Recently this idea about building an Atheist Temple in London has been circulating on the internet.
It originated from this article in the Guardian 26 January 2012, where philosopher and writer Alain de Botton said the temple would be a counter-weight to the more aggressive and destructive form of the new atheist movement, formed by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens attacks on religion.
When I first read the story my initial reaction was, “WTF are you on about Mr. de Botton?”
What would we be doing at these temples? Yes, I am aware that this is almost the same as when people ask me, “What do you do in the Danish Atheist Society when you meet?”
I would say there is a clear difference. First of all most atheist groups, that define themselves as atheist, are primarily nonpartisan secular activist groups.
Which means we work to get a more secular society, and equal rights for religious and non-religious. We do not meet and talk about how little we believe in gods.
Secondly, why do people assume that ATHEISM is one thing, that it holds certain values, thoughts, and ideals. It does not the definition that the new atheist movement goes by, is that it is a non-belief in any deities (also singular form for those Christians that like to play word games). Most of these atheists also define themselves as agnostic-atheists.
I cannot recall who first said that organizing atheists is like herding cats, but I think this is very true, besides the fact you can find secularists amongst atheists, and humanists, when it comes to values, political and philosophical opinions, it is as diverse as any random group in society.
Thirdly to be fair it seems Alain de Botton was also misrepresented in the media, and he actually had no plans for building a temple of Atheism.
Which I found on the r/atheism subreddit on Reddit.
I have heard from some that they like this idea of an Atheist Temple, I would very much appreciate if you are one of those people, or know someone, please I would know WHY they think it would be a great idea.