Good Book to Read: “Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion”

Recently, I have been reading the book “Religion for Atheists” by Alain de Botton. In this book, there are many ideas speaking to the social conflicts between religious communities and the nonreligious ones. Here is something I find very interesting/inspiring in the first chapter.

 

“Secular society has been unfairly impoverished by the loss of an array of practices and themes which atheists typically find it impossible to live with because they seem too closely associated with, to quote Nietzsche’s useful phrase, ‘the bad odours of religion’. We have grown frightened of the word morality. We bridle at the thought of hearing a sermon. We flee from the idea that art should be uplifting or have an ethical mission. We don’t go on pilgrimages. We can’t build temples. We have no mechanisms for expressing gratitude. The notion of reading a self-help book has become absurd to the high-minded. We resist mental exercises. Strangers rarely sing together. We are presented with an unpleasant choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a hose of consoling, subtle or just charming rituals for which we struggle to find equivalents in secular society.”

 

If you’re an atheist who is interested in religions, this book might be a good start.