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Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe By Greg M. Epstein,

  • Title: Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe
  • Author: Greg M. Epstein
  • ISBN: 9780061670114
  • Page: 261
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A provocative and positive response to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and other New Atheists, Good Without God makes a bold claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe Author Greg Epstein, the Humanist chaplain at Harvard, offers a world view for nonbelievers that dispenses with the hostility and intolerance of religion prevalent in national bestsA provocative and positive response to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and other New Atheists, Good Without God makes a bold claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe Author Greg Epstein, the Humanist chaplain at Harvard, offers a world view for nonbelievers that dispenses with the hostility and intolerance of religion prevalent in national bestsellers like God is Not Great and The God Delusion Epstein s Good Without God provides a constructive, challenging response to these manifestos by getting to the heart of Humanism and its positive belief in tolerance, community, morality, and good without having to rely on the guidance of a higher being.
    Good Without God What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe A provocative and positive response to Christopher Hitchens Sam Harris Richard Dawkins and other New Atheists Good Without God makes a bold claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe Author

    One thought on “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe”

    1. On the religious spectrum, I don t fall anywhere in particular My Japanese father was Buddhist, though he never demonstrated any proclivity towards spirituality as far as I could tell My mother was raised Jewish, but I believe she identifies with the cultural aspects than the religious ones.So where do I fall Well, um, I m not sure I ve always been attracted to the cultural aspects of various religions and spirituality, but there isn t a single one that catches my fancy I hate that religion is [...]

    2. Good Without God serves as a very good introduction to humanism, and for that reason is worthy of four stars if you re new to humanism or are humanism curious As a long standing atheist humanist, I have some quibbles with GwoG, especially with his occasional willingness to throw them bad ol New Atheists under the bus I understand and appreciate Epstein s point that it s best for humanists to confidently declare their atheism and move on to constructive activities, especially with sympathetic li [...]

    3. It really hit me at the beginning of high school Perhaps I am a late bloomer compared to some But there I was in Mrs Madsen s literature class We were discussing Creation myths from other countries We had just finished reading a story from Africa about how the Black Man was made from a dark lump of mud His wife was made from the same gooey clod as well The story progressed from there though I no longer remember the details I just remember instantly thinking to smug self, Ha, silly Africans That [...]

    4. Good without God is an introduction to Humanism The tone is that of an educated preacher talking to people less educated I can see myself recommending this to my fundamentalist relatives, especially those who can read but they rigidly guard what they see, hear or associate into their lives but for myself, it felt gentrified, as well as explaining the obvious over and over Frankly, I don t see the point of a religion without a god, any than I can see a religion with a god I don t need a Religion [...]

    5. I read this book and keep thinking That s exactly how I feel Epstein says the things I ve thought a long time, and he does it so clearly I wish I lived somewhere where I could find a community of people to interact with that felt this way too Actually, I think there are people around here who go to church that go for the fellowship, but would agree with most of what Epstein puts up if they were willing to read it One of Epstein s points that I like best is that we shouldn t argue whether or not [...]

    6. In Good without God, Greg Epstein is not trying to engage the debate on whether God exists, or to critique religion His goal is to defend non believers, and to formulate a positive, ethical outlook on life that does not depend on theism for its legitimacy.He is also peroccupied with building communities that can meet the same needs that churches fulfill for traditional religions These needs include culture, literature, and ritual, counseling guidance for children, support groups, community servi [...]

    7. Of course people can be good without godbut can people really have meaning, purpose, and community in their lives without religion Epstein makes a convincing case that the answer is yes He also makes a convincing case that religious and non religious people have in common than they might think, and yes, we can all get along He is very respectful of religious people and religious beliefs, while making a firm case against the necessity and logic of those beliefs quite an impressive feat This is a [...]

    8. When I first saw Greg Epstein on the Bill Maher show last year I knew I found a kindred spirit someone who was not only comfortable with being an atheist but who made it his life s work to help atheists better understand their own situation and work together for the common good of all mankind.I know that sounds a little over the top, but frankly it s how I feel and after reading his book I feel even stronger now that it is possible to live a good life without god and be able to appropriately com [...]

    9. This is a book about Humanism, a religion that is badly misunderstood, trampled in Christian media as selfish Epstein sets the record straight, articulating the beliefs he preaches as a Humanist chaplain He points out that in our generation we ve successfully responded to the head of religion, but not to the heart of religion we ve produced a very heady atheism But I believe in the heart of Humanism I can t call this an evangelical book, since Epstein stresses goodness over belief He seems to ca [...]

    10. Although not as expansive as I might have hoped, this book earns a spot on any atheist humanist s bookshelf I personally resonate with his ecumenical if I can borrow the term approach to religious beliefs and especially religious people, as compared to the strident new atheist authors I ll admit to enjoying a Dawkins smackdown as much as the next heathen, but as a humanist chaplain, Epstein takes much greater pains to recognize the full spectrum of religiosity and the allies to be found partic [...]

    11. As a Humanist, Epstein finds it important to focus on values than on the lack of theistic underpinnings for those values, especially when the word God is used so liberally that it is difficult to pin down its meaning He explains that there are different kinds of atheism and nihilism and different theories about why ethics evolved He provides a long discussion about dignity, a complex virtue which includes self awareness and taking responsibility for oneself while also empathizing with and being [...]

    12. I can see why this book gets mixed reviews It s very difficult to be balanced and neutral when it comes to writing about religion, morality, atheism, humanism and so on I too think Epstein critique of the new atheists movement, led by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc, is too harsh and he doesn t give the movement enough credit for bringing atheism out of the closet, so to speak The new atheist movement if it can be called that has been instrumental in giving voice to people who have longed to open [...]

    13. So, I can t say that Greg Epstein is the best writer I ve ever read, but this book gives voice to many of the ideas that have been floating around in my head for years, which is something I truly appreciate The book is really divided into two sections the history of atheism non believers, and the current roles beliefs of the non religious community Some of the history lessons get a bit draggy, but I am still glad that I read them, as they contained some good information Epstein generally has a c [...]

    14. I love this book So much so, I actually bought it It s all about just being a good person for the sake of being a good person It s very uplifting One of the main things I liked about this book is that Greg Epstein is very respectful towards religions While I m not religious, I dislike books authors who are very negative condescending towards religions.

    15. This book was lent to me by my boyfriend a few weeks ago I started it a few days ago, and finished it with mixed feelings today Epstein tries very hard to create a middle ground between religion and the new atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens It served as a good introduction to the idea of humanism and how one can still participate in community and charity without having to believe in the supernatural However, this book gets three stars and not because it lacks the edge that those new atheist [...]

    16. Epstein is a humanist rabbi, who writes passionately about humanism as a religion without gods He discusses the history of humanist thought, its present status as a movement poorly understood and about its strong ethical commitment I like his emphasis on doing, not believing, as the measure of the good life His commitment to community and his suggestions as to how to be culturally true to one s traditions at the same time being part of the world ring true to me, as a fulfilled humanist unitarian [...]

    17. I ve been trying, for a while now, to figure out exactly where I stand in terms of belief This book helped me to solidify my thinking about my attitudes about faith and goodness and humanity Written like a conversation with a friend, this novel is easy to read, reasonable, and respectful, to both atheists and believers it s a positive book about how nonreligious people find purpose and meaning in their lives without the constraints of organized religion, and makes a strong case for a long and we [...]

    18. Excellent in content, beautiful in tone, I love this book Epstein goes far beyond examining how why many of us think as opposed to believe there is no God And he goes beyond explaining how atheists, among others, are mostly wonderful, lovely, caring people He clearly and lovingly discusses what we can DO with our world view, how we can, given our philosophy, engage our world.

    19. Usually, I don t write reviews but this book made me do it I expected much than I found in it This is a very desperate cry for recognizing the humanism as a new religion I bought the book to find the answer to the question what is the basis of goodness without God Maybe I didn t read good enough even though my understanding of English is much better than writing.

    20. I listened to a lot of Fresh Air interviews over the course of a 3,000 mile road trip around the Pacific Northwest with my family After a particularly interesting interview, I would add whatever book was being discussed to my wish list First I would pull over, of course.This is one of the books on that wish list Because the interview was so interesting and because I ve been looking for a book like this for a while, I really wanted to like this book than I ultimately did.Greg M Epstein, the Huma [...]

    21. I had turned away from traditional religion a while ago and was searching for understanding of what I now believe I found myself agreeing with almost everything in this book I took a note for almost every page Religion provides a sense of community that atheists and agnostics should not have to give up simply because they do not believe in God or religion Humanism is all about leading good lives and creating a better world now rather than relying on an afterlife or supernatural power There is a [...]

    22. A lot of books have been written in the last few years exploring whether or not there is a God This is not one of them Refreshingly, Greg Epstein starts a step further down along the line of debate His premise, stated simply, is this However they got there, there is now a significant portion of the population who simply do not believe in God And yet most of them including himself live what would be thought of by most as perfectly good lives, raising their children, taking care of their parents, [...]

    23. Epstein s book is a refreshing break from the self conscious atheism of Dawkins et al The focus on what atheists do value, rather than on what we don t, was thought provoking.Now, Dawkins may be obsessed with debunking creationism and Hitchens with shocking you into submission, but at least they re engaging This work is much scholarly and amiable in tone and substance, which is all fine and good, but it s not something to get people fired up to join the Humanist movement Nor is it a page turner [...]

    24. As expected from the outset, Epstein sets out to defend the thesis of his book that one can be good without God , but he is basically addressing a strawman of the Christian position Christian philosophers don t argue that Atheists can t do good things or lead generally good lives, they argue that we can t ground the existence of morality without God That s a very different claim If there s no objective standard for morality, then it s not clear how you can say that someone who wants to take adva [...]

    25. While the book was interesting, it is also a polemic as much as a philosophical treatise Epstein makes one fatal error in his prescription for secular spirituality He believes that non religious communities can fill the gap left by the disappearance of religious communities My experience tells me he is simply wrong I d like to believe he s right, and for some people he clearly is, but for a very large number of people, no commitment to social justice will fill the mystical void of religion Most [...]

    26. I got this book, b c I study different religions This book promised to be the next greatest educational book on humanism, so I thought I d check it out While I can see where Epstein derives his arguments for humanism, he spends a little too much time putting down traditional Christianity Some of his ideas make perfect sense, and I agree with them however, his writing takes on a passive aggressive tone a little too often In the end, there is not much backing to the ideas he is proposing It s like [...]

    27. This book is interesting, but I m finding it a bit hard to get through.It s not gripping me like Dawkins or even Hitchens does.While I like Epstein s main point that you do not need god or religion to live by an ethical and moral code , I think he s MUCH too soft on religion I tend to agree with Dawkins idea that many religions are actually harmful to society and cultural traditions based on religious doctrine should not be put on a pedestal.Epstein seems to want everyone to get along and be in [...]

    28. Wonderful introduction to humanism Greg Epstein answers the question Can we be good without god with a resounding yes Thankfully, the book goes beyond how we know right from wrong and offers ways to create culture without religion, and ways for humanists to be involved in creating positive change in the world As someone who has tried to live a Christian life without being Christian, I appreciate having a name to now identify with, as well as Epstein s clear and compassionate voice asserting this [...]

    29. Interesting look at what humanists believe I appreciate such a rational take on the subject, considering Dawkins, Hitchens, etal can be quite polemic and confrontational Epstein has written this as an introduction for humanists and people who want to understand humanists The book is a realistic and positive contribution to the dialogue.

    30. This has been on my to read list for awhile When my brother Rod mentioned it again, I decided it was time to find it And am I ever glad I did It s an excellent overview of Humanism and what it means to be good without god I really enjoyed it and encourage people of all faiths or none to give it a read.

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