- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 26, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1533662649
- ISBN-13: 978-1533662644
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,842,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wonderful Without Religion: Creating a Divine Secular Life for You, Your Family, and the Whole Wide World Paperback – July 26, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Mary Morse is an American writer, nonprofit executive, and award-winning social entrepreneur. She's the author of Women Changing Science: Voices from a Field in Transition (Hachette).
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Top customer reviews
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The author calls religion "fast food for the soul"- this not only accurately describes the easy comfort and certainty it can provide, but also why some choose to take the more difficult but ultimately more rewarding path of introspection and reason- a path she envisions will result in an inclusive, peaceful, prosperous and a more moral world.
I learned of Mary's book when she was a guest on the weekly Minnesota Atheist radio program and was looking forward to attending the book launch at Subtext Books in St. Paul last year but was out of state during the event. She was kind enough to run some signed copies to Subtext when I tweeted to her that they were sold out. It was worth the trip, and the worker bee who waited on me remarked that Mary was "really a nice person and cool". That's the way she comes across in her book.
While PZ Meyers pulls no punches and will light up believers and their supernatural beliefs, Mary takes a kinder, gentler approach in dealing with the constant onslaught of religion we nonbelievers are subject to, especially this time of year. I could really relate to her overall tone and positivity. It had the same feel as Julia Sweeney's wonderful book <i> Letting Go of God </i>.
Wonderful Without Religion touches on a gamut of subjects in nine chapters and contains a section of resources for rationalists and a comprehensive list of notes. It was very thoroughly researched. My favorite chapters were about the origins of religion (short answer: the supernatural was used to explain things early humans didn't understand (ie. we now know what causes weather, hallucinations, visions, etc., etc.)), why humans are religious (short answer: because of our parents / indoctrination), and what life would be like in a rational, post-religious world. She brought the famous humanist Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame in to the mix to illustrate his vision of a rationalist future and pointed out that other parts of the globe are well on their way to this future. It is comforting to know that a number of European countries already have a secular majority, especially now that the religious right has strengthened its hold on politics in the US under the current administration.
Taking a local angle, Mary discussed some of the recent legal cases where the Freedom from Religion Foundation sued Minnesota municipalities which refused to remove religious displays from public property. There are currently some new battles being waged on this front.
Some of the subject matter was a bit of a rehash for me, an example being the chapter dealing with beliefs and rules of the different faiths. I attended a Catholic school for seven years and continued with catechism classes after moving to public school so this was a subject I'm already knowledgeable about.
Overall, I thought this was a fun book to read, chock full of wit, humor, and great insights on navigating life's ups and downs without the supernatural yoke around one's neck.