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.

I’m not quite sure how convincing this is. It concerns a scientific analysis of the conflicting claims of Lennon and McCartney to authorship of certain songs that will soon have sunk into oblivion. Who finances this research?

It is difficult to imagine that such research can attract financial support, given the competition for funds from far more worthwhile fields of human endeavour. It can only be imputable to a kind of infatuation, I infer, notwithstanding the ephemeral charm of certain of their songs. LJ