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This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual…
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This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom (utgåvan 2019)

av Martin Hägglund (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1472144,895 (3.79)Ingen/inga
"A profound, original, and accessible book that argues that a faith not in God or eternal life, but in the finite, temporal life we lead here on earth is one that gives that life far greater depth of meaning. A manifesto for a truly secular faith that speaks eloquently to both believers and agnostics alike. The philosopher and critic Martin Hägglund believes that we need a new way of thinking about faith. In contrast to the traditional religious faith in eternity, he proposes a secular faith in the value of living in time. He argues that the concept of an eternal heaven actually renders our mortal life meaningless since it assumes that our ultimate aims should be to escape it. Engaging writers and thinkers as diverse as C. S. Lewis, Kierkegaard, St. Augustine, Nietzsche, Martin Luther, and even Karl Ove Knausgaard, Hägglund provides not only a critique of religious ideals, but also a positive, alternative understanding of the beliefs and values that can motivate us to live lives of meaning in the here and now"--… (mer)
Medlem:aabtzu
Titel:This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom
Författare:Martin Hägglund (Författare)
Info:Pantheon (2019), 464 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:goodreads_import_may2020

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This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom av Martin Hägglund

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One of the most important works I have ever read, and during the most trying time of my life. I had never heard of the book, nor its author, before it practically leapt off the store shelf and straight into my heart. My view of life and society has been strengthened, while my view of freedom has been enlightened. Thank you, Martin. ( )
  bibliothecarivs | Mar 24, 2021 |
This is a book about atheism, but it would be wrong to group it with books by Dawkins, Harris, or Hitchens. Where popular books on atheism largely focus on ridiculing the irrationality and lack of empirical evidence supporting religious belief, or casting it in the causal role of various atrocities, Hägglund has a more constructive project in mind. As he writes late in the book, echoing Marx: "If we merely criticized religious beliefs as illusions—without being committed to overcoming the forms of social injustice that motivate these illusions—the critique of region would be empty and patronizing. The task is rather to transform our social conditions in such a way that people no longer need to have recourse to the opium of religion and can affirmatively recognize the irreplaceable value of their own lives."

His argument follows in two parts. The first part seeks to invert a the common assertion by the religious that without some higher order or transcendence, there is no basis for a moral or meaningful life. Hägglund argues that the opposite is true: eternity renders our temporary mortal lives inconsequential in comparison. Only in realizing that our lives are impermanent, that wasted time can never be recovered, and that death is a permanent end, does what we do have real stakes. Committing oneself to undertakings and to people bounded by this risk and impermanence is what he defines as "secular faith".

The second part, argues that the implication of this outlook is that our goal should be the expansion of "spiritual freedom": the freedom to ask ourselves not just what we ought to to do with our time, but if we ought to do what we supposedly ought to do. From this perspective, the collective wealth of a society is the degree to which people have the time and ability to do so. This concept of wealth and value is incompatible with capitalism. (My brain being math-addled, I would say that capitalism optimizes the wrong objective function.) Contrary to Keynes' predictions, capitalism will never produce a 15-hour work week, and social-democratic redistributive policies will always be limited by arguments that they diminish the wealth they seek to redistribute. Only under some form of democratic socialism, where true social wealth is strived towards, Hägglund argues, will we get free.

Along the way, we get some deep readings of Kierkegaard, Knausgaard, Hegel, Marx, Martin Luther, and Martin Luther King Jr., among many others. The book doesn't assume a deep philosophical background, but neither is it a breezy polemic typical of atheist-lit. It demands something of the reader, but it is profound and very moving in parts. ( )
1 rösta dcjones | Sep 24, 2019 |
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"A profound, original, and accessible book that argues that a faith not in God or eternal life, but in the finite, temporal life we lead here on earth is one that gives that life far greater depth of meaning. A manifesto for a truly secular faith that speaks eloquently to both believers and agnostics alike. The philosopher and critic Martin Hägglund believes that we need a new way of thinking about faith. In contrast to the traditional religious faith in eternity, he proposes a secular faith in the value of living in time. He argues that the concept of an eternal heaven actually renders our mortal life meaningless since it assumes that our ultimate aims should be to escape it. Engaging writers and thinkers as diverse as C. S. Lewis, Kierkegaard, St. Augustine, Nietzsche, Martin Luther, and even Karl Ove Knausgaard, Hägglund provides not only a critique of religious ideals, but also a positive, alternative understanding of the beliefs and values that can motivate us to live lives of meaning in the here and now"--

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