Why does all living things strive to survive? By Philosophy Posted on 2022-01-30 Category : Other Where does this property come from in a group of atoms? What physical law is involved in this?
This is just a special case of stability. Why is stable stable? Because it doesn't break up. Because it doesn't break down, it accumulates. If we are talking about complex autocatalytic cycles, such as living objects, then those cycles that scroll faster than others and reproduce themselves more accurately will accumulate, because they are more stable.
Why don't they break up? At the lowest levels of organization, this is pure physics – it is to it that the stability of certain crystal lattices can be reduced. At high levels, when we are not talking about a single substance, but about a complex structure, physics is no longer relevant, these are the laws of biology itself.
Since the question is about philosophy, first we should mention one of the greatest revolutions in the sciences that took place in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is a rejection of teleology-the explanation of behavior, the development of complex systems by a goal. The most famous theories in which the principle of causality prevailed are historical materialism, the theory of natural selection, and cybernetics. In the evolution of life, there is no desire to survive, but simply We are dealing with those organisms that have passed natural selection. This is a random process of variability in which those changes that saved the lives of more individuals win. The best confirmation of the theory is the appearance of absurd species such as the platypus-well, it just happened. In physics, a system of many atoms can be in different states, but we only encounter the most likely ones with maximum entropy.
as for the survival drive of an individual organism, evolution has selected organisms with a suitable survival response to external circumstances, for example, in humans, this is an adrenaline rush when the brain determines a situation as threatening. The reaction occurs in a chain of causally related biochemical processes. So it is customary to think in modern science, but it happens that it is very difficult to unravel this chain and now there are much fewer unraveled chains than there are in nature
I believe that all living things do not strive to survive, but simply live, exist. But a single organism really strives to survive, because it has such a program embedded in its genome. And this program is formed by natural selection on the basis of the laws of evolution, which are valid not only for living matter, but also for everything. Only for different hierarchical levels, they are formulated differently.
And this group of atoms at some point forms a kind of dissipative system and become a molecule. It seems to be impossible in thermodynamics, but in an open system it is quite likely. Further, a group of molecules on the catalyst forms a more complex structure, which over time can begin to reproduce itself (autocatalysis). All this happens because atoms and molecules are motionless only at absolute zero. And at Earth's temperatures, they are in constant motion and regroup every moment until a more or less stable structure appears. This structure can immediately return to its original location, or it can exist for quite a long time under certain conditions (laws of kinetics). And here, with a certain probability, it is possible to form a structure that not only reproduces itself, but also does it constantly, while there is material, and even begins to multiply. The simplest model is a game of life
(see, for example, Martin Gardner's books). There are similar models in chemistry.
Now you understand that in such a complex process as origin, reproduction, reproduction and evolutionary development, a lot of laws are involved, not only physical, but also chemical and biological, which are not deducible from each other and cannot be reduced to each other. When sufficiently complex organisms arise, social laws also begin to work. Where without them. But these are the laws that we know the worst yet.
If a general and comprehensive law is needed, it will probably be the principle of least action. Saving the current state is easier than changing it.
This question implicitly contains several fundamental problems, each of which has not yet been fully resolved.
What is the living and how does it differ from the non-living? There is no clear answer that would fully satisfy everyone yet.
Why do we say that the instinct of self-preservation is necessarily inherent in all living things? The answer comes down to Darwin's theory of evolution. Obviously, the ability to strive to survive is useful for survival. However, the presence of suicides complicates the picture.
The word “strive” here introduces an element of purposeful activity, the existence of a certain higher law, so that the living thing appears and strives to remain alive. However, science does not know anything like this. There are no special laws that require low-level systems to evolve into complex human types. The opposite is an increase in entropy. It turns out that what we observe on Earth is the result of a unique accident. The very fact of observation can occur only after the formation of a person. Hence the illusion that our existence is natural, but nothing like life outside the Earth has been discovered. We just happened to be born into the family of a lottery winner, and the rest of us put our existence on the line and lost. And there were immeasurably more of them.
A chain of unavoidable (related) events leads to an unobvious result. At each step of this chain, everything is conditioned by the laws of physics and the “why”is clear. And here we go along this chain, it is clear everywhere, but how we got from the starting point to the final one is surprising…
To begin with, one of the simple steps: I put a question in the form of the author “why does the tree tend to burn down?” Well, it's clear, you think, it just burns. Someone who knows chemistry will say that the hydrocarbon molecules of wood are oxidized by a molecule of oxygen from the air. And if we dig even further, we will see a random process and an extremely low probability that an oxygen molecule will collide with the desired hydrocarbon molecule and bond with it covalently through a chain of transformations (sub-steps). And now it turns out that there is a random process going on, but its final result is almost inevitable – the log will burn down. Did the log have a desire (or maybe a “goal”) to burn??? Of course, we can not give it such a quality as the desire for anything in general. But it burns up.
Now let's go from the end. We notice the peculiarities of the behavior of living organisms, which we inevitably interpret as the desire to survive. Well, first of all, not always, a mother can protect her cubs at the cost of her life. Those aspirations are there, but its focus is a little off.
And if living organisms did not have this desire, would they be able to exist at all? Of course not. So isn't this aspiration a simple inevitability of these organisms or, more simply, clumps of molecules? We wouldn't see black soot if it wasn't for the carbon oxidation process. We would not see the reproducing molecular complexes of living organisms, and in fact they only strive to reproduce this molecular scheme of reactions, and this scheme of reactions simply would not exist. If oxygen did not oxidize carbon in a random process, the log would not have a tendency to burn.
Because if it didn't want to survive, it would die. And then it wouldn't exist. But if it exists in spite of harsh conditions, it means that it has this indestructible desire (or property) to survive. As a result of natural selection, living individuals with a stronger survival property had an advantage over individuals with a weak survival property. In the course of evolution, this property of survival is fixed. But Life uses a special mechanism to survive. As a result of mutations, various changes are created in the offspring. And more useful changes that contribute to survival are fixed. In addition, those species that are more capable of surviving displace those that are less capable. But Life is constantly creating a huge number of new species. Some species survive better in some environments, while others do better in others. This is necessary so that Life can survive under any circumstances. Thanks to this ability, Life can exist at temperatures from -100% to +100%, with radiation, with a toxic atmosphere. And finally, thanks to the emergence of intelligent man, Life was able to move to other planets and star systems. This allows Life to survive even the most severe galactic catastrophes: the collision of matter and antimatter, the absorption of galaxies by black holes, star explosions, hard radiation, etc. It is precisely because Life has unlimited potential and develops in all possible directions that it was able to survive in the vast universe, and possibly in other universes.
The question is not put quite nicely. You can ask it in another way: why all living things constantly strive for self-improvement, that is, to gradually complicate their internal structure, developing from simple to more complex. For example, like human brain cells…
It's just that an ordinary group of atoms has no desire to survive. In the course of various random combinations of atoms and elementary particles, more stable combinations arise. Further, random combinations of atoms also become relatively more stable under certain conditions. They are called molecules. Under certain conditions, very complex and large combinations of atoms and molecules can occur, including thousands of atoms and molecules. There are quite stable combinations among them. But that's not life yet. So, for example, it can be complex crystals. When does life begin? When very complex combinations of molecules can suddenly create their own copies. They take material from the environment and create their own duplicate from it. At this point, a revolution is taking place in the chemical world. If earlier any complex molecules, despite their stability, could still gradually collapse under the influence of external factors, now the creation of duplicates helped to preserve such complex molecules, despite their destruction. The faster some giant molecules created their copies, the more likely they were to retain their structure in their duplicates. In addition, this led to an increase in the number of such structures in nature. Such structures are somewhat similar to ordinary crystals formed in a supersaturated solution. The difference is that the crystal grows as a single structure, and here new formations-macromolecules creating their copies, did not connect with them, but continued to exist separately. Further, a new chemical evolution of such macromolecules began in nature. There was competition between them. The more aggressive ones survived, able to create their own copies from any surrounding material. Progress was made along the path of speed of duplication, the ability to use the surrounding material, and resist attacks from competitors who tried to dispose of each other. Finally, great progress was made when some macromolecules began to duplicate themselves with small random changes (mutations), which allowed them to evolve, change and adapt. Under favorable conditions, this process led to the appearance of objects close to modern RNAs over billions of years. These RNAs continued to evolve and improve. The most agile of them did not create their own copies from scratch, but stole large suitable fragments from other RNAs. Further, the RNAs could combine with each other to form more complex structures. Eventually, this evolution of the RNA world led to more complex objects. The stability of this world was determined by comparing the world of ordinary molecules with the ability to duplicate itself and the development of its structure. Thus, the apparent tendency of these objects to survive is nothing more than the development through mutation and natural selection of such a property, which led to the winning of competition with each other for dominance and preservation of their structure. These objects do not copy themselves because they “want” to survive or continue their offspring or pass on their structure to the future. But simply because they have emerged as a result of random combinations as such structures that effectively copy themselves. They duplicate themselves because this is inherent in their chemical structure. And why is it mortgaged? Because it happened at first by accident, and then helped them spread as much as possible in comparison with those structures where this property of copying and self-improvement accidentally turned out to be less developed. And the further in the course of evolution, the more those types of these microobjects survived and spread, in which this property of copying and self-development was strengthened and strengthened. To sum up, the short answer to the question “Why does all living things strive to survive?” is this: All living things strive to survive, because this desire was formed in the course of evolution, first chemical, and then biological.
The desire of the living to survive is laid down at the level of instincts, mutating genes. This is INHERENT in living organisms initially by the laws of the world order as meaning, as the need for constant development and perfection. And all the infinitely changing diversity of the world should ensure and contribute to this aspiration.
“TANHA (Pali.) Thirst for life. Desire to live and attachment to life on this earth [in the sense of the Earth plane (dense physical state of being) of planet Earth]. This attachment is the cause of reincarnation or reincarnation.”
“Karma is the guiding force-Trishna (in Pali – Tanha) – the thirst or desire for sense life-the direct force or energy – the result of human or animal actions, which from the old Skandas gives birth to a new group, which forms a new being and controls the quality of birth itself. To make this even clearer, the new creature is rewarded and punished for the merits and misdeeds of the old one.”
The physical law on which Motion is built is the law of attraction. Love is the universal primary sense of the manifestation of the divine principle in Motion. Different degrees of different levels of attraction have different forms of love manifestation. Tanha, or thirst for life, like any movement, is also based on the physical law of attraction.
The question is causal (why?) and rhetorical (containing the answer inside the question body), so all I have to do is show this “hidden answer”:
I don't see any point in arguing anything (the case when “brevity is really the sister of talent”), since any “arguments” will only be “offtopic”.
And those questions that are indicated in the ” description “(under the question of the topic) have no relation to the question of the topic (these are not the reasons for “striving to survive”), and I gave the answer to them earlier (i.e. I answered these questions, but did not answer the question of the topic itself, alas).
This is not true, the main goal is to leave offspring. Here, for example, fish swim to death, which would sweep away the eggs. Males of many animals fight to the death, for territory, food. Unicellular organisms are immortal.
If you have an antivirus installed on your computer, does this mean that it is trying to survive? Of course not. The universe, the Cosmos, is just as much a computer or a living organism as it is easier to imagine. To protect the universe in each microchip (which is us and all living and inanimate things) The Creator (God, Creator, Nature, etc.) laid down a defense mechanism in the form of the desire to live. Nothing depends on us, it is inherent in us. For example, in wildlife, in order to maintain balance in the food chain, “food” must strive to preserve itself, otherwise the “consumer” will die without food. Sometimes, for some reason, these chains are broken, some representatives of flora and fauna disappear. Then Nature makes its own adjustments and creates new chains. It's on Earth. In the universe, entire Stars and Galaxies serve as food for more advanced systems. Unfortunately, we cannot understand the Creator's plan. The inanimate in our understanding may well be alive in the Cosmic plane. And to maintain balance, every living thing, atom, Star and Galaxy has a desire to survive. Perhaps this is necessary for the Balance and Development of the Universe. To make it even easier: without mosquitoes, the frog will have nothing to eat and it will die… ….. without food, a person will die… … … without Stars, there will be no universe – because mosquitoes strive to survive.
Survival is determined not by the “laws of physics “(relevant for “dead matter”), but by the laws of evolution (the spread and improvement of all living things), which are by no means limited to “natural selection” (according to Darwin). Science (not physics), in fact, is just beginning to study these patterns.
Alas ,the “laws of life” are often strikingly different from the “laws of physics”, for example, any dead object (the same knife) from frequent use degrades (blunts), and the living, on the contrary, degrades (atrophies) if not used (so it is strongly recommended to do physical education in the fresh air, and not sit at the computer, “earning” yourself only a variety of “diseases”).
A “group of atoms” does not form such a property (at least, as far as I know, so far none of the attempts to “form” have been crowned with success, but people continue to try to “form”, so you can believe that it will happen someday, if you have time to wait for such a desired result).
Many physical laws are involved (from gravity to the laws of elementary particle physics), but they do not “play” a decisive or decisive role (life has perfectly learned to “bypass” some laws of physics by using others). For example, the first heavier-than-air aircraft were “invented” not by humans, but by insects (and long before the appearance of the now fashionable “flying lizards” and “ancestors of birds”).
But every person has the right (even by law) to have all their own views on this (whatever fantastic / mystical). Another question is why have such “views” (but not everyone is interested in the answer to this question)?
If any living organism (no matter whether a bacterium or a human) does not strive to survive,it will not survive, and it will not leave offspring.
So the desire to survive is a basic instinct that allows a living organism to exist. Those who did not have it , or with a weak instinct, no longer exist.
This is what is called selection.
That chemical structure that disappeared… she just disappeared.
And the one that remains – we see it.
Survival is rather an exception, but it is these structures that we can observe in the future (without thinking about the many that have fallen apart), hence the impression that everything strives to survive.
By the way, read about such a logical error as “survivor's error” – also on the topic of your question.