Customer Review

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's assess your "problems" with this book shall we..., 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Good Book: A Secular Bible (Hardcover)
Alright, let's start with the basic statement that this book is a stroke of genius and as much as everyone is entitled to their opinions, I shall be among those that hold this book in high esteem.
Let's address a common criticism, the format of The Good Book being in the same format as that of The King James Bible and the language being not of absolute modern English (although if you're taking issue with this it may be because you don't understand it, despite the language being a flowing poetry of sense and wisdom, not that I understand people NOT understanding it because it's close enough to modern day English to completely understand). He wrote it in the format for the simple reason that it's attractive, easy to find what you're looking for if you liked a specific chapter and it flows. It really is as simple as that, if you also consider if he set it out the same as every other book he did, what would make this stand out presentation wise from the rest? And this was meant as a very different kind of book to be written than his past works. And back to the language, both of the Good Book and the Bible's, the language used in both is beautiful whether you believe what is being said or not. And if you "get bored" with them, well maybe you should indulge in something a bit less poetic in the future... try religion for dummies.

Next, the negative reviewers that put it down for contradicting humanist values, that he seems to think he "has all the answers" and "tells us how to live our lives". You have missed the point of the book and I suggest you either go back to it and re-evaluate it, or go and read Harry Potter, maybe you'll get that one. He doesn't claim to have all the answers, he doesn't TELL us how to live our lives, he suggests ways we expand and enhance our lives through great philosophers and literalists of the ages. You can take what you like from it and leave what you like. He doesn't "have all the answers", he suggests many answers to be right and through this book we can evaluate and choose our own answer.

Adding to this but also in the point of the "Bible" aspect of it. Isn't this more of philosophical book than religious. It's called a SECULAR bible... that means non-religious you know? It's taken the idea of the bible where it TELLS us how to live our lives, and Grayling has taken this and used the philosophers to SUGGEST how we MIGHT live our lives. There is nothing biblical about this. You don't "do bibles" do you? Well if you're putting this together with the original, again you have missed the point of this book. If you don't "do this book" then you're also ruling out free thinking, evaluating, you are ignoring the prospect of broadening your mind and this book misses all the negatives of the original. That is the religion, the dictatorship and the laws.

How about the footnote argument? Those that put this book down because you don't know where the sources come from. This is probably the only valid argument I have witnessed, and it can still be crushed. If you read a book so you can source it, why aren't you reading the books they come from? Shouldn't this book be taken as what it is, not a "mash of philosophers" but a careful documentation of philosophers greatest works, ordered into a book that can speak to us. If he put the footnotes in the book it would be three times bigger than what it is. If online, you'd be sat there with your book in front of the laptop, looking up who wrote it, when and why, when you should be focusing on the book itself, not the footnotes. You will be endlessly distracted and this is not what Grayling intended.

Do not compare it to the original KJV. It's not meant as a comparison, it's meant as another option, maybe even to be read alongside it. This book is what you make of it. I do not like Dawkins, I am a Christian, it grabs me. To those that do not like this book because they have read it, analysed it and reached a conclusion, well done. You are free thinking and made a decision according to beliefs, which is the purpose of this book, so you unconsciously agree with the direction of this book. I feel everyone must try it though, there is a lot to be gained.

Oh and there is no way I'll be replying to comments of annoyance and frustration from angry haters of the books whom I may have offended. This is all just my opinion. Enjoy.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2012 06:55:09 GMT
Edelbee says:
Bravo! A well written, balanced and very helpful review.

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 22:12:26 BDT
A wonderful review , sir . Thank you . Very informative and elegantly expressed . Candid .

I am very curious about one thing though . You said you were a Christian ? Would you mind educating me as to how your clear intellectual capacity resides in harmony with your Christian religious beliefs ?

Please understand , this is not meant derogatorily; rather , I am interested to understand how they reside together within you .

Thank You .
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