What is the purpose and meaning of life? “Life” is defined here as DNA, particularly, and the creator of life/DNA may not be the same as the creator of the universe in general. Secular people who understand the improbability of life tend to ascribe it to ancient aliens, whereas pagans and Christians ascribe it to God, gods, etc. My best guess is that it’s Jesus, so I’ll proceed with that assumption in mind.
There are two very distinct questions here because purpose and meaning are different things. A hammer has a very definite purpose, as defined by the person who created it. The creator was answering a question of “how” to pound something more effectively. So the purpose of something is the problem that it was created to solve. The meaning of a hammer is more contextual. If we find a fossilized hammer in a European cave, that means one thing. If we find a bloody hammer at the scene of a murder, that means another thing. So the meaning of something is what it tells us about the mind that was solving the problem.
Insofar as I can tell, the purpose of life is to worship the creator of the universe. The Old Testament appears to be primarily the history of a eugenic program by the creator of DNA, probably with the intention of raising intelligence and consciousness to serve that purpose of worshiping. There is also a great deal about morality as regards things like cleanliness, dirtiness, and sanctity. These concepts are integral to our human sense of morality. It’s like debt, except that I believe worship/disgust—where sin is considered as analogous to dirtiness—is a true moral axis (in the sense of divine command morality) whereas debt/fairness is a false moral axis (in the sense of being an evolutionary artifact). It appears that Jesus’ purpose in making DNA-based consciousnesses more holy is to make worship of the universe’s creator possible. It’s like we’re going through decontamination processes before going into a clean room. So, the meaning of life is Jesus’ love for his father, which compels him to go to such great lengths. This is what Christians refer to as the Truth, upper-case T.
Disgust is repulsion, a desire to disassociate ourselves from something. It’s a reaction to flaws and corruption. Worship is the opposite reaction, an attraction to perfection. I’ll define those things that tend to attract worship as “charismatic”. These are very fundamental feelings because they rely on the most basic sort of cognition: simple association. Disgusting things are perceived as “low” and charismatic things as “high”, and we want to be around “good” things and away from “bad” things.
Idealism is an aesthetic fixation to an idea or set of ideas that feels good. (Recall that aestheticism is the nonverbal expression of ideas.) People who tend to have fixations of other sorts—whether sexual, sensual, or otherwise— are likely to be idealistic also. Particularly interesting to readers of this blog, idealism is a necessary but not sufficient component of genius. Idealists with analytical personalities become idealogues who produce lengthy post-facto rationalizations justifying the counterfactuals supplied by their aestheticism. Idealists with holistic personalities become artists, and produce large bodies of work having some essential element of sensation in common. The rare individuals who are highly capable in both sorts of cognition can become geniuses.
Ideology, art, and genius are necessary for the evolution and transmission of culture but they are not sufficient for a religion. Humans are social animals who desire the company of other humans a priori. It follows that a charismatic ideal must be a person. This is what separates secular ideology from proper religions like Christianity or Zodiacism: religions acknowledge the personality endemic to idealism, whereas secularism tries to maintain the charisma of ideas without the personality. Ideas are fun because they give us the power to solve problems, but they are ultimately sterile.
Last thought for the day, completely out of left field…
Personally, I don’t find the Bible-based arguments in favor of Trinitarianism very compelling. However, I believe that humans were made in God’s image and I also believe we have three aspects: id, ego, and superego. It follows that God would have three aspects, or else there must be some other reason that we have them.