It would do die-hard atheists some good if they could read this book by Alain de Botton, before they summarily dismiss all religions and religious beliefs. The gist of the book is summed up by the last two paragraphs:
"It has been the purpose of this book to identify some of the lessons we might retrieve from religions: how to generate feelings of community, how to promote kindness, how to cancel out the current bias towards commercial values in advertising, how to select and make use of secular saints, how to rethink the strategies of universities and our approach to cultural education, how to redesign hotels and spas, how better to acknowledge our own childlike needs, how to surrender some of our counterproductive optimism, how to achieve perspective through the sublime and the transcendent, how to reorganize museums, how to use architecture to enshrine values – and finally, how to coalesce the scattered efforts of individuals interested in the care of sous and organize them under the aegis of institutions.
It has already been conceded that a book cannot achieve very much on its own. It can, however, be a place to lay down ambitions and begin to sketch out some intellectual as well as practical trajectories. The essence of the argument presented here is that many of the problems of the modern soul can successfully be addressed by solutions put forward by religions, once these solutions have been dislodged from the supernatural structure within which they were first conceived. The wisdom of the faiths belongs to all of mankind, even the most rational among us, and deserves to be selectively reabsorbed by the supernatural's greatest enemies. Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone."...Continua
What can atheist learn from religion? This book provides a lot of insights in arts, education, and the most impressive to me, tenderness.
I like the photo very much. They are great in presenting the idea of the author!
winter-20122013, tbr-busting-2013, published-2011, philosophy, lifestyles-deathstyles
Read on February 11, 2013
A shortie of ~5hours
#48 tbr busting 2013
I have a soft spot for Botton's pop-philosophic-oeuvre and here he promotes the idea that religious rites are important to aid us to live psychologically healthier lives, whilst maintaining God is pure fiction.
3* The Art of Travel
4* The Consolations of Philosophy
3* Religion for Atheists