The Humanist Hour #82: A. C. Grayling

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guest on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, Todd Stiefel’s co-host is Kim Ellington. Together they interview A. C. Grayling, the author of The God Argument – The Case Against Religion and For Humanism.

Kim Ellington, co-host

Kim EllingtonKim is a secular activist and lifelong atheist originally from New Hampshire. She now lives in North Carolina working to separate church and state. She is in her second year as a board member of the Triangle Freethought Society and has been a member for about four years. She is also on the board of Camp Quest South Carolina, a member of the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and a mother of an 8-year-old daughter. The work she does in the freethought and civil rights movement is to make the world a more reasonable place for her daughter and all future generations.

A. C. Grayling

Professor Anthony Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. Until 2011 he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over thirty books on philosophy and other subjects. His newest book is The God Argument – The Case Against Religion and For Humanism. He publishes under the name A. C. Grayling.

The God ArgumentCo-hosts Todd Stiefel and Kim Ellington talk to A. C. about his new book, which takes a look at the kinds of reasons someone would have for not holding a religious commitment in the first half and the arguments in favor of humanism in the second half.

Grayling describes a humanist in several ways during the interview, including those who think that our ethical outlook has to be premised on our best understanding of human experience.

“Fundamentally, humanism is not a doctrine,” Grayling says. “It’s not a set of prescriptions or instructions about how to live. Rather, it’s an attitude. And the attitude is, we have to think for ourselves; we’ve got to take responsibility for ourselves, and in taking that responsibility we have to think how relate to, to care for, be good neighbors to our fellows in the human story,” adding, “Generous really is the word, generous and kind.”

He also outlines his reasons why we should not see The Golden Rule as ideal.”We can’t, each of us, think that we’re the standard or the benchmark for what tastes, interests and desires other people have,” Grayling points out. “We have to allow them to make those choices, of course within negotiated limits about the parameters of communal living, but in a way that really does allow people to make meaning in their lives because that’s where meaning comes from.”

Trivia Contest Winners

Congratulations to Toure Jaxsyn and Marie Bradshaw for winning a copy of The God Argument – The Case Against Religion and For Humanism in our Humanist Network News Trivia Contest!

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