Religion for Atheists (Alain de Botton)
From the author of The Consolations of Philosophy, a deeply provocative and useful argument about how we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion—without having to “believe” in any of it.
What if religions aren’t either all true or all nonsense?
The sterile debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally advanced by Alain de Botton’s astonishing book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are of course entirely false—and yet religion still has some very important things to teach the secular world.
Religion for Atheists suggests that atheists shouldn’t trash religion, they should steal from it—because the world’s religions are packed with good ideas on how we should live in and arrange our societies. In a highly original and readable tone that blends deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer himself) proposes that we should look to religions for insights on, among other topics, how to: build a sense of community, make our relationships last, dampen feelings of envy and inadequacy, escape the 24-hour media world, go traveling, get more out of art, and build new businesses geared around our emotional needs.
For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing lots of peculiar doctrines or doing away with a range of consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last, Alain de Botton, the author of the bestselling The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life, has produced a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.
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