If you dare to ask out loud, what is the meaning of life? You will find that most people will snicker, or tease you with a smile. During an entire lifetime, most people consider this question for a few moments and then move on dismissing it as unknowable or to be revealed in the next life. But if there is no next life, how can life have any ultimate or objective meaning? If it all is going to end, the threat of non-being is the realization of the absurdity of life. It is impossible for life to be anything other than a subjective, temporary, random and meaningless dream.
But even if life were to go on forever, it still would not automatically have meaning. There is the story of the astronaut stuck on a planet with two vials, one containing poison and another containing a potion that causes eternal life.
After years of being stuck on the rock of a planet alone, he finally gets so depressed not having meaning and purpose that he decides to take the poison. Then suddenly realizes he mistakenly took the eternal life potion and is now doomed to an eternity without purpose and relationships. The only way life can have purpose and meaning and value is if it is based within a higher context of personal relationship with an eternal personal eternal being. Some would call this being God.
So, either life has no purpose, meaning or value. Or, life has an eternal purpose with meaning and value. There is no in-between possibility. Either, nothing you think, say, or do has any ultimate consequences, or everything is vitally important in the eternal scheme of things.
If God exists, then there is the possibility that life has a higher eternal purpose. If God doesn’t exist, then there is no possibility for purpose since both the person and the universe are doomed to non-existence in the near future.
Since there is no possible way to know for sure which is the case, we must rely on a gut instinct and our first person sense of reality. Does your life seem to have meaning? Are human beings valuable in an objective way? Are there moral duties and values imbedded in the human experience? You cannot have it both ways.
You cannot claim that your cause or opinion on any subject is objectively true and then claim there is no God. Is it gay rights, animal rights, civil rights, or human rights? Or maybe you reserve the right to complain when someone steals your iPod? None of these claims are objectively true if God doesn’t exist to ground the reality of the claim. If so, God exists, if not, then these are all subjective illusions and we should just eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.