7 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Hubris in Excelsis !,
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This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
Well there is perhaps some wisdom in this book. A page in the book states that the ideas in the book are taken from many philosophers from many cultures and world religions, listing them. However, what I find objectionable about this book there are no annotated references to particular philosophers - one cannot tell where AC Grayling is writing and where he has pinched a bit from Ancient Philosophers - which makes me wonder. For this reason: ONE STAR ONLY. If this was a scientific paper (as its written in this bland mechanistic-scientific-materialistic-deterministic tone) it would have references to other scientific papers !
I was aware this was a book written by a Humanist style-philosopher and it is true there would be little to offend any atheist, scientist or secular un-philosophizing or un-spiritual jo bloggs on the street - it does contain some metaphysical food for thought. However, Grayling seems to completely brush over and ignore some of the greatest minds in history - for example in one paragraph he states 'mythology is pure fantasy' or something along those lines - being totally ignorant of the works of Carl Jung for example. Sure its a fine book if you are into Dawkins or scientifico-analyst style view on life, but if you hold spiritual beliefs of any sort what-so-ever you will find it bland and uninspiring. I'd say that this book deeply lacks wisdom and deeply lacks any awareness or understanding of any personal inner spiritual experience other than saying 'oo look those flowers are nice'... At times it tries to draw upon Greek and Mesopotamian myth or legend - and even those comes across bland, dry, uninspiring and misinformed (from two very 'spiritual cultures' - gee even Socrates believed in the Gods...so perhaps thats the need not to directly reference him !
One commentator noted 'A Bible without a God in it is a bit like non-alcoholic beer' - rather pointless I'd say.
I actually think genuine people of faith, new agers and spiritual people will find this book arrogant and laughable. If a secular society were to accept a book such as this (which is no doubt the authors goal), I doubt very much the solace or comfort that it could provide to those seeking something more than the daily drudge. And no I do not believe all experience is just due to chemical states in the brain...
But if you want something to reinforce your materialist views or Humanist views with a bit of niceness thrown it - its for you. But I would in no way call it 'Secular' it simply does not contain enough spiritual diversity to be so.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2011 20:42:38 BDT
Steve M says:
What on earth do you think secular means? The quickest of searches comes up with this definition, "Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis:" so to complain that a secular book is not spiritual enough is daft.
You also say a Bible without God is pointless, which speaks volumes. Morality is not the preserve of the religious and there are plenty of people who live honest, decent, meaningful lives without God. That does not mean we are just left with the materialist world you contemplate. Secularists know there are many aspects to the world which make a reasoned, empathetic and social lifestance worthwhile.
This book does not need have the 'spiritual diversity' you speak of. It's secular. Look it up!
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2011 10:23:17 BDT
Chris M. Dooks says:
Couldn't agree more, have you actually read the description of this book? Or even bought it? - "I actually think genuine people of faith, new agers and spiritual people will find this book arrogant and laughable" - funnily enough, I find those people the most arrogant and laughable on the planet.
Posted on 13 Aug 2011 19:04:58 BDT
J. K. Smith says:
"One commentator noted 'A Bible without a God in it is a bit like non-alcoholic beer' - rather pointless I'd say."
True - only if you believe that the reason for drinking beer is to get pissed.
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