Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion
What if religions are neither all true nor all nonsense? The long-running and often boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved forward by Alain de Botton’s inspiring new book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are entirely false—but that it still has some very important things to teach the secular world.
Chapter one is titled Wisdom without Doctrine, yet one of the most common ideas presented throughout the rest of the book is that atheists should adopt the highly prescriptive approach of religions, which dic ...more
"Hi, Alain. Sounds like a fun job."
"You have no idea. And when I say 'my fellow atheists', I include you lot over there who may believe in something in general but don't live actively religious lives."
"Uh, really? OK, hi."
"I wanted to talk to you about something I'm sure you, as atheists, can relate to. You know how life without religious faith is grey, stressful, depressive and focused solely on selfish personal gain? And we all a ...more
The structure of each chapter the book is very formulaic:
a) Identify a positive aspect of religion
b) Muse that this is lacking in modern society
c) Propose a secular solution
The majority of his arguments collapse at stage b. For example:
a) Churches get strangers talking to one another
b) Restaurants don't
c) Set up new restaurants
The problem, of course, is that the as ...more
De Botton's prose is lucid and precise. The book's ...more
The author, de Botton, in the book’s introduction recounts that he grew up in an atheistic family environment. I suspect that gives him the freedom to study the merits of religion free from a personal history of rejecting childhood religious teachings. He thus is perhaps able to objectivel ...more
De Botton in this short and eloquent book attempts to underscore, for the secular world, what he sees as the value of religion for all of society. He does so in a writing style that befits a bemused and observant Montaigne in his tower. De Botton is ever the practical philosopher, extracting lessons where others see perhaps only a pedestrian or cement edifice.
The greatest p ...more
de Botton's basic idea is one I personally find attractive. The triumph of secularism certainly appears to have shorn us of a variety of ways to reflect on our places in the universe and connect more meaningfully with others. His example of ...more
The central premise of this book is that the religions that have managed to stick around (e.g., Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) clearly offer some survival benefits, even if the benefit is merely emotional and consolatory. We non-believers can actually learn quite a bit from these ...more
sekülerlere kıyasla inananların daha hoşgörülü olduğunu ve inananların sekülerlere daha sempatiyle baktığını iddia ediyor ama bu iddiası din-mezhep savaşları, ha ...more
He admits that this book is not the "first attempt to reconcile an antipathy towards the supernatural side of religion with an admiration for certain of its ideas and practices; nor ...more
Let's assume you're an atheist, like I am. Besides the obvious question whether God exists, you may or may not believe religion is largely a force of trouble, or just may have more disadvantages than advantages.
What the author does, is to delve into the aspects of religion that he deems benign forces for which secular society has no proper answers. Yet. Mr de Botton proceeds to outline a number of secular in ...more
The way he writes ...more
He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif ...more