... on this thread.
I dunno. I don't have strong feelings either way about de Botton's book, which I thought was well enough written and quite enjoyed. I still think that de Botton goes out of his way to make potentially (and sometimes actually) oppressive features of religion sound like a good thing. I really don't see the need for the sort of direction, structure, etc., in my life that he seems to think is necessary (or at least psychologically desirable). I can provide enough of that myself, thank you very much. The notion of whole societies being structured and directed by religions, with their sacred texts, comprehensive moral systems, and general efforts to permeate every aspect of our lives just seems to me to be claustrophobic and creepy.
But that's just me. I'm not claiming that you have to feel the same way, and I'm certainly not out to suppress religion by force. All I really ask is that religions maintain some sense of modesty about what influence and authority they ought to have ... and particularly that no religion be imposed on people by state coercion.