The boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved on by Alain de Botton's inspiring new book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are of course entirely false - and yet that religions still have important things to teach the secular world. Rather than mocking religions, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from them - because they're packed with good ideas on how we live and arrange our societies.
Blending deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer) proposes that we should look to religions for insights into how to build a sense of community, make our relationships last, get more out of art, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, and much more.
For too long, non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing peculiar doctrines or doing away with consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last Alain de Botton has fashioned a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.
©2012 Alain de Botton (P)2012 Audible Ltd
I HEREBY DECLARE: This book is a "Must Read" for any atheist, particularly those who have read anything by Dawkins.
After dispensing with the "is God real or not" argument in the first paragraph of the book, de Botton spends the rest of the book explaining why so many religious rituals are valuable ANYWAY.
Existence of a deity notwithstanding, I have a new respect for religion and religious rituals. There are lots of aspects that I now have a much clearer understanding of, and I understand that I was unfairly denigrating the practices of religious people, because I didn't understand the reason those practices were created. I'm still a committed atheist, of course -- but now I'm a smarter atheist. And that's what atheism is all about, right?
Although I can't praise this book highly enough, I wish I could have reached through my headphones and slapped the narrator. I managed to make it all the way through the book, but it wasn't great. Two stars because the sound quality & production was superb, but that's all.
Yes I would. It is easy to follow de Botton's arguments but he says quite a lot and I will probably listen again
There was no main character
Yes he sounded a lot like de Botton himself
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.