Temples for Atheists
Measuring 46 meters in all, the tower represents the age of the earth, with each centimetre equating to 1 million years and with, at the tower’s base, a tiny band of gold a mere millimetre thick standing for mankind’s time on earth. The Temple is dedicated to the idea of perspective, which is something we’re prone to lose in the midst of our busy modern lives.
All I want to know, is when will America see its first?
Buildings are permanent and churches are ubiquitous and out in the open because of their allure. People are drawn to them for their beauty, something that people across the religious spectrum cannot deny. If we construct buildings for their cultural significance (i.e. for the promotion of atheism and humanism), that culture and their beliefs becomes visible and undeniable. The author and planner of the project in the UK, Alain de Botten, argues that you don’t need deities to justify the construction of something.
“You can build a temple to anything that’s positive and good. That could mean: a temple to love, friendship, calm or perspective…. As religions have always known, a beautiful building is an indispensable part of getting your message across. Books alone won’t do it.”
De Botton suggests that atheists like Richard Dawkins won’t ever convince people that atheism is an attractive way of looking at life until they provide them with the sort of rituals, buildings, communities and works of art and architecture that religions have always used.
The one above is the first on the list to be constructed: a temple to represent the idea of perspective, and will be in downtown London.