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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Disappointing, Erroneous, Implausible
- Douglas C. Bates
A little thin