** Living the Secular Life by Phil Zuckerman

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions focuses on the 30% of Americans who describe themselves as having no religion. As I was reading it, I kep thinking that sociology must be an easy field: the author tells many anecdotes of non-religious people, but does not get very far with facts, statistics, or identifying trends.

For instance, he makes a big point that secular people are peaceable, productive, and happy (and rarely pugnacious, as Christopher Hitchens’s books may lead us to believe) — but he does not try very hard to analyze whether these wonderful qualities may be a simple by-product of the kind of people who call themselves secular rather than any virtue of the affiliation itself.

If you are interested in this topic, I would recommend Alain de Botton’s excellent Religion for Atheists instead (which this book recommends too).


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