The Good Book: A Humanit Bible—- has anyone else read?
Posted: 25 June 2014 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The book is a Humanist Bible, written by AC Grayling in the editorial style of the Bible or Quran.

I’m personally deriving great pleasure from reading what is, in essence, a philosopher’s Bible.  It reads like scripture and contains the philosophical books of Genesis, Wisdom, Parables, Concord (on friendship), Lamentations, Consolations, Sages, Songs, Histories, Proverbs, The Lawgiver, Acts, Epistles, and The Good.

The Humanist Bible makes no mention of Gods or the supernatural. It focuses, instead, on wholesome philosophy and on the value of wisdom traditions. It also does not cite its sources, so it’s not for people in the academic world who are concerned about such things. It’s meant to be used as scripture in liturgy (Humanist weddings, funerals, etc.) or for inspiration and study of philosophy and in the development of our own wisdom traditions. Here are some quotes:

“The first inquirers named nature’s elements atoms, matter, seeds, primal bodies, and understood that they are coeval with the world; They saw that nothing comes from nothing, so that discovering the elements reveals how the things of nature exist and evolve. Fear holds dominion over people when they understand little, and need simple stories and legends to comfort and explain; But legends and the ignorance that give them birth are a house of limitation and darkness. Knowledge is freedom, freedom from ignorance and its offspring fear; knowledge is light and liberation.” - Genesis 2:7-11

Who lies down with dogs will rise with fleas. - Proverbs 34:8

Each chapter in Proverbs deals with a specific subject. I was very surprised to find many aspects of Epicurean cosmology in the book of Genesis, which teaches a naturalist version of the Biblical Genesis, including the Epicurean doctrine that “nothing comes from nothing”.

My favorite books were Parables, which reads like a philosophical 1001 Nights, and the Lawmaker which is a complete introductory course in the philosophy of leadership and gives a LOT of useful and pragmatic advise on tact, on alliances, on delegating tasks, strategy, etc.

The Good Book, again, is HUGE and meant for inspiration; reading it is a long-term task. It won’t be read in one sitting. (There’s a Good Book study group on atheist nexus but it’s not too active)

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Posted: 25 June 2014 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t know, but if I decide to read philosophy, I’d just as soon go back to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, etc., then pick up some histories like the one by Bertrand Russell, rather than something trying to twist reason out of the bible.

Occam

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Posted: 25 June 2014 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam. - 25 June 2014 04:59 PM

I don’t know, but if I decide to read philosophy, I’d just as soon go back to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, etc., then pick up some histories like the one by Bertrand Russell, rather than something trying to twist reason out of the bible.

Occam

Thats not really what hes doing ... the Good Book makes absolutely no mention of the Bible or any religious figure, its strictly secular.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A pig wearing earrings is still a pig.

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Posted: 03 July 2014 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Handydan - 25 June 2014 10:06 PM

A pig wearing earrings is still a pig.

I think you’d better check him out first. Your comment implies he’s just trying to make the bible acceptable. Not true at all, as even a quick look at this website will tell you. This guy seems to be sort of a Bart Ehrman of philosophy and religion…i.e. a good guy, not a bad guy parading around as a good guy.

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Posted: 03 July 2014 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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CuthbertJ - 03 July 2014 09:54 AM
Handydan - 25 June 2014 10:06 PM

A pig wearing earrings is still a pig.

I think you’d better check him out first. Your comment implies he’s just trying to make the bible acceptable. Not true at all, as even a quick look at this website will tell you. This guy seems to be sort of a Bart Ehrman of philosophy and religion…i.e. a good guy, not a bad guy parading around as a good guy.

Thank you!

http://thgdbk.net/ has quotes and samples of the work that AC Grayling has done, with many quotes from the Humanist Bible.

Also, I’m a big believer that non-religious people need wisdom traditions also and need philosophical hygiene, we need ways to cope with difficulties, death, change, joblessness, how to create a pleasant life, how to discern between true friends and false ones, and other ethical questions. That’s why I prefer the label Epicurean over ‘atheist’ - a mostly political identity which says absolutely nothing about one’s values or what one stands for.

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Posted: 03 July 2014 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No time to read the thread, but I have the book and just barely cracked it. I like the first few dozens pages. A review once said that if you are familiar with the classics, you will recognize much of it. I guess I’m not familiar with the classics.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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What is the equivalent of the “book of exodus” in the humanist bible?

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Posted: 05 July 2014 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 05 July 2014 10:27 AM

What is the equivalent of the “book of exodus” in the humanist bible?

There isn’t one but in the history of humanism, there is an exodus narrative from when Epicurus was exiled from the island of Lesbos, from the city of Mitylene by the Platonists. Epicurus shipwrecked and nearly died, ending up in Lampsacus where he established the first Epicurean school.

If Athens was the Mecca of this prophet, Lampsacus was his Medina. - William Wallace

The narrative of exile is somewhat reminiscent of Muhammad and Moses and Rama in religious folklore, but his philosophy was naturalist and atomist and anti superstition.

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