A few days back, I wrote that I was not convinced by Alain de Botton’s presentation of his Atheism 2.0 thesis, and even less impressed by his use of a false categorisation of Richard Dawkins.
Now I see that de Botton is back in the news today. He’s announced that he wants to build a “temple for atheists” in the City of London. It is to be a 46 metre tower, costing one million quid. According to the Guardian’s report, the tower is:
to celebrate a “new atheism” as an antidote to what he describes as Professor Richard Dawkins’s “aggressive” and “destructive” approach to non-belief.
Sigh. More false categorisation. As Dawkins has apparently said:
“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.”
I can understand the tower as being a piece of public art (although hopefully not paid for by the taxpayer). The tower serves no purpose other than being a Folly, in every sense of the word.
In passing, I note that the Guardian couldn’t resist a quote from the Rev George Pitcher:
“This is a more constructive atheism than Dawkins, who is about the destruction of ideas rather than contributing new ones.”