Concerned primarily with questions of ethics and the good live, learned, “extravagantly erudite”, dog-loving and not at all vain. The philosopher AC Grayling, announced this morning as new President of the British Humanist Association, speaks to the Guardian about this new book, The Good Book : A Secular Bible. Is it his own God Delusion or God is Not Great, the Guardian asks?
“No, because it’s not against religion. There’s not one occurrence of the word God, or afterlife, or anything like that. It doesn’t attack religion, it’s a positive book, there’s nothing negative in it. People may think it’s against religion – but it isn’t.” But then he says, with a mischievous twinkle: “Of course, what would really help the book a lot in America is if somebody tries to shoot me.”
With any luck it shouldn’t come to that, but Grayling is almost certainly going to upset a lot of Christians, for what he has written is a secular bible. 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.
In fact everything about Grayling is extravagantly erudite. We meet at his south London home, where he sits surrounded by teetering piles of books, great leaning towers of learning, and the conversation frequently detours into donnish tutorial mode. Spotting me glance at one of the volumes, which bears the title Epiphenomenalism, he launches at once into a detailed explanation of the concept – but then breaks off in delight as his dog trots in and rolls at his feet.
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/03/grayling-good-book-atheism-philosophy
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]New BHA President AC Grayling on his secular “Good Book”,