Fuck this… fuck everything about this. I posted recently on Alain De Botton and his Atheism 2.0 (atheism becoming organised like religion), and when first hearing him speak I was a little apprehensive about his ideas about taking the ‘good’ things from religion and adding it to atheism and becoming ‘organised’, but this takes it to a new level. I think it’s a joke to suggest, let alone plan and fund, the building of an ‘atheist temple’. They’re called libraries, classrooms, laboratories and museums… Why waste money on such a venture. If you want to promote atheism and science, by all means go for your life, but building a specifically ‘atheist’ temple is just going to give the religious one more reason to claim atheism to also be a religion.
The beautiful thing about atheism is the nature of its disorganised organisation. That is, we don’t have to get together in a single place and repeat mantra after mantra, week after week, year after year, in order to be atheists and propagate our message of rational thought and the importance of evidence based science and facts.
Currently, atheism seems to be a really passive ‘belief system’, or lack their of. That is to say that most people come across it of their own accord, after being curious and asking questions and then following them up when the ignorance and insufficient answers of religion is found to be wanting. For the most part, atheists aren’t indoctrinated, they aren’t pressured or forced into the absence of their beliefs, which is a really good thing as it means the majority of atheists are well-informed, scientifically literate and open-minded. However, I fear these may well be qualities we would lose if we were to set up and support so called ‘atheist temples’ around the place. Where people would go, or be taken, and face the potential for indoctrination. Whether or not you may argue such atheistic indoctrination to be a good thing because, “we’re right and religion is wrong”, isn’t the point. The point is you want people who call themselves atheists to be atheists for the right reasons, not because they are indoctrinated to be. For intelligence and knowledge to stick, you have to want it in the first place and search it out on your own.