The Meaning of Being Human: Accident

by jeffrusk

Many people in studying the world around us have reached a view of the world which if true would have significant impact on the meaning of being human. 

This model of the world says that through random actions over a long period of time the materials of our reality have resulted in humans and the surrounding world and universe.  The only things required for humans to exist is material and enough time to exist to allow sufficiently random activities to occur that would result in human beings.  No plan, forethought, design or desire is required for humans and our universe. 

The word which seem to sum this process up the most succinct would be accident.

Humans are the result of time and random accidental reactions.  I try to look for meaning in human life with this model and I cannot come up with any.  I cannot find a path from accident to being significant, having identity or meaning as a human being.  Humans may be interesting but no more so than a colony of ants.  Humans may seem to have some beauty but no more so than any sunset which could be called beautiful.  Humans may have desires but not any more significant than a honey bee desires the nectar of a flower.  Humans maybe able to build engineering marvels from computers, to spacecraft to skyscrapers but so can wasps and birds.  Humans may have social interactions but so do many other mammals. 

I hear some express a wonder at DNA and imbue DNA with the quality of being able to control human interaction and behavior so that the DNA in one person is able to survive and be passed on while another set DNA does not continue to exist.   What significance does a sting of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen atoms have over those who continue to exist as water, air and limestone?  Do they not all continue to exist?

Accidental existence seems to imply no significance and meaning other than the immediate needs of today.  Who really matters?   It would seem to suggest no one.  If you exist by some fluke accident what is the loss if you are not around anymore?  But the sense of loss exists.  Where would the sense of loss come from with a basis of life as accident?  Where is there respect for other humans?   Humans are just water, air and limestone in a diffrent arrangment. 

As C.S. Lewis pointd out, a fish when he is out of water senses something is missing that he does not notice when he is in water.  I sense something is missing about being human if all we are, are an accident.  But that is restored if human are significant because of design, desire and creation. 

“…God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…”¹  “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”²

If humans are an accident what meaning do we have?  If humans are god like, what could be our identity and future?  The question to really answer then is, what are our Creators like? 

1 Romans 1:20

2 Genesis 1:26

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