Over the next three days, the World Atheist Convention, guest-starring Richard Dawkins, is taking place in Dublin. Now, I’m no fan of conventions, even at the best of times. As Roald Dahl observed, delegates often turn out to be witches (and as someone terrified of large herds of women, I can only say this – Roald love, how right you are).
But, it’s more than that. All these people travelling halfway across the world – but not to drink Guinness, or hear Daniel O’Donnell. Instead they’re meeting to talk about someone that none of them believe in.
Isn’t that a little odd?
Maybe not. According to Dawkins, atheists are misunderstood. There is he says, an element of ‘rallying the troops’. That’s all well and good. But, without meaning to pry, what are you rallying them for?
Perhaps Richard Green of Atheism UK can help. ‘We need more provocation’ he argues. ‘In the UK, there’s not much to anger people’.
Richard has clearly never watched Britain’s Got Talent. Nor spent any time in Poundland. Travelled in a car during rush hour? Negotiated the zoo at half-term?
In fact, based on this statement, I’m not sure Green exists. Perhaps I just lack faith. But if he does, then the man deserves a medal.
Nonetheless, I have to admit to a sneaking interest. Debates on ‘Weird science versus weird religion’ er – not so much. These days however, Dawkins is bigger than Bono. And the evening’s entertainment, ‘Pope Benedict: Bond villain’ beats Come Dine With Me by quite a distance.
Perhaps this convention thing is a grower, after all..