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Are We Just Born To Die? If Yes, Why? If Not, We Are Born For What?

Updated on April 2, 2009

I consider the world to be a theater and us folks to be characters in it. We are born to play our roles, and when we are done, we depart. It might sound simplistic perhaps, but if one were really to think about it, that's precisely what we do. We play our roles, multiple roles of being a son/daughter, husband/wife, grandfather/grandmother. We fulfill our commitments in each of these varied roles (most of us at least) and then we move on to another world/stage perhaps.

Of course, all living beings that are born do die at some point. Death is as much a part of living as living itself. Life and death are intertwined. One leads to another - they cannot be separated. Its cyclical and repeats itself, as it has through the ages. Death need not be looked upon as something undesirable. Death should in fact be viewed as necessary. All living things deteriorate over time and death is but an exit for the soul to exit the body that has become frail and incapable of sustaining life any longer.

Envision a world without death - how sad would such a world be? If frail and weak humans continue to live on and on, can the world be sustainable? How heart wrenching would it be to see your loved ones wither away. Or, if indeed a magic cure has been discovered that enabled humans to stay young forever - would the Earth be able to sustain all the millions of young, restless humans that continue to live on and on as immortals. So, however much one might fear death or wish death away - death is essential. It is essential to the cycle of nature. In death, there is life and in life there is death. That's just the way it is and should be.

Life is an opportunity given. What one makes of that life is upon the specific individual. One human might strive to become a better human being, strive to understand the world around him and the world beyond, might be good and do good to others. Another human might seek to be death to others, might seek to commit acts of terror and kill with impunity and without remorse. We are born with a clean slate - what we write on it is entirely dependent on us, the choices we make!!


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      irina 3 years ago


      i believe there is life after death! i want to see and be with my love ones and my animals ,

      life is getting us stronger, smarter , helping others and of course animals., everything happening for reason, LIFE AFTER DEATH!

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 5 years ago

      RJ, thank you for such a refreshing viewpoint on this subject. Rather than take it negatively, I applaud you for having such a viewpoint. I can agree with all that you state - it does make sense!! A subject can be viewed from many different points of view - I am glad I had the pleasure of reading your take on the subject - very compelling and refreshing :)

    • rjbatty profile image

      rjbatty 5 years ago from Irvine

      As an atheist, I do not find that there is any intrinsic meaning in life. One can think of increased intelligence as a "journey" or an "opportunity" to find our "place in the universe." But, all of this seems like various contrivances of man to give his life some significance that doesn't exist. I think that we evolved from simple organisms, gradually developed consciousness and became aware of our own mortality. Various outlooks on an afterlife appear as a way of coping with the extinction of our individuality. I don't believe we have anything to fear in death, as it is merely like a candle being blown out. Contemplating non-existence is probably beyond the capability of everyone but the highest Zen masters. From the point where we gain consciousness in early childhood, our brains are never idle, not even when we sleep. Imagining having the switch turned off for eternity is too much of a stretch for the average mind -- perhaps anyone's mind. Thus, we create notions of having a spirit or a soul that extends what we regard as our uniqueness. Scientists expostulate that the universe may go through an endless "Big Bang/Big Crunch" cycle, with no beginning and no understandable end. The concept of infinity is beyond our grasp. We are limited to living in a three-dimensional world, and our senses, our intellect are finite. None of this is to say that without any form of immortality we are justified in living depraved or immoral lives. To the contrary. We are aware of our own pain, our own suffering, and we must live by some kind of moral code that includes helping others.

      I hope that you will not take my contrary viewpoint in a negative light.

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      DR HANS SCHWANTZ 5 years ago

      I look at all the vastness of outer space and wonder how it all came about and how it exists? Since I have never been in space nor understand how it came to exist beyond the science books, I feel there is a possibility there might be something after we die for us. I cannot give evidence for any of the above but it still makes me wonder since we know so little. I do agree with naturalists views and theists views but still when I look at outer space I still wonder what it all means both now and for the future.

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      Lex Talionis 5 years ago

      I posted a previous comment about my views on the scientific nature and in my belief truth of Human meaning. I am not prejudice against religious people but I am an anti-theist I believe there is no god, no divine might, no guiding hand. Just us. Hell even christianity has copied older religions than itself. Religion is an easy answer. Stories about saviors, gods, fairys and all sorts of camp fire stories that were just supposed to easily explain things or make us feel better about loves ones.. Why is it that God helps so many people in the bible (or even unjustfully condemns them) but then "magically" stopped after the bible(s).

    • profile image

      Lex Talionis 5 years ago

      We evolved from Eukaryote, cells with a nucleus, we evolved up to this point because of an unexplained Circumstance. So i put forward we were exposed to an evolutionary agent, a "god gene" if you will, this caused our Chemical conscience and resulted in our being here. We have no meaning of life, no higher purpose and no higher power. We are simply the result of an unatural agent (i keep using that word) and we are not even born to die. We are simply here. But this doesn't mean we shouldn't have chivalry and principle.

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      Nirmalmanji 5 years ago

      Death is full stop of the life

      i cannot belive :)

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      Bob 5 years ago

      Great hub!

      I think that the people that believe in a life after death are most likely religious, since most religions say you get reborn into a different (human) being after you die. Although for people that don't believe in this, they want evidence to convince them. However the most logical thoughts at the earlier years of human civilization, being reborn or turned into something else was pretty much the answer. Too bad that even up to know, we don't even know what happens when we die.

      I personally think that it's (sometimes) depressing to just ask yourself, "why am I even here or alive?" Can't wait till I die and see what happens. :D

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      Paul Doyle 5 years ago

      I do not believe in past lives because I have seen no evidence for them.

      Nor do I believe in life after death, simply because I have seen no evidence for it.

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      Exist 5 years ago

      I have no object of what all of you have said, we just have to go through the cycle of life.Please try to appreciate every moment you have with you, talk about that all of us are considered lucky.Those unable humans, they wish they could be like us.Most of us had a perfect human body, we should be even more appreciate and tried to make our own life more meaningful as in giving those who needed help so much.In this world there is no right or wrong that we have to act, just remember what you'll do you will have to bear with the consequences. Thank you to all of you! Have enlighten me so much.

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      Annoynmous 5 years ago

      I don't know whether it was because I just turned eighteen, witness a death of a friend, discussed death with an old lady, watched my parents age, or the fact that I am reading Hamlet (Senior core book), I started questioning my existence and what happens after death. I therefore came across this after typing "are we just born to die?" I am an Atheist, it really saddens me that I am going to die just like the rest of us. I started fantasizing my last moments in life, what's it like to stop being able to "live." Then I realize, every second passing, I am striving towards this moment of death. It's almost like anticipating my calculus test, except I won't make it out of the room. I am scared of the "unknown unknown" which got me thinking, why the hell was I even born just to experience death. Life is what an individual makes of it, but at a cosmic scale it means completely nothing. We are but nothing. Quite a scary thought. I can now see why so many people turn to religion for comfort, but I am better than that.

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      tonio09 6 years ago

      The Earth would still be sustainable. We would just colonize other planets.

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      Arnold 6 years ago

      Yes we all born to die?

      but we have some time for doing something what you will=)

      be rich and do all things what ever you wanted.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      Nice perspective Ciara. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!!

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      Ciara 7 years ago

      We are not born TO die. We are born for the same reason that we die. We continue the life cycle, in birth and death.

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      coWil1991 7 years ago


      Good hub.

      Hobiwan said something interesting.

      I just don't get one thing, why live, if it's so pointless?

      I mean, it seems that everything we do is of no use, because we can change nothing. All we can do is make children, and give them good values, but what does it matter if you can't even see the results of how you raised your children?

      I mean at some age we all die, and I don't really give a damn about that, but my problem is that we can't achieve one thing in this live that lasts. All we do is bound to fade away, just like ourselves.

      And like you guys, i'd like to believe in the greater good, in a God. But I just can't, as far as the facts say it's all nature... Ofcourse there's some greater good that made our planets, but not something that controls our lives.

      In my opinion we just live to keep all life turning in the universe.

      So my question is: "Why is it so important for a universe to have life in it?"

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      Hi Kamna,

      Everything that has a beginning has an end!! That's the law of nature. Nothing exists forever!!

      If we lived forever, would the Earth be able to sustain all those billions of humans and other animals? There is a reason for everything. The fact that we die is because that enables other generations to come into being and live.

      Death may seem final, but if you believe in the soul, we really don't die. We may live on forever in some other place!!

      Thank you for stopping by this hub Kamna!!

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      kamna 7 years ago

      hiii .watsoevr i jst wna kno dt why life is taken taken bck by god in the form of death frm us if god givs it as an opportunity to us,,????????

      why is it taken bak frm us ?why cant v keep on performing continuously..?

      does d god do not know dt emotions r built up with each othr once he is born?

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      Thanks Hobiwan for your take on this question!!

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      Hobiwan 7 years ago

      "All the world's a stage,

      And all the men and women merely players:

      They have their exits and their entrances;

      And one man in his time plays many parts"

      - Shakespeare

      So you are dancing with the same questions people have been asking for millenia. The concept of life after death began long before Christianity was in its infancy. A little research on ancient Egypt bears this out.

      The problem is not with the answer. It is with the question. What does it mean to ask "why are we here"? No matter which answer you come up with, the end result is comforting to the individual. Fear is the underlying cause.

      We search for "why" because it is difficult to bear the burden of living. But all of these concepts live in the world of the ego. Camus was right. Absurd and egoist.

      But existentialism is not a philosophy of despair. Rather it is a confirmation of life. In order to live life fully, it is necessary to shed the garments of the ego and just...well...breathe. Laugh. Create.

      Remember - the opposite of love is NOT hate. The opposite of love is fear. If you no longer fear the pleasures and pains life brings to you, you can finally accept the joy of just living. There is NO why. No "who". No death. Only life awaits.

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      unknown 7 years ago

      i don't know anything for now because im in high school now but this question is very interesting to me in a way but we are born for a reason but i have another one do we come from heaven and if we die and go to heaven why were we born?

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Hi Shweta,

      Am sorry to hear about your dad. The question you ask, "why me?" is understandable. I would perhaps have asked the same question if I had gone through a similar experience. When you say, "why did God choose me to undergo all this?" - you are expressing anguish that anyone in your position would express.

      However, personally I do not think God makes such everyday decisions as to who dies and who lives. I think of God as the creator of everything around us, but not as someone who sits and decides who lives and who dies at any given moment.

      One can for example ask why God took away so many thousands in an instant when the Tsunami struck, or the thousands who die apparently randomly when earthquakes or other natural calamities strike. My thinking on that would be that God does not decide on such things. I think God allows nature to run as it chooses to and doesn't intervene in everyday situations.

      So, while the passing away of your father is truly tragic and I really feel for you (knowing how much my own father means to me) - I don't think God had a role to play.

      We all have to die some day and unfortunately we can't choose when we die. I think the best way is to live every day fully and completely. Life is too short to regret and wish things were different. Yes, you were dealt a bad, tragic experience but live life from now on without feeling low and sad. Those who have died, I believe, continue to live on in another dimension, perhaps. So, keep faith and be strong!!!

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      SHWETA 8 years ago

      hI Shil

      Your statement -Yes, I too believe, that death is not the end. Its perhaps a progression to a higher level - quite possibly!!MAY BE TRUE!!!!AGAIN WE DONT KNOW.But I feel all this is said to console us when our loved one passes away.Who has seen what happens after death????

      I lost my father 6 months back .He met with an accident and had to go through a brain surgery.H e was in coma for a month.After such a big loss , all i would think is I AM UNCLUCKY that both my parents are no more while my friends and cousins and so many have them and talk about them.AND THEN INEVITABLY QUESTION COMES UP ...WHY ME???????WHY DID GOD CHOOSE ME TO UNDERGO ALL THIS????


    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Thanks for dropping by Andromida - glad you liked the article. Yes, I too believe, that death is not the end. Its perhaps a progression to a higher level - quite possibly!!

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 8 years ago

      "What one makes of that life is upon the specific individual"-I love this phrase of your article.In fact death does not mean the end its a gateway to make you immortal.

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      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Shil...You are correct in that most of my disagreement is with the commenters...the only aspect of your Hub that I might beg to differ would be the idea of a accept this premise I would have to include all living matter as being endowed with a soul, thus insuring immortality for all living things, both here on this planet, and on the billions of other terrestrial spheres scattered around the Universe....

      To not believe so, that all living things have a soul, would place humans as unique, exceptional, and outside the laws of nature...

      As much as my heart cries out for this singularity, my rational brain will not let me...

      I'm in total agreement with your last paragraph. I might add, that yes, life is about choices, yet sometimes life itself intrudes to make those choices for you. An accident leaving one paralyzed, an intruder killing your spouse, some Islamic extremist setting off a bomb, and other life-altering circumstances beyond our control. We adapt, yes, but it was not always our choice.

      Thank you, again, for a provocative and interesting Hub.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      That's an interesting perspective Maven. I believe parts of your comment was more in response to some of the other hubbers on this article, as I've not put forward the premise that some of us are unique or special or immune to forces of nature.

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      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Nice Hub, Shil...Well written and offering interesting observations on life and death...

      I'm afraid I must disagree with your commenters and most of your observations. I do not agree with the premise that we are unique, special, or otherwise immune to the forces of nature. We do not have a preordained destiny, outside of the self-contained world we exist and die in.

      I do agree that, like the Yin and Yang, there is a proper balance and circuitousness to life, as has been shown through observation and critical analysis. But to add the extra dimension of uniqueness is, in the words of Camus, absurd and egoist.

      We are but animated dirt, comprised of the elements around us, and, in the end, we will return to those same basic elements.

      I do agree that while we are here, on this Earth, that what we do with our lives is mostly free choice, sometimes with more than a little encouragement from environment , or circumstances beyond our control.

      In the end, I guess you have to ask yourself, " Was I a good person..? ..Did I bring more joy than sadness into this world..? ..Did I remain, or at best, did I really strive to be true to myself and others.."..?

      For some of us these questions would never occur or have any significance. The fact that I may consider these questions does not make me any more unique or special than those that don't. In this respect, we are all merely that chunk of animated dirt dancing to the perfectly balanced tune of natures law.

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      langson 8 years ago

      We are born for a special purpose each one of us.No one is here for mistake despite how and where he lives

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Thank you babarushe for your wonderful perspective on the subject. I see that we think similar :)

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      babarushe 8 years ago

      Shil1978, this is one great paradox that faces everyone. I have seen most men who are too scared to talk about death, attend funerals and things like that.

      But i see life and death as two sides of the same coin.Whatever has a beginning must get terminated.A time to born and a time to die.

      But are we really born to die? I look at death as a passage, a path, a transition, a transformation to a higher realm of existence. i don't see it as a tragedy, punishment or an end in itself but a meaningful exit from the earth to another pedestal.

      However, it becomes tragic and painful when we die without leaving a legacy- an indelible touch on humanity.

      That answers the question of why we are born. But many people discover when it is late why they are born-what I call the purpose of creation!

      We are born to impact humanity from different perspectives-words, write ups, activities, relationships, knowledge, sacrifices for fellow man, alms, etc.

      Let every passing day start with this question 'Am I born for What?'

      Thank you Shil1978 for this thought provoking hub.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      I agree eovery. I believe life goes on in another form after death - I don't think death is a full stop. Death is just a transition according to me. Would check out your hub. Thanks for your comments!!

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      eovery 8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      How can one not believe that life does not go on after death. What a waste it would be if life did not continue, It would be all be for not.

      I touched on some of these in my hub, "I do not have to defend my faith but to share it." Why am I here? What happens after death? Did I exist before this life?

      Keep on hubbing?

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Finding out by asking who? I guess you have to ask yourself and discover the answer yourself. I believe that's the purpose of life - to discover the reason for your existence.

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      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      Why are we born? That's a question that many have sought to answer! The fun is in finding out. :)