It’s written in a way that’s accesable to laymen, but there’s a huge pile of endnotes for people who want to dig into the academic philosophical stuff.
Without giving the whole thing away, it’s basically a look at the differences between religions, between religion and rationality, and between mysticism and religion.
It even goes so far as to cliam mysticism is a rational enterprise whereas religion is not.
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion
I don’t think I agree with the above, but I haven’t thought about it very much.
Another of my favorite parts:
Jesus Christ – who, as it turns out, was born of a virgin, cheated death, and rose bodily into the heavens– can now be eaten in the form of a cracker. A few latin words spoken over your favorite burgundy, and you can drink his blood as well. Is there any doubt that a lone subscriber to these beliefs would be considered mad? Rather, is there any doubt that he would be mad? The danger of religious faith is that it allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy.
I’m not exactly sure what “The fruits of madness” are for normal people, but I got a chuckle out of it.
I particulary liked the next-to-last chapter (A Science of Good and Evil) because I’ve been a fan of rational approaches to moral philosophy ever since I first read Kant.
Anyhow, it’s a good book. Anyone who wants to pay shipping can have my copy. (I try to never read the same book twice)