Religion plays a fundamental role in daily life, and in political life, to believers and non-believers both. And while wars have been fought and era-defining antagonisms built for centuries between opposing religions, the relatively recent antagonism between believers and non-believers has reached something of a fever pitch. You can trace it to the Enlightenment, but the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens have brought the argument to a head … or maybe to a standstill. Is any kind of progress possible in a debate between religious-believers and atheists? Or is there just a never-breakable impasse between the two worldviews?
Alain de Botton tries to get past the heated, divisive, and potentially stifling conflicts between believers and atheists in his new book "Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion."