,1. In Buddhism, how did the universe get created, and why does life exist?
The universe has no beginning and no ending.It is inconceivable.Millions of world systems are born and destroyed.And it continues on and on.Life exist because if the conditions are right, then you have life.2. I understand many Buddhists are also atheists. How can powerful things such as karma and reincarnation exist without some powerful force maintaining them?
Karma is a powerful force indeed.But it is also just a natural
""Cause and Effect Process".You don't need a God to pull down a pen when you drop it,just like you don't need a God to maintain karma.Why does a pen drop down? Because of the gravitational pull..There's nothing miraculous about it.One thing just causes another thing to happen.
In Newton's Law of Motion,Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction
. This applies to everything including the moral sphere.Everything around you is maintained and balanced by a perfect give and take equilibrium.3. What happens when you die?
The 5 Aggregates dissolve.
5 Aggregates is YOU*.The You as You know now are made up of these 5 things:
But because Ignorance,Greed and Aversion still exists in the mind, it gives into craving and we get reborn
.Because we are always craving.Even in death we crave a better place,a peaceful state or we crave to be away from things we fear.Why? because everyone wants to become something,wants to be safe from something,wants to find something,be something,regret something,numb something,runaway from something,..even in death there's always something..
I hope this helps