Do gods exist? 15 Is human life special?

Photo: the Serpens cloud core from NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS

Are our lives as human beings on planet Earth special? This is the fifteenth of a series of short posts about whether gods exist and why the question is an important one.

Theists believe that their god created human life as more special than other life. But we know that we are just one evolved species among many.

There have been 5 billion species on Earth. 99% of them are extinct. Humans are one of the remaining 50 million species that currently share this tiny planet.

We cannot live outside of the planet without the aid of technology. On the planet, we can only live on a small part of the planet’s surface. The part that we can live on has earthquakes and volcanoes and tsunamis.

We can die within seconds of being deprived of oxygen, or for any number of other reasons. We can believe things, and do things, that are counterproductive to our survival. Those of us who do the fewest counterproductive things are the ones who survive.

We have, however, evolved a capacity to apply reason to evidence. This enables us to understand more about how the universe operates naturally.

We can design models of reality, to help us to understand how actual reality works. This provides us with fantastically reliable predictions about reality, particularly when contrasted with the utter unreliability of theistic beliefs.

This is enabling us to gradually move beyond earlier beliefs about supernatural agency.

Whatever the specific mechanisms that might be involved, human life is as we would expect based on natural evolution. Not as the design of a human-focused god.

Yet despite this, many humans still believe that we, alone on our planet, alone in our galaxy, and alone in the universe, are the only living beings with god-given immortal souls.

Like this article? It is one of a series on this topic.
Click here to read the other articles in this series.

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