Religion can be described as a “theistic philosophy,” a philosophy that relies on one or more gods to give philosophical reason to our lives, a reason beyond the sexual and biological processes that lead us to be born by our parents (or in other scientific ways).
However, while science can provide us with accurate, observed explanations, religions do not, for there is no inherent purpose to our universe, beyond what we create in our mentality and grant it.
This is why there is no “one, ultimate, universal, logical” truth when it comes to philosophy, not only theist philosophies. You can argue with representatives of many religions day and night, but what makes religious discussions and arguments so extensive is that there is no inherent meaning to this universe, making the philosophical purpose of our existence theoretical and up to potentially infinite interpretations.
Purpose, a creation of atheist and theist philosophies, is not something that exists in the physical universe, which is the only existent universe. You cannot use scientific methods and experimentations in order to interpret philosophical purpose, because philosophical purposes are concepts which only exist in our consciousness, in what I call the Mental Dimension, which is an illusory one, since it cannot succumb to scientific observations.
Because we humans are fragile beings, we normally create and seek purposes for our lives in order to compensate for our fragility. We do this by creating and believing in “absolute truths.” The illusions we create are the backbone of our mental existence, and they help prevent us from collapsing into insanity, depression, or suicidal tendencies.
What allows religions and other philosophies to create purpose is the absence of purpose in the world beyond the mind. What allows me to be in a room and to navigate around it is the space, the void, that it contains. With void comes freedom.
So it is with philosophical purposes: what allows one to come up with a possible purpose for living is the lack of purpose that living in a purely physical universe has. It is not the discovery of something that already exists; it is rather an idea created by us humans in order to feel fulfillment, create moral guidelines, and gather humans in collective under a system of accepted ideas.
And thus we create not only purposes, but other fantasies as well, which we see as existent even though there is no coherent proof for their existence: a spiritual realm, an afterlife, an organ named “soul,” angels, demons, heavens, hells, and so forth. We do this in order to back up our confidence in the purpose or set of purposes we have created in a universe devised of matter inside a grand, possibly infinite void. This is where we begin to deceive ourselves by believing in things which have no scientific evidence.
Religions and other philosophies have no physical existence; they only have physical representations, which we humans grant them or assume they have. These representations include symbols, books, artifacts, buildings, and so forth. We do this in order to be even more sure that this universe has an inherent purpose. They also do not exist in a “spiritual” realm, because there is no evidence for a spiritual realm.
Therefore, they exist in our illusions, and because we humans are also partially illusory beings, we relate to the physical reality, the world beyond the mind, through illusory concepts and traits. In other words, we attempt to understand the universe in both scientific and illusory ways, making our understanding of the world beyond our minds non-absolute and open up for interpretations.
It is therefore only natural for us humans to understand the world under illusory terms, and then believe that these illusions truly exist beyond our minds. We create a set of illusions to create purpose in a universe that lacks one. It is only natural to do so for the sake of our collective survival: of creating rules, principles, norms, and ceremonies. We then see them as reality even though their purposes are human-made illusions. When we unquestion said concepts, we possibly ensure the supervision and the authority of those who create, manage, and provide it to us: governments, churches, corporations, and so forth.
The invention of philosophical purposes is a result of our general fragility and fear of finding ourselves in a universe devoid of inherent meaning. When we do find ourselves in such a realization, we suffer when we depend our individual and collective existences on said purposes. We escape what we are not strong enough to handle, and then see our escapism as a true, possibly axiomatic reality, in an attempt to cut off completely our fears from a possible existential crisis. It could be the same fear our primal ancestors had when they evolved into homo sapiens, and reached a complex enough level of consciousness that needed to rely on abstract concepts in order to continue their uncertain survival in a world populated by predators and wilderness.
Animals other than humans do not necessarily need a philosophical purpose in order to live. Compare this to objects of various weights that need to be carried towards indefinite locations. The easier, or simpler, entities are, the more likely they are to be carried, making more complex ways to carry them unnecessary. Do you think animals need philosophical purposes? I am not sure. My cat can live the same day all over again without having an existential crisis. However, since we humans have a very complex level of consciousness, we have reached a point where a justification for our existence can very much help us when we have our elementary needs fulfilled.
This is our weakness as complex beings: the desire to create a purpose when we are complex enough to be able to realize the lack of philosophical purpose the universe has. We escape the World Beyond the Mind by creating illusory worlds, either our private fantasies or “worlds” that exist by shared and agreed systems of beliefs. We are confident that these worlds exist as the World Beyond the Mind, even though there is no scientific way to prove this claim.
Should we accept the likely possibility of no inherent purpose to true existence, there will not be a need for dogmatism. We will be mentally free from the tyranny of collective ideologies on our lives, leading ourselves to existentialism, and thus, to decide our own fates and roles in the limited time we have among the living.