Ronald Dworkin's 'Religious Atheism' - NYTimes.com: "The Stone’s weekly briefing of notable philosophy-related issues and ideas from around the Web.
Recently, perhaps in response to the uncompromising, militant ‘new’ atheism of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others, a gentler, more diplomatic atheism has emerged. The writer Alain de Botton has even proposed a ‘religion for atheists,’ in a book with that title released last year, and earlier this year The Sunday Assembly, an ‘atheist church’ in London, apparently the first such, opened its doors. The Stone moderator Simon Critchley has made his own contributions of this sort, summed up in his book ‘The Faith of the Faithless.’)
Later this year will see the release of ‘Religion Without God,’ a posthumous work by the late, eminent legal and political philosopher Ronald Dworkin, and The New York Review of Books has posted an excerpt from the first chapter. Dworkin, too, believes there is no contradiction in the term ‘religious atheism,’ and offers no less towering examples than Shelley, Einstein and William James to show that it’s possible to adopt what he calls a ‘religious attitude,’ a worldview which ‘accepts the full, independent reality of value,’ as distinct from scientific fact, and which holds that both individuals and the natural world they inhabit have intrinsic, transcendental value, without believing in a personal God. "