Show 263: “After Atheism… Humanism?” A Chat with Mark Vernon

“After Atheism… Humanism?”

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In ‘After Atheism,’ Mark Vernon confronts the lust for certainty found in the dogmatism of conservative religion and militant science. He believes that a committed even passionate agnosticism is vital for the future of our planet and our souls. But how can you be an agnostic and why does it matters? The key to wisdom, Socrates said, is understanding one’s own ignorance. A similar thought lies at the heart of all good theology, since God is nothing if not unknown.

Teach Yourself Humanism‘ is a comprehensive guide to an important and diverse philosophy. Generally seeking to define itself not as a negative response to religion but as a practical and ethical way of life focusing on common human needs and seeking rational ways of solving human problems, this book will delve into the history and development of humanist thought and address the many questions that surround humanism today. Why is humanism important? Is it possible to ‘believe’ in humanism after Auschwitz? What implications does humanist thought have on our society as a whole and the way in which it is structured? How does humanism deal with birth, marriage and death?

Mark Vernon is a writer and journalist. In addition to books, he writes articles for the Guardian, the Financial Times, the TLS and the Philosophers’ Magazine. He is often on the radio, including programs such as the Chris Evans show, Nightwaves, and In our Time. He is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck College, London and has degrees in physics and theology and a PhD in philosophy. He used to be a priest in the Church of England.

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