Let us assume the Great Creator God is quite intelligent, full of beauty and love within, as indicated by His creation of trees, animals, etc.
The human condition seems rather at odds with that I would think, judging by wars, famine, destructive politics, etc.
Now let's assume God is in His heaven, and everything is going according to His Great Plan for the remarkably different Human Race, as opposed to the other animals. One might argue with that difference, but reality is; we are most assuredly different, in fact spookily so. This is not that I claim a soul while denying it to other animals. I had a dog, so I know better. I have seen ducks playing together. I got threatened by an ant for harrassing it, and stung by a pissed-off bee, who knew very well that I threatened its family and home. Dogs look right into a person's eyes, to see what they're thinking.
And I am not religious, as in the Church that had an ecumenical vote about 200 years ago, and women got their souls OK'ed by a margin of one vote. Also, I don't think God would knock up some kid, and not do the right thing by marrying her. Theseus' mother of several hundred years before Mary, claimed she got impregnated by Poseidon. It was that, or get stoned to death as a prositute, or worse for Mary, impregnated by the hated occupying Romans or local caliph. So let's act like real men, and give the kid a break.
Why were we created? If like begets like, and I create things because I need them, then apparently God created me because He needs me. If I am a Child of God, then I am a God-Child, with all the birthrights. Too bad some people have such a low sense of self-esteem they'd like to crucify me for remarks like this. But JC said the Father sees even the sparrow fall, and He remarked on how beautifully were the lilies of the field clothed. Who then, would deny the lilies a soul? They have life-force.
Were I an American Indian, the very rocks and waters would be ensouled, and why not? Our bodies are just piles of chemicals on loan from Mother Earth. If such bodies can be ensouled, then so can the rocks, waters, Earth and Sun. Mr. Spock once referred to the "Great Entity that is the Galaxy". So we can be cells within cells within cells. I have both the self-esteem to be part of that, and the humbleness not to put myself above it.
Why did God create Earth and everything in it? Why did He create us unique, and what is our place in the Grand Scheme? Why did I create my sons? Why did I WANT them? Why do I seek out male friends and women friends? Why do we have pets? Why do we have hobbies? The answer can only be entertainment. We get lonely and bored quite easily without companionship and something to do. And this is more important even than the imperious security. Adventure must contain at least a little threat, or it is not an adventure.
And there is the love of discovery, like a child's Easter egg hunt. Be it DNA or study of stars, we cannot sit still.
And then affection;- (not necessarily in this order). We love sex, but what of a pet then? It is pure love of companionship. And so the pet demonstration proves sex and companionship are separate functions.
If I was created in God's' image, then by knowing myself, I know God, even tho' "He" is colorless, odorless and umm...tasteless (no offense, God).
And we come to learn certain things in school, like chemistry, physics, electronics and mechanics by experiment, that is: by working with our hands. We write tests by forcing our minds to work and pull out stuff that is in there. And so, by being creative ourselves, we learn about ourselves. By pain, we become self-aware.
We create dark and ugly things if we have darkness and ugliness inside. Otherwise, we create beauty through our hands, as a manifestation of the beauty inside us. So God created the many crystals, water, clouds, mountains and stars. And He created woman, so startling in her beauty that she can entrance a man just by being present. Then, within God, there is all this beauty. And He created men, by whom the beautiful woman is entranced. Perhaps He even intentionally created woman to be just a bit chilly, and men nice and warm, so woman would love being cuddled, and men protective.
And perhaps He created the imperious sex drive to slam us together, and force us to learn to get along or suffer the effects of loneliness.
Then one might ask: "What is the true purpose of cars and roads?";- in the sense of what do these things teach us? What do these activities burn into our souls? Perhaps skills of concentration and discipline. Then everything has purpose, and nothing is casual, no matter how much it may appear so.
We learn and we are entertained.
So by our own attitudes and actions, we learn what is wrong and what is right, rather than cheating by picking the Forbidden Fruit, which is a bit like looking into the back of the book for the answers, instead of figuring them out for ourselves. If we were merely programed with such knowledge, we would be little more than robots. Cheaters have nothing to contribute.
When I return to the Father as the Prodigal Son returned, I return as a man in my own right. I have achieved maturity at least in part. And each one of us is unique.
Hopefully one day I will be invited to have lunch with the Old Man, because He wants to hear about His loved Son's/Daughter's adventures, and his/her ideas for the next Great Project.
Mary is my spiritual sister. I would never make light of her tribulations while on this Earth. And my brother Joseph as well. They were survivors. To suggest she was magically impregnated by God, is to deny her the honour of having survived extreme abuse at the hands of the Romans or whatever. If reincarnation is a fact, then I would like to be part of the crew that includes her, on the first super-c starship heading out.
As to Jesus, no doubt He was one of our avatars, and given Special Help to carry the Message. But He never put Himself above us. He said, "All that I have done, you also can do; and even greater", and "By myself I am nothing, my Father does the work".
So anyone who might think that He was just a ringer with special priviledges, and never had to get along with a wife, or raise teenagers, should think again. We all have different trips in this Earth.
As Mohammed said, he had great respect for Jesus, but he had no respect for "those who claim Jesus, but fail to follow Him". (Sorry for the differential capitalizations. I don't know the Muslim practice there.)