I feel quite comfortable accepting something that "simply just is". My life doesn't need any other "purpose" than the one I give it. As a species, humankind may indeed be a few steps away from accepting responsibility for "Self"; and that may well be the reason why, in the mist of awakening self-awareness, early humans had to invent gods and demons in their own image - just more powerful and smarter - in order to hold the tribe together and encourage the thinking individuals to put family before self. And even then, it is quite likely that these rules of cooperative, civilised behaviour did not come about by intelligent design/ planning, but it is far more likely that tribes, who adopted the most civilised "commandments", had a better chance of survival than others, who let bullies and despots run riot.
In that sense, Cardinal Pell does have a point when he said the Jews were "The Chosen People" because they were more intelligent - in spite of being mere shepherds
But apart from missing the hilarity of that rationale, he also has the logic R's about:
The god, whom their ancestors invented and whom they equipped with superhuman powers of strength and wisdom, did not "choose" them, but they happened to equip their mythical leader with ideas that worked out for them. Never mind the barbaric customs and legends about sacrificing children, offering one's virgin daughters in exchange for a good night's rest, or having bears tear kids to bits because they poked fun at a bald old coot. It's the main rules, specifically the Ten Commandments, and the carrot-and-stick legends reinforcing their adherence, that gave the "intelligent shepherds" an edge over their more barbaric neighbours.
By the time a larger, more belligerent world power came around, that edge was blunted, and the Romans kicked the shepherds' butt. But just in time, a new set of "ideas" was hatched: Love Thy Neighbour and don't fight him. Lie low, support friends in need, and offer passive resistance where you can't fight the Powers that be.
None of the above requires the pretense of an Intelligent Design. Simply accept the Laws of Evolution in action: With increasing numbers, different groups of humans came up with randomly distributed rules of social interaction; some worked for a limited time, others remained successful for longer. The successful ones aren't necessarily more "ethical" or more "divinely inspired" - they simply turn out to work a little better under the living conditions at the time. Just like those animals, whose scales changed to body hair, could survive better in cold climate, so they survived the global temperature plunge, when the dinosaurs felt the big chill.