Perhaps we could say that life is an integral part of the universe, thus it has a significant influence on what happens. Perhaps we could change the question and ask instead how life fits into the universe? Or maybe even how it interacts with the universe?NeutronStar said:I don't know anything about absurdism, but asking questions about the 'role' of life with respect to the universe is kind of absurd in a way don't you think? The whole idea of having a 'role' assumes some grand scheme of things in which to play a 'role'.
When we study non-living matter, celestial bodies, particles or whatever, we usually ask how it interacts within the system. In this case we’re asking how living matter, and to be more specific, intelligent matter interacts within that very same system.Does life really have any meaning beyond those that experience it? Is life meaningful to a rock? Is life meaningful to a star? Certainly the opposite is true. Rocks and stars are meaningful to creatures that experience life. Therefore from the point of view of living things rocks and stars play an important 'role' to life.
But does life really play any 'role' at all with respect to rocks and stars?
Does the question when changed to how does life interact with the universe suit you better?That's really what you are asking when you ask what 'role' life plays in the universe. It just seems to me that you are almost implying that the universe 'cares' whether or not life exists.
So does the universe use life as a sort of personal consciousness? Collective consciousness? Or are you simply saying life can become conscious of an external universe?Well, going back to the idea that I mentioned earlier,... if the universe becomes conscious of itself through living creatures then I'd say that this is the 'role' of life (with respect to the universe). And I've answered your question fairly thoroughly I would think.
I’m not sure where you got the impression I was suggesting any religious or spiritual ideas. The only thing I’ve asked is whether life plays a role, and in respect to things which are independent of the universe, the only thing I’ve suggested is in the form of a multiverse.On the other hand, if you tend to have a religious type of view that living creatures are some kind of independent 'souls' that are somehow independent of the universe and might live on in a spiritual form after they leave this universe then your question is moot. In that case, life has no 'role' with respect to the universe. It would only have a role with respect to this higher spiritual form and the universe would merely be a stage of smoke and mirrors (an illusion).
The universe doesn’t really care what I believe it to be, it is the way it is, and it’s up to all of us to figure out how it really is.So when you ask the question, "What is the role of life in the universe?" you really need to accompany that question with some sort of assumption of what you believe the universe to be. Is it a self-contained physical system? Or is it just an illusion created by a higher power? The answer to your question about 'roles' highly depends on your initial assumption.
Both situations are equally absurd to me by the way.