Q. British academic and atheist A.C. Grayling has hit the headlines — and the bestseller lists — with the publication of his work, “The Good Book: A Secular Bible.” The amazon.co.uk website describes the book as “[d]rawing on the wisdom of 2,500 years of contemplative non-religious writing on all that it means to be human.”
The book is arranged like the Bible, with double columns, chapters and verses, instead of paragraphs. It even has a first chapter titled “Genesis,” but instead of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, Grayling calls on scientist Isaac Newton and his famous apple tree. The book ends with a humanist 10 Commandments.
Grayling has been lumped in with Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, purveyors of what’s been called “militant atheism.” But he dismisses the term, saying that being a militant atheist is like “sleeping furiously.” Of his book, Grayling says, “[I]t’s not against religion. There’s not one occurrence of the word God, or afterlife, or anything like that. It doesn’t attack religion, it’s a positive book, there’s nothing negative in it.”