Double Irony

Double Irony March 17, 2016

In addition to the irony that an atheist meme used an image of the library of an institution with religious roots and affiliation, which houses among other things the Book of Kells, to try to poke fun at Christians as purportedly readers of only one book, there is the additional irony that it speaks of atheist temples…


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  • The Eh’theist

    *mumbles something about precedent and Christians repurposing pagan buildings, winks, then something about silly atheists with time better devoted to study than meme-making, wanders off in search of coffee*

  • Brant Clements

    A third irony: the meme assumes that the Bible is a single book.

  • John MacDonald

    Here is my favorite “Atheist Meme” :

    The Devil’s Syllogism:

    (1) Homosexuality is not a choice (obviously – is heterosexuality a choice?)
    (2) Paul condemns homosexual acts (Romans 1:18-32)
    (3) Therefore, either God is EVIL, or else we have to throw out all of Paul’s writings as merely arbitrary prejudices and musings, rather than the inspired word of God.

  • David Evans

    I think the irony in “atheist temples” is deliberate. Agree that it’s a stupid meme, though.

  • guest

    I’ll concede your point about the library being made by a religious institution, but who says atheists can’t have temples? Aren’t there a bunch of buddhists who are technical atheist about the supreme god, but have beautiful temples? It’s possible for athiests to be religious and to use religious spaces. See UU athiests and pagan atheists as examples.

    Alain de botton was also talking about building various athiest temples but I dunno if his project ever got off the ground.

    I’ve always loved libraries. I wouldn’t mind being part of a movement that considered them sacred.

    • You’ve pinpointed one of the big challenges to defining “religion.” Most atheists bristle at the notion that something can be atheistic and religious at the same time, but as you point out, the overlap is not inherently ironic. What I felt was ironic was the fact that the kinds of atheists who make memes of this sort, are precisely the ones that are likely to posit that the two do not overlap in the ways that your comment indicates.

      • John Thomas

        I agree. I have researched the word ‘religion’ a bit. Etymologically, it means “to bind or binding” etc. One of the personal interpretations that I found most useful is something that a person bind himself to or ideology that one person hold closes to in his or her life and lives according to. That broadens the understanding of the concept of religion in my opinion. It’s my personal take. I maybe wrong here.