The Purpose & Value of Life by Robert Wheeler
Science cannot answer the question about the value or purpose of life, but studies of history (particularly paleontology and anthropology) show a pattern or thread indicating the answer is to further develop complexity of nature which now involves development of human consciousness and survival capability. This is compatible with the belief built into most religions about a goal of transcending current physical existence for some form of deification. Another approach is the view of a universal type of consciousness of which individual human consciousnesses are aspects thereof. Both develop together as proposed by Panentheism and Process Theology. The “omega point” proposed by Teilhard de Chardin is the time when we have developed a personal consciousness that melds with the universal consciousness. Eastern ideologies also support this approach with concepts such as Reincarnation, Nirvana, and Moksha.
Science predicts that humans as a species have only about a billion years to pursue this development before the sun’s ultimate global warming destroys life as we know it. The human organism has evolved tremendous abilities during its known history of about 2.5 million years and if nuclear war, overpopulation or some other mishap does not occur in the next billion years, it could fulfill the positive religious predictions if public society adopts the long-range goal of developing complexity and sophistication of human nature and consciousness so that a form of life emerges that survives material destruction on earth. Just pursuing this goal would alleviate most of today’s problems.