Reportedly, John Lennon was actually not an atheist, as many think, but instead a person strongly against organized religion. However, the opening lyrics to his 1971 classic, “Imagine,” above, have often been cited as a straightforward summary of the nontheistic conceit. The lyrics urge human beings to conceive a world in which our species ha rid itself of the divisiveness faith often seems to drive, coming together in peace, instead, through mutually shared need, common destiny, and brotherhood.
Is such a reality possible, however, without the deference that a belief in God, arguably, compels? In his new book, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, Harvard humanist chaplain Greg M. Epstein, right, takes the position that such an atheistic vision can be a reality.
With a focus on the positive, he highlights humanity’s potential for goodness and the ways in which Humanists lead lives of purpose and compassion. Humanism can offer the sense of community we want and often need in good times and bad, as we celebrate marriages and the birth of our children, and as we care for those who are elderly or sick. In short, Humanism teaches us that we can lead good and moral lives without supernaturalism, without higher powers…without God.
Greg M. Epstein the guest today on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, March 26, at 2 pm ET.
You can hear his ideas by tuning in at 2 pm. If you’re outside of the New York tri-state, check out our live stream on the web. If you miss the live show, dig into our archives for up to 90 days after broadcast.