ďThe universe is without meaning and has no purposeĒ is a false statement because there are about 7.8 billion known counter examples if we consider the human species on earth.
That is, a human person does many things on purpose, and a person is part of the universe.† Therefore, empirically before any philosophical thought is employed, we observe that there are billions of meaningful and purposeful acts in the universe done by that aspect of the universe known as human persons.
Philosophical and then religious thought leads us to God, who is understood to be pure existence and who sustains the universe and its persons for otherwise they would not exist and then there would be nothing but God; and this deliberate and continuing action on His part leads us to infer that the universe and its persons also have a purpose and a meaning.
However, many people have come to the mistaken belief that there is no design, meaning or purpose in life because God remains hidden to them, evil and natural disasters randomly destroy and harm humans and chance events change circumstances in unpredictable ways.
Now chance events do not contradict Godís purposefulness or design because from Godís perspective contingency is part of the design.† Something is contingent because God made it contingent.† Design and contingency, purpose and chance, are not opposed to each other when first causality is in play.
This is not easy to understand, and in an attempt to gain an insight into this, consider a very simple illustration from mathematics.† Imagine a horizontal plane and pick points in that plane, some randomly and some ordered.† The plane represents the material universe that humans experience and the points, events in that universe.† Now imagine vectors moving upward from each point or event out of the horizontal plane, and a non-Euclidean geometry where all the parallel lines from the points align.† The upward movement out of the horizontal plane represents a reality that humans can not directly observe but only infer, and the geometry a way of ordering all the points or events in the projected plane analogous to human understanding of Divine Providence.† What is random in the horizontal plane is not random in the projected plane because of the underlying structure of the projection.
This illustrates the idea that any contingent natural process falls under Divine Providence and that chance events and human free will acting in time do align with Godís will in eternity.
Now the evolution of material life on earth through natural selection is a contingent natural process and therefore part of Divine Providence.† Thus, the long standing opposition to evolution from some religious individuals and the concurrent dismissal of religion by some scientists because of evolution are both misguided positions.
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