Co-opting the rituals of religion... Really?

Alain de Botton has come up with a rather ridiculous notion he calls " Atheism 2.0 ."  (As if slapping a "2.0" after som...

Alain de Botton has come up with a rather ridiculous notion he calls "Atheism 2.0."  (As if slapping a "2.0" after something immediately makes it better.)  He argues that there are some aspects of religious behaviour that are of benefit to society, and so should form the foundation of a new brand of atheism.  Jerry Coyne rightly calls it an atheist religion.

It seems to me that all de Botton is trying to do is co-opt the trappings of religion for secular purposes.  In this sense, I don't mind this turnabout; rather like turning religion against itself, which I find in some ways quite poetic.

But in the final analysis, I find the notion of "Atheism 2.0" to be quite perverse, because the goals that de Botton seems to think can be achieved through religious rituals can be achieved by a variety of existent and secular means already.

First of all, let's set aside those who require intense religious ritual just to get by in life.  Those people may well be suffering from a mental condition like OCD (try this google search for more on that).

Once we eliminate those, we're left with people who, in essence, find certain routines and habits helpful.  We don't need all the woo of religious ceremony and ritual for that.

Want to build community?  There's lots of community activities in which one can participate.  Why do people go to church events anyways?  Salvation, or showing off.  If you really just want to participate in community, you can do that anywhere - at the coffee shop, at the skating rink, at town council, at cultural celebrations, class reunions, family get-togethers....

If you need the aspects of advice-giving that come from religious behaviours, go to a therapist, or a "life coach."

Need guidance on how to live?  Again, see a counsellor.  Or read some books on the subject.  Talk to friends and family that you trust.  Get an education.

Want to get connected to the rest of humanity and nature?  Go to art galleries and museums and planetariums.  Travel.  More education.

Learning "oratory" (de Botton's term; "public speaking" for the rest of us) is easy to learn if it's done in a friendly environment.  And it can be done in school if we could just stop pandering to idiots when it comes to curriculum design.

De Botton also claims that art should be didactic.  Let's set aside the prescriptive arrogance of this suggestion.  What can be said of art can also be said of science, and of watching grass grow.  We do need to communicate with one another more, and about important things, and fully expressing well-thought-out arguments.  That requires education, not art.  And that requires forums in which can converse freely.  I've already named some such forums.

It's all already there.  What more does de Botton want?

And his latest pile of tripe is the notion of building a monument to atheism at a cost of one million GBP.  This is absolutely surreal.  How much good could any one of us do with a million pounds sterling?  A lot more than erecting a frickin' monument!  Is that where atheists would go to beat their chests about religion-based genital mutilation, rather than invest the money to actually address that crime?  Ditto for educating the poor, birth control, gay rights, and a whole litany of global problems.

Anyways, most atheists already recognize the ultimate "monument" is already in existence and is all around us: the universe with us in it.  Anything else pales by comparison, as does de Botton's silly notions.

COMMENTS

Name

academia activism admin aesthetics affect ageing AI analogy android anthropology anticipation app architecture art arts Asia assistive technology balance biology biomimetics book branding building business CAD Canada care case cfp change revision children codesign cognition collaboration colonization commercialization commonplacing communication design competition complexity computation computer science computing concept map conference constructivism conversational analysis craft creative arts creativity CSCW culture cybernetics dementia design design thinking digital digital media digital reproduction digital scholarship disability dissertation drawing economics education effectiveness efficiency emotion engineering environment ergonomics ethics ethnography Evernote evolution exhibition exoskeleton experience experimental studies fail fashion featured film food function modeling futurism gender studies Germany globalization grantsmanship graphic design Greece HCI health heritage history housing human factors humanism identity image inclusivity industrial design informatics information innovation interaction interior design internet of things iphone journal journalism language law library life life cycle lifehack logistics luxury making management manufacturing material culture materials mechanics media method migration mobile motion design movie new product development Nexus 6 olfaction online organization packaging paper participatory design PBL pengate performance PhD philosophy planning policy politics practice predatory preservation prison proceedings productivity project management public space publishing reading Remember The Milk reproduction research resource-limited design review Samsung scholarship science science fiction semiotics senses service design simplicity society sociology software space strategic design student sustainability systems tactile tangibility technology textile theatre theory Toodledo Toronto tourism traffic transhumanism transnationalism transportation tv uncertainty universal design urban usa usability user experience visualization wearable well-being women workshop writing
false
ltr
item
The Trouble with Normal...: Co-opting the rituals of religion... Really?
Co-opting the rituals of religion... Really?
The Trouble with Normal...
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2012/01/co-opting-rituals-of-religion-really.html
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2012/01/co-opting-rituals-of-religion-really.html
true
389378225362699292
UTF-8
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy