The drive of life

Hi, I'm a middle-aged woman whose belief system has evolved from basic Christianity to not knowing what to think. Unfortunately, I am not content with not knowing what the truth is and feel the need to find answers. (To be honest, I am very disturbed by it and rather bitter.) I find it almost impossible to find people willing to analyze and discuss from a neutral perspective which makes my quest extremely frustrating and virtually impossible. I am hoping you can add some new insight. :) I must warn you that I will likely end up asking a zillion questions over time, but to start with I am wondering an atheist's perspective on why life has such drive. It seems odd to me that if we just happened (with no real reason behind it), that we, and all life forms, would have such a drive to survive. Why would we care, and why SHOULD we care? Rather than bungle this up with a subset of questions, I will leave it at that and let it play out as it will. I will greatly appreciate your thoughts and insight. :)
Atheist Answer: 

Hello and welcome, Celia. The one-thing-at-a-time approach will be just fine. Amber123 recently did the same thing.

The answer to this specific question is rooted in human evolution. At every stage in our development as a species there has been fierce competition for the resources necessary to survive. The survivors all the way along have been not just the strongest or the smartest, but those with the greatest will to live.

We didn't always have religion to drive us, you know. Before our ancestors even had the intelligence to conceive of gods or ponder the meaning of life, if they lacked a strong will to survive they would not have survived and we wouldn't be here. Those who were content not to survive or procreate were quickly scooped out of the gene pool by the dangers of the harsh ancient world. The survivors passed down their determination to us, as instinct.

On a personal intellectual level, I'm an atheist and I want to survive because I don't think I have any other life but this. There is a great deal of joy to be had, and to spread, and I want to make the most of it before I die.

- SmartLX


This is the only life you have. Why waste it conforming to the morals and customs of others and answering questions on this site? Life is short, it defies rationality to waste it in this way.
Atheist Answer: 

A few reasons.

- I get free on-the-job training in written debate, research and effective writing in general, with rapid feedback if I do badly.

- I'm relatively new to atheism, and I'm crash-testing it. I'm actively seeking the best arguments against it to see whether I've missed something obvious. Nothing so far.

- Many religious folks paint a really horrid picture of atheism and atheists themselves. That reflects badly on me and any of my friends and family who are atheists. I want anyone who's genuinely curious about atheism to be able to ask an atheist about it directly, and set the record straight.

- You call this conforming to morals and customs? I spend half the time here explaining to people why I don't conform to their doctrines.

- SmartLX

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