Alain de Botton - Atheism 2.0

Traditionally, religion has been associated with a number of different concepts: explanation, revelation, salvation and consolation. The so-called New Atheists have made a strong case that when it comes to explanation, religion is no better than child fantasies. Revelation, as a corollary of explanation turns out to be another silly concept, as is salvation... whatever that might mean.

One of the few areas in which religion does seem to thrive (regardless of whether its premises are true or not), that current secularism doesn't quite know how to deal with yet is consolation in its various forms: community, identity, tradition, reverence.

In the following fascinating TEDTalk presentation, atheist philosopher Alain de Botton (narrator of the documentary series Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness) argues that there is much in this area that a more advanced and nuanced and less reactionary atheism can actually learn, and steal, from the lessons developed by religions for thousands of years.


And for more, there is a short Q&A in the TED Blog.
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