April 1, 2012
Alain de Botton probably has an inaccurate picture of the character of God since he wants the trappings of religion but without God.
Someone with "no intuitive sense of the presence of the divine" who can identify religion as a source of community and ethics and comfort may be, as Jesus said "not far from the kingdom." It takes a certain humility for an athiest to appreciate the value of religious practices and to long for " a space where ego is stilled and put into a wider context." Perhaps some atheists are too egotistical or, like Dawkins, are too financially and professionally invested in being atheists, to repond with objectively. Kinda ironic.
Interesting. Management of the aesthetic, of the symbolic to reproduce the benefits of the religious without the metaphysical encumbrances or the dogmatic choices that traditional religion entails. This isn't uncommon in the least in my experience. People do it all the time. This is the way to be a religious secularist. See this interesting piece on Buddhism's New Rationalists. http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/10/a-difficult-pill-the-problem-with-stephen-batchelor-and-buddhismâ€™s-new-rationalists/
Difficulties arise however, when one is forced out of a comfortable space where religion is simply part of the entertainment buffet that the affluent west offers. What happens when you fully face you life and death of the sun and the heat death of the entire universe, or just a divorce or crippling illness.
Add your comment to join the discussion!