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To the Best of Our Knowledge: Atheists, Believers & The Secular | [Jim Fleming]

To the Best of Our Knowledge: Atheists, Believers & The Secular

Atheists are finally coming out of the closet, and in some cases denouncing religion. Others still crave a sense of the sacred even though they don’t believe in God. Do atheists have something to learn from religion? Why do so many people call themselves "spiritual but not religious"? And why did bestselling novelist Anne Rice split very publicly with the Catholic Church?
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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, do atheists have any use for religion? Philosopher Alain de Botton thinks so. He says atheists should think about ways to borrow and steal the best that religion has to offer.

Next, Adam Frank is an atheist with a spiritual bent. As an astrophysicist, his yearning for the sacred is rooted in science. He thinks many atheists are too quick to dismiss spirituality. And he's tired of the way the science vs. religion debate is usually framed, with hardcore atheists like Richard Dawkins squaring off against fundamentalist Christians.

Then, in 2010 Anne Rice announced on her Facebook page, "Today I quit being a Christian." She went on to say that she refused to be anti-birth control, anti-Demcorat, and anti-science. And she concluded, "In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian." Anne Strainchamps talks with Anne Rice about her complicated history with Catholicism and why she no longer wants to be part of any church.

After that, Diana Butler Bass says we're now living in a post-religious age. What's surprising is how many people are abandoning organized religion, but not God. She talks about the people who identify as "spiritual but not religious," and describes her own journey through several Christian denominations.

And finally, the celebrated Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor says we're now living in "a secular age," but we're still trying to figure out what a post-religious world looks like - and how we can find meaning in a culture without any over-arching purpose. In this conversation with Steve Paulson, Taylor talks about Nietzsche's "death of God," the importance of mystery and the "disenchantment" of the modern world. [Broadcast Date: February 20, 2013]

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