Friday 22 August 2014

Just Give us the Honey - The Richard Dawkins Chantry

The ineffable saver of pussons that is Eccles has alerted me to the way in which it is possible to spend money to get ever closer to Richard Dawkins. A warning - if you follow that link, as Slartibartfast warned Arthur Dent, do not nod your head at any stage. Or you may find yourself at dinner with the Dawk Lord and considerably lighter in the pocket.

Assuming the whole page isn't a spoof, I am particularly impressed by the fact you have the option to join one of the Circles of Vanity while giving a donation in memory of a deceased relative or other loved person.

I presume that this is something like the medieval practice of paying a chantry to say a requiem mass for your dear departed to hurry them through Purgatory. And, although the precise scale of Richard Dawkins's involvement in these donations isn't set out, I like to think that, in some richly-endowed lab in Oxford, the following kind of thing is practised:

£20 means that a snotty atheist undergraduate will recite the name of the loved one, each year on their birthday, followed by "that one's not coming back".

£50 - a post-grad researcher in molecular biophysics will look at a picture of the loved one, and remark "don't look so good now",

£100 - the possessor of a DPhil in some subject that gives one expertise in theology - say an endocrinologist, or someone who is researching the causes of gout - will say your loved one's name three times, and then say " If only there were a God! Then there would be a point to this. Can I have my cheque?"

£1,000 - annually on the birthday of the person to be remembered, a special memorial meal will be held. Richard Dawkins himself, splendidly attired in sub fusc, will consume a delicious steak - as only Pro-choice people can - say the name of the person to be remembered, reflect that since there is no God he needn't have bothered, and then comfort himself that, in all probability both the person to be remembered and the person doing the remembering wouldn't understand his reasoning. After all, they haven't learnt to think yet. And one of them, barring a miracle which by definition won't happen, never will.

At the top end of donations, I like to think it will be possible to endow new colleges, dedicated to the glory of nothing and set up not to pray for the souls of the people who died in the 100 Years War. Ultimately, little Chantry Laboratories can be added to the sides of existing laboratories, so members of university Sci-Fi Societies can figure it doesn't really matter whether we remember people or not - it can't do them any good, and we are only fooling ourselves.

It's a brave new world we're living in.


  1. It is not a spoof, but following my article, the more expensive circles were withdrawn from public view.

    Followers of the higher rationality may enjoy this comment

  2. Replies
    1. Yes.

      It's alright for you, being an atheist. You're allowed to hate people.

      We have to love the little bouffant self-regarding twerp.

  3. Ah, it's wonderful how Richard becomes ever more of a parody of himself, as time goes on.

  4. Oh good grief, I didn't read the warning and have accidently joined the 7th circle of Dawkins and will need to remortgage the church centre to cover the annual subs.

  5. Wow, we'd better get Dawkins to do a teaching session for our next stewardship campaign. With his example to follow we'll be able to replace the church roof in no time!

  6. "Please leave a liturgical response." Ah.


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