Isn't the bigger question not, "why does the Universe exist?" but rather, "why does life exist?"?

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The existence of the Universe is one thing but the existence of life within the Universe is quite another. Life starts out as a random combination of chemicals. As life evolves it becomes more complex over time. These various life forms intermingling with one another, then adapt to the weirdest, harshest and most diverse of environments imaginable, creating various habitats. The smaller habitats effect the larger habitats and vice versa.
On a Cosmic scale though, life on this planet or any other planet does not effect the Universe. Life effects our little planet earth but nothing beyond. So what does the Universe need with organic life? Life has no function from the Universe’s perspective but here it is.
However, there is the future. Someday if Man can ever figure out how to warp space or some other cosmic short cut then eventually we and other beings who may exist on other planets could eventually spread out.
Like the smaller habitat effecting the larger one, perhaps then the Universe will be altered to a degree by the life growing within it.
Also, what is the true nature of reality? Exactly how vast is reality/existence? Are there indeed, other Universes, other Dimensions? Will we be able to explore and intermingle on this scale as well?
If that happens, then what? It’s something I like to think about anyway. However, at the same time, besides being in the distant future, it seems unlikely somehow.
Even if life was not meant to be here, we are here. For some that is enough. For others like me, it is not enough. It still seems to us that we should have some kind of eventual function in regards to the rest of reality. Is searching for the truth of how the Universe really works enough or is there some greater truth?
This is why people like me believe in science and God at the same time. We hope that there is some kind of Afterlife or continued existence of our consciousness after our bodies die. We don’t care about living in some Heavenly garden, insulated from the physical Universe forever after death. It would make for a pleasant neighborhood, so to speak, but I would want to see what is going on elsewhere. We want to know what is going to happen in the future and we want to watch it happen.
I don’t care about the fact that I was unconscious in the womb and I’ll be unconscious when I die. It is not enough to believe in myself and reality and that’s all there is. The Christian version of Heaven seems boring to me. The atheist’s version of reality is boring to me as well.

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rkpalli

birth followed by death. no exemption. we must be with nature.

Master ß

I’m curious as well about the why and not just the how about life, the universe, and everything.
I hope in some way after this life I get to persist and watch things unfold from whatever other vantage point, but for all I know I may just be pushing up daisies and that’s it.
It sounds like you’re keeping a mind open to, indeed eager, to possibilities outside of the usual stuff. That’s cool, at least that way you’ll be less likely to attack something that seems new and revealing about the nature of the universe and beat it down with a big Book.

Veritas

Personally, I think that the entire collection of life and their function are as ‘experience machines’ who explore and understand. Life is the universe’s way of experiencing and understanding itself, even for a short time.
An alternate (but possibly parallel) hypothesis is that life is inevitable and is actually pretty common throughout the universe, so it is a by product of complex systems.
Another: The purpose of life is to gain sentience in which to create their own universe through the advent of virtual reality technology
the list goes on and on…
maybe the purpose of life is to decide one’s own purpose of life.
Furthermore, being an atheist does not mean you have no spirituality. It simply means you don’t think a god did it. Personally, I find that the universe is vastly more complex then we had ever hoped to imagine.
Reality is so much greater than the tiny little model we hold as ‘real’, we only see 1/100,000th of the electromagnetic spectrum, such a small fraction of all the ‘colors’ that exist. In addition there is sound, space, force and ultimately consciousness. I could go on and on about this, but I’d encourage you to email me, or do some research on your own to find out what makes sense to you.

path finder

interesting question—i do not have room here to answer this but i will touch on some spots—time itself gets old—and becomes dark mater—or the black hole—all things that ”are” rush to fill the vacancy—caused by used time—when all things are in perfect balance again– for an instant—then comes the big bang—in perfect balance—which came first the chicken or the egg?—both came first— in perfect balance—all things start again in time anew—and then growing old in time—the cycle that never ends and always has been. if you do not understand this it’s ok.—some do some do not.

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