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.
"Highly original and thought-provoking book.... de Botton is a lively, engaging writer." (Publishers Weekly)
"A new book by Alain de Botton is always a treat…. De Botton is literate, articulate, knowledgeable, funny and idiosyncratic." (Forbes.com)
"[T]his book will advance amicable discussion among both believers and disbelievers." (Library Journal)
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A valuable resource for believers
This book is a marvelous resource for believers into the value of their traditions, practices and values to the world in which none-of-the-above is the third largest "religion" in the world. It has helped me reclaim aspects of my faith that have been washed down the drain with the absurd belief systems that are so embarrassing. For the atheist and agnostics, this is freeing, because it allows appreciation of values, beauty, art, music, and community.
- John W. B.
Disappointing, Erroneous, Implausible
- Douglas C. Bates