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Words of wisdom from my favorite living philosopher, Peter Singer, from a Q&A session he did on Quora. Peter Singer: What is life and what is the ultimate purpose of our lives? Peter Singer, Philosopher, Author745 Views The definition of life is tricky, but you all know the most important cases - we are alive, animals are alive, and plants are alive. Rocks and rivers are not alive. Because the universe was not designed or created by anyone, there is no ultimate purpose to our lives, in the sense of a reason why we exist. We just do exist. We evolved. Here we are. Now it is up to us to find out what is the best thing we can do with our lives. My view is that the best thing we can do is try to make the world a better place, using our resources and our capacity to reason and evaluate evidence to find out how best to do that.