Show 427: How to be Secular w/ Jacques Berlinerblau

How to be Secular w/ Jacques Berlinerblau

This Saturday, Matthew LaClair will interview Jacques Berlinerblau on his new book, How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom.  Berlinerblau is a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and director of the Program for Jewish civilization.  He has written numerous books, is a regular contributor to the Washington Post’s “On Faith” column, and hosts the podcast “Faith Complex.”  In the book How to Be Secular, Berlinerblau enlightens readers on the realities of secularism, covering its intriguing and complex historical roots and trajectory, and its immense challenges.  He argues for increased cooperation among theists and non-theists, less focus on an absolute separation of church and state, and for a nuanced and informed approach to tackling the Religious Right “Revivalists.”

Show 410: David Niose on his new book, Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans

David Niose on his new book, Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans

David Niose advocates for an identity-oriented approach to secular activism to raise awareness of the secular demographic in American society. Using the LGBT movement as a model, Niose argues that by “coming out” and asserting rights as a minority group, nonbelievers can similarly gain acceptance. Critical of the Religious Right, Niose argues progressive policy goals will be difficult or impossible to attain without the secular demographic in America asserting itself. David has served since 2009 as president of the American Humanist Association, an organization that promotes humanism, and defends the rights of humanists and other non-theistic Americans is the author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans.

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

“After Atheism… Humanism?”

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?

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

Show 240: Austin Dacey on the Secular Conscience

In “The Secular Conscience,” Austin Dacey argues that we who are non-religious should be every bit as engaged in public discussions as are our religious counterparts… discussions which involve reflecting upon individual behaviors and/or public policies, as being problematic or as supporting our society moving in a direction we want.

Austin feels that the public discussion of behavior and policies are presently dominated by religion, and that if secularists do not find a way to participate in that discussion it will be at our peril. This of course makes total sense, but what exactly can we bring to such a discussion that would constitute a unique and much needed contribution?

Continue reading “Show 240: Austin Dacey on the Secular Conscience”