Why Are We Here?


One of the big philosophical questions is "Why are we here?" I can't answer this question for everyone but I can answer it for a lot of people. I once saw one of those modern ministers on television. He said something that intrigued me. Noting that no one had ever come back from death, he suggested that "maybe the next life is so wonderful that God doesn't want us killing ourselves to get there."

This remark suggested an experiment to me. Suppose that you could be guaranteed a completely happy life. The only condition would be that you had to leave your state, never to return. You would forget your entire previous life and everything in it that you might regret; but God himself would assure you that you were doing nothing wrong in leaving. As you crossed the Ohio River, everything that might keep you in your present life would simply drip out of your memory and you would enter into a new and much happier life.

Would you take this deal?

My guess is that most people would not accept this offer. We can then answer that troubling philosophical question for those people.

"Why am I here?"

You are here because you want to be here. Not even the absolute assurance of greater happiness could pry you from the life you have here. What are we to say about those people who would take the offer? There are many doors and gates for them. Perhaps they will enter into a place more pleasing to them. Or they may keep knocking until they go through that door that has only one side.

What would keep us here? Wives and children? Employees and bosses? Friends? Some obsession? Some quest? Perhaps we would remain for the sake of duty and selflessness. Perhaps we have an exaggerated opinion of our impact on this world. Would we then remain only for the sake of our egos? The question of why you are here is easy enough to answer. The harder question is "Why do you want to be here?" That's a question that everyone has to answer for himself.