Last summer Alain de Botton, one of the better popularizers of philosophy, appeared at TEDGlobal and called for a new kind of atheism. An Atheism 2.0. This revised atheism would let atheists deny a creator and yet not forsake all the other good things religion can offer -- tradition, ritual, community, insights into living a good life, the ability to experience transcendence, taking part in institutions that can change the world, and the rest.
What he's describing kind of sounds like what already happens in the Unitarian Church ... or The School of Life, a London-based institution founded by de Botton in 2008. The school offers courses “in the important questions of everyday life” and also hosts Sunday Sermons that feature “maverick cultural figures” talking about important principles to live by. Click here and you can watch several past sermons presented by actress Miranda July, physicist Lawrence Krauss, author Rebecca Solnit, and Alain de Botton himself.
If Atheism 2.0 piques your interest, you'll want to pre-order de Botton's soon-to-be-published book, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion.
Thanks to Elana for sending this our way.