Posts tagged Books

Why Humanists and Atheists need community

"Humanism is a cohesive world movement based on the creation of good lives and communities, without God."

"Nonreligious people often wonder why on earth, with all the abuses and scandals and illogical ideas religion is responsible for, is religion still so powerful? The answer is that for most, religion is not about belief in an all-seeing deity with a baritone voice and a flowing beard. It is about group identification - the community and the connections we need to live. It is about family, tradition, consolation, ethics, memories, music, art, architecture, and much more. These things are all good, and no one wants to or should be asked to give them up because of lack of belief in a god."

"The truth is at the present time, the above list of social goods - family, tradition, memories, music, etc. - is difficult to find communally outside traditional forms of religious affiliation or custom. And in truth, being a good person in a vacuum is not a very satisfying experience. Those of us who don’t want to worship an invisible being or spend our days fretting about punishment in Hades do want to be able to share what we hold dear with our families and the broader world, and we want to be understood and appreciated for who we are. To do so we need community."

"At the most important times in our lives - when we or our loved ones are sick and dying; when a new baby is born; when we want to affirm our love in marriage; when we want to educate our children not only about facts and dates, but also important values - we need to be part of a group. We need what, at least potentially, can be found or created in a Humanist community: a place where family, memory, ethical values, and the uplifting of the human spirit can come together with intellectual honesty, and without a god."

Extract from "Good Without God" (2009) by Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University (Introduction page xiv, “What is Humanism”)

"Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe"

90 second promotional video for the book by Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University.

"Good Without God" (2009) by Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University