Alain de Botton Envisions a Temple for Atheists
January 25, 2012
In his latest book Religion for Atheists, pop philosopher Alain de Botton asks: “Why should religious people have the most beautiful buildings in the land?” Unlike some philosophers, De Botton knows that words can only go so far, and sometimes it takes something large, substantial, and intrusive—like, say, a building—to get your message across. To be more precise, it might take a 46-meter-tall black tower smack in the middle of London.
According to Wired, De Botton has teamed up with Tom Greenall Architects to conceptualize the first non-religious temple. The newly released rendering of the Temple of Perspective shows a one-story black tower where non-believers can stand and gaze upwards into the godless heavens and worship all that is positive and good on this earth. It’s 46-meter span represents the 46 million years of earth’s existence, while a tiny band of gold one millimeter thick wrapped nimbly around the temple symbolizes the short existence of mankind. In essence, this is Enlightenment architecture, Étienne-Louis Boullée’s unbuildable temples to knowledge and science, harnessing the awe-inspiring powers of its religious predecessors to bring attention to the present. The questions stands, which secular folks are paying for this?