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The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality (edition 2007)

by Andre Comte-Sponville, Nancy Huston (Translator)

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4231325,018 (3.69)9
Member:FiskeMiles
Title:The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality
Authors:Andre Comte-Sponville
Other authors:Nancy Huston (Translator)
Info:Viking Adult (2007), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:philosophy

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The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by André Comte-Sponville

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» See also 9 mentions

English (11)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Innegabilmente le prime due parti sono interessanti, e Compte-Sponville fa quello che gli riesce bene: riassume, sintetizza, con grande conoscenza delle parole che definiscono concetti, e arriva diretto la' dove deve andare.
La terza parte è il festival dei chiasmi e più che una sintesi sembra una scopiazzatura dai testi di filosofia orientale, e un po' di Coelho. Il sito della UAAR da' decisamente ipotesi di spiritualità laica piu' interessanti. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Surprisingly, this book provides precisely what the title promises. It’s in three parts:

I. Can we do without religion?

II. Does God exist?

III. Can there be an atheist spirituality?

In Part I, Andre argues that humanity survives on the same moral, spiritual, and cultural values that religion cultivates, but that religion itself is unnecessary. Religion doesn’t provide the basis for our morals, but rather our morals provide the basis for religion. We do have a foundational need for our spiritual well-being, but Andre shows these basic needs to be communion, fidelity, and love … of which atheists can partake without entering a church building.

Part II you may skip with no feelings of regret. It’s a rehash of various arguments against God, and refutations of the common arguments for God, and there is not enough depth nor originality here to bother with.

Part III makes up for the lazy part II, by exposing both the smallness and the awesomeness of our being. Just staring at the stars is a religious experience. Sensing nature in all its immensity helps the spirit break free, at least partially, of the tiny prison of the self. What a relief, when the ego is driven away and nothing remains but the All, the enormous thereness of being!

Why would you need a God? The universe suffices. Why would you need a church? The world suffices. Why would you need faith? Experience suffices. Says Andre, “the certainty that you cannot fall out of the universe, the sense of being at one with the All … never have I experienced anything more powerful, more delightful, more overwhelming and more soothing.”

It turns out that atheist spirituality is as experiential and meaningful as promised, but the training course may be more cerebral than fulfilling. You have to dive below the surface or get trapped in a head bubble, trying to “oppose sophistry with rationalism and nihilism with humanism” or some such similar commandment. I suppose that’s a struggle with any worthwhile philosophy.

Fun book, written with wit and intelligence, and which does indeed titillate your spiritual side without looking to God. ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Feb 18, 2014 |
I thought I was agnostic, but it seems like I'm probably an atheist after all.

A thought-provoking book, although at the beginning it is sometimes simply provoking. However, the author makes it clear that he's not a "God-basher," and the tone of the book is all the better for it. ( )
1 vote Michael.Rimmer | Aug 23, 2013 |
Comte-Sponville finds the spiritual while jettisoning the supernatural, finds morality without the motivation of fear or guilt. A short, but thorough work on a big subject. ( )
  tosan | Sep 16, 2010 |
This kind of book is necessay. Its central message, that the transcendent and - yes, whisper it - the spiritual can be divorced from the dogma and metaphysical baggage of organised religion is a good one. Unfortunately, books cannot be rated entirely by the necessity of their message - they also have to assessed as something to be read, or, in some cases, endured.

I don't mean to say that the author is a bad writer (quite the opposite in fact); rather, that the subject is inherently indescribable. This becomes most plain in the third section of the book where he gets down to describing the nature of his (non-religious) spiritual experiences. Overly long, this string of 'oceanic-feeling-at-the-centre-of-totality' style statements soon becomes tediously repetitive. Actually, to be fair, I did understand what he was talking about. Indeed, at its best, the very experience of reading can itself resemble his description: the melting away of self, of current surroundings, and the total absorbtion into characters, narrative or argument. Ironically, however, the sheer tedium induced by this barrage of gnomic sentences meant I had no chance of actually enjoying the very experience he was describing.

Even so, there was plenty to like about this book, including a very succinct and clear overview of the arguments relating to the existence of god. However, these have all been related in greater detail and with equal clarity elsewhere, and in any case don't really constitute the unique focus of this book. In the end, I find myself in the highly unusual situation of entirely agreeing with the author, while simultaneously having little wish to read his book. ( )
1 vote evolutionary | Jan 19, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
André Comte-Sponvilleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Huston, NancyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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L'esprit de l'athéisme has been published in English as The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670018473, Hardcover)

The perfect antidote to the fiery rhetoric that dominates our current national debate over religion, The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality is the ideal companion to such bestsellers as The God Delusion and God Is Not Great. I n this inspiring book, bestselling author and philosopher André Comte-Sponville offers a new perspective on the question of God?s existence, acknowledging the good that has come of religion while advocating tolerance from both believers and non-believers. Through clear, concise, and often humorous prose, Comte-Sponville offers a convincing appeal for a new form of spiritual life?one that at its heart celebrates the human need to connect to one another and the universe.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

Can we do without religion? Can we have ethics without God? Is there such a thing as atheist spirituality? In this book, Andre? Comte-Sponville answers questions like these through a philosophical exploration of atheism and he comes to some startling conclusions.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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