RELIGION FOR ATHEISTS A NON BELIEVERS GUIDE TO THE USES OF RELIGION

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Religion For Atheists

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780307907103
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88.43 MB
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What if religions are neither all true nor all nonsense? The long-running and often boring debate between fundamentalist believers and non-believers is finally moved forward by Alain de Botton’s inspiring new book, which boldly argues that the supernatural claims of religion are entirely false—but that it still has some very important things to teach the secular world. Religion for Atheists suggests that rather than mocking religion, agnostics and atheists should instead steal from it—because the world’s religions are packed with good ideas on how we might live and arrange our societies. Blending deep respect with total impiety, de Botton (a non-believer himself) proposes that we look to religion for insights into how to, among other concerns, build a sense of community, make our relationships last, overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy, inspire travel and reconnect with the natural world. For too long non-believers have faced a stark choice between either swallowing some peculiar doctrines or doing away with a range of consoling and beautiful rituals and ideas. At last, in Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton has fashioned a far more interesting and truly helpful alternative.
Category: Philosophy

Religion For Atheists

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780771025990
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 86.8 MB
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From the author of The Architecture of Happiness, a deeply moving meditation on how we can still benefit, without believing, from the wisdom, the beauty, and the consolatory power that religion has to offer. Alain de Botton was brought up in a committedly atheistic household, and though he was powerfully swayed by his parents' views, he underwent, in his mid-twenties, a crisis of faithlessness. His feelings of doubt about atheism had their origins in listening to Bach's cantatas, were further developed in the presence of certain Bellini Madonnas, and became overwhelming with an introduction to Zen architecture. However, it was not until his father's death -- buried under a Hebrew headstone in a Jewish cemetery because he had intriguingly omitted to make more secular arrangements -- that Alain began to face the full degree of his ambivalence regarding the views of religion that he had dutifully accepted. Why are we presented with the curious choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a host of consoling, subtle and effective rituals and practices for which there is no equivalent in secular society? Why do we bristle at the mention of the word "morality"? Flee from the idea that art should be uplifting, or have an ethical purpose? Why don't we build temples? What mechanisms do we have for expressing gratitude? The challenge that de Botton addresses in his book: how to separate ideas and practices from the religious institutions that have laid claim to them. In Religion for Atheists is an argument to free our soul-related needs from the particular influence of religions, even if it is, paradoxically, the study of religion that will allow us to rediscover and rearticulate those needs. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Philosophy

Religion For Atheists

Author : Alain de Botton
ISBN : 9780141937601
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 32.70 MB
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Alain de Botton's Religion for Atheists looks at the God debate with fresh eyes All of us, whether religious, agnostic or atheist, are searching for meaning. And in this wise and life-affirming book, non-believer Alain de Botton both rejects the supernatural claims of the major religions and points out just how many good ideas they sometimes have about how we should live. And he suggests that non-believers can learn and steal from them. Picking and choosing from the thousands of years of advice assembled by the world's great religions, Alain de Botton presents a range of fascinating ideas and practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death. He shows how they can be of use to us all, irrespective of whether we do or don't believe. In the Sunday Times top-ten bestseller Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton takes us one step further than Dawkins and Hitchens have ventured and into a world of ideas beyond the God debate... 'A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live' Jeanette Winterson, The Times 'A beautiful, inspiring book . . . offering a glimpse of a more enlightened path' Sunday Telegraph 'Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action' Independent 'Smart, stimulating, sensitive. A timely and perceptive appreciation of how much wisdom is embodied in religious traditions and how we godless moderns might learn from it' Financial Times 'There isn't a page in this book that doesn't contain a striking idea or a stimulating parallel' Mail on Sunday 'Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action' Independent
Category: Philosophy

The News A User S Manual

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780307911728
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76.24 MB
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The news is everywhere. We can’t stop constantly checking it on our computer screens, but what is this doing to our minds? We are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, writes Alain de Botton (author of the best-selling The Architecture of Happiness), but this has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. In his dazzling new book, de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories—including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview and a political scandal—and submits them to unusually intense analysis with a view to helping us navigate our news-soaked age. He raises such questions as Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring? In The News: A User’s Manual, de Botton has written the ultimate guide for our frenzied era, certain to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily (perhaps even hourly) interactions with the news machine. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Social Science

A Week At The Airport

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780771026287
Genre : Travel
File Size : 79.78 MB
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The bestselling author of The Architecture of Happiness and The Art of Travel spends a week at an airport in a wittily intriguing meditation on the "non-place" that he believes is the centre of our civilization. In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton was invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever writer-in-residence. Given unprecedented, unrestricted access to wander around one of the world's busiest airports, he met travellers from all over the globe, and spoke with everyone from baggage handlers to pilots, and senior executives to the airport chaplain. Based on these conversations he has produced this extraordinary meditation on the nature of travel, work, relationships, and our daily lives. Working with the renowned documentary photographer Richard Baker, he explores the magical and the mundane, and the interactions of travellers and workers all over this familiar but mysterious "non-place," which by definition we are eager to leave. Taking the reader through departures, "air-side," and the arrivals hall, de Botton shows with his usual combination of wit and wisdom that spending time in an airport can be more revealing than we might think. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Travel

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780307833495
Genre : Humor
File Size : 34.85 MB
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Alain de Botton combines two unlikely genres--literary biography and self-help manual--in the hilarious and unexpectedly practical How Proust Can Change Your Life. Who would have thought that Marcel Proust, one of the most important writers of our century, could provide us with such a rich source of insight into how best to live life? Proust understood that the essence and value of life was the sum of its everyday parts. As relevant today as they were at the turn of the century, Proust's life and work are transformed here into a no-nonsense guide to, among other things, enjoying your vacation, reviving a relationship, achieving original and unclichéd articulation, being a good host, recognizing love, and understanding why you should never sleep with someone on a first date. It took de Botton to find the inspirational in Proust's essays, letters and fiction and, perhaps even more surprising, to draw out a vivid and clarifying portrait of the master from between the lines of his work. Here is Proust as we have never seen or read him before: witty, intelligent, pragmatic. He might well change your life.
Category: Humor

The Architecture Of Happiness

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9781551993874
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 69.48 MB
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Bestselling author Alain de Botton considers how our private homes and public edifices influence how we feel, and how we could build dwellings in which we would stand a better chance of happiness. In this witty, erudite look at how we shape, and are shaped by, our surroundings, Alain de Botton applies Stendhal’s motto that “Beauty is the promise of happiness” to the spaces we inhabit daily. Why should we pay attention to what architecture has to say to us? de Botton asks provocatively. With his trademark lucidity and humour, de Botton traces how human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture, from stately Classical to minimalist Modern, arguing that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and the qualities it desperately lacks. On an individual level, de Botton has deep sympathy for our need to see our selves reflected in our surroundings; he demonstrates with great wisdom how buildings — just like friends — can serve as guardians of our identity. Worrying about the shape of our sofa or the colour of our walls might seem self-indulgent, but de Botton considers the hopes and fears we have for our homes at a new level of depth and insight. When shopping for furniture or remodelling the kitchen, we don’t just consider functionality but also the major questions of aesthetics and the philosophy of art: What is beauty? Can beautiful surroundings make us good? Can beauty bring happiness? The buildings we find beautiful, de Botton concludes, are those that represent our ideas of a meaningful life. The Architecture of Happiness marks a return to what Alain does best — taking on a subject whose allure is at once tantalizing and a little forbidding and offering to readers a completely beguiling and original exploration of the subject. As he did with Proust, philosophy, and travel, now he does with architecture. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Philosophy

The Pleasures And Sorrows Of Work

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780771026324
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 39.98 MB
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From the international bestselling author of The Architecture of Happiness and How Proust Can Change Your Life comes this lyrical, erudite look at our world of work. We spend most of our time at work, but what we do there rarely gets discussed in the sort of lyrical and descriptive prose our efforts surely deserve. Determined to correct this lapse, armed with a poetic perspective and his trademark philosophical sharpness, Alain de Botton heads out into the world of offices and factories, ready to take in the beauty, interest, and sheer strangeness of the modern workplace. De Botton spends time in and around some less familiar work environments, including warehouses, container ports, rocket launch pads, and power stations, and follows scientists, landscape painters, accountants, cookie manufacturers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and aircraft salesmen as they do their jobs. Along the way, de Botton tries to answer some of the most urgent questions we can pose about work: Why do we do it? What makes it pleasurable? What is its meaning? To what end do we daily exhaust not only ourselves but also our planet? Equally intrigued by work’s pleasures and its pains, Alain de Botton offers a characteristically lucid and witty tour of the working day and night, in a book sure to inspire a range of life-changing and wise thoughts. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Philosophy

The Consolations Of Philosophy

Author : Alain De Botton
ISBN : 9780307833501
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 78.95 MB
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From the author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, a delightful, truly consoling work that proves that philosophy can be a supreme source of help for our most painful everyday problems. Perhaps only Alain de Botton could uncover practical wisdom in the writings of some of the greatest thinkers of all time. But uncover he does, and the result is an unexpected book of both solace and humor. Dividing his work into six sections -- each highlighting a different psychic ailment and the appropriate philosopher -- de Botton offers consolation for unpopularity from Socrates, for not having enough money from Epicurus, for frustration from Seneca, for inadequacy from Montaigne, and for a broken heart from Schopenhauer (the darkest of thinkers and yet, paradoxically, the most cheering). Consolation for envy -- and, of course, the final word on consolation -- comes from Nietzsche: "Not everything which makes us feel better is good for us." This wonderfully engaging book will, however, make us feel better in a good way, with equal measures of wit and wisdom.
Category: Philosophy

The Face Of God

Author : Roger Scruton
ISBN : 9780826432070
Genre : Religion
File Size : 41.46 MB
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Roger Scruton explores the place of God in a disenchanted world. His argument is a response to the atheist culture that is now growing around us, and also a defence of human uniqueness. He rebuts the claim that there is no meaning or purpose in the natural world, and argues that the sacred and the transcendental are 'real presences', through which human beings come to know themselves and to find both their freedom and their redemption. In the human face we find a paradigm of meaning. And from this experience, Scruton argues, we both construct the face of the world, and address the face of God. We find in the face both the proof of our freedom and the mark of self-consciousness. One of the motivations of the atheist culture is to escape from the eye of judgement. You escape from the eye of judgement by blotting out the face: and this, Scruton argues, is the most disturbing aspect of the times in which we live. In his wide-ranging argument Scruton explains the growing sense of destruction that we feel, as the habits of pleasure seeking and consumerism deface the world. His book defends a consecrated world against the habit of desecration, and offers a vision of the religious way of life in a time of trial.
Category: Religion