With much respect for the courage of Alain de Botton - to refuse the extremes and so become target for the two, I wonder if you can truly dissect the form from the content, especially if much of the content is the form itself. It would be like, though admittedly not the same, trying to reproduce Beethoven's Ode to Joy without the melody, when the melody, the content, is also the form. In seeking to adopt the good of religious practice, there is also the recognition of transcendence, even if it is explained in secular terminology. The change of expression does not completely remove the outlines of the divine.
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