People assume that our human sense of purpose is dependent on the universe having a purpose, and without such purpose they assume that life has no meaning. This is a wholly unsubstantiated assumption. Our purposeless universe has become infused with local pockets of purpose, and this has happened through entirely natural, spontaneous processes. Purpose emerged in the universe with life itself. Purpose and meaning (and morality too) can be entirely explained as natural phenomena, emergent from a random, material universe.
All living creatures are purposeful. Simple creatures are goal-directed in rudimentary and non-conscious ways. Highly evolved creatures like us are purpose driven in complex, elaborate, conscious ways. The fact that all this evolved out of the very same basic life-instinct for gene replication does not detract from our motivation in the slightest. We have evolved to be exceedingly adept at being purpose-driven and meaning-making. Our ability to do so is in no way dependent on the universe having inherent purpose.Ralph Lewis, M.D., “Can Life Have Meaning in a Random Universe?” at Psychology Today
This author’s approach doesn’t really make any sense because if the universe has no purpose, how could we evolve to have purpose? Unless, of course, the purpose came from the outside, which would make one either a theist or a mystic. But then there is no reason to think the universe as a whole has no purpose.
Anyway, if our consciousness is an evolved illusion, it is all illusory anyway and the despairing existentialist atheists are right (though their despair is an illusion too).
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See also: Science-based morality: 400 years of failure? One really interesting development is the rise of social justice science, where even right answers are no longer a form of morality but rather a tool of oppression. Sadly, they are losing what they once had..