As observers we observe events around us. All events have causes, either deterministic causes or non-deterministic ones. As observers however we can additionally attribute purpose (or meaning as in religious meaning) to events. We can declare one event happen for a given reason, or a purpose.
If an event was caused by the actions of another person, we can ask that person if their motivation matches our attributed meaning.
But sometimes events happen without us observing any person causing the outcome.
In such cases, can any purpose be attributed to such events without also assuming some agent?
- We win a (fair) lottery
- A tornado hits our house
- We give birth to twins
- An uncle gets cancer
Some people will attribute purposes like that this is deserved (as treat or punishment), that it restores balance, that it should teach us something, as a test...
But it seems to me that all of those purposes require:
- Some agent having a goal to achieve
- The agent to be able to influence the result
I can imagine a universe in which some additional laws of nature exist that cause good actions to set of events that lead to something like benefits, or bad actions that lead to something like punishment, without any agent being involved. But in such a universe the events would still not have meaning, it would just be additional laws of nature.
Maybe somebody can rephrase my thought more concisely?
EDIT: I used the word "meaning" in the first version of the question, in the sense of semantic interpretation. I switched to "purpose" to disambiguate, though I think meaning still often fits better. As an example, an event might be interpreted as a mere effect of a hidden event with meaning, such as thunder not serving a purpose in itself, but being the sound of gods arguing. That would be a "meaning" or "interpretation" rather than a "goal, aim, purpose".