I don't see the point of criticizing people for spending money during a recession. The money spent on atheist bus ads goes directly to the city, which can then use that money to pay for services, like libraries and police officers. Maybe it's not as "noble" as feeding starving children or something, but it's not like money spent on atheist bus ads vanishes into thin air.Furthermore, as I understand it, the point of the bus ads is not, "establishing militant activist positive affirmation of God's non-existance." It is to let other atheists know that they are not alone, which, as I can tell you from personal experience, is very important. Imagine that you did not know, and had never known, another christian. Not only that, but christians were vilified all over the place, like in blogs like this one. Imagine how alone you would feel. Then imagine you saw an ad saying something like, "Being christian is OK!" It might make you feel a little bit better. And that is why atheists have bus ads.
Again with the stupid asinine complaints about how humanist spend their discretionary money. Ludicris. What is noteworthy is that the Bible provides a scientific prediction that human bodies are made of the stuff of the Earth.This is such a vapid mischaracterization of both what the Bible says and of what constitutes a scientific prediction.
@Debra,You are being thoughtful, reasonable and empathic: none of which will influence Mariano in the least (but don't change on his account.)
Debra is correct. Not only does the money go the city, it will also go the company that designed and printed the ads, thus providing money for at least one employee's paycheck and health benefits.Nothing happens in a vacuum, you know. I for one am happy that Indiana atheists were able to help out an advertising agency employee or two, as well as help atheists in Indiana not feel so alone.As Debra said, that is important.To add more the jdhuey's comment, the Bible says that bats are birds, that hares are in the same category as camels and that insects have four legs. You don't need to be a scientist, or even be over the age of 8 to see that all three of those statements are ridiculous.
Mariano,I've never given money to an atheist organization, partly because they tend to have a politically left-wing orientation that I do not share (I am happy with neither conservatives nor liberals), partly because I think the ultimate triumph of science and atheism over Christianity and other superstitions is now inevitable, and partly because I am just plain cheap.But you are making me rethink that.If a few bucks spent on a bus ad can catch people's attention as well as it is catching your attention, maybe it really is worth it.Again, thanks for all your work in helping to spread the good news about the progress of atheism around the world. I know you are spending a lot of time on this, and your work is sincerely appreciated.Dave
"ultimate triumph of science atheism over Christianity and other superstitions is now inevitable"ultimate triumph of science"Does that include Deism as the fundamental big questions are not even close to being answered ?But I presume you have faith they will be and they are working on it
I would never get on one of these Atheist buses they are meaningless directionless Primate Limos to perdition!
Anonymous wrote to me:>>[Dave]"ultimate triumph of science atheism over Christianity and other superstitions is now inevitable"ultimate triumph of science">[Anon.]Does that include Deism as the fundamental big questions are not even close to being answered ?>[Anon.]But I presume you have faith they will be and they are working on itOh, I didn’t say that I thought all the big questions were answered or nearly answered.For example, as a physicist, I do not know what is really going on with quantum mechanics, and of course I do not understand the origin and nature of consciousness.I was just talking about the triumph of science over *Christianity* and similar superstitions, and, in intellectual terms, that is already over and done with – traditional, Nicene Christianity has been dead intellectually for over a century. Just look at Mariano’s and similar blogs where Christians try to resuscitate the Old Faith by maintaining, obviously falsely, that atheists have no basis for morality, that atheists suffer from deep existential despair, etc. (Does anyone really doubt that atheists nowadays are enjoying themselves a lot more than Christians?)After all, it is hard nowadays to argue with a straight face that Genesis is literally true, that Jesus was a product of a literal Virgin Birth, etc. About all Christians can do is try to smear atheists. The only battle that remains is to get some people in rather backward countries to understand the reality that Christianity is indeed intellectually dead: much of Europe, of course, has already been deChristianized.As to deism, well.. it is vague enough in its claims (what exactly did the deist god actually do?) that it is much harder to disprove it than to disprove Christianity. Personally, I see little evidence actually in favor of deism.But it strikes me as relatively harmless, so I’m not much concerned about it, one way or the other.Deists, after all, do not emotionally abuse their children with threats of hellfire.Dave
"...waste hundreds of thousands of dollars not in order to help anyone in need..."Um- right. There's something like 50 churches in my town. One of them, with approximately 2000 members, pulls in several hundreds of thousands PER MONTH that help absolutely nobody in need. The money just pays rent and salaries. (according to their financial reports) Then there's this:"I was not aware that we were down to one God: please do not tell that to Hindus, for example"Followed just 5 paragraphs later with:"...the Bible provides a scientific prediction..."Again, um, right. So are you suggesting the whole Brahma/cycle of creation/destruction thing is crap but the bible is a peer-reviewed publication? Or are you just saying all this while complaining "they're picking on the christians" to confuse? I'm confused; so that bit worked out for you.It should be no surprise when people make specific truth claims about their religion's importance to politics, education, law and just about everything else- ad nauseum, they are going to be responded to directly. In a way I wish the Hindu community would get a little more activist in that regard. The creation/destruction cycle is a lot more interesting story than "ok, on today's to-do list I've got 'create man from dirt', onward".
"Maybe it's not as "noble" as feeding starving children or something"No it isn't.
The issue with these signs is that religious people *KNOW* that they are really just following silly superstions that have no basis in reality and are manifestly harmful to populations. They cover it up with their rituals and gentle words, but every time one of them prays for "guidance" or something similar, it's that nagging reality rearing its head.The signs bug them because it rubs that doubt in their face. They know that religion is bollocks, but can't face being told that. Being told makes it too real.
I am stunned that any theist could cast stones at the small amount of money spent on a few ads when vast sums have been wasted on chruch buildings and facilities (all partially at taxpayer expense since these houses of profit pay no taxes). It is even more ludicrous when one considers the hypocrisy of such expenditure if the mythology followed by the builders of such structures advocates charity. How many poor and hungry could that money have helped? Yet another theist bait-and-switch.
I am stunned that any theist could cast stones at the small amount of money spent on a few ads when vast sums have been wasted on chruch buildings and facilities (all partially at taxpayer expense since these houses of profit pay no taxes).I agree that the church should pay taxes - taxes equals less separation of church and state.Plus, where's the evidence that money spent on church buildings and facilities is wasted?
The evidence is simple. There is no evidence for the existence of any deity, thus no reason to believe in any deity. Structures dedicated to a thing that there is no reason to believe in have no reason to exist. Money spent on a structure with no reason to exist is wasted.Also, your implication that seperation of church and state is a bad thing is interesting. What religion should America make part of the law, I wonder? What is to be done with people who do not accept it?
Your evidence is definitely simple. I'm not implying that the separation of church and state is a bad thing. I'm pointing out the illogical nature of your rant.
My evidence is simple, as you say, and it is also correct. The truth is often simple, as in this case. The idea of a deity is silly and unreasonable, so the idea of wasting resources on structures to glorify the non-existant deity is also silly and reasonable.If you meant not to imply that seperation is a good thing, then I would advise you to spend some time on your communication skills. Finally, you have sadly failed to show that I am being illogical. Perhaps you are unfamaliar with how logic works. Would you like some instruction on the subject?
There's been no implication, your rant is illogical from a secular perspective. To complain about churches not paying taxes lends support to the notion that churches should pay taxes, which would allow for religion to have a greater role in making laws. You're not making sense. I'm sorry that you don't comprehend the ramifications of your own argument. Thanks for the offer of instruction in logic, but I think that I will look elsewhere for it. Even more illogical is your argument from lack of evidence. The bus ad that asserts that "man created God", is without evidence, which by your own logic makes it a silly waste.
Oh, dear me... what a mess of a post. So many errors, so little time today but I shall endeavor to persevere.Chruchs paying taxes like other profit motivated organizations would not give them input into law making to any greater dgree then they already have it. I'm sorry that you can't see that religion already unjustly dominates the public life of this nation and we should at least get a few bucks that can be put to some use from them.I'm sorry you have turned down my offer. It would have done you a great deal of good.Your final idiotic assertion is quite amusing and final proof of your limitations. Since there is no god (a self evident proposition), and the human concept of a god exists, then the concept was invented by humans. In the sign, "man" is meant to refer to humankind in general and "God" is meant to refer to the mythical concept of a god, it is completely reasonable, factual, and self-evident.Of course, you could disprove me by proving that God exists. Good luck. People have been trying for a very long time and have failed 100% of the time. (Maybe a few typos... I was in a hurry)
Forgive me if I seem underwhelmed by your attempts at a coherent argument. You forget that it was you that put forward the suggestion that for the Church to pay taxes would allow them more input into law-making. Your subsequent argument to the contrary only serves to highlight the illogical and incoherent nature of your reasoning. Furthermore,"self-evidence" is not a rational explanation from a materialist perspective, neither is it reasonable. What is self-evident is that observable empiricism is unavailabe to support your assertion. That makes your argument circular, and nonsensical. So it's self-evident that according to your own logic, a sign that reads "man created God", is silly and wasteful.Finally,you fail to comprehend even the very nature of our correspondence. We are not arguing for or against the existence of God but whether building churches is wasteful. You have failed to present any logical argument to show why this is true. You still fail to make sense. I think I'll stick to my earlier plan and seek instruction in logic from an alternative source to the one you offer.
You are forgiven. You don't really deserve it as you persist in willful ignorance, but you are forgiven anyway.A lot of nonsense here, failing to address any of my points. You say nothing and yet seem very proud of it. I reiterate, building churches is wasteful because their base purpose is void. No god, no need to worship him. Also, I am surprised that you think you get to define and limit what I say by unilaterally declaring what our discussion is about. It's cute, like a yapping puppy.The base of every argument I have made is that there is no god, so the subject is gremane to what I am saying. Mankind clearly exists, there is no reason to think god does, so "Man created god" is exactly correct. It is the only possibility.Chruchs are built to worship and glorify some version of a god which can't be and has never been shown to exist. So, chruchs serve no reasonable purpose.Also, you are simply being dishonest about what I said. I clearly said that churches should be taxed. It was your claim that this would result in them having greater influence, a claim I disagreed with. If you either can't remember the content of our exchange, can't be bothered to scroll up and reference it, or think you can just lie and get away with it, then there is little reason to continue.I have supported all my arguments so far, and you have addressed none of them except by saying I was wrong. Do you really think that is enough to rebut me? It is not.
I'm truly embarrassed that you are unable to present a coherent argument that supports your simplistic assertions. You obviously fail to understand the nature and purpose of a Church body - that makes your ranting even more laughable. You are simply unable to present any evidence that shows that money spent on Churches is wasteful. Re-asserting a circular argument does not make the argument more valid, but more nonsensical. Your, devoid of substance, bluster is impressively effective in clarifying the incoherent nature of your argument. I have addressed your "points" quite succintly, the problem seems to be that you don't really seem to know what you are trying to point out.You appear to mistake my desire to elicit a rational argument from you as an attempt to limit what you say. I assure you that this is not the case and the only thing limiting you is your inability to make any sense. We are discussing the truth or falsity of your claim that building Churches is wasteful, a claim that continues to be asserted without evidence. Pointing this out to you is not "defining and limiting what you say". I'm sorry if being asked to make sense gives you a feeling of being persecuted.Taking suggestions, that you have made, to their logical conclusion does not make me dishonest, it simply means that I am more coherent than you might have hoped. You don't see this because you, again, are failing to comprehend the ramifications of your own rant, and have asserted (again without a reasonable argument) that taxing Churches will not lead to less separation of Church and state. In case you don't realize it, less separation of Church and state means more religious influence in politics. You have indeed made this suggestion. You are arguing for something that would quite concievably lead to religion gaining more political influence. That's why your rant is incoherent. Please understand that I'm not trying to rebut you, but trying to get you to make sense. Nowhere have I said that you are wrong, just that you are incoherent, and that you are not making sense. Again, arguments from "self-evidence" are unreasonable. It still follows from your logic that a sign reading "man created God" is extremely wasteful and silly and I can only agree with this conclusion. To sum up, no reasonable argument has been presented that shows that building Churches is wasteful, and there's no logical support for your suggestion that taxing Churches won't lessen separation of Church and state. Simplistic assertions and illogical reasoning support your rant, but fail to support your argument.
Of course an argument has been made as to why churchs are wasteful. I will repeat it, yet again. There is no such thing as a deity. A building dedicated to worship of a nonexistant deity serves no purpose. Money spent on a building that serves no purpose is wasted.It's cute that you think you have addressed this argument. You haven't. You have said it wasn't true, which is meaningless, and you have just now claimed without showing how that it is circular. You also persist in the bald faced lie that I suggested anything at all about a relation between seperation and taxing churches. That was first mentioned by you in your comment of July 21, 2009 at 10:10 AM. You are also being foolish when you say "Please understand that I'm not trying to rebut you, but trying to get you to make sense." If you are not following me, then it is your own fault. You simply aren't very coherent, it seems.
Repeating an assertion like a mantra is not evidence of it's truth, only evidence of a lack of a substantial argument. I'm sorry that you are incapable of thinking deeply enough about a subject to comprehend the ramifications of your own argument. If pointing that out to you makes me a liar then that can only mean you are a person of simplistic capacities with the ego of a 5 year old. This is apparent in your attempt to support your argument with an endless repetition of ignorance. I'm still waiting for you to present a reasonable argument that makes sense. Where is your evidence for why Churches are a waste? You're yet to present any. Again, nowhere have I said that your "argument" is untrue, simply that it makes no sense.Maybe you should think before you write?Again, given that there is no evidence that "man created God", the sign that you support is pointless and a silly waste.
Of course you are right, repition is not evidence. I haven't been here for a while, because this light entertainment is growing stale. You are, quite simply, an idiot, Anon. I have repeated my argument, not to provide evidence, but in vain hope that you would present something more then whinging that it is wrong. You see, I made an argument as to why chruches are a waste. They provide a facility to worship a non-existant entity. You have not commented on that at all, beyond asking for that which I have already given: a valid, factual argument. Your absolutely mindless requests for evidence baffles me, as I have provided it. Cry all you want that I haven't supported my argument; that doesn't make it so. Feel free to reply to my assertion. You haven't yet.Also, I will restate my argument showing that the phrase "Man created god" since you are seemingly incapable of scrolling up:1. There is, in reality, no such thing as any deity.2. The concept of a deity exists in the mind of humanity.3. Since the concept exists in the mind but does not exist in reality and there is no outside source for the creation of such a concept, it must have been created by man.So, the phrase "Man created god" is sensible and correct.Now, I have again restated my two arguments. Again, I invite any rebuttal you may have. I will ignore, as it deserves, any forther claims that I have made no coherent arguments, as it is patently untrue. If you care to do more then leap about and spout lies, feel free.P.s. You are a liar because you keep claiming that I have presented no arguments when I, you, and any other poor, bored people reading this know.
Your passionate lack of comprehension is quite laughable. Thanks for admitting that you are simply repeating your assertion in lieu of presenting any actual evidence in support of it. I'm sadly unsurprised that you are so easily baffled by a simple request for evidence to support your assertion. Again, maybe it would be of benefit for you to think before you write?Again, restating arguments in place of presenting evidence for them only provides evidence for a lack of substance. I'm still waiting for you to present some evidence to support your assertion. So far it seems as though you have none. Obviously you are confused by the fact that assertions are not evidence. In light of this it's apparent that a sign that makes the unsubstantiated assertion that "man created God", is wasteful.Finally, calling me a liar or an idiot does not make your argument stronger, it only makes you look desperate. Neither does it disguise the fact that there is no substance to your assertions, it only highlights it.