I have to write a persuasive essay in English class and the subject of my choice is the meaning of life. I knew ahead of time of the difficulties that will plague me in trying to properly define meaning and discuss the multiple views on the subject.
My aim is to prove that a secular person can live a meaningful life. However, I want to know how I can argue for a meaningful life (more or less objectively, since it would have more grounding) without begging the question against the nihilist (who would claim that without a transcendent cause that there is no meaning at all)? It seems that to argue for a meaningful life I would have to presuppose that certain things have meaning, which they would deny. I could probably argue from analogy, and show that subjectively the fulfillment of someone's projects or the relationships we create with others have meaning to ourselves and that is enough (which I think it is) for someone to live meaningfully (or that without certain things, e.g. relationships our lives could be meaningless). But again wouldn't this be another presumption on my part that an external point such as the infamous "point of view of the universe" is the wrong one to take in measuring the meaning in our lives, and that we should take a view more closer to home. I just feel like there should be more grounding for these assumptions, and I would be really grateful if you could mention some good sources of information and try to answer my question. Thanks, I hope this counts as a question. I'm a long time reader, first time asker.