Life, Sex and Ideas: The Good Life Without God, by AC Grayling

A review by Dallas Gaytheist

If, from reading this book’s tagline, you were to assume that it is a self-help book for atheists, or a book on honing your lifestyle skills, you would be sadly mistaken. It is nothing as ridiculous as that.

I suspect this tagline was chosen by the publisher because it sounded more controversial. This suspicion is reinforced by the fact that its inclusion meant that the word “life” would be included twice in the title—surely something the author would not have overlooked. Be that as it may, this book is definitely not a self-help book.

Really, it is simply a collection of very brief essays—most not longer than two or three pages—on a variety of topics, such as morality, education, slavery, profit, experience, marriage, guns, politics, etc.

This is the first book I’ve read by Grayling, and really my first look at him as a philosopher. I knew his name, and have seen one video in which he appears, but nothing more.

Grayling strikes me as a thoughtful man who has spent many hours in quiet contemplation genuinely trying to understand the world around him. His insights on human nature are, for the most part I believe, quite accurate, if not a bit more forgiving than we are used to seeing from today’s intellectuals.

Still, I cannot say that I agreed with him on everything.

Although he shows nothing but well-deserved contempt for religion and its adherents, he is certainly not a hardcore cynic. In fact, he strikes me as more accommodating and supportive than most people these days. His critiques are not meant to demoralize humanity, but to enrich it by reminding us of our accomplishments and potential.

I am attaching scans of some of the chapters below so that you may read a sample of Graylings writing style and ideas.


Life, Sex and Ideas on
AC Grayling's Official Site 
AC Grayling on Wikipedia

Tags: AC Grayling, atheism, books, cloning, ethics, life, marriage, morality, profit, religion, More…sex, war

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Replies to This Discussion

It's been a few years since I read this book, but I remember enjoying it immensely (although, like you, I didn't agree with Grayling on everything).


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