Definition of Purpose
The word purpose is a slippery word. It has many meanings. For example:
- It can mean, does X have any benefit to some being? The purpose, from the point of view of earthworms, of humans is to grow trees that drop leaves to eat.
- It can mean, is X earmarked for some project? Does that pile of rocks over there to be used in the retaining wall or is it just discards.
- It can mean, was X constructed to achieve some end and what was that end? Does this pointed flint have a purpose?
- It can mean, presumably a god created this. Why? What is the purpose of the universe.
The concept of purpose presumes some being enjoying X as a means to an end. To be clear, you need to be explicit who that being is because the answer differs for different beings. People often pretend to be looking for a universal purpose, when they actually mean a purpose for an imaginary god, or that they imagine the universe itself is a god-like consciousness.
When apologists say The universe must have a purpose, therefore god exists. they are playing word games. The notion of universal purpose presumes a god. So they are basically presuming the existence of god to prove the existence of god to sneakily beg the question to trick people into accepting the notion of god, a rather dishonest bit of circular logic.
When you ask What is my purpose. What you are really asking is What task has god assigned to me?. Since there is no god, there is no such task. You have to choose some tasks yourself. If you don’t choose any, you will lead a useless life. The tasks you choose will presumably be much more suitable and useful than ones a church would assign to you. Further, you are free to change them at any point. It much preferable to being assigned some immutable, dreary purpose like selling Christianity door to door.~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:68)