Alain de Botton’s alternative Ten Commandments, resilience; empathy; patience; sacrifice;
politeness; humour; self-awareness; forgiveness; hope and
confidence (your report, 4
February), fail to direct us away from evil.
Lists of virtuous character traits are valuable, but, without a clear moral framework, such qualities can be employed in the service of merely self-indulgent causes.
Along with atheist “church” services and “Bibles”, and Humanist choirs, this latest secular Ten Commandments serves to underline the fact that the atheist/secularist/humanist movement can only define itself in opposition to religion, appearing to be energised only by attacking or aping religions.