A s The Periscope Post reported on March 19th, 2013, British atheist philosopher Alain de Botton wants to build a temple to atheism. Here is part of the report,
'Philosopher Alain de Botton is proposing to build a one million pound "temple for atheists" in the City of London, to be called "The Temple of Perspective." A good thing for the non-believers, you might think - but prominent atheist and hell-raiser Richard Dawkins, author of 'The God Delusion,' thinks it's a silly idea.
De Botton is currently promoting his new book, Religion for Atheists, which argues that atheists can use all the best bits of religion, particularly the sense of awe inspired by architecture . De Botton wants his tower to be 151 feet high, and to celebrate a "new atheism," as opposed to what he sees as Dawkins' destructive approach. The tower will represent 300 million years of life on earth, and the outside will be engraved with the human genome sequence. There will be a band of gold to show how long humans have been here. Dawkins however says that there are much better things to spend the money on, such as secular education. De Botton says he's raised half the ..[money].. already, and is looking for money from a public appeal. He could start building his project by 2013. Commentators are split between thinking he's being, well, a bit religious about the whole thing; and those who think that any monument to humanity is a good idea.' (from here. ).
By sheer chance I recently happened to hear Mr Botton being interviewed on BBC Radio 3 (the tuesday morning of March 19th, 2013, actually). He sounded a very reasonable man, not the hate-filled atheist kind, a la Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Interestingly, under interview he seemed to back off the atheist temple idea, but he at least wanted some grand edifice in honour of mankind and atheism. However, he obviously rejects the angry Dawkins brand of atheism (not a bad thing). I didn't catch the name of the radio interviewer (who was inquiring as to Mr Botton's favourite pieces of music) but - typically for the BBC - he sounded very sympathetic towards this philosopher's atheism. But one or two things did amuse me.
Mr Botton expressed a real appreciation of joyfulness and requested that Mozart's Exultate Jubilate be played. This greatly amused me because this is strongly Christian music. Is it possible that Mr Botton had never listened to the words? It hardly seems likely. Soon Mr Botton started discussing love and the fact that lovers may easily be hurt and - before too long - he began discussing "morality." At once, I wished that this gentleman was sitting directly in front of me so I could confront him about what he meant by 'morality' (since he is an atheist). Of course, western morality has a Judeo-Christian base. Sure, 'humanists' have stolen great chunks of it, but it remains an undeniable and indisputable fact that - if atheism were true - morality would be rendered meaningless. So I was amused by Mr Botton's rejection of a Creator God followed by several statements which tended to contradict that.
Truth is: Every card-carrying hard-line evolutionist admits that morality becomes meaningless if all life is a series of cosmic and physio-chemical accidents, with no design, nor purpose anywhere, just a mindless randomness. Only 'soft atheists' who have never carefully thought through the consequences of their atheism still talk about things like "atheist ethics," but it is a logical nonsense; I at least credit the (generally horrendous) area of 'evolutionary psychology' for facing up to this. Yet such men always reject this by their actions in their private lives by their love for their parents, wives and children whom they, for the most part, prize as very special people, and upon whom they shower much attention. Of course, their very consciences dictate they they behave in such a way, but atheism doesn't really recognise the 'conscience,' it thinks it is just some trick of a physical brain which has no spiritual capacity whatsoever. We must understand that atheism sees no real difference between human brains and animal brains (in fact, of course, they think that we too are mere animals, of the 'primate' sort), it is only a question of brain size. Therefore, elephants and whales really should be more intelligent than us; perhaps it is creatures like that which should have designed great cathedrals, or composed great symphonies!!
Atheists cannot have it all ways; even their very atheism is rendered meaningless, absurd and pointless if there is no God and their minds were not designed but somehow fell together as a meaningless series of physio-chemical happenstances! if we are all meaningless, random chunks of matter of no import nor significance whatsoever, then what point is the atheist anyway? Okay, they might equally well say, 'what point is the Christian?,' but that would at least place us all on a level playing field where I could point out that Christianity has led to the most compassionate acts of behaviour the world has ever seen. We are the major charity-founders, we have fed the poor, built schools, hospitals and more. On the other hand, who are the most famous atheists? Genghis Khan, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Goebbels, Stalin, Marx, Lenin, Nietzsche, Pol Pot.... Do I need to go on? Since people like Richard Dawkins can occasionally come across as 'nice' (on his good days, anyway), we sometimes forget how few atheists have been nice people. So Atheism can be viewed as a purely parasitic worldview, only enjoying existence where it can feed off Theism (belief in an omnipotent God), and it is the latter which has the real intellectual rigour, having inspired theologians almost without number for over a thousand years; skilled in languages such as Hebrew, Greek and Latin these highly-studied persons have compiled hundreds of volumes. Their outstanding conclusion? There is indeed a Great God out there Who created Heaven and Earth! Moreover, mankind are answerable to that Great Being. No atheist or group of atheists can match the intellectual rigour of the Christian theologians of the last thousand plus years.
I happen to believe that 99.9% of atheists are not honest about their beliefs because they must know that 'information' exists in the universe and that information is not matter, nor a physical property - yet it must have come from somewhere. Moreover, without this information even the mind of the atheist could not function. The information within a person's DNA defies belief - yes, and it is solidly organised information: can that really be a product of a universe without meaning and only the result of trillions of 'chances' which (somehow) came right? As already pointed out, atheists also almost invariably believe in love and morality (even if they might pick and choose the bits they want within their morality) but they can never explain where such concepts could have come from in their random, confused and meaningless universe! Plus - as we have stated - they will deny their beliefs every single day in their love and concern for their families and their (hopefully) essential human decency.
But if atheists could have their own temple or cathedral what would they put into it? (since they believe in nothing, except countless trillions of meaningless cosmic/physio-chemical accidents?) The answer is that they would put themselves in it and there is the rub because these people do believe in something after all: they believe in the deification of mankind, they want humankind, especially atheistic humankind to be placed on the 'god' pedestal! And in that, we are immediately back to the 'fall in the garden,' with people only wanting their own human-type "knowledge," and rejecting the knowledge of God. Do sinful men and women change? It seems not.
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:1-3).
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20, NIV throughout).
Robin A. Brace, March 21st, 2013.
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