By George B. Kauffman
What Can You Believe in When You Don’t Believe in God? by Michael Werner, Humanist Press, 1821 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC 20036, 2017, $12.99. ISBN 978-0-931779-73-2.
Michael Werner, a scientist, philosopher and businessperson, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., is president of the Humanist Foundation and past president of the American Humanist Association. Humanism is a positive philosophy for the surging proportion of the world’s population who indicate “none” as their religion but look for meaning, morality and purpose in their lives. Werner’s book shows what love, reason, imagination and science have in common.
It is intended to help you live your life and enlighten your own values and ethics. It’s more than a primer on humanism, but it’s not quite a complete treatise on philosophy. It offers some answers to the questions that Socrates had asked, such as, “What is true? How shall we live our lives?”
Those who don’t believe in the supernatural sometimes struggle to understand how we can ground ourselves ethically and how to find truth, meaning, purpose and joy. Werner’s book presents ideas on how to know, without depending on holy scriptures or guidance from a deity, what it means to lead a good and ethical life.
George B. Kauffman, Ph.D., chemistry professor emeritus at Fresno State and a Guggenheim Fellow, is a recipient of the American Chemical Society’s George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach and the Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution, and numerous domestic and international honors. In 2002 and 2011, he was appointed a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, respectively.