Why you should vote NO to AC (Grayling) #notoAC

Today marks one of the most important democratic decisions the British public has been asked to make in recent history.

The actions of millions at the ballot will determine whether British society holds onto the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting method, or instead changes to Alternative Vote (AV).

Meanwhile, the last vestiges of Christian tradition continues to battle valiantly against to the seemingly innocuous tide of secular humanism occurring in the public sphere. No man represents this latest wave of British Humanism more than the genial and gorgeously hirsute A.C. Grayling.

Grayling’s The Good Book: A Secular Bible was published earlier this year, with the intention of rewriting The Bible – a book which he describes as “bossy” and controlling the faithful “through rewards, punishments, Old Testament atrocities and barbarism” (source: The Telegraph) – to make it more amenable (and God-free) for contemporary society. The book has been subjected to notably unfavourable reviews in the national press:

The Irish Times said:

The Telegraph said:

I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it although I look forward to internalising the morally edifying bon mots of history’s greatest thinkers when The Good Book is in the ‘Reduced’ section. Of Oxfam.

The problem lies with Grayling’s insistence on seeing the Bible as merely a book of moral precepts to guide us to being good and nice people. This, in fact, is somewhat misguided.

The point of the Bible – in case years of being brought up in an anaemic, Gospel-free church has left you unsure – is show us how we have fallen into rebellion from God (our Creator) and how he passionately is pursuing us (his Creation) so that we can be in right relationship with him again. The point of the Bible is JESUS.

This is the message of the Bible:

Many people (Grayling just being the current poster-boy) have fallen foul of impotent post-war Anglicanism and make the mistake of seeing the Bible as how to be good. Hence, noone understands, for example, the parable of the Good Samaritan in light of Jesus’ mission to save mankind, but instead see it as a morality fable (i.e. help people who get licked down by showermen pon road). Whilst the Bible is replete with profitable moral instruction, it’s main purpose is to show us how immoral we are (the bad news) and how much we are in need of the Saviour which has been provided to us in Jesus (the Good news!).

No doubt Grayling’s encouragement for us to be nice people is fantastic. Unfortunately, he makes the hubristic error of removing God – the very architect of Morality itself – from the moral sphere altogether. The problem is, if there is no God then there is no GOOD or BAD. There is no morality. You are nothing more than the random product of time + chance + matter. Morality transcends matter, but a naturalistic view of the world – a worldview Grayling patently holds – logically denies any such thing outside of our material selves. In a world without God, we are all just animated collections of carbon and noone can say the Nazis were evil per se because they were just animated bits of carbon doing stuff to other animated bits of carbon.


But the truth is we do feel moral impulses – we know right and wrong, and we passionately feel injustice when we see bad things happen and going unpunished. That’s because as God says in the Bible:

‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people'” (Jer. 31:33).

Our internal moral compasses – however marred by our sin and rebellion from God – are evidence of something much larger than ourselves and that is a moral, just, GOOD God.  The existence of a morality points to an ultimate moral law-maker. Whether we will admit or not, that law-maker is God – and we have broken his laws. No matter how much Grayling’s tries to coerce us to be good, only God can make that happen – not Man.

Grayling has failed to understand this, and this is why I’ll be voting ‘No to AC’ (or #notoAC on Twitter)

In summation: A.C. Grayling has rubbish views and absolutely tremendous hair.

About jonathanrose

Raconteur. Intellectual. Showerman.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Humour and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Why you should vote NO to AC (Grayling) #notoAC

  1. thgdbk says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    Check out some quotes from the book on this website.

  2. Dave Roberts says:

    Well I wish him luck learning the original languates and hope he does better at it than any of my efforts lol

  3. Dave Roberts says:

    oh btw that was an attempt at a joke, coz I am sure he wont be learning the languages 😉

  4. Peter Hardy says:

    Unfortunately you have a mistake in you joke, it needs to be “The Good Book *is* in the ‘Reduced’ section.”

    Also, “No matter how much Grayling’s tries to coerce us to be good, only God can make that happen – not Man.”- Sounds a bit too much like you’re saying that not only can God enable us to become good, but can actually coerce us.

    Otherwise good!

    • jonathanrose says:

      Thanks for the correction, Pete! Writing impromptu blogs at 3AM to pounding garage music means the occasional error occurs 🙂

      I’m also glad that I [broadly] passed the philosophical litmus test with this piece. You’re definitely the sagest voice I know in this area so your largely positive comment has been cause for a sigh of relief!

      RE: God being coercive. I reckon this is Calvinism v Pelegianism v Free Will v Hard Indeterminism v etc discussion for wiser people than myself! xx

  5. Nick Ridley says:

    In the words of Sam Harris:
    “If the Creator of the Universe wanted to guide us morally with a book, why give us a book that supports slavery – along with the occasional genocide and human sacrifice? Why instruct us to kill people for imaginary crimes, like witchcraft? Granted, there are some beautiful precepts in the Bible, like the Golden Rule. But none are unique to the Bible.”
    Enough said, it’s YOUR testimony, not mine!

    • jonathanrose says:

      I think it’s important to examine the so-called atrocities that Sam Harris cites in context of each instance rather than as a whole.

      Harris – although a very intelligent man – is prone to making broad-brush statements which appeal to emotionalism and thus an easy-win, rather than deriving his conclusions from intellectually-credible investigations of the Bible. He’s no Biblical scholar and therefore his knee-jerk prejudices against God remain just that – a kneejerk prejudice.

      Here is a helpful PDF on God, morality and a justification of some the so-called ‘evil acts’ in the Old Testament: http://www.paulcopan.com/articles/pdf/God-is-great.pdf

  6. Zane Tinning says:

    Jonathan, might I ask if you are a misanthrope? Because the Bible, in all its infinite wisdom, teaches us to hate ourselves as we are. Also, Grayling is an Atheist. His removal of god from the The Good Book is a very deliberate act. In fact, the entirety of the book rests on the premise that god is not real… And the small crack you made about Grayling’s hair shows just how intelligent and open-minded you are. Oh, and intellectually-credible investigations of the Bible is an oxymoron unless you see the Bible as no more than a moral guide, albeit a terribly flawed one. Please, Mr. Rose, read the Bible in its entirety before spouting your blind ramblings about Jesus. The Old Testament was completely devoid of the Jesus character.

  7. Pingback: A quickie on the Bible and knowledge | Thoughts of a Rambling Postgraduate

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