Author Topic: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"  (Read 8711 times)

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Offline armandtanzarian

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A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« on: January 28, 2012, 12:38:34 pm »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/26/alain-de-botton-temple-atheism

Here's an idea. To combat what Alain de Botton calls Richard Dawkins' "destructive" form of atheism, he plans to build a temple, as a testament to... what exactly?
Quote
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."

I serious doubt that aping the tactics of the other side is a good way to promote atheism. If any, building a visible, hard-to-miss structure probably reinforces the idea about some religious people that atheism is simply another religion based on science. And also, how is Dawkins' style of atheism any more destructive or confrontational than this sort of grandiose gesture?

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 12:46:48 pm »
No, No, NO!!! The intelligent sea otters say the Allied Atheist Allegiance is correct and will smash your skulls like a clam on their tummy if you disagree.

Offline Captain Jack Harkness

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 12:58:20 pm »
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That could mean a temple to love, friendship, calm or perspective.

Am I the only one who thought "pony temple" when I read this?
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Offline rosenewock21

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 01:27:14 pm »
Quote
That could mean a temple to love, friendship, calm or perspective.

Am I the only one who thought "pony temple" when I read this?

I wasn't thinking it before but I am now.

Edit for grammar.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 02:35:00 pm by rosenewock21 »
Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." God's own "don't be a dick" rule.

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Offline JohnE

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 01:59:24 pm »
Silly me, I thought one of the common criticisms of religion was that it spends so much money on big fancy churches, money that could be used to actually improve people's lives.

Offline Rabbit of Caerbannog

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 02:02:04 pm »
Let's show atheism is good by doing what religious people do? At least Richard Dawkins set up an atheist charity. A million pounds for some eyesore temple that will confirm the idea that atheism is "just another religion"? Thanks, thanks a bunch...

Offline Old Viking

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 02:50:18 pm »
I once built a temple to drunkenness and debauchery.  It was a makeshift affair, really, mostly scrap plywood and duct tape.   People said it did little to support my cause.  And the zoning board was truly pissed.
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Offline Shane for Wax

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 03:27:30 pm »
An atheist temple? Build a science museum instead...

Sure, why not?  Fundies  would still call it a temple and still insist we worship at the altar of science/evolution/Darwin/Satan.  The only major difference is that a museum would be USEFUL.
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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 03:27:40 pm »
I may intensely dislike Dawkins, but for right now, this guy has earned my ire :|

Why would you even think this is a good idea!?
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Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 03:44:28 pm »
I may intensely dislike Dawkins, but for right now, this guy has earned my ire :|

Why would you even think this is a good idea!?

Agreed. I don't like how he's completely polarized the creation-evolution debate by drawing a dichotomy between "religious illiterates" and "atheistic intellectuals." Neil Tyson called him out on being kind of a dick once.
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Offline Shane for Wax

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 04:00:52 pm »
I've known Dawkins was a dick forever. It sealed it with the skepchick thing and the sneering lines in his book The Ancestor's Tale. I really don't think this will help anything.

@B-man: indeed. We could use more museums.

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Offline rookie

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 04:06:29 pm »
Wouldn't it be better to take that million pounds and distribute it to the 100 poorest families in England? Have it being used for education, securing a place to live, and a wardrobe? (Serious about that last part. It's easier to get a job if you're dressed well.) And then let the people you give the money to know that you don't want them going to any church they don't already go to and they don't have to even nominally say they give their lives to any invisible higher being?
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Offline Kit Walker

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 04:40:41 pm »
Points I agree with him on:

1) Atheism needs a better spokesman, though of course any spokesman is unofficial, than Dr. Richard Dawkins. He's a smart man, a fine scientists (so far as I know)...but he seems to outright try to offend any and all religious people. While offending the conservative religious loonies (regardless of persuasion) is a worthy pass time, there are legitimately liberal religious folks who have a "live and let live" attitude. Attacking them and their beliefs doesn't really make you much better (in my book) than a evangelical whacko preaching to the unwilling.

2) If there were a kind of a publicly visible "atheist center", atheists might have a higher q rating with the general populace. Since it isn't a religion and isn't organized, there's an element of...mystery, I guess, to religious people. Imagine if some kind of Christian version of Richard Dawkins was the only or primary exposure you had to Christians...I'd be bit less than anxious to meet folks like him in my day to day.

Where he goes wrong:

1) It only bolsters the case for atheism being some kind of counter religion to Christianity.

2) No one will use it.

We also shouldn't be associating science with atheism too strongly.
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Offline Whore of Spamylon

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Re: A Million Pound Atheist "Temple"
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 04:49:57 pm »
No, No, NO!!! The intelligent sea otters say the Allied Atheist Allegiance is correct and will smash your skulls like a clam on their tummy if you disagree.

So...it begins.


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