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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Without illusions - Doug Ireland

Ronald Aronson’s new book, Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided, represents a radical departure from the recent attention-grabbing anti-religion polemics from Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Michel Onfray. While Aronson pays heartfelt tribute to all of these authors, his is a much more pragmatic proposal. He suggests that “even after reading Harris, Dennett, Dawkins or Hitchens, secularists often have difficulty discussing what it is we believe in, if not God.” And what that means, for Aronson, is that humanism needs to recouple thought with action, morality with socialism.

“To live comfortably without God today means … rethinking the secular worldview after the eclipse of modern optimism,” Aronson insists. “This can happen only by working through the secular outlook itself, in light of the disasters and disappointments of the last century, and the dangers of this one.”


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