Saturday, May 19, 2012

Religion For Atheists by Alain DeBotton - Book Review

I have tried to read Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens books about atheism in the past and struggled to finish them because they were so angry with religion. It's true that religion has done a lot of harm over the years, but Alain De Botton's approach in this book is much more palatable.

Rather than attack the faithful with frothy mouthed invective, DeBotton looks at what religion has to offer when you strip away the magical fantasy elements and look at the tangible things religion has provided over the years. This includes a form of community, consolation when things go wrong and a set of rules to live our life by.

An argument is made for an atheistic religion which puts aside the implausible bits about a religious faith but extract the socially useful things. I expect that this could be insulting to the devout but probably only those that actively seek out things to offend their delicate sensibilities.

As an aside, the kindle version of the book is left aligned all the way through, rather than justified, which makes it look a strange. Given that the cost is similar to the print version it seems a little sloppy of the publisher but its not a massive problem.

This is a relatively short book, but there are plenty of ideas crammed into the pages and I found it an excellent read.

Buy a kindle verision from here
Or the paper copy from here
Or the paper copy from here
For some reason there isn't a kindle copy available on which seems a bit weird.

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