A few days ago, I asked people what they thought it meant to be human, and I got some great answers. People said to be human is to have purpose, to be responsible, to have empathy, that we are created in God's image, that we can be fragile while being strong...and that the question needed a book to answer :)
I was listening to Ravi Zacharias and thought what he had to say on the subject was interesting. He was saying that with a tool, you need to look at the reason it was created for in order to know its purpose. Like you can use a wrench for a to pound a nail in, but that might not be the best way to put in a nail, and you wouldn't be using the wrench to its best purpose.
With humans, we have conflicting views on how we came to be: some say it was blind chance through evolution, and some say God created us.
With the first view, I often hear evolutionists speak of the process of evolution as if there is some goal in mind with the sequence of changes they theorise occurred. But random mutation cannot have goals or purposes. Some mutations survive, some don't. There is not someone directing the process...saying for example, I need an eye, so I'll start moving in that direction. Speaking in terms of goals in evolution seems to be mostly a figure of speech with them, but it is difficult to discuss such a process without a purpose.
With animals, it does not make sense to speak of responsibility or morality. We understand that they do not have much in the way of choices. We like it, for example, when a dog saves its master's life, but cannot blame the dog if it does not.
The theory of evolution says humans are really no different than animals. Humans were not created with a purpose. And as far as I can see, this leads to nihilism...the meaninglessness of existence.
Now if the other view is true, and mankind was created by God, then mankind has a purpose. If we are to use this "tool" to its best purpose, we need to know what we were created for. Why did God make us? Do we have responsibilities? How should we treat other humans? How should we interact with God?
The Bible purports itself to be a record of God's interaction with men. In it, all these foundational questions are answered. How should we interact with God? Love God. How should we interact with other humans? Love one another. Why did God make us? To give Him glory. Do we have responsibilities? To do all the above.