All that is, is.
Within this website I explore whether there is a spiritual realm, a supernatural realm, containing God, mind, souls, consciousness with its contents (ideas, emotions, love, reason, etc) — this, from a purely philosophical and unreligious point of view. I first assume there is a spiritual realm so as to explore the implications; then I present my conclusions (in this article and related articles).
It is astounding and amazing to reflect on the transformational unfolding of the universe as time progresses. Atoms clump together to form structures containing information — but there is no God creating this information. And each new structure builds on the previous until finally, in biological organisms, we find boundless complexity.
Christians want to invoke God as the creator of everything that seems designed, or that seems to have a purpose. But in reflecting on the operations of matter at the atomic scale, everything seems designed and everything seems to have a purpose. God must be a micromanager in the extreme to control and guide all of this.
This is the same problem as irreducible complexity of intelligent design. Allowing for evolution for certain things but demanding intelligent design for just a few things is an incoherent view. Everything requires design; all of biological life depends on evolutionary events that occurred previously in the chain of events.
An example: Information is created by atoms clumping together into various configurations. In the case of biological organisms, complex proteins facilitate chemical interactions based on their shapes and the interactions of electrons.
Yet God did not individually create each of the nearly infinite number of atomic structures. So how did this happen? The universe somehow allows for it.
There is no answer to the question, "why are things the way they are?" All we can know via science and philosophy is how things work. We can never know the essential nature of the universe and of reality.
Invoking God or a spiritual realm doesn't help in the slightest to answer these questions.
There is no need for atheists to believe that the universe is divine or sacred. It's enough that they feel wonder, amazement, and awe.
But without changing anything at all in their worldview, they can decree that God exists via pantheism. All that is needed is to categorize those feelings of awe as expressions of pantheistic sacredness.
I'm not promoting doing this, but merely mentioning the possibility.
Things have purpose whether or not we observe these purposes. The purpose is contained within the things themselves, just as information is stored within the things themselves. God is not needed to provide purpose.
As an example: the purpose of any particular enzyme is to facilitate the specific chemical reaction which it does indeed facilitate.
Everything that is, is reality.
This includes: consciousness and its contents, mind, ideas.
If we want to say that the universe is merely another name for reality (and to not postulate a supernatural realm), then we have to say that consciousness, mind, and ideas are part of the universe.
Scientists don't seem to say this. In saying that consciousness is an illusion or an emergent property or the functioning of the brain; the implication is that, somehow, consciousness is separate from the universe (they don't explicitly claim that consciousness is separate from the universe but, rather, categorize it so that it can kind of be ignored). But just as energy, entropy, information, time, and the motion of particles are all part of the universe, so is consciousness, mind, and ideas.
And merely claiming that all these things reside in a supernatural realm; this doesn't magically solve the problem. You have to explain the mechanism by which the supernatural communicates with the physical universe.