I listened to the interview with Mr. Botton with interest, but with growing irritation. He began by saying that the most boring think you can ask about any religion is whether or not it is, "true", a position I wholeheartedly agree with, because it exposes what I take to be the basic category error of confusing inner and outer "truths". But then he spent the rest of the talk dividing everything he described between "belief" and "non-belief". So, to me he stopped short of applying the logic of his initial premise fully, which would actually eradicate those categories (belief and non-belief) altogether. If there is no point in asking religion whether it is "true", what sense does it make to speak of belief and non-belief? To me that further move makes all the difference, or at least it makes the difference between breathing new life into existing traditions that are thousands of years old, conserving their accumulated wisdom but ridding them of the mistake of applying a materialistic standard or question of truth to them, thereby rendering them open to the truly liberal and spiritual way forward, and on the other hand the necessity of creating new "secular" religious traditions by picking and choosing what he likes from existing religions, a path which leads more or less to narcissistic self-indulgence, as characterized by his own example of Comte. If only he would follow out the logic of his own conclusions. This discussion seemed not to take into account the enormous integrative work of Ken Wilber on this topic, or the writings of Don Cupitt. They have already shown a more comprehensive way forward. This conversation ultimately disappointed me. Thanks.
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