Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0

Alain de Botton 

An interesting acknowledgement of the organisational and educative strengths of religion in its relation to personal fulfilment and society. Alain de Botton suggests that the western world may have ventured too far in its assertion of personal freedom, implying that this is not coextensive with wisdom. There are yet things to be learned from such practices as ritual discipline,nor should the didactic or instructive dimensions of art and science be ignored. I am reminded, somehow, of the Rabelaisian maxim “Guide de Dieu et compagnie d’homme” and also that I should return to my reading of George Steiner, whose analysis of the problems entailed by post-modernism I find particularly compelling, since it chimes with my own reflections, albeit more eloquently.

Children will be banned from buying energy drinks under plans announced by Theresa May to tackle disruptive behaviour in classrooms.

This gesture of commitment to the welfare of young people might look a little more convincing if it were set within the context of a broader coherent policy of protective intervention, extending to such areas as the restriction of sales of smartphones for use by minors. The implementation of a policy excluding them from schools (the smartphones, not the minors, at least not yet…), such as that already courageously set in place in France, might entail tangible benefits. Certain schools (I am sure this is not true for all) also appear to have thrown in the towel with regard to responsible regulation of the sale of junk food and drinks, the battle against the dominion of social media and instruction in what constitutes basic good sense. Young people deserve more confident guidance than this and adults should have the courage to provide it. LJ

The Daily Telegraph: Energy drinks ban for children to tackle disruptive behaviour in class



Dans la masse de la littérature dédiée au parcours victorieux de l’équipe de France, que n’avons-nous pas lu ? Dans le flot des paroles dites, à cet effet, à travers la télévision et la radio, que n’avons-nous pas entendu ?
— Read on