Atheists, Believers & The Secular

February 17, 2013
(was 03.18.2012)

Atheists are finally coming out of the closet, and in some cases denouncing religion.  Others still crave a sense of the sacred even though they don’t believe in God.  Do atheists have something to learn from religion?  Why do so many people call themselves "spiritual but not religious"?  And why did bestselling novelist Anne Rice split very publicly with the Catholic Church?

  1. Alain de Botton on "Religion for Atheists"

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    Do atheists have any use for religion?  Philosopher Alain de Botton says atheists can learn religious traditions tap into various emotional needs, from our yearning for community to our desire to create sacred spaces. 

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    Average: 4.1 (16 votes)
  2. Adam Frank on spiritual atheism

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    Adam Frank is an atheist with a spiritual bent.  As an astrophysicist, his yearning for the sacred is rooted in science.  It's an impulse going back to his childhood.

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    Average: 4.4 (20 votes)
  3. Anne Rice on leaving Catholicism

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    In 2010 Anne Rice announced on her Facebook page, "Today I quit being a Christian."  The announcement sparked headlines around the world.  She talks about her complicated history with Catholicism and why she no longer wants to be part of any church.

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    Average: 4.4 (18 votes)
  4. Diana Butler Bass on "Christianity after Religion"

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    Diana Butler Bass says we're now living in a post-religious age.  What's surprising is how many people are abandoning organized religion, but not God.

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    Average: 4.3 (15 votes)
  5. Charles Taylor on the Secular

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    Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor says we're now living in "a secular age," but we're still trying to figure out what a post-religious world looks like, and how we can find meaning in a culture without any over-arching purpose.

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    Average: 4.6 (14 votes)