Just a list of headings from Alain de Botton’s TED talk.
- Religious vs atheist – some confusion of gods and religions?
- “There is no god” is just the start of the story.
- Ritual, moral, communal aspects – cherry-picking “the good bits”
- Shakespeare, Plato, Austen (etc) – cultural sources of morality tales.
- Universities have forgotten to teach “how should we live” – as if we don’t need help, we don’t want to be treated “like children” – whereas most of us are barely holding it together.
- Repetition of old truths (nothing new, etc.) rather than valuing novelty for its own sake.
- Religious calender to ensure ideas cross our paths regularly.
- Looking at the moon – a ritual
- Oratory – rhetorical skills for communication. Praise be to Shakespeare. Plato, Austen
- Associating the physical with the moral lessons – to cement / anchor.
- Art – no such thing as art for art’s sake, always a message / lesson / reason for art. (Explanatory labelling in art galleries.)
- Love, fear, hate and death in religious art. Reinforcing (propagandising) old truths. Art organized according to their didactic message.
- Branding of massive common institutions. Not just individual books by individuals – they can’t change the world, without scale and repetition.
- Travel as pilgrimage.
- You may not agree with the ideas, but you have to admire the processes.
- Politeness is a much overlooked virtue.
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