Atheism2.0 Checklist

Just a list of headings from Alain de Botton’s TED talk.

  • Religious vs atheist – some confusion of gods and religions?
  • “There is no god” is just the start of the story.
  • Ritual, moral, communal aspects – cherry-picking “the good bits”
  • Shakespeare, Plato, Austen (etc) – cultural sources of morality tales.
  • Universities have forgotten to teach “how should we live” – as if we don’t need help, we don’t want to be treated “like children” – whereas most of us are barely holding it together.
  • Repetition of old truths (nothing new, etc.) rather than valuing novelty for its own sake.
  • Religious calender to ensure ideas cross our paths regularly.
  • Looking at the moon – a ritual
  • Oratory – rhetorical skills for communication. Praise be to Shakespeare. Plato, Austen
  • Associating the physical with the moral lessons – to cement / anchor.
  • Art – no such thing as art for art’s sake, always a message / lesson / reason for art. (Explanatory labelling in art galleries.)
  • Love, fear, hate and death in religious art. Reinforcing (propagandising) old truths. Art organized according to their didactic message.
  • Branding of massive common institutions. Not just individual books by individuals – they can’t change the world, without scale and repetition.
  • Travel as pilgrimage.
  • You may not agree with the ideas, but you have to admire the processes.
  • Politeness is a much overlooked virtue.

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