is to ask -- Jesus also said Ask...

true infidel
true infidel
11 years ago

what folks read here is is really good stuff. but the truth is that we don't know the truth. some how just saying that seems to give me hope. some how life is part of an on going thing.that is just not understood . seeing the way religions act how can you believe them. and here's science trying to show that there is a higher place. and that we do go further. trying to find a proof. the watch maker. all in good time i guess

Alan Sheriff
Alan Sheriff
11 years ago

I can understand the how we got here after the Big Bang (if it indeed happened that way). The elements that were made because of chemical reaction of heat and cooling down of to make something else. The amino acids, water and everything came together to spark LIFE. I think Humans would like to know The Why if there is a Why it ALL happened. Is there some kind of a Maker of ALL of this (a spirit, thing or whatever you wish to call IT)? Time has no meaning other then what a Being or thinking Entity gives it. So before it all Time had no meaning and did not exist. So the whatever happened 13-14 Billion of our years ago have an ending? Will it someday happen again or has it been going on what we call forever and never actually ending? The Why I can't understand but again does there need to be a why or did it just happen for no particular reason other then it did?

Paul Laycock
Paul Laycock
11 years ago

Perhaps the question should be "Why is Dawkins here?" He is a "born again atheist" who sets out to ridicule anyone that places faith in anything other than science. His evangelistic zeal to discredit ALL religious thought is unbounded, yet he has refused to enter face to face debate with people of faith because he refuses to acknowledge their "Academic Credulity" (how bigoted is that?).
Personally, I have no issue with science though it has NEVER created anything from nothing and merely DISCOVERS what already exists. Neither do I struggle with the concept of evolution as a natural process, instigated by an all powerful God.
Science concerns itself with the created whilst religion concerns itself with the creator.
We exist because we do and our purpose should be to make a positive difference to the world that we share with each other.

UncleJoe223
UncleJoe223
12 years ago

Thomas:

I don't see your comment here for some reason. Nevertheless I respond:

Best not to advise other how to use their minds lest you invite same in return. Better YOU should pick and practice a form of spirituality that you may have an experience beyond the five senses, beyond science, as it were.

Further, your response is typical of those often engaged in these discussions--you attack religion because it does not give you what science does. Shocking! Of course not. The great value of "science" is that it is based on reason, experiment, observation, etc. etc. . . Religion, or any true practice of spiritual beliefs, cannot employ those methods. The results of the proper practice of spirituality is beyond "reason," and, "knowing."

UncleJoe223
UncleJoe223
12 years ago

Sorry I was so unclear.

I'm not implying anything one way or the other about existence or God or Darwin or evolution. I'm simply trying (in a convoluted way, perhaps) that Dawkins does not deliver what he promises. He states that religion fails but that Darwin does not. But what he (Dawkins) claims Darwin has shown us is that we (humans) can ask questions about our existence -- that "explains" our existence.

To which I say, "Huh?"

He has elevated our own minds (his own ego, I say) to something worthy of woshipping. Again, Dawkins seems to be celebrating his own ability to use his brain. That's how I see this.

Thanks.

UncleJoe223
UncleJoe223
12 years ago

Okay, I've watched the doc and yes, Darwin/Dawkins gives no "purpose," other that "it resides in us." That we have brains, and seek to understand the universe. Uh, that sounds like religion to me.

So, Dawkins, essentially is attempting to create a new "religion," the religion of the human brain. How ridiculous.

The scienitific validity of Darwin's theories have been rendered irrelevant here. What is important seems to be that the great DAWKINS (ALL KNEEL) has figured it out. His ego is unfathomable. His lack of creative and intuitive thinking is inversely proportionate. Conclusion: he's a twit.

So here's an appropriate prayer in Dawkin's new religion:

"Oh, great human mind (Dawkin's ego)" "You (I, Dawkins) are truly the greatest thing to ever exist. You (I) seek out the answer to everthing! You forward-plan. You know the purpose of the Universe (Me). Oh, how great are you! (am I, Dawkins)."

How ridiculous.

tjnorth
tjnorth
12 years ago

waste of my time

UncleJoe223
UncleJoe223
12 years ago

Let me see if I got this right: Dawkins claims that religion fails to explain the true nature of existence, ("purpose") and posits that science may offer a better explanation and that explanation says that there IS no explanation, only Darwin? Darwin, does not provide a REASON for our existence. He provides, at best, a mechanism. Come on.

So, by logic, Dawkins has no explanation. Yes? No?

Is this what I'll see if I watch the doc?

srbenedicta
srbenedicta
12 years ago

My question still stands re: Why is there anything, universe, people, animals,
planets, etc? Why is there anything instead of nothing? My thoughts on this question spring not from regligion or secularism or any other "isms."

srbenedicta
srbenedicta
12 years ago

My question is not why we are here but why is there a here?

Gary Mckee
Gary Mckee
12 years ago

I haven't watched it but i know his view point is always from a scientific stance, he should get into Esoteric and Occult understanding of the nature of the universe..which is incredibly intellectual with a spiritual and scientific explanation ...he never delves any deeper than the conventional understanding.

Timothy Potter
Timothy Potter
12 years ago

There is no transcendence to this "purpose," just the desire that it turns out to be unique.

Serj TorresSoldado
Serj TorresSoldado
12 years ago

following up on what some posts say about religion, why are you looking at it in it's corporate form? What is at every religion's core is faith is it not? Imagine if you hadn't a drop of faith? As the undeterministic being you are you wouldn't/couldn't assume anything about even the immediate future so you would be completely erratic in what is currently deemed as normal. Whats most ironic is that if scientists wouldn't have faith or they wouldn't have creativity(which can be deemed under darwin's theory as a random attempt to thrive under the given natural conditions) and wouldn't be scientists at all. It doesn't have anything to do with being a scientist or a priest or anything else.. it has everything to do as being human, or just being. We all are, unfortunately everyone(including me) feel the need to shout and poke sticks at each other, which once again is part of being dynamic. So what is in discussion and the source of so much confusion is discussing static scenarios in dynamic terms without realizing it, or is it the other way around? We need to articulate and fight for comprehension, that is our goal. When we reach it then we will be something else entirely. As for people saying that they don't wast their time thinking about this.. there are either lying or very shallow in my opinion.

Serj TorresSoldado
Serj TorresSoldado
12 years ago

Why are we here: to propagate our genes? That isn't the answer, it's dodging the answer. This man is an ***** and this documentary is just another regurgitation of darwin's theory. Ok and why propagate our genes? To make the species stronger? Why make the species stronger? It's running in circles period. And Darwin's theory doesn't refute the existence of a designer, thats what the comentator assumes by his own. Evolution is tightly related to time, since we really can't explain what time is we can't really assume it's sequential and therefore it doesn't exclude god at all. I think people like this know that are cutting it short but because they are lazy and try to win there way bullying there way past people which are more modest and who actually do the real work and make the real questions. This and so many others are just TV presenters and just want audiences so they format the tv show so we feel satisfied and say we like it, they don't want to say "We really don't know WTF we are doing or what we are", which I believe is the current global truth.

William Harold Shadley
William Harold Shadley
12 years ago

Hilarious how it gets the kudos from the evangelical atheist troll premier on this site, simply for being in his camp! Missed some actual info mr purported super-rational! lololololololol

William Harold Shadley
William Harold Shadley
12 years ago

"There are whole systems of life that don't require oxygen." Someone who doesn't understand how oxygen is used in metabolism, and doesn't understand how it is extracted by being from water, and how water is actually made out of oxygen, and that there actually ISN'T life on earth that doesn't require oxygen... loses ALL other credibility. Telling others about sticking to facts/evidence/science... LOL You ought to be utterly ashamed of yourself,

Richard Miller
Richard Miller
12 years ago

omg this DH has no idea about the meaning of life

jbriggs_87
jbriggs_87
12 years ago

maybe the universe is just the brain of a greater being, and it expand because it is still a child and growing. and maybe each our our brains is its own personal universe. also have you ever noticed has mankind is on this natural progression towards unity, when you look at the phone, the radio, tv, now the internet. maybe the greater being isnt a child, maybe its a fetus and this is it's brain being formed. as things keep changing more exponentially faster maybe the fetus is rushing towards the moment of it's birth, at the exact moment our technology is changing and we are connecting so fast that we reach a singularity and are thrust as one being into a greater and more complex universe. It would explain why 'we are all one consciousness'
p.s. i am really stoned right now :)