We’d all be better off if we stopped believing in belief

Charles Cowling

 

Following last week’s great debate between the GFG religious correspondent, various unbelievers and a handful of don’t-knows [here] it was gripping this morning to sip tea in bed and listen to John Gray arguing that ‘we’d all be better off if we stopped believing in belief’.  

The ten-minute talk can be heard once more on Listen Again. Better still for those who prefer their words served written, a public-spirited blogging ex-librarian in Michigan has transcribed it. Frank White, thank you. 

Gray really is worth listening to. Gloria mundi recommends him, too. He concludes: 

We’d all be better off if we stopped believing in belief. Not everyone needs a religion, but if you do you shouldn’t be bothered about finding arguments for joining or practising one. Just go into the church, synagogue, mosque or temple and take it from there. What we believe doesn’t in the end matter very much. What matters is how we live.

Now go to Frank’s website for the foregoing. Here

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Rupert Callender
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Richard, you clearly see us as an irresistibly attractive mineral rich vein to an evangelical miner like yourself. You remind me of the Monty Python armless knight, “It’s only a flesh wound!” Haven’t you a flock to attend to? Mild Monday morning insults aside, I think belief is essential to human nature, a belief that one’s children will be okay, that climate change isn’t so far gone that there’s no point carrying on, that humanity is basically good, that your neighbour is more likely to help you up out of the gutter rather than nick your wallet as you lie… Read more »

Richard Rawlinson
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Richard Rawlinson

I enjoyed John Gray’s A Point of View on Radio 4. I agree with much of what the eminent philosopher says about religion and science, but part ways with his conclusion: ‘what we believe doesn’t matter in the end very much. What matters is how we live’. Christian witness is revealed in thought, word, deed and omission. This includes proclaiming the Gospel, the saving mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Evangelising will annoy, and will fall on deaf ears. There’s widespread distraction, and insensitivity to the transcendent. But there’s also a deep yearning for God. We need… Read more »