Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions - Phil Zuckerman This book is mostly a series of anecdotes based on first person accounts from persons who consider themselves secular and why they embrace that world view. There's nothing inherently wrong with using anecdotes for telling a consistent story and this book does a good job while doing it. I found all the characters profiled interesting and worth learning from.

There are two ways I try to understand my place in the world and the world view that I have. One is by looking at fact based non-fiction books and the other is by reading fiction. To me, the anecdotal ultimately reads like fiction because the plural of anecdote is not data, and it can only provide understanding through empathy but not knowledge.

The characters talked about in this book all seem to refute the generalizations theist often assert such as "I've never met a non angry atheist" (Rick Warren actual quote), "without god anything is possible" (Bill O'Reilly and Dostoevsky), "you must be angry at god", or "it's impossible to be an atheist" and so on.

For those who learn best by way of fiction or anecdotes this book will be a good and entertaining listen, as for me, give me data, which leads to information, that becomes knowledge and ultimately leads to understanding and wisdom.

p.s. I really think the author is wrong in equating secular beliefs with no belief in an after life. He did it in multiple places but I belief that one doesn't necessarily follow from the other.