Writer Alain de Botton wants to erect a $1.5-million "temple for atheists" in London, complete with a 151-foot tower reaching toward a godless sky.
De Botton finds Richard Dawkins' approach to atheism "aggressive" and "destructive." He told the Guardian, "Normally a temple is to Jesus, Mary or Buddha, but you can build a temple to anything that's positive and good. 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."
Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and author of the controversial book "The God Delusion," countered, "Atheists don't need temples. 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, skeptical critical thinking."
In his upcoming book, "Religion for Atheists," De Botton argues that many of the trappings and teachings of religion are valuable -- just not the God part.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment