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Jan 28 2012

A temple for atheists

As you’ve probably heard, Alain de Botton has announced plans to build a “Temple to Atheism” somewhere in London. Seems a rather silly idea to me. What’s next, a museum for non-stamp-collectors? Given that atheism is the absence of belief in God, the most suitable “temple” ought to be—no temple at all. And we’ve already got that.

Some very large subset of atheism might also be served by a “temple” that consisted of reality itself, since reality is the true “supreme power” to which we all must submit. But again, we’ve already got that “temple,” and always have. de Botton’s plans are a waste of money that would be better spent somewhere else.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    De Botton isn’t advocating a temple to atheism, he wants a monument to his monumental ego.

  2. 2
    Deacon Duncan

    Oh, and don’t forget to vote in the poll.

  3. 3
    mikespeir

    I came here all prepared to give my opinion. But Dawkins already did it for me. Phooey on this “temple,” I say! Phooey! And I don’t apologize.

  4. 4
    'Tis Himself

    Atheists need a temple just like non-golfers need a golf course.

  5. 5
    Matt Penfold

    As an atheist, I already have a temple. To the uninitiated it looks just like a pub, and like pubs it sells beer. However what these unituated people do not realise that is when I am sitting in front of the nice open log fire with a pint of real ale in my hand I am in fact taking part in a solemn non-religious service.

  6. 6
    mas528

    Huh.

    I’d imagine that every museum, botanical garden, wheat/corn/etc field, and zoo, park, and observatory would be more fitting.

  7. 7
    Charles

    De Bottom is a fool, such “temples” already exist, they’re called libraries.

  8. 8
    Galileo Unchained

    I saw his TED video about Atheism 2.0 here:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_atheism_2_0.html

    I thought it was pretty good. This “temple” idea is new to me, however. I agree that a library is a pretty good substitute for a church.

  9. 9
    aurophobia

    Atheist Conventions? What next? Non-Stamp Collectors Conventions??

    You’re misunderstanding his point. He’s calling for places with inspirational architecture that also serve to support community among non-theists, places of landing for those newly deconverted.

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