What brings meaning (significance) to life? I would argue that the intrinsic worth of a person is the bedrock upon which significance can be objectively grounded. By intrinsic worth, I mean the Imago Dei that we each possess because God decided to create that way. You do not need to be a theist to appreciate this construct though, because it merely affirms that as creatures we have a moral and rational dimension. No one really doubts this fact…we merely quibble over its objective grounding. Perhaps another time? Can we just get on with appreciating the intrinsic worth of people?
Objective moral values and duties exist … or so most folks agree that they do. We disagree on whether or not they are objectively grounded in God or Evolution. I predict that humans will argue this difference until there are no more humans. In the meantime, can we agree that there are really no good reasons to diminish one another in any way? Perhaps one exception is the self-defense required to prevent harm or death to oneself or the defenseless?
How do my values correspond with the way meaning enters my life? IF I suppose that everyone around me should be edified rather than diminished, then I merely affirm that all of us are significant. If we are significant because of a cosmic accident, then cognitive dissonance will force me to believe something is true in spite of the evidence; however, if we are significant because God made us that way, then I can hang my hat on that one. Remember, we can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence, so at minimum, the God Hypothesis is a reasonable construct.
Where do we find purpose in life? I can surely find or create a purpose for myself…such as be a great scientist or philosopher or artist or dance or whatever. However, I’m not sure that vocations equate to purpose; but they can surely serve the needs of a purpose statement. My personal preference is that my values and my purpose and the meaning that I find in life all correspond to one another in a coherent way. For this reason, I prefer to set a purpose in life that seeks to uphold the Purposes of God in every life that I can legitimately influence through relationships that are organic in nature. In this way, it does not matter much where I live or what I do for a living because every interaction is an opportunity to edify people rather than tear them down.
Obviously I think that this is a good Christian ethic that corresponds to the Goodness of God; but one does not need to know God in order to be good. We can be good because it is obvious that we should be. Knowing God is another thing altogether.