The GOOD Book

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In a YouTube video at the Sydney Writers Festival, Grayling responded to criticisms of the Good Book stating, "some of the reviews have been hysterically hostile". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April Retrieved 27 February Accessed 1 August December First Things. Archived from the original on 15 December After reading this book off and on for the past 6 months I decided to start my first read through of it. I have to say that this book is one of the few that has gotten me incredibly exited and profoundly changed my outlook on life for the better.

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I am forever the cynic, a complete pessimist. I often tend to gravitate toward literature, statistics, and news that just reinforces my belief that humanity is utterly flawed and completely horrible to the core. Consequently, it was refreshing to read t After reading this book off and on for the past 6 months I decided to start my first read through of it.

Consequently, it was refreshing to read this and see a bright, loving way of viewing the world. I describe myself as a transhumanist, so the philosophy is closely aligned with my own, but I would recommend this to anyone of any stripe. First off, it is written by Grayling is probably one of my favorite modern philosophers. When I say written, I mean more or less compiled by, as the book is mostly made up of ideas gleaned and gathered from a luscious flock of historical figures, philosophers, and greats.

It is written and compiled in the eloquent tradition of a King James Bible which adds to its charm and makes it a delight to read.

The Good Book

The book is written beautifully and compiled even more beautifully. Each section book, if you wish to stick to Biblical nomenclature is named intuitively and covers a broad range of topics. Starting your journey you encounter a Genesis account where scientific discovery and Newtonian intelligence takes the lead--not myth and fairy tales. You ease your way past a book of basic wisdoms and fundamentals of being a good person before encountering the back to back specials of Lamentations and Consolations: Two of a kind that explain sorrows and joys in a lovely manner.

This is followed by books of parables, sages, and songs before trotting into the enormous book of "Histories. Beyond this we have a titillating book of Proverbs dealing with personal life, before moving into a book of law: A stunning discourse on sociology and government and how it fits into our lives. The last several books are delightful, eloquent discourses that take all the knowledge and apply it in a loving fashion, giving you an ultimatum to live life to the fullest.

This is not a bible of angry patriarchs begrudging sinful wrongdoings.

This is a bible for good people by good people. It doesn't concern itself with how or why we are moral beings or any of the other philosophical or scientific droll we are so used to debating, but rather it lifts up upon its shoulders the good in humanity and how we may attain it.

Tim Minchin — The Good Book (Unofficial)

Forget the gears and grease: This is a manual for living a healthy, loving, good and moral life. Five stars all the way around!

The Good Book can't be bettered

View all 5 comments. Apr 14, Preston Page is currently reading it. This page book is written in the same format as the Bible with the modern numbering of sections of the bible. The books chap This page book is written in the same format as the Bible with the modern numbering of sections of the bible.

One of my favorites in Genesis was Chapter In a sense this book is a kind of benchmark. It encapsulates many excellent examples of secular norms and values which could very well stand for true and excellent human values suitable for any walk of life, without succumbing to the usually more punitive values espoused by many religions. Graylings sources are many and varied, and global in their extent. Grayling uses a style and format which mimics the so-called sacred books of other religions, often more of less randomly splitting up the texts into chapters and neat verses — a style I personally did not respond to readily, especially in the more narrative Histories and Acts sections, for example.

I found this approach continuously interrupted the flow of the stories, and created a kind of compulsive drive which I think could have been tempered by the judicious addition of more headings to separate more or less distinct sections. It also made me realise how traditional Bibles, by adopting this very late method of accessing their writings, can make individual verses take on more 'significance' than they would normally justify.

Seeing the movie doesn’t count! If you skimmed these in school, take a closer, grownup look.

Personally, I would also have preferred a more annotated text as well, and I believe the book would benefit with a comprehensive Index of subjects and subject matters for easier access. Perhaps these are things future editors could furnish… Regardless, there are wonderful descriptions of life and living on earth, of tender consolations, of songs of joy and sadness, of solid advice, on dealing with adversities, on being, well, human.

The sad part of all of this, however, is that, just like any similar book, whether religious or not, which provides such wisdom and understanding, it will not be read by the many who should read it, but find it 'boring' but rather by a few dedicated persons who have meditated on life and understand its beauty and sadness, and can respond to the writings of global writers on how to live a good life. The latter, of course, do not need a book such as this: they live it. But it doesn't matter. The real benefit of this work lies in its existence. When religiously minded people who believe and constantly refer to that belief in their diatribes against Atheists, for example that there can be no sense of good and evil, no morality and no good life without their or another type of religion, one can now reply quite calmly: 'Read Grayling's "The Good Book".

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Apr 28, Jennifer Johnson rated it it was amazing. As the book is structured like The Bible, this may take me a while to read, but I'm enjoying the eloquent language and mediations on life and wisdom I have read thus far. A couple verses I particularly appreciated are: "The wise would rather be least among the best than first among the worst: As they have said, be rather a tail to a lion than a head to a jackal. Of such wisdom, the poetic pas As the book is structured like The Bible, this may take me a while to read, but I'm enjoying the eloquent language and mediations on life and wisdom I have read thus far.

Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire for beauty, the love of art, the desire for knowledge for its own sake and the sake of human good has most. To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. View 1 comment.

Dec 08, Denise is currently reading it Shelves: non-fiction , philosophy. A philosophy mash up. I don't mind the scripture feel, however, not knowing who said what, when, and under what historical context, is slightly annoying. Also happens to be one of my complaints about religious scripture. Thus far, at Lamentations. I am enjoying the writing with one caveat. From my personal point of view, with a rewrite, it would be nice to have less male centric vocabulary.

It is already being taken out of context and distanced from its authors, why not update the lan A philosophy mash up. It is already being taken out of context and distanced from its authors, why not update the language to be more gender inclusive? For a Humanist bible, as a female, I am feeling a little left out.

The wise change their minds when facts and experience so demand. The fool either does not hear or does not heed.


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An emotion that opens the mind to contemplate several aspects of things at once is better than one that fixes thought to an obsession. To be free of the fear of one's own death is to be free indeed. Thus say to yourself, 'Whatever happens, it is in my control to derive advantage from it, even if only to learn how to bear misfortune. How long will you delay to be wise? Go to the illusionists, then, and leave philosophers in peace!

At any rate, do not ask us to accommodate our doctrines to your hopes. That is what those rascals of illusion will do for you. Ask them for any doctrine you please, and you will get it. View 2 comments. Apr 15, Thomas Quinn rated it did not like it. Grayling tries exhaustively to bring biblical richness to the cause of secular philosophy--a laudable goal. But even to this skeptic, his book is dry and sleep-inducing.

It's too self-consciously biblical in flavor and structure, and it uses tales from ancient Athens as moral fables akin to those in the Old Testament. I liked perusing through the Proverbs.


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  7. But the overall project, despite it's wi A. But the overall project, despite it's wide ranging sources of inspiration, comes off as pretty lame stuff. It feels like a bland collection of Confucian aphorisms.