Atheist Alain de Botton wants to build a Temple of Atheism in London:
The philosopher and writer Alain de Botton is proposing to build a 46-metre (151ft) tower to celebrate a “new atheism” as an antidote to what he describes as Professor Richard Dawkins’s “aggressive” and “destructive” approach to non-belief.
Rather than attack religion, De Botton said he wants to borrow the idea of awe-inspiring buildings that give people a better sense of perspective on life.
“Normally a temple is to Jesus, Mary or Buddha, but you can build a temple to anything that’s positive and good,” he said. “That could mean a temple to love, friendship, calm or perspective. Because of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens atheism has become known as a destructive force. But there are lots of people who don’t believe but aren’t aggressive towards religions.”
But the aforementioned meanie Richard Dawkins is playing spoilsport:
“Atheists don’t need temples,” the author of The God Delusion said. “I think there are better things to spend this kind of money on. If you are going to spend money on atheism you could improve secular education and build non-religious schools which teach rational, sceptical critical thinking.”
Oh, poo. I say it should be built. Think of all the fun stuff that would be constituent elements of such an unholy space: the Altar of Eugenics, the Statue of the Goddess Reason, instructions on how to celebrate the Feast of Brutus, organized pilgrimages to The 104th, the Enver Hoxha Library of Burned Books, and Mao Zedong “Great Leap Forward” sack races for the kids!
It would be made entirely of smoked glass, with no foundation or floor plan. Negotiating the space would be an act of sheer will and chance, and only the smartest and strongest will make it through the entire structure, although even they will be left with a nagging feeling that it was all ultimately futile and for no good purpose.
A waste of money? I think not. Before something can be wasted, it must have some endogenous purpose, no?