Is Grayling’s “Good Book” What Crazed Churchfolk Will Want to Burn Next?

11 04 2011

AC Grayling: ‘How can you be a militant atheist? It’s like sleeping furiously’
by Decca Aitkenhead, April 3

In his new book, The Good Book: A Secular Bible, the philosopher sets out his manifesto for rational thought. He talks about why religion angers him, the power of philosophy – and his mane of hair

In the unholy trinity of professional atheists, AC Grayling has always tended to be regarded as the good cop. . .
So he insists that his new book does not belong in the same canon as Dawkins’s The God Delusion and Hitchens’s God Is Not Great.

“No, because it’s not against religion. There’s not one occurrence of the word God, or afterlife, or anything like that. It doesn’t attack religion, it’s a positive book, there’s nothing negative in it. People may think it’s against religion – but it isn’t.”

But . . .Grayling is almost certainly going to upset a lot of Christians, for what he has written is a secular bible. . .
a “great treasury of insight and consolation and inspiration and uplift and understanding in the great non-religious traditions of the world”.

He has been working on his opus for several decades, and the result is an extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought . . .

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7 responses

11 04 2011
BpBpRoadrunner

Oohhhh I cannot wait to read it. I wonder how it would stand up to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s The Woman’s Bible. Even though it is most assuredly a version of the Bible, it would still make an interesting contrast to a KJV and the other two. Thanks for the tip! Putting it on my wishlist.

11 04 2011
JJ

Favorite Daughter the religious studies major will want to read it too, no doubt. Then I’ll get her to review it for me.

I think she’s read the Cady Stanton but not sure (I haven’t, what did you think of it?)

12 04 2011
JJ

Power of Story Can Change the World:

Remember whatever your personal world and worldview
. . . the whole purpose of “education” anywhere, is more and forward and freedom, not less and backward in a box.

12 04 2011
JJ

From discussion during Banned Books Week, the year that theme was “Free people read freely”::

Ann Patchett decided to speak to the Clemson class of ’06 anyway—even though that meant accepting protection from a bodyguard.

On stage in Littlejohn Coliseum, she spoke of the right to read and the importance of drawing one’s own conclusions. She made note of all the great works of literature that had, at one point or another, been similarly criticized as morally unsuitable, and she wondered aloud what purpose higher education served if not to acquaint oneself with the complex, real world:

“If stories about girls who are disfigured by cancer, humiliated by strangers, and turn to sex and drugs to escape from their enormous pain are too disgusting, too pornographic, then I have to tell you, friends, the Holocaust is off-limits. The Russian Revolution, the killing fields of Cambodia, the war in Vietnam, the Crusades, all represent such staggering acts of human depravity and perversion that I could see the virtue of never looking at them at all.”

The speech and visit won substantial support and applause, though not from all young members of the audience—some of whom took it as a public opportunity to question Patchett’s own morals to her face.

Musing that Christian bibles all contain staggering acts of human depravity and perversion too . . . most likely more than Grayling’s “positive” new Good Book of “inspiration and uplift.” And most likely, morality is more complicated than believing in any One Book to Rule Them All.

12 04 2011
BpBpRoadrunner

I didn’t get to read the version I bought. It went for a walk. I am not sure who took it but someone did. Apparently they liked it so much that they kept it. I haven’t bothered to buy a new copy, because I have been busy with other things. But it was nice to even know it existed. Something that was never mentioned in the 60 seconds of public school time devoted to the Suffragette movement.

12 04 2011
JJ

Boy, ain’t that the truth!

Favorite Daughter was 13 I think, when Iron-Jawed Angels came on HBO and it was almost as much news to me as to her. She got really into the history of it and did library site searches until she located a hard-to-find loan copy of “Jailed for Freedom.”

Yet another way in which she educated herself in something better than I had been taught or could teach. 😉

27 04 2011
JJ

Grayling was utterly charming on Colbert last night. He said this humanist bible was a good book full of classic ethical thinking that no one but philosophers read anymore, and pulling it all together like this might serve as a base for us humans to get it touch with it again. Not needing Church to do it.

In other ethics news btw, how unfortunately clueless the Catholic-dominated Supreme Court and its political brethren (all burning the ethical village to save the ethical village) have become . . . Supreme Court Examines State, Local Ethics Laws

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