‘Good Book’ aims to help readers better themselves

March 28, 2012

By Josh Oldham | Ranger Reporter

THE TASK of putting together a book that instructs the mind and uplifts the spirit is difficult at best, but writer and philosopher A.C. Grayling set out to do just that.

The result of his work is The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.

Grayling created his “Good Book” by collecting secular works from around the world and putting them together in a format that mimics the Bible and other religious texts in the form of its writing and the divisions of its books and verses.

In it, the reader can find the words of authors such as Cicero, Kant and Confucius.

Although the book is referred to as a humanist bible, it is not in any way a mockery of the Christians’ holy book.

The book itself lacks any mention of God or any appeal for worship on the part of the author or his world view.

Instead, The Good Book attempts to be a positive volume, stressing the values of hard work, intelligence and rational thought.

It is devoid of dogma and urges the reader instead to lead an examined life.

While any person reading The Good Book will not find any mention of God or any desire to create a new religion within its pages, the book still has sparked some outrage at its “arrogant” claim to be another Bible.

While The Good Book looks like it is trying to replace the Bible, the methods of instruction used in the two books greatly differ.

Where the Bible uses commands and demands to move its readers to a better life, The Good Book makes use of a more gentle instruction. It advises and teaches through parables, proverbs and logic.

While some of the words used in The Good Book can be difficult to grasp for the less experienced reader, the language and tone used make up for the intimidating word choice.

It is written in poetic way. Its wording is beautiful, and its verses are simple and to the point.

Its chapter/books begin with Genesis and move through books like Songs, Histories and Proverbs before ending with a book titled “The Good.”

Each verse carries with it a hint of warmth along with its lesson or reflection.

With its appeal to logic and intelligence, The Good Book aims to achieve the goal of helping its readers to better themselves.

Whether you are a philosopher, a person looking for an interesting read, a theist hoping to poke a hole in the humanist argument or a humanist looking for a bit of advice, The Good Book is an excellent, even if long, book to take a look at.

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