Sunday, January 29, 2012

Atheist Proposes Godless Religion, with Sermons

Alain de Botton disagrees with traditional atheism's disdain for religion, instead preaching that what atheists need is everything Christian including congregations, sermons, church-like buildings, Christmas, and even the Bible . . . but without God.

For background, read Atheists Find Agreeable Churches Good for Family and also read Atheists Crave Church Fellowship, but Absent God as well as New Massachusetts 'Church' With No God

-- From "Atheist writers clash over how to not worship a nonexistent God" by Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times 1/27/12

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 [fellow atheist] Richard Dawkins' approach to atheism "aggressive" and "destructive."

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.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alain de Botton reveals plans for 'temple to atheism' in heart of London" by Robert Booth, UK Guardian 1/26/12

"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."

The idea has echoes of earlier atheist spaces, ranging from churches converted to "temples of reason" during the French revolution to the Conway Hall in London which is run by the humanist South Place Ethical Society. The plan is already proving controversial and attempts to secure public sector backing have struggled. Discussions with City authorities about a possible site stalled because "they can't be seen to be connected to anything to do with atheism", the project's architect, Tom Greenall, said.

Humanists said it was misplaced for non-believers to build quasi-religious buildings, because atheists did not need temples to probe the meaning of life.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheism 2.0: Don’t get god, get good" by David Bradley, SciScoop Science 1/28/12

Can non-believers reinvent atheism to side-step Dawkin’s snarkiness. After all, to those of unfaith, it doesn’t matter that all religions are fairy stories, we can still learn and benefit from them by picking-and-mixing the best bits of their morality, art, transcendentalism and sermonising (lectures that present not just facts but insights into the human condition).

Alain de Botton posits the idea of a mixed-creed “religion for atheists” – call it Atheism 2.0 – that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence, but without all the creation myths, the slings and arrows, undead and the reincarnation.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheism, Paganism Latest Liberal Media Darling