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Alain de Botton's plans to build an atheist temple.
Fri Jan 27, 2012 17:18

Personally, I think this is an admirable idea and I would love to visit such a temple even though I am a religious humanist rather than a secular one. Dawkins does have a point that the money could be spent in other ways, and if Dawkins ever decides to do that himself I'd try to chip in a little bit toward a school, but a temple like this would have been a great resource for my father, who loved churches, and the music and many of the sermons, but felt uncomfortable in them because he didn't believe in God. If it works like most religious temples and churches there would be charitable causes supported by temple activities, and I wonder why Dawkins apparently assumes there wouldn't be. I think there are a lot of people like my father who find beauty and architectural symbolism inspiring, and they deserve a place to gather as a community, with their families. A place like this I think might be attractive to couples like my parents, who were respectively Atheist and Christian. A temple dedicated to positive values shared by both religious and secular people could also help encourage secular and religious humanists to work together on charitable goals, like ending world hunger and poverty.

Guardian article here:

I'm a bit disappointed that his idea has been met with hostility by some atheists and Anglicans there. Goodness, when has a beautiful non-religious building such as a museum caused a person nearing the end of life to have some sort of emotional breakdown? I've never heard of such a case.

    • the association of that with the Cult of Reason from the French Revolution. Not everyone regards the French Revolution in a positive light. And even the French almost immediately rejected this form:... more
    • Good questionFrashavan, Fri Jan 27 19:51
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      • with your comments on Hitchens and Dawkins which are way off the mark. Yet many Atheiasts tend to keep it to themselves for obvious reasons in a partial theistic prejudiced and Christian society made ... more
        • I had thought he may possibly have chosen the word temple because Buddhists may be either secular or religious and Buddhist temples in Western nations have been pretty welcoming to secularists over... more
        • More likely it's my dislike of grandstandersFrashavan, Sat Jan 28 08:03
          Both Hitchens and Dawkins are major league grandstanders. His lurch to the right was noticed, and widely commented on; if you didn't read it, then do some research. If Hitchens hadn't chosen to... more
          • BiasMN_Morgan, Mon Jan 30 12:52
            Most people get that tribe mentality (no matter what tribe they belong to) and attack anything outside of it, whether it is subjective or not. The ones with the bigger mouths are the ones that make... more
            • I never got the whole "groupthink" thingFrashavan, Wed Feb 1 05:30
              And the more vocal people get in all expressing the same opinion, the more I want to question it. That's just me, I suppose...
              • Standing outsideMN_Morgan, Wed Feb 1 12:00
                It helps to be able to stand back, look at a situation before just becoming a yes man. From basic observation, we see people have a tendency to conform to things they think they want for the sheer... more
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          • There are some biases.Mirage, Sat Jan 28 09:11
            There have been studies on that. I will try to find some links. There has never been a female President either, and given that women are a slight majority, it will be interesting to see how long... more
            • Bias is inescapable. Frashavan, Sat Jan 28 09:29
              Everyone prefers some people to others; that's deeply psychological and can't really be changed. Bias becomes discrimination when it is expressed in action, of course. But, is it discrimination when... more
              • Re: Bias is inescapable. Mirage, Sat Jan 28 10:20
                I didn't vote for him, even though it made me sad not to be a part of such an historical moment. The reason I didn't was that he was already sending too many messages to the hard right in his... more
      • Re: Good questionMirage, Sat Jan 28 00:33
        I remember a thread about atheists not really congregating and we were all trying to figure out why. One of the things mentioned was that atheists don't necessarily share common beliefs really. A... more
        • Excellent post!Baruch, Mon Feb 20 11:09
          Music lifts me too. And secular Jews are an official group, Humanist Judaism, though I find secular ethno-centrism to be a bit sad. Shalom
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