Julian Baggini asks if living without religion means living without hope
In the latest New Humanist magazine, philosopher Julian Baggini says that one of religion’s attractions to the religious is that it offers hope, and asks if living without religion means living without it.
Most atheists accept that “Hope is essential to life,” as AC Grayling put it to me, “a beautiful, central thing in all our lives.” Philosopher Nigel Warburton, recalling the inscription “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” at the entrance of Dante’s Hell, told me, “Hell is not having hope.” But both reject the claim that hope requires religion. “It’s not that atheists don’t have hopes,” says Warburton, “they just have different hopes.” Among these Grayling lists hopes “for the improvement of mankind, for greater justice in society, for more people to love more other people”.
Maybe one of the problems with religion is that it offers hope based on totally unrealistic expectations?