Few, if any, thinkers and writers today would have the imagination, the breadth of knowledge, and the literary skill to conceive of a powerful secular alternative to the Bible. But that is exactly what A. C. Grayling has done, creating a nonreligious bible drawn from the wealth of secular literature and philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions, using the same techniques of editing, redaction, and adaptation that produced the holy books of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions.
The Good Book consciously takes its design and presentation from the Bible, in the beauty of its language and its arrangement into short chapters and verses, offering to the nonreligious seeker all the wisdom, insight, solace, inspiration, and perspective of various secular humanist traditions.
Organized in 12 main sections, The Good Book opens with meditations on the origin and progress of the world and human life in it, then devotes attention to the question of how life should be lived, how we relate to one another, and how vicissitudes are to be faced and joys appreciated. Inspired by the work of Herodotus and Lucretius, Confucius and Mencius, Seneca and Cicero, Montaigne, Bacon, and so many others, The Good Book will fulfill its audacious purpose in every way.
©2011 A.C. Grayling (P)2011 Tantor
In a recent discussion with an acquaintance, he admitted to not believing in religion but would indoctrinate his children into it anyway. He rationalized this by saying "How else can I teach my children to be good people?" I replied "Humanism." If only I had this book to hand him, his children might not be in catechism right now.
This volume is as poetic and beautiful as any religious text only without the incredulity. Narration is in the appropriate accent to enunciate the ascetics of the English language. It's "books" and it's short "chapters" are all segregated appropriately for easy access. This book will yield great "bedtime" stories for my children. If civilization falls and humanity resorts back to near neolithic times, I hope this is the book they find and base there lives on.
One thing that skeptics just can't seem to grasp is how to keep someone's attention and get it to stick. It has a lot to do with poor marketing skills and this book GREATLY suffers from it. Although the information is very nice, it is so long winded and INCREDIBLY boring to listen to. Seriously I am barely into two hours and there are 25 hours to go!!!! This is an endurance test rather than words to live by.
This book has the right intentions with the WRONG execution. If skeptics/humanists/whatever want people to listen they are going to have to realize it should be entertaining and enjoyable instead of pompous and trite. This book does not offer that.
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