We look around and everywhere, plants, animals...even microbial organisms struggle to live and reproduce. What is the motivation? Why does an ant work so hard?

The bible says "go forth and multiply" and our goal is to get into heaven (and again, to live forever.) All the other life is here for us to use as we desire. It's a nice package that answers all of these question. I suspect that all religions and gods are really an attempt to answer this question.

Perhaps there is no motivation, except it is the nature of life to strive to continue. It is what we are, What all biologics simply ARE. We, who are "self aware" end up inventing fantastical purposes to simply be what we just are. Death is us failing to be what we are, especially death without reproduction. I am childless and sometimes people actually get very mad at me for that. To survive with limited resources, we do need to be more clever than to simply overpopulate the planet, because that would result in a collective failure. Perhaps human diseases and aging and maybe even wars are a built-In part of us that help temper the population explosion so that we may keep on "keepin' on".

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I understand that some people don't have the time, energy or resources for the niceties of life.  But for anyone, if you cut your finger, it heals up on its own.  And someone who doesn't have quality of life nevertheless craves it. 

"escape" - a form of healing.

Simon, since you appear to be compiling a dictionary for your personal use, I won't reply to your attempt to stretch an otherwise valid point, as you might stretch a rubber band.

Why does an ant work so hard?

I think the answer is a bit ironic.... it's actually harder to NOT partake in the struggle to survive... Have you ever tried it? just try not eating, drinking, or breathing for a while and it's easy to see why the ant works so hard.

Perhaps human diseases and aging and maybe even wars are a built-In part of us...

Sounds dangerously like eugenics or social darwinism but yes, aging (to the point of death) in particular frees up resources to allow newer (genetically different) individuals to have their turn.

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