Zuckerman, an American social scientist, had 149 formal interviews on the topic of religion with these Scandinavians (in addition to countless informal talks) while he lived there. That is actually not the case for many I know and the amount of studying done by Christians is seriously underestimated. I have never been in either Denmark or Sweden and I am not sure on how the societies are there, but from my perception I wish all societies were like that. Reading about the ideas that the Danes he interviewed had about religion was so heartwarming it gave me a small bit of faith in humanity. These are some of the questions that sociologist Phil Zuckerman tries to answer in A society without God. I do feel that the author missed the mark on a few areas of what Christians believe and the assumption that Christians believe it blindly, or those who do believe are lesser educated. As an atheist/secular humanist, I am very receptive to Zuckerman's thesis (i.e., that functional, healthy societies can exist without belief in deity or religion) and my imagination is fired (and, frankly, my envy stoked, as it were) by the idea that the Scandinavian countries are living representations of that thesis. Mostly just interviews with Danish citizens. I just read a review of this book that nearly guarentees my interest in reading this book (from Louis Bayard's Salon.com review): An interesting and thought provoking read. pg33”, “one can never predict or foresee what lies ahead when it comes to humans and religion.”, Sam Harris Website Recommendations: Part 5, Goodreads Members Suggest: Favorite Winter Reads. But most residents of Denmark and Sweden, he found, don't worship any god at all, don't pray, and don't give much credence to religious dogma of any kind. It's about $30. What about the evils of "secular humanism" endlessly repeated by Pat Robertson for 30 years? A well-written sociological study of religion in Denmark and Sweden, as experienced by someone from the United States. It is hard to believe that even intelligent and educated people could hold such an opinion, but they do! I have read books where authors attempt to demolish the concepts of god and religion using philosophical and scientific arguments. This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. The problem with this is two-fold. by New York University Press, Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment. God & Gay Marriage on Huffington Post. While the US is the mo. An interesting and thought provoking read. ― Phil Zuckerman, Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment. It seems never to have occurred to them that the Greeks and Romans, whose gods and goddesses were something less than paragons of virtue, nevertheless led lives not obviously worse than those of the Baptists of Alabama! Unfortunately, that was not the case, and while there are interesting stories in the book, its not a good read overall. The emphasis is really on the people of those interviews, and the way they answer his questions. Religion is an parasite that goes around parasitizing all aspects of society, and I am not talking about just one religion in particular, I am talking about the whole concept of religion from all religions perspective, where it controls many aspects of government all the way down to individual levels influencing your eating diet, you intimacy. Social scientist Phil Zuckerman does a wonderful job of capturing the cultures of these Scandinavian nations and … Ideal for classroom use, it will get students thinking about their own lives and choices." It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that “society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant.” ( ) He is the author of several books, including, “...I found myself pondering the specific Christian American obsession with abortion and gay rights. They have one of the most educated populations on earth and as well as highest levels of happiness. It isn't bogus wars, systemic poverty, failing schools, child abuse, domestic violence, health care for profit, poorly paid social workers, under-funded hospitals, gun saturation, or global warming that riles or worries the conservative, Bible-believers of America." Atheists, naturalists and humanists fight back claiming that it's perfectly possible to be moral without God. Like “In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argues that human beings cannot be truly good or moral without faith in God and without submis- sion to the will of Christ. He moved to Denmark for a year to personally conduct 149 interviews to collect enough data to write this book. If he had chosen to focus the book around some theory about the way secularity can manifest, or about the cultural relativity of religion, or anything like that, instead of about U.S. politics, the interviews could have been put to quite good use. 09/22/2010 06:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011 Imagine a place where almost no one ever goes to church, the majority of people do not believe in God, and among those who do, their belief is fairly watery and thin. Phil Zuckerman is a social scientist that studies religion, secularity, morality, etc., and their effects on society. Society without God is a social study of how secular societies such as Denmark and Sweden are not only essentially "godless" but thrive as societies. We posted an early version of this op-ed, but this one… READ MORE First, the world is NOT in general becoming more religious. How often do we hear that without religion there would be no morals, that society would collapse into hedonism, crime, violence and suicidal chaos? In the end, these statistics and correlations are not the focus of this book. Read reviews and buy Society Without God, Second Edition - by Phil Zuckerman (Hardcover) at Target. I didn't need any convincing that individuals and communities can be good without god; the points that were more interesting to me were related to Zuckerman's argument that religious belief is. Nor can a free society survive a generation of crack babies and teenagers whose minds and bodies have been destroyed by illegal drugs. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment. A thought provoking read, if at times inaccurate, nonetheless. Definitely a bit dry and I feel like I read it too late. Zuckermann isn't afraid to wonder and speculate freely, and to let his personal preference for the Scandinavian secularity shine through. “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. The man without God is spiritually dead; when his physical life is over, he faces eternal separation from God. They have some of the lowest rates of infant mortality and highest life expectancy. In Society Without God, Zuckerman specifically analyzes the religiosity of two of the most irreligious countries on the planet, Denmark and Sweden. He is a Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College, and the founding chair of the nation’s first Secular Studies Program. Lots of info that I was already familiar with but may have been more unique 10 years ago. Imagine No Religion: Can a Society Be Successful Without It? Publication date 2009-11-07 Usage Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States Topics atheism, ffrf, phil zuckerman, society without god, annie laurie gaylor, dan barker, freedom from religion foundation. One evening, when I was at work, I was talking with my colleagues, and … I have never been in either Denmark or Sweden and I am not sure on how the societies are there, but from my perception I wish all societies were like that. Is prayer the best way to be "in tune" with him? Phil Zuckerman is the author of several books, including What It Means to be Moral (Counterpoint, 2019) The Nonreligious (Oxford, 2016), Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2014), Faith No More (Oxford, 2012), and Society Without God (NYU, 2008), and the editor of several volumes, including The Oxford Handbook of Secularism (2016) and The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois (2004). As I was reading this book, it occurred to me time and again how much my viewpoint gelled with that of the Scandinavian societies of Denmark and Sweden. The title "Society Without God" is a little deceptive. But the thesis is robust: an areligious society can be a very orderly, moral and community oriented society, contrary to popular American sentiment. The Danes and Swedes live in countries that consistently rank among the world’s best in terms of social conditions. We’d love your help. November 21, 2008. Of particular interest is his discussion of "Cultural Religion" in the pre-final chapter, which argues for the distinction between cultural rituals with the trappings of religion and actual belief in a monotheistic god of the type described in the Torah/Bible/Koran. For million of Americans, these are the great societal "sins" of the day. First, the world is NOT in general becoming more religious. 11 likes. Zuckerman, an American social scientist, had 149 formal interviews on the topic of religion with these Scandinavians (in addition to countless informal talks) while he lived there. He lives in Claremont, California, with his wife and three children. Start by marking “Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment” as Want to Read: Error rating book. As the tide of secular self-awareness and public discussion of nonbelief rises, Phil Zuckerman’s latest book, Society without God, is not only a major contribution to the study of irreligion and religion today, it is an eye-opener for anyone who believes that religious societies have an advantage when it comes to health and happiness. Q: You say that what most disconcerts man is God's silence. This updated edition incorporates new data from recent studies, updated statistics, and a revised Introduction, as well as framing around the now more highly developed field of secular studies. I do feel that the author missed the mark on a few areas of what Christians believe and the assumption that Christians believe it blindly, or those who do believe are lesser educated. The problem with this is two-fold. It's not available at the library and it's also not in stock at any local book stores for me to browse through. Phil Zuckerman - Society Without God by FFRF, Inc. I was really amazed/amused by some of the things Zucherman reveals in this book. Witness all these religious Joe-Six-Pack-Plumber-Palin people. Even so, I was frustrated by Zuckerman's approach--meandering excerpts from interviews with individuals, interspersed with high-minded personal anecdotes, neither of which I found horribly. Likewise, the more religious countries (USA, Egypt, Ghana, etc.) An updated edition showcasing the social health of the least religious nations in the worldReligious conservatives around the world often claim that a society without a strong foundation of faith would necessarily be an immoral one, bereft of ethics, values, and meaning. Society without God - What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment by Phil Zuckerman About 10 years ago, while I was studying full time, I had a part-time job in the evenings. This book was rather repetitive. Washington D.C., Feb 6, 2019 / 05:00 pm MT ().-Society and humanity have removed God from daily life, and in doing so lost their purpose and sense of … There were a few comments that frankly were assumptions on his part (one being a story he told about a person in debt at a bank seeking help; his commen. You can select specific subjects that match your interests! Religion is just bad and I really wish the rest of societies were just like Denmark and Sweden societies are. This book could have been much better. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. The nearest countries he found to match his requirements were Denmark and Sweden. Impossible. "Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment" Has anyone read it? (The interviews are put in context by a number of surveys, because although Zuckerman interviews a wide variety of ages, occupations, educations, incomes, urbans/rurals, his interview sample is still non-random.). It shows that those countries are not immoral and actually are more moral, accepting, non judgmental and so called "Christian" than the US which is known to be the largest religious nation in a democratic state. Zuckerman, rather than attempting to do so, attempts to envision a world without god and its implications on the society. He blogs for Psychology Today. An important note: The author is NOT arguing that high levels of societal health are CAUSED by low levels of religiosity. He moved to Denmark for a year to personally conduct 149 interviews to collect enough data to write this book. This is NOT another entry in New Atheist literature. This book is poor science, even from a qualitative methods perspective. Sign up for our eNewsletters and receive 30% off your first purchase at NYUPress.org. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Too frequently there is a theory or proposition put forward as if its fact when something at its base is erred. Evolutionary psychology reveals the … This is a great book for getting insight into the minds of the people of Denmark and Sweden, how they think about life, the things they are concerned about, what they aren’t worried about, and so on. Overall, this book is a nice, light read, and unfortunately I feel that the only people who will learn something new and significant from it are those unlikely to ever read it. I read the introduction which was interesting, highlighting how the Danes and the Swedes are national populations that are the happiest on the planet, have the amongst the lowest major-crime rates, and are a society that pretty much exists without the presence of (a) god. In Jesus’ narrative of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man lives a pleasurable life of ease without a thought of God, while Lazarus suffers through his life but knows God. Religion is an parasite that goes around parasitizing all aspects of society, and I am not talking about just one religion in particular, I am talking about the whole concept of religion from all religions perspective, where it controls many aspects of government all the way down to individual levels influencing your eating diet, you intimacy, you working on saturdays, and many people leaving their work, homework, exams, sick relatives and all other aspect of life in the hands of God without actually trying to find a solution to everything in a rational way. I'd like to read it, but I'm not sure if it's worth the buy. As a sociology grad, an American atheist, and the wife of a Swedish atheist, this was a thought-provoking read for me. Pitiful. Others point out that many nonprofit secular humanist organizations are built on the premise that atheists are capable of doing the right thing without God. Sometimes I felt like tossing the book down on the table when he starts excerpting interviews that basically say the same thing. Its supposed purpose is to prove in the face of increasing religiousity around the world that societies without religion can be functional and moral. All the Republicans have to do is say the word "socialism," and they run screaming away from Barack Obama. It addresses the dramatic surge of irreligion in the United States and the rise of the “nones,” and adds data on societal health in specific US states, along with fascinating context regarding which are the most religious and which the most secular. > What is society without religion? Link/Page Citation Paris--An earlier conference of Catholic intellectuals, held in Paris at the International Catholic Centre at the United Nations office for science and culture (UNESCO) in May, 1999, concluded that a society without God revolts against man. They're not atheist utopias, but they're as close as you can get in the world today. Predominantly atheistic societies are happier than the rest: it's a fact even the most fervent, pious individuals cannot deny. tags: zuckerman. There were a few comments that frankly were assumptions on his part (one being a story he told about a person in debt at a bank seeking help; his comments about the people there thinking nothing of the banker's suggestions were assumptive; as a Christian I would not have agreed with that advice, but as a private person I would not have reacted to it, so the assumption that my lack of reaction to it means I would have agreed with it is flat out wrong). Totally fascinating look at how the citizens of some secular non religious countries,especially the Scandinavian ones have the highest quality of life on this planet. Be the first to ask a question about Society Without God. It is crucial, Zuckerman believes, for Americans to know that “society without God is not only possible, but it can be quite civil and pleasant.” The result is this fascinating book, about what people in these, The US may be weirdly religious compared to the other industrialized democracies, but even in Western Europe, Denmark and Sweden stand out for their lack of religiosity. Moreover, pagans such as Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius – although their systems are not suitable for us today – managed to produce ethical treatises of great sophistication, a sophistic… They have low crime and high economic equality. Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment - Ebook written by Phil Zuckerman. Its supposed purpose is to prove in the face of increasing religiousity around the world that societies without religion can be functional and moral. Zuckerman does touch on the usual statistics that correlate irreligious countries (Japan, Scandinavia, UK, etc.) Society without God provides a rich portrait of life in a secular society, exploring how a culture without faith copes with death, grapples with the meaning of life, and remains content through everyday ups and downs. Choose from contactless Same Day Delivery, Drive Up and more. with high health, happiness, contentment, and success. A society without God ends up as a society against man. You would think that Jesus' socialistic message would make that different, but NOOOOO. It is not possible for humankind to exist without religion existing. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published A free society cannot survive an unchecked explosion in violent crime. A nice look at a couple of kinder, gentler nations (Sweden, Denmark). Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It is, rather, a work in academic sociology -- particularly a work of comparative religion -- in which the author interviews many people in Denmark (and some from Sweden) about their religious beliefs and spirituality. But not a lot of synthesis or historical context. Even atheists living in the United States will be astonished to discover how unencumbered by religion most Danes and Swedes currently are. The biggest challenge the book faces is purpose. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Quite the nice tonic against the typical theist claim that, without religion, society would collapse into some amoral anarchy. The US may be weirdly religious compared to the other industrialized democracies, but even in Western Europe, Denmark and Sweden stand out for their lack of religiosity. More than anything, this book gives you a sense of who the Danes and Swedes are at a more philosophical level. Refresh and try again. This was a good look at two very non religious democratic countries, Sweden and Denmark. What does a country look like if you take faith out of it? Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment - Ebook written by Phil Zuckerman. This is clearly not the case in Sweden and Denmark, as his sociological data shows. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. That is actually not the case for many I know and the amount of studying done by Christians is seriously underestimated. In Society Without God, Zuckerman specifically analyzes the religiosity of two of the most irreligious countries on the planet, Denmark and Sweden. Phil Zuckerman, author of Society without God, recently wrote about Proposition 8 & religious nations on the Huffington Post. However, his research (and others) does refute the reverse claim that low religion causes crime, poverty, and degradation of society (as recently suggested by Ben Shapiro and AG William Barr). Access this eBook from one of our digital partners. Society Without God reveals this to be nothing more than a well-subscribed, and strangely American, delusion. Phil Zuckerman's 2008 book, Society without God, notes that Denmark and Sweden, "which are probably the least religious countries in the world, and possibly in the history of the world", enjoy "among the lowest violent crime rates in the world [and] the lowest levels of corruption in the world". Philip "Phil" Zuckerman (born June 26, 1969 in Los Angeles, California) is a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Getting a better sense of who the Scandinavian people are is what I came away with. The biggest challenge the book faces is purpose. you know, i am not sure what i was expecting, and i guess it's my fault. They also are some of the most secular societies in existence today. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment. The result is this fascinating book, about what people in these very secular societies actually believe. Society Without God reveals this to be nothing more than a well-subscribed, and strangely American, delusion. There is a misconception, largely spread out through ignorance, that atheists are unsatisfied with life, because supposedly God serves as the prime motivator to fulfill happiness. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews with more than 150 citizens of Denmark and Sweden, among the least religious countries in the world, he shows that, far from being inhumane, crime-infested, and dysfunctional, highly secular societies are healthier, safer, greener, less violent, and more democratic and egalitarian than highly religious ones.Society without God provides a rich portrait of life in a secular society, exploring how a culture without faith copes with death, grapples with the meaning of life, and remains content through everyday ups and downs. I always find it telling that the US has the highest religiousity level and yet we also usually have right around the highest poverty level among Western countries. Indeed, the Christian Right in the United States has argued that a society without God would be hell on earth.In Society without God, Second Edition sociologist Phil Zuckerman challenges these claims. Without God, man’s destiny is hell. In his book he shows that societies can be sane, prosperous and humane without people having a God-fearing approach to life, and he also presents some interesting ideas and explanations as to why the Scandinavian societies have become so secular, and reversely, why the USA has so religious. 2008 Like millions of people, my wife and I are deeply concerned about the moral condition of our nation. The Danish perspective that it's scary how much US politicians say their religion influences their decisions was interesting - so worth just reading the last chapter! This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. One of the primary reasons Zuckerman has written his fourth book, Society Without God, is to “soberly counter the widely touted assertion that without religion, society is doomed”. While the US is the most religious developed country, it is less religious than it used to be on average. Phil Zuckerman knows about this flawed ideia, and goes on to argument against it brilliantly. Most of us have no issue at all understanding that societies could function smoothly and morally without the bulk of its members believing in gods or goddesses. This is a great book for g. Phil Zuckerman is a social scientist that studies religion, secularity, morality, etc., and their effects on society. Thankfully, those teetering WTR stacks can... To see what your friends thought of this book, Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment. that correlate strongly with poverty, crime, and other challenges. What kind of world would it be for those that live there and how did this come about? This fascinating approach directly counters the claims of outspoken, conservative American Christians who argue that a society without God would be hell on earth. His point is merely to counter the claim by some conservative Christians that a godless society is an evil, immoral one. Most Americans are convinced that faith in God is the foundation of civil society. They're not atheist utopias, but they're as close as you can get in the world today. Welcome back. Second, it takes about two pages of statistics to prove a secular society can be moral, not 180 pages of interview. Society Without God is a colorful, provocative book that makes an original contribution to debates about atheism and religiosity. Even atheists living in the United States will be astonished to discover how unencumbered by religion most Danes and Swedes currently are. I think that this book was a dissertation that was evolved into a non-fiction mass market book. Mr. Zuckerman, a sociologist who teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., has reported his findings on religion in Denmark and Sweden in “Society Without God… Even so, I was frustrated by Zuckerman's approach--meandering excerpts from interviews with individuals, interspersed with high-minded personal anecdotes, neither of which I found, As an atheist/secular humanist, I am very receptive to Zuckerman's thesis (i.e., that functional, healthy societies can exist without belief in deity or religion) and my imagination is fired (and, frankly, my envy stoked, as it were) by the idea that the Scandinavian countries are living representations of that thesis. Difficult, very qualitative, topic in many ways but the author does a good job I think of exploring all sides, knowing that there are no definitive answers. The emphasis is really on the people of those interviews, and the way they answer his questions. 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