How can you be a militant atheist? It’s like sleeping furiously – AC Grayling


The philosopher, AC Grayling, was interviewed in last Sunday’s  Guardian about his new book, “The Good Book: A Secular Bible”.  You really should read both the interview, and of course the book itself. To temp you, here is a small extract from the interview:


The Good Book mirrors the Bible in both form and language, and is, as its author says, “ambitious and hubristic – a distillation of the best that has been thought and said by people who’ve really experienced life, and thought about it”. Drawing on classical secular texts from east and west, Grayling has “done just what the Bible makers did with the sacred texts”, reworking them into a “great treasury of insight and consolation and inspiration and uplift and understanding in the great non-religious traditions of the world”. He has been working on his opus for several decades, and the result is an extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought.


Who does he think will read The Good Book? “Well, I’m hoping absolutely every human being on the planet.” He’s sure that a lot of people will wonder just who he thinks he is, to have written a bible, but doesn’t appear particularly troubled by this prospect. “The truth is that the book is very modestly done. My wife did give me a card,” he giggles, “that said, ‘I used to be an atheist until I realised I am God’. And I know that on Monty Pythonesque grounds there’s a good likelihood that in five centuries time I will be one, as a result of this.” He lets out another little chuckle. “But I certainly don’t feel like one now, that’s for sure.”

“And besides, really,” he adds with a withering little laugh, “how can you be a militant atheist? How can you be militant non-stamp collector? This is really what it comes down to. You just don’t collect stamps. So how can you be a fundamentalist non-stamp collector? It’s like sleeping furiously. It’s just wrong.”

Tempted to read more? If so, then here is the link to the full article.

However, if his book is of interest, then here is the link to it on Amazon in the UK, and also the Amazon US version.

And no I don’t get a cut if you buy a copy, i simply think it truly is a good book

Oh and least you wonder who Grayling is, well let me give you the quick summary. He is the author of 30 books, also a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College in London, and a supernumerary of St Anne’s College, Oxford, as well as a UN human rights activist. But he is probably best described by that phrase that tends to make the British uncomfortable – a public intellectual and an atheist.

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