Does the universe have a purpose?

Survey a variety of answers here (from the Templeton foundation), ranging from “Unlikely” to “I hope so”. Here’s an excerpt from Elie Wiesel:

But I know this: the questions that confront us today do have a response; and this response engages us. If the present world has a purpose or fate, it must be the same for all. And each human being, with his own background and culture, owes it to him or herself to affirm his or her own humanity with respect to that of his or her peer. The purpose of the world cannot be to propose or impose a choice between joy for some and distress for others. This is a false and unjust choice. If, in order to be happy, it is necessary for the other not to be, the world in which we live would look more like a prison than an orchard.

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