In his new book, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion, Alain de Botton argues that the boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers should end. While he believes that the supernatural claims of religion are entirely false, 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. Alain de Botton proposes a far more interesting and helpful alternative.
Alain de Botton is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel, The Architecture of Happiness and The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. He lives in London and founded The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). Visit his website at www.alaindebotton.com.
If you would like to subscribe to our RSS Comments feed, please click on the orange XML logo below (click here to read more about our RSS feeds).
** Should you wish to retract a comment, or if you experience technical difficulties, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to delete posts containing offensive language or content.