Episode 23: Morality and the Decline of Religion, with Dr. Phil Zuckerman


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This week’s guest drops some shocking information: not only is religion declining around the globe, but atheists are proving to be more moral than fundamentalist Christians. To discuss how this came to be, we’re joined by Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and the author of several books, including What It Means to be Moral, The Nonreligious, Living the Secular Life, Faith No More, and Society Without God. Among other things, we talk about the evidence for and causes of secularization, the future of religion, and the roots of morality. We also find out, for example, whether a true secular person can have sex outside the holy bonds of marriage or tell their kids about Santa.

In the bonus section, available on Patreon exclusively for subscribers, we talk about Phil’s establishment of the first Secular Studies program in the world at Pitzer College and whether academics are paying enough attention to the massive decline of religion.

For more on Phil and his works: https://philzuckerman.com/

Phil’s latest article in Salon, “Staunch atheists show higher morals than the proudly pious, from the pandemic to climate change”: https://www.salon.com/2021/08/21/staunch-atheists-show-higher-morals-than-the-proudly-pious-from-the-pandemic-to-climate-change/

New edition of Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.18574/9781479851119/html

Upcoming virtual book launch (September 15th) for the two-volume Cambridge History of Atheism: https://atheismsecularismhumanism.wordpress.com/seminars/

Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander

Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/

If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.

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