We can speculate about the origin, meaning and purpose of life, but what we do know for sure is that all of us have been granted the opportunity to experience life at this moment in time. And with us, all the flora and fauna on our planet, from the microscopic to the macroscopic — those also being living organisms just like ourselves. Like Carl Sagan, we can even go so far as to say that our planet Earth as a whole can itself also be considered a living organism. 1 And because of the fractal nature of our reality, we can extend this line of reasoning all the way to the entire Universe, allowing us to state with confidence that our Universe is a living organism.
We don’t know, or at least can’t say for sure, who or what entity outside of our Universe is responsible for the existence of life, but what we do know is that no organism would be alive if the Universe didn’t exist or didn’t allow for the circumstances for them to be alive. Therefore we can, at the very least, state with confidence that all life is granted and made possible by the Universe. This in a manner very similar to how, on a smaller scale within our fractal Universe, our own bodies grant life to every new cell being created every day. Our bodies are to such an individual cell as the Universe is to an individual organism.
Provided that individual cells within our bodies behave in line with our bodies’ goal to stay healthy and alive, those cells are allowed to thrive and live out their life. In fact, our bodies have every incentive to actively help those cells to thrive. However, cells that misbehave start to become a threat to the general wellbeing of our bodies (‘disease’) and can eventually cause our bodies to die. We know from experience how our bodies react to such threats from within and it would be reasonable to assume, given the fractal and self-similar nature of our Universe, that, at a higher level, the same kind of relationship also exists between us and our Universe. If we misbehave, the Universe will eventually have to deal with us, or else, given enough time, risk complete corruption and death. 2 If, on the other hand, we live our lives in accordance with the Universal Right to Life, the Universe will do all that it can to help us succeed. 3 Thus we see that the Universe not only gives life, but can also take it away when it’s used in a contradictory way, that is, against itself. 4
Every organism is entitled to its life which is granted and made possible by the Universe. The mere fact that an organism is alive is sufficient evidence for the fact that it has been granted the right to life, and consequently the right to actually live its life. Having the right to life would be meaningless if the organism didn’t also have the opportunity and freedom to actually live its life. And having the freedom to live its life automatically implies having complete control of itself — of all that constitutes the organism in this reality, which, as far as we know, includes its physical and spiritual self (its body and mind/consciousness). Without complete autonomy, it would indeed be quite difficult for an organism to be free to live its life, and thus to have self-determination. In addition, complete control of itself further implies ownership of itself; the organism is the sole owner and authority of all that constitutes itself, as far as known in this reality.
This means that no organism can have a claim on the right to life of another but itself. When it comes to the right to life, all organisms in the Universe are reduced to peers — to equals amongst each other, each being a sovereign entity. This is the only way in which we can truly have equality between organisms; they all have an equal right to life, granted by the Universe. Everything else in the Universe follows from this fundamental right to life. 5
To be able to exercise its right to life the organism has to keep itself alive for as long as possible; it has to work towards self-preservation. That means that the organism will have to see to it that it satisfies its basic needs so that it can safely continue to live its life. The organism will have to expend some of its resources, such as its energy and time, 6 and work towards keeping its basic needs satisfied in order to survive. To this end, whatever the organism appropriates to itself from its environment that is freely available, by binding to it some of its own resources, becomes a part of the organism, or in other words, becomes the property of the organism. 7 The organism is free to decide what it wants to do with its property. Any interference with this freedom of disposition is, in the final analysis, interference with the organism’s right to life. 8
In living in accordance with the above, all organisms in the Universe are, by themselves, able to come to a good sense of morality which automatically follows from the Universal Right to Life. In the final analysis, a universal sense of morality is based on the following statement: Respect each other’s right to life. 9 Good intentions, decisions, and actions (virtue) are those that respect every organism’s right to life. Bad or evil intentions, decisions, and actions (vice) are those that interfere in any possible way with an organism’s right to life.
I’ve purposely kept the above discussion of the Universal Right to Life in general terms because it is after all a Universal concept that applies at various levels (micro and macro) and in all areas of life. At its core, the Universal Right to Life is a really simple concept, but it has very broad and far reaching implications once you start thinking about it. In the footnotes below I do go into some more detail and specific examples that may help you to understand this a little better. But if you want a more detailed discussion with many more examples of what “respecting someone’s right to life” in normal daily life might entail, I recommend reading my posts “The Difference between Love and Lust”, “On Human Nature and Morality: Humans are Intrinsically Good” and “Persuasion, Influencing and Selling are Mind Manipulation”.