Community and Identity


Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone when he falls and does not have another to help.

—Eccl 4:9–10

There’s plenty of bad advice in the Bible, but when the authors of Ecclesiastes said two are better than one, they were on to something. After three chapters bemoaning God’s fixed plan for humanity—“it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with—all is vanity and a chasing after wind”—they offer this glimpse of nothing less than humanist community. Toil all you want ...

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