FLOW: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience - by Dr. Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi
This book talks about a study that reveals that the two most important elements for successful living are 1) the desire to do what is right 2) to do it for the right reasons.
These two elements combine under the term non-narcissistic individuation. It translates loosely into the idea that when a human individuates or follows his/her path toward wholeness, they need to focus on doing what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. This sounds like a spiritual viewpoint being backed by scientific study.
I read The Divine Code of Life about the same time as I read this one, and, together, they totally overhauled my belief system. I think that this idea is what we should be teaching in out schools: We are hardwired to be the best that we can be, therefore it should also be our purpose in life, and, in order to do that, we need to desire to be the best for the right reasons (i.e. not for fame and fortune).
This establishes a purpose that has been so lacking in modern life, combining scientific reason with spiritual ideas. This blend is the only thing that will save the human race from the problems generated from our shallow thinking. People who believe in a lack of fundamental purpose, are often neurotic individuals. Their attacks on religion are usually attacks on the creations, understandings, and ideas of human beings, and rarely, if ever, cross over unto the essence of true religion.
And while I believe that atheists should be free to believe whatever they want to believe, when they insist that others should forced to believe that life is pretty much meaningless, they reveal themselves to be some dimwitted sons-a-bitches.