News

Atheist professor writes secular Bible

Pin it

British philosopher A.C. Grayling has "made" a recently-published tome called The Good Book: A Humanist Bible, subtitled A Secular Bible in the U.K., and it's bound to have people talking. Drawing on over a thousand texts, Grayling has stitched together a moral and ethical primer that aims to improve our lives and relationships at the expense of an overarching deity.

Looking towards philosophers, novelists, and poets to provide rational instruction in lieu of a unilateral appeal to divine insight, the atheist Grayling, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, emphasizes that his almost-600-page book is not meant to be a challenge to religion. "It's not part of a quarrel. It's a modest offering… another contribution to the conversation that mankind must have with itself," he said.

Grayling has been called a "velvet atheist," or one who is more palatable than certain other celebrity atheists known for their combativeness, and you can see it in the nice, watered-down prescriptions of his secular-humanist Ten Commandments:

"Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."

What, no heal thyself and be prepared? If you combine those with John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, you can basically transcend self-actualization. Seeing as The Good Book is rapidly climbing Amazon U.K.'s bestseller list, it appears that a good number of people are amenable to claiming their eternal reward in the here and now.