“The Philosophers Corner” Message Board › ALAIN DE BOTTON: RELIGION FOR ATHEISTS
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Yesterday evening, we were delighted by the very insightful ideas about religion that Alain De Botton has brought to Australia.
His presentation explained about many of the aspects that from a modern perspective cannot be denied about the nature of religion and how it has progressively been replaced by other forms of belief, he calls this phenomena “Culture versus Scripture”. He commented on how to overcome the fears that some people have about traditional religions having less followers and answered some questions about these religions being substituted by other beliefs that could be more harmful to society. However he shared his hope that this kind of paranoia is unjustified and that it may not be the case. He said that the general population tend to retain good values such as love, altruism, care for others, participation in social activities and these values tend to be promoted even more in our social reunions. This message from Alain has an important aim of calming down the generalised feeling of anxiety that things are going to be wrong when actually we try to implement a change for the better. He explained that societies in fact have a tendency for gathering and socialising and that they promote the general benefit for their members. He added though that we can still pick and select the beneficial actions from different religions without having to be constricted to practise their rituals and dogmas.
About the question of God, Alain explained that this should not be considered the core of the problem when we face the real nature of life itself and whether religions have an answer for our purpose in life. The reason why is that people don’t scape the vicious circle of blaming each other and attacking each other on the basis of practising this or that belief, or the criticism between believers and atheists that consequently provoke the typical conflicts in history which have lead no where but to disaster.
Alain presents with excellent communications skills, which is always a pleasure to your ears, uses a very easy to understand style, free of complex dialectics, and employs a logic that it is good enough to comment and clarify issues about life itself, taking into account that all of this is not a simple task according to Alain.
He may not use very deep thinking in his philosophy to reflect on traditional topics that are still unresolved nowadays like dualism, existence, matter and energy, spiritualism, nominalism versus realism and how these matters are interconnected or argued by opposed philosophical fashions. In his views about the purpose of life he employs a broad knowledge and a very general and eclectic approach to deal with life matters that apply to us. He is a hard worker and you can see the product of his effort of writing and reading an average of 16 hours a day. He is a researcher and has found many valid answers that explain better than dogmas the purpose of life.
Many thanks to Alain De Botton for such a good and entertaining night at the Opera House.