Bantam £8.99 (212pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
The Book of Atheist Spirtuality, By André Comte-Sponville
Friday 18 December 2009
This work by a former professor at the Sorbonne disproves the view that French philosophy is impossibly opaque. Compte-Sponville deftly demolishes three classical arguments that God must exist. Typical is his squashing of the ontological argument (a perfect being must have the quality of existence): "How could a definition possibly prove an existence?"
His assertions are elegant – "Believing in God always amounts to trying to explain something we do not understand (the universe, life) by something we understand even less (God)". If the assertion of spirituality without God is as trite as any religious text ("Infinite peace! Simplicity, serenity, delight"), it is refreshing to read an atheist who declines to scoff at believers.
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