Delivered at Conway Hall 3 October 1967. Chaired by Professor Sir Peter Medawar and presented by Marghanita Laski.
Secularists should generally disbelieve, while accepting such minimal beliefs as may be necessary. At the same time, secularism should consider religion objectively, examine the deep human needs it has served, and consider ways in which those needs could be better served. These needs are bound up with life’s rare, ecstatic experiences, which the secularist should both encounter and comprehend. Such comprehension will enable him to appreciate the emotional potency of religious myths, which arise from peak experiences. The latter are the source of all elevated moral ideals. However, these ideals always need to be modified in the light of fact; secularists, in their moral endeavours, have a greater duty than religionists to understand the world fully.