Human beings (and any form of life) are made of materials (matter). Therefore if human beings (life) are born free, why does this not extend to materials? The distinction is between living and passive matter. Where life is born free adjusting to its environment and equal in dignity and rights; is matter (materials) passive and therefore not able to adjust to change in its environment by it self. Therefore, materials must start free of claim to be able to provide equal utility to life.
The meaning and purpose are in the eye of the beholder and source of conflict.
The utility function should therefore be treated in a spirit that provides mutual benefit for life now as well be available for future generations.
“Materials are the foundation of the fabric of life and forms an integral part of it. Life is born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood and act as guardians for materials to provide equal utility and benefit to life now while ensuring availability for all future generations.”