Robert Booth “Alain de Botton reveals plans for 'temple to atheism' in heart of London” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/26/alain-de-botton-temple-atheism
The philosopher and writer Alain de Botton is proposing to build a 46-metre (151ft) tower to celebrate a "new atheism" as an antidote to what he describes as Professor Richard Dawkins's "aggressive" and "destructive" approach to non-belief.
Rather than attack religion, De Botton said he wants to borrow the idea of awe-inspiring buildings that give people a better sense of perspective on life.
"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*2 atheism has become known as a destructive force. But there are lots of people who don't believe but aren't aggressive towards religions."
Dawkins criticised the project on Thursday, indicating the money was being misspent and that a temple of atheism was a contradiction in terms.
"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."
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.
"The things religious people get from religion – awe, wonder, meaning and perspective – non-religious people get them from other places like art, nature, human relationships and the narratives we give our lives in other ways," said Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Society*3.
De Botton has insisted atheists have as much right to enjoy inspiring architecture as religious believers.
"The dominant feeling you should get will be awe – the same feeling you get when you tip your head back in Ely cathedral," he said. "You should feel small but not in an intimidated way."
De Botton氏はawe（畏怖／畏敬）という感情を重視している。なおDavid F. Ford氏は宗教の基礎としてoverwhelming（圧倒的）という経験を挙げている（Theology: A Very Short Introduction, pp.7-12）。またルドルフ･オットーの『聖なるもの』をマークしておくべきだろう。
But according to the Rev Katharine Rumens, rector of St Giles' Cripplegate church, in the Barbican, where the temple is likely to be located: "Awe is not enough."
She said: "You need a welcome, a sense of belonging and of wanting to return. It might make you feel so insignificant you wouldn't know how to start. What would this say to somebody who is mentally frail or nearing the end of their life? How does that really speak to the human condition?"
Another Anglican, the Rev George Pitcher, a priest at St Bride's, Fleet Street, and a former adviser to the archbishop of Canterbury, "rejoiced" in the idea. "He is referring to a sense of human transcendence, that there is something more than our visceral existence," Pitcher said.
"Building a monument acknowledges that we are more than dust. Whether we come at that through secular means or a religious narrative, it is the same game.
"This is a more constructive atheism than Dawkins, who is about the destruction of ideas rather than contributing new ones."
- 作者: David F. Ford
- 出版社/メーカー: Oxford Univ Pr (T)
- 発売日: 2000/06/15
- メディア: ペーパーバック
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*2:See WILLIAM GRIMES “Christopher Hitchens, Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, Dies at 62” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/arts/christopher-hitchens-is-dead-at-62-obituary.html Richard Lea “Christopher Hitchens dies aged 62” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/16/christopher-hitchens-dies-aged-62 See also http://www.hitchenszone.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens
*4:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070422/1177265280 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091020/1256061018 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091022/1256212235 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091109/1257781941 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091118/1258547733 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20111227/1324951753