No, this isn't specifically about religion, I think I talked way too much about religion a few days ago, not the one about money (even though so so many people think of money as a religion) but this one about the purpose of religion , (Religion)
When most people think about life, they generally consider we humans as life on planet Earth. And most people don't give a lot of thought to the rest of life here on this planet. Who wants to think about the lower forms, snails, and gophers and wasps that sting. Those are irritants. Most don't want to think that all that meat they consume from the Gilded Arches and other fast food places as actual life forms, if they did they would be shocked at how those life forms are raised. Of course politicians pretty much equate the masses of humans in the same fashion. Noisy, smelly, polluting the environment and good for one thing, burgers and votes. Life exists here in a myriad of other forms, from the biggest, whales, to the tiniest, little viruses. It's all life.
Life is just a series of chemical reactions, governed by the properties of the basic laws that are absolutes in the universe, physics. All life as we at this time know it, exists based on simple chains of chemical reactions that allow us to live, grow, procreate, and to think. Thought can be explained as a procession of events that are governed by physics as well. Billions of neurons linked within a syntactic matrix of electrical impulses that allow the field mouse to be aware of night and day, to distinguish good seeds to eat from bad, and to stay out of the way to avoid predators. It thinks, however rudimentary those thoughts are. Some humans prefer to believe that is just instinct, basic predetermined reactions that are part of the brain that is hereditary, and passed down from parents, to offspring. The mouse is aware of its environment in ways that are certainly instinctive, however there is awareness. Just as the pair of starlings instinctively chase the crow away from their babies in their nest, they have awareness to go back quickly to head off the crow's mate that tries to take advantage of their instinct to protect and left their nest unattended. Both sets of creatures are using instinct, to protect, and to hunt, and awareness as well, to counter the actions of others Humans think as well, on a very different scale, we have what we have termed, self awareness. When humans evolved to the point that feeding themselves was no longer the major use of their time, they became aware of themselves, and their world about them. And after a bit of time, they asked of themselves, "Why are we here?"
Did you start reading this because you thought I had the answer? I don't. Personally I do look at the universe differently. I look at life, on a larger scale. The Dineh' believe that Mother Earth herself to be alive. In one sense, it is. There are complex chemical reactions going on with our planet, it changes daily. Our home planet is a complex community of living things that draw sustenance from an ever changing and evolving substrate, the Earth itself. And Mother Earth herself changes, it grows, it recedes, it breathes and is home to billions of varieties of lesser life forms, including man. In that same vein of thought, our solar system itself is alive, moving, changing, creating new planets and destroying others in a vastly humongous system of chemical reactions all governed by the laws of physics. Is it self aware? How would we know, we don't have the capability to ask, nor to understand any sort of answer were one given.
From a conversation a few days ago I was told that there can't be any intelligent life out there in our galaxy anywhere because we haven't detected them yet. And for there to be such advanced life, they would have had to go through the same evolution of technology that we have, and we would have found the detritus of their civilization, radio signals, that we have spewed out into the cosmos. No signals, no life. Concepts like that are unbelievably egocentric. Why do you assume that life would evolve along the same path as we have. Why do we assume that life is in fact carbon based, why not silicon, or for that matter, some gas. And why do you assume that life elsewhere made all the mistakes and developed the same horrific attitudes about our superiority toward all other life forms that we have developed here on this planet? The way we as a race think is that life in our universe MUST be in our form and have spent a great deal of their existence killing each other off and destroying the planet they live on. If we think about not just Earth, but our solar system, and maybe even our galaxy as living growing, creative beings on massive scales wherein time has little meaning and those giant entities exist and our puny existence and shortsightedness would prevent us from seeing the reality of the life about us. And prevent us from seeking to respond to the signals of life that we receive daily, and just don't understand. The universe is populated by galaxies. Are galaxies the purpose of life as they exhibit all the properties of life as we know it? And we are thus little more than parasites within one solar system on one minor planet that gasps from the collective excrement of the parasites destroying the environment she has provided for them. What's the meaning of life. Again, we're here, deal with it. And try to deal with it better than our predecessors.