From the perspective of Eleanor Jones, 26, a teacher from England.

What are we here for?
We are here by pure chance. For that reason we should simply enjoy being here and we should be able to do what we want as long as we’re not hurting anyone.

Do you believe in the Big Bang theory that the circa-13.7-billion-year-old universe and all that’s in it was created by a massive explosion of enormously dense matter at what may have been the beginning of time?
Yes, I do. I know it’s just a theory but it’s the most likely one.

If there is a God, where is he?
I like to think that if he does exist, he’s in the far reaches of the universe.

Is there a mystery to life?

There are a lot of mysteries. The big question on everyone’s mind is what happens after we die. Also, what’s outside the universe; what was there before the beginning of time; and when was the beginning of time. Why are people motivated to act the way they do is another mystery.

Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
Absolutely not. This universe is vast and that seems impossible. I’m sure there are other intelligent races or probably somebody more powerful and intelligent than us.

There is a theory that there may be parallel universes with exact copies of us – doppelgangers – doing exactly the same thing as us right now. What do you think about that?
I don’t believe in it but I think it’s an interesting theory. I like to speculate about there being another version of me and what she might be doing if she has made a different decision at any point.

What do you think happens to people when they die?
I like to believe in reincarnation of some sort. I do believe in the idea of the soul but the person you are born into is a matter of chance.

Where is your soul and what is it?
I think it’s in the whole of our body and it’s the essence of you that transfers from one body to the next one.

Science says that all matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?
The only way it can be destroyed is when humanity itself is destroyed and there are no more births.

Do you know your place in the universe?
In the universe, I’m an insignificant spec. I think we are free agents to do whatever we want to do and should be responsible to live in our surroundings in no worse state than we found it in; but it’s not an obligation.

Some people believe that because we are made of the same matter as the universe – carbon, and other elements, like nitrogen – anything we ask it will be attracted to us, popularised recently in the movie The Secret. What’s your view?
I don’t think that’s true. If it was, life would be very easy and probably quite boring. If we want something there’s a good chance of achieving it with effort. We can’t just simply ask for it.

Are we being observed?
I hope not. I don’t think so because I don’t believe in a creator. There might be aliens watching us.

If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on Earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
That’s why I don’t believe in God. If there had been one I don’t think he would have created humans, especially if he had known the things that would happen.

BT/CPAR
Filed under: The Big Questions

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