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... read more
Alain de Botton argues that everyone can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion, regardless of beliefs, and explains how the secular world can glean insights from religious stories about how to live, how to structure societies and how to achieve a greater appreciation for culture.
“It must be possible to to balance a rejection of religious faith with a selective reverence for religious rituals and concepts.”
“We can then recognize that we invented religions to serve 2 central needs which continue to this day and which secular society has not been able to solve with any particular skill: first, the need to live together in communities in harmony, despite our deeply rooted selfish and violent impulses. And second, the need to cope with terrifying degrees of pain which arise from our vulnerability to professional failure, to troubled relationships , to the death of loved ones and to our decay and demise.”
“Religions merit our attention for their sheer conceptual ambition; for changing the world in a way that few secular institutions ever have.”
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