Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (Hardback)
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Description"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. "Religion for Atheists "suggests that rather than mocking religion, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from it--because the world's religions are packed with good ideas on how we might live and arrange our societies. Blending deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer himself) proposes that we look to religion for insights into how to, among other concerns, build a sense of community, make our relationships last, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, inspire travel and reconnect with the natural world. For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing some peculiar doctrines or doing away with a range of consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last, in "Religion for Atheists, " Alain de Botton has fashioned a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.
- Published: 03 June 2012
- Format: Hardback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780307379108 ISBN 10: 0307379108
- Sales rank: 21,436
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Reviews for Religion for Atheists
- Top review
This book certainly does generate many different trains of thought. De Botton starts with the assumption that there is no god: this book is not about the facts of the existence of a god. He then looks at all the things Christianity (and to a lesser extent Judaism, Buddhism and Shinto) got right.
One example is his idea that art galleries are the "secular churches", although he points out that these art galleries do not instruct us on a moral level, and are not imperative, but often passive. A similar idea with learning institutions.
This is not a sweeping comparison of all religions to atheism, not religion-bashing. It's very readable, and positively constructive. Be prepared to think! by James Hodson