I have only been starstruck twice. Once was when I walked alongside David Beckham and my wonderful friend Darren pushed me slightly into him. The second was last night at the Southbank Centre when I went to see the eminent philosopher Prof AC Grayling discuss his new book, The God Argument. I would happily marry them both (although Becks mate, you will have to promise not to open your mouth).
What an incredible person Grayling is – to harbour such a brain that tackles the greatest metaphysical problems of our time, he has the impossibly rare talent of being able to speak to us, his audience, in such terms that has us laughing from beginning to end. He is so funny that he almost reminded me of a super clever Robin Williams with his witty delivery.
Grayling’s book is split in two halves. In the first, Grayling makes the case against religion and in the second, the case for humanism.
Why do I love him? He is softer than Richard Dawkins who almost deliberately seeks to offend. If you come from a family like mine then most of your elders will believe in God and some, like my mother, will have an immense sense of faith that I cannot comprehend. Where Dawkins concludes that all religious people like my mother are “stupid” and unable to grasp the glaring evidence against religion, Grayling explains it in softer terms that are more palatable. They both essentially make the same point, that people are indoctrinated as children and some see the light and become atheists, whereas other embrace a nostalgia that is their faith. I much prefer Grayling’s delivery of the same message.
The case against religion is strong, but the desire to explain the unexplainable with something supernatural is stronger as the world continues to defines itself according mostly to the religion they happen to be born into.
I have my signed copy of the book and highly recommend that you get one too, particularly if you are describing yourself as agnostic as I think this is the text to tip you over to the bright side.