December 3, 2013

Alain de Botton's Atheism 2.0

If you had the chance to look into my past, it might not be obvious that I would consider myself an atheist as I got older. I spent 7 years in the catholic school system (prayer's in the morning and all) and was forced to 8:45 Sunday mass by my mother every week. However, by the time I was 16 - through a form of teenage rebellion - I became very farm removed from the Catholic Church.

Now that I'm in my mid-20's, I've started to feel a need for something more in my life. Some sort of structure that doesn't revolve around a career.

I spent some time in a Presbyterian church and learned that the minister could marry and have children..who knew?! It was so great to listen to his sermon about life and death and relationships. He was able to experience life the same way I was so I felt more of a connection.

I dabbled in some Buddhist teachings and began to truly understand the reasoning for suffering in life and what it means to truly be compassionate.  Meditation and yoga were new past times.

However, there was always one problem - the supernatural.

In walks Alain, de Botton, considered to be the philosopher of the everyday life, with a new perspective on religion and atheism. 

He argues that as an atheist we don't have to disregard all aspects of religion, but borrow bits and pieces. de Botton's ability to put to words to exactly what you're thinking, or feeling is truly extraordinary. Take a look at this inspiring TED talk that just might restore your faith (no pun intended) in atheism.

 I believe in being kind
I believe in always expanding your mind
I believe in the power of the sea
I believe in reading the Sunday paper
I believe in taking care of the earth
I believe in spending time with yourself
I believe in questioning
I believe in taking care of your body 
I believe in walking barefoot 

There may not be a religion that compiles all my beliefs exactly, but that's ok. I'm on the path to self-knowledge and at twenty-four, that's all that matters to me.

For more about Alain de Botton, visit his website here. To purchase "Religion for Atheist", click here.

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