For the first time in human history, a significant percentage of the world’s population no longer believes in God. While its true that some societies are even seeing nonbelievers outnumber believers, it is extremely unlikely that we will see a total collapse of religion in the foreseeable future. This is why, according to Dr. Ronald A. Lindsay, countries across the globe must learn to carefully manage the societal mix of religious and irreligious in order to meet the challenge of this unprecedented demographic shift and new form of sectarian discord. In his book, The Necessity of Secularism: Why God Can’t Tell Us What to Do (Pitchstone Publishing, 2014), Lindsay makes the case for the necessity of a discourse for morality and ethics that does not rely on the competing narratives of the world’s religions. He joins us today to explain how such a language of common morality can be found and why it’s so important.
Dr. Ronald A. Lindsay was until very recently the president and CEO of the Centre for Inquiry and its affiliates, the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, where he continues on as a senior research fellow. He has a PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University, with a concentration in bioethics, and a JD from the University of Virginia. He also has a background in law and policy related to the exercise or abstention from religious practices in government funded contexts.
Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Universite Laval in Quebec City.