With excerpts from their brand new books, interViews brings you two prominent visionaries’ thoughts on the spaces where religious belief meets non-religious belief, where supposedly antithetical worldviews sometimes blur, and where the complexity of the spectrum of faith begins to be revealed. Samir Selmanovic is founder and co-leader of Faith House Manhattan and author of It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian. Greg Epstein is the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe. Their ideas are changing the way that people understand religion today.
While Humanism continues to go unmentioned, some of the current literature on atheism seems to roar from every page, “Atheists and religious people are nothing alike! Either you believe or you don’t! Either it’s stupidity or it’s science!” And countless voices that together form a long history of fear and anger and condemnation towards non-believers scream back, “If you don’t believe in God, you’re worthless, meaningless, and doomed!”
But as Selmanovic and Epstein show us patiently, thoroughly, and lovingly, there is simply more to the story. As usual, life, and people, are more complicated. Too often religiosity is confused with ethics and morality. It is imagined, and forcefully stated time and time again, that without belief in God life becomes morally slippery, if not downright chaotic. It’s time to separate these ideas. It’s time to get messy, personal, and real.