Pharyngula

Londoners might soon notice the slogan above on local buses: the Atheist Bus campaign starts today, with the purpose of raising money to promote atheism as a positive force in the culture and to encourage people to stop wasting time and effort in silly superstitions. Urban England seems like a strange place to start such a campaign; rural America needs it more, although the costs would be significantly greater, as they’d have to cover the replacement cost of all the buses that were set on fire.

You can donate, too. The campaign opened just today, and their goal was to raise £5500 — I’m amused to see that they reached that goal by 10am the very first morning, and now have £17000, and the number keeps going up.

Comments

  1. #1 wazza
    October 21, 2008

    That’s like half the American defense budget!

    OK, enough economy jokes.

    In NZ, people would be wondering why you would do something like that.

  2. #2 Glendon Mellow
    October 21, 2008

    I hope this becomes popular in other cities.

    As a lifelong public transit traveller, I enjoy Toronto’s “Poetry by the Way” on buses and subways. I’ve often thought little lessons on science would make great posters.

    Skepticism and atheist messages would be great too. Maybe Phil Plait’s whole article on astrology would do some good!

  3. #3 bric
    October 21, 2008

    We have had Poems on the Underground in London for 12 years now
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/communityandeducation/2437.aspx

  4. #4 bric
    October 21, 2008

    Sorry mistyped, it’s 22 years.

  5. #5 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    This is a waste of time and money.

    There is no shortage of secular, godless messages on buses exhorting people to just enjoy life–it’s a standard advertising trope.

    Religions have to work against the flow by adverising on buses and whatnot because they are losing members.

  6. #6 Ted Dahlberg
    October 21, 2008

    What a wonderful idea! If I had any money I’d donate.
    Some of the comments over at the Guardian are a bit depressing though. They think this is militant atheism? Oh well, I’m finally convinced that “militant” has transformed to have the same meaning as “not cowering silently in a corner”. Good to know.

  7. #7 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Oh well, I’m finally convinced that “militant” has transformed to have the same meaning as “not cowering silently in a corner”.

    It’s only ever meant that. In another era, they would be saying “uppity”.

  8. #8 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    It’s only ever meant that. In another era, they would be saying “uppity”.

    I also meant to add:

    or “flaming”.

  9. #9 Elli
    October 21, 2008

    From the BBC article, “But Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: “Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.
    “I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti.
    “People don’t like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don’t like it.” ”

    So…christians are probably going to go paint the buses. And that last sentence is quite possibly the most ironic thing ever.

  10. #10 S.Scott
    October 21, 2008

    I’m amused to see that they reached that goal by 10am

    Hallelujah!;-)

  11. #11 dahduh
    October 21, 2008

    #5: It’s not a waste of money; it’s a necessary counter-balance to all the church-based marketing selling snake-oil. Think of it as a campaign to advise people of the dangers of smoking.

  12. #12 HidariMak
    October 21, 2008

    I have to wonder how many might be swayed by that ad, to start applying critical thinking to the concept of religion. I know that most from the “shut up because god is good for you” camp might have trouble. To that lot, not believing in a god means the complete abandonment of all morality and compassion. And the fact that they can’t fathom civilized behavior on their own is supposed to make the non-religious look bad.

  13. #13 dahduh
    October 21, 2008

    Donations now at UK21.9k, still climbing at 3-5k/hr with no signs of slowing. This is as exciting as watching Obama on Intrade.

  14. #14 Andrés Diplotti
    October 21, 2008

    What? They’re saying that there’s probably no god? Probably? Why, this goes to show that militant atheists are just as smug, fanatic and intransigent as religious fundamentalists, doesn’t it?

    /me smugly rests in the “fair middle ground” manufactured to think of myself as unbiased.

  15. #15 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    You know, I’m coming around to this. They’ve made nearly 22,000 pounds so far and it’s going up each time I refresh,

    So there is enthusiasm for the campaign, and most likely it will encourage more people to talk about the “probable” non-existence of God and the implications for their lives.

    20,000 pounds is peanuts in advertising terms, but as it’s already, on its first day, getting worldwide coverage in the newspapers there’s a magnifying effect there.

    An interesting development here where the British Methodists say “We are grateful to Richard for his continued interest in God and for encouraging people to think about these issues. This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life.”

    The Methodists, to be sure, don’t insist on biblical literalism, so certainly their religion tends to require more sophisticated thinking than literalist sects. However there are few British methodists, probably fewer than there are atheists

  16. #16 Silmarillion
    October 21, 2008

    Does anyone know if that figure (£22k currently) is just pledges, or is it actual donations?

  17. #17 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    This is actually 23,000 quid (and rising) in VERIFIED, AUTHORIZED, ENACTED credit card of debit card payments.

  18. #18 Wounded King
    October 21, 2008

    British methodists are clearly Wesleyan methodists of the most bigoted and persecuting type. Why can’t they be loving and forgiving like Bill Donohue?

    TTFN,

    WK

  19. #19 Joe
    October 21, 2008

    #5, this is actually desperately needed in London – in recent years the city has become a seething ratfuck of fruitloop fundamentalist churches, many of which prey on poorly educated immigrant populations. There have been several cases in recent years of members of evangelical churches in London torturing children – sometimes to death – in ‘exorcism’ rituals; google “Victoria Climbie” if you’ve a strong stomach, or see http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/feb/25/childprotection.childrensservices

    A quick predition – it will take less than a week for a Muslim or evangelical bus driver to claim ‘victimisation’ when they get suspended for refusing to drive a bus with one of these ads on the side.

  20. #20 Peter Jackson
    October 21, 2008

    That’s actually money paid over – I’m in for 20 pounds myself (and one of the first contributors on the list, I’m happy to see…).

  21. #21 Matt7895
    October 21, 2008

    Just put in £10.

  22. #22 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    #19, the main reason I’m coming around to the this campaign is the thought of how the loopier religious nuts will react to it. This in itself will tend to sow division within the religions. It has been already condemned by some people as “militant”, which is funny in itself.

    So for the laughs, I think it’s probably worth doing.

  23. #23 Ted Dahlberg
    October 21, 2008

    I have to wonder how many might be swayed by that ad

    I doubt many people, if any, will be persuaded by the ad to give up religion. But possibly it might make some people think about atheism in a positive way, or enter it into their minds as a possible option, and I’d say that’s worthwhile.

  24. #24 Dave Cross
    October 21, 2008

    Fast approaching £25k as I type!

    That “probably” is there because without it there was almost no chance of the adverts getting on the buses. Which is bizarre because religious people frequently make the most bizarre claims in their adverts without a shred of evidence to back them up.

  25. #25 Lotus
    October 21, 2008

    How wonderful XD I’ll have to see if I can find some money to donate. I think the best thing about it is, a lot of the donations are for small amounts and we’re still making a big difference, it just goes to show you how many athiests there are out there who are tired of just being quiet.

  26. #26 Monado
    October 21, 2008

    Ted, “uppity” used to mean “wanting to be treated like a normal human being.” You have to start somewhere.

  27. #27 Glen Davidson
    October 21, 2008

    Except that such a probability is what worries many people. It makes a lot of lives into useless strivings.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  28. #28 Luke
    October 21, 2008

    I think the general idea of these adverts is great, but I’m not a fan of the specific slogan. Hopefully since they seem to be raising more money than expected, they can expand this scheme and get some tougher/more interesting ads up.

  29. #29 Edd
    October 21, 2008

    I’ve not seen a number climb so rapidly since… well to be perfectly honest since the last time PZ linked to an internet poll.

  30. #30 BobC
    October 21, 2008

    There’s probably no god? There’s probably no magic fairy hiding in the clouds?

    Probably? What bullshit. Using the word “probably” is sucking up to religious insanity. There is definitely no magic fairy hiding in the clouds. There is definitely no god.

    Does anyone say there’s probably no pink elephants orbiting Pluto? No of course not. Saying “probably” would be sucking up to people who believe elephants live in outer space. It’s equally insane to believe in a magic fairy so let’s not say they are probably wrong. They are definitely wrong.

  31. #31 Nick K
    October 21, 2008

    Past 26k including my humble 25 quid donation.

  32. #32 Randy
    October 21, 2008

    Excellent! Now if only there were an “Atheist Subway Campaign” in NY, my daily travel would be happier.

  33. #33 Tmuk
    October 21, 2008

    BobC – If you say ‘There’s definitely no God’, religious types will ask you to prove it – which you cannot do, in the same way that they cannot prove the opposite.
    I’ve contributed anyway, I think it’s a great idea.

  34. #34 charley
    October 21, 2008

    “…stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

    Plays into the BS I hear sometimes that Atheism makes you self-centered.

  35. #35 eyeofhorus
    October 21, 2008

    Probably is there because otherwise there would be no bus slogan, that’s the only way they can do it. Stagecoach, a bus firm in the Midlands and also in Sheffield would refuse to do the ads completely even with ‘probably’

  36. #36 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    There’s probably no god. …

    Probably. Now, that’s hedging one’s bet. Many on the Titanic were probably told, initially, they’d only thrown a propeller. “There are no icebergs this far south.”

  37. #37 Lee Picton
    October 21, 2008

    OK, I’ve given to Kay Hagan, Elwyn Tinklenberg, and the FFRF. Guys, I’m living on a fixed income and can’t afford nearly as much as I would like. Still they accepted £2 from me on my Visa card. That’s more in USD. It would be great if we could have some of these here. Oh, and it was over £26,000 when I did it.

  38. #38 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    This is great!
    I have my own personal campaign going with bumper stickers on my ho red GMC pickup. I have a FSM little chrome job to piss off all the jebus fishers, Fuck Bush to offend republicans, and People who believe in hell deserve it, to offend the religious. My big red A gets no attention whatsoever, no one in Dumbfuckistan knows what it means.

  39. #39 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Hey! Look everybody there’s Salt. Welcome back you old fundament!
    While you’re here do try to teach Eric & Scott some proper trolling, they’re so awful they need help from a big boy.
    Carry on.

  40. #40 Glen Davidson
    October 21, 2008

    BobC – If you say ‘There’s definitely no God’, religious types will ask you to prove it

    And they’ll bring up today’s most famous atheist’s, Dawkins, statement that “there almost certainly is no god.” “Probably” is a soft-sell from even that, but saying there “definitely is no god” is an invitation to reaction.

    Still, there’s a problem with “probably,” which is that the uncertainties of memory, human knowledge, and death, are what religion uses. Many will take from it that there “probably is no hell,” which is not much comfort to anyone who fears hell. Pascal has had many takers for his wager.

    What we can say is that there is no hell. We can’t say that we know absolutely there’s no hell, but we can be as sure of that as that little Billy has no monster under his bed. God is perhaps a little more tricky, but we could really say “there is no god,” while “there definitely is no god” would be overplaying our capacity for “true knowledge.”

    So I think I’d say something on the line that “there is no god, move along now.” “Probably” just leaves too much doubt to be exploited, in my view.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  41. #41 Erp
    October 21, 2008

    What could be followup slogans?

    “No god probably exists to help. Here and now we must handle our problems”

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God. -Jefferson” (probably work better in the US).

  42. #42 negentropyeater
    October 21, 2008

    Dawkins went for “almost certainly” (why there almost certainly is no God).

    So on a bus, “there almost certainly is no God”, won’t have a different effect than “there probably is no God”, and is longer to read.

  43. #43 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Welcome back you old fundament!

    Appreciate the welcome, but I am not a fundie.

    In all actuality, I agree with a few posters but for different reasons… like this one -

    Probably? What bullshit.

    The simple fact is that if one truly believes something, there is no probably about it. It destroys the message. Taking the statement ‘as is’, I’d much rather debate from the position of your having shot yourselves in the foot than expressing any believed contrary position.

    The statement is no better than Bush’s declaration of a sound economy.

  44. #44 Craig
    October 21, 2008

    I saw a JESUS SAVES bus while honeymooning in Las Vegas, so it’s only fair.

  45. #45 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Craig | October 21, 2008 12:32 PM

    I saw a JESUS SAVES bus while honeymooning in Las Vegas, so it’s only fair.

    If you say so, but the bus you saw did not say JESUS PROBABLY SAVES.

  46. #46 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Salt | October 21, 2008

    There’s probably no god. …

    Probably. Now, that’s hedging one’s bet. Many on the Titanic were probably told, initially, they’d only thrown a propeller. “There are no icebergs this far south.”

    Even if you are using a half assed analogy, please get the facts straight. They were in the northern Atlantic. Plenty of icebergs floating around. They were told that the Titanic was unsinkable.

  47. #47 Don Cox
    October 21, 2008

    “The simple fact is that if one truly believes something, there is no probably about it. It destroys the message. ”

    The whole point is NOT to believe things, but to base one’s views on the best currently available evidence. Atheism is not a faith, it is an informed opinion.

  48. #48 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Even if you are using a half assed analogy, please get the facts straight. They were in the northern Atlantic. Plenty of icebergs floating around. They were told that the Titanic was unsinkable.

    Now that’s pedantic.

  49. #49 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    “I am not a fundie.” Come on Salt! You’ve lost your game plan son.

    Salt, condiment, fundament….

  50. #50 Ale
    October 21, 2008

    …JESUS PROBABLY SAVES

    He. Salt has returned to the old “atheism is a belief” canard.
    You do understand that nobody here is going to buy it, right?

  51. #51 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    If you say ‘There’s definitely no God’, religious types will ask you to prove it – which you cannot do, in the same way that they cannot prove the opposite.

    I understand why they say “probably”, but I disagree with it as well. Do we say there’s “probably” no Santa Claus?

    For me, at least, the whole god thing has gone well beyond their inability to convince me that it exists and well into that they can’t even convince me they have good reason for believing it themselves, to the point that the very word “god” has no meaning.

  52. #52 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker | October 21, 2008 12:38 PM

    Even if you are using a half assed analogy, please get the facts straight. They were in the northern Atlantic. Plenty of icebergs floating around. They were told that the Titanic was unsinkable.

    Getting pedantic I see. Ok, lets play one time.I’m bored as WoW is not up yet.

    Yes, the Titanic was in northern latitudes, but its route, iirc, was put further south due to possible ice conditions. Also, no one was told the Titanic was unsinkable, at least by the White Star Line. Iron will sink. The Unsinkable story was taken out of context. Get your facts straight.

  53. #53 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Ale | October 21, 2008 12:48 PM
    You do understand that nobody here is going to buy it, right?

    I’m trying to sell something? News to me.

  54. #54 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Patricia | October 21, 2008 12:44 PM
    “I am not a fundie.” Come on Salt! You’ve lost your game plan son. Salt, condiment, fundament….

    Naw, just not jacked up on coffee as much as usual.

  55. #55 Dan
    October 21, 2008

    Atheist Bus Campaign? I didn’t even know there were any religious buses! ;-)

  56. #56 Am I Evil?
    October 21, 2008

    As a Londoner, this is great to see. And I’m all for putting ‘probably’ there. I know the religious won’t be as accommodating but that’s their ultimate weakness. £20 well spent.

    Oh, and Stephen Green of Christian Voice? Do shut the fuck up, there’s a good fellow.

  57. #57 marym
    October 21, 2008

    Is it just me or does that lonely 5p on the end of £ 29,985.05 offend your sensibilities?

  58. #58 gazzaofbath
    October 21, 2008

    It’s a valid point for atheists to question whether an apparent campaign of ‘conversion’ using a poster campaign is something we should support. We are not organised – we all have our own worldviews, politics, many quite different – the only thing that unites us is a dis-belief in supernatural deities.

    But when I thought about it again it just seemed to me to be worth it as a talking point to get people thinking. The only thing that will eventually eliminate religion is better education and better critical thinking.

    As a Brit I can say that most Brits are not active christians but many would probably say they vaguely associate with the concept without really knowing what they are subscribing to. So a poster campaign like this would at least get people thinking about the issue of a god(s). And I’m confident that with more thinking on this issue, that fewer people will believe in a god.

    So I’ll pay up….

  59. #59 Ale
    October 21, 2008

    News to me.

    Idiom-impaired today, Salt? Maybe this will be clearer in your current literal-thinking state:

    “You do understand that almost nobody here is going to agree, right?”

  60. #60 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    I found this quite humorous. From the link I provided -

    No one ever claimed that the Titanic was “unsinkable”. The quote, “practically unsinkable” [I believe this to be a typo error as it should read "unsinkable"] was taken out of context. In 1911, Shipbuilder magazine published an article describing the construction of the Titanic. The article stated that when the watertight doors were closed, the ship would be “practically unsinkable”.

    Your bus does not claim that there is no god (unsinkable), but that there probably is no god (practically unsinkable). yet so many here state the affirmative “there is no god”, or “god does not exist”, or whatever is popular at the moment.

    And the Titanic lies at the bottom.

  61. #61 Iain Walker
    October 21, 2008

    Salt (#43):

    The simple fact is that if one truly believes something, there is no probably about it.

    And if one truly believes that something is probably true …? I think you’re confusing belief as an epistemic position (belief that) with belief as a form of emotional commitment (belief in).

  62. #62 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    We are not organised – we all have our own worldviews, politics, many quite different – the only thing that unites us is a dis-belief in supernatural deities.

    Women only have their gender in common.
    Blacks only have their skin color in common.
    Gays only have their sexual preference in common.
    Atheists only have their disbelief in common.

    The thing that unites us is the thing that the bigots hate us for. We didn’t put ourselves in a group. They did.

  63. #63 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    “You do understand that almost nobody here is going to agree, right?”

    Really ??????

    /sarcasm

  64. #64 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    yet so many here state the affirmative “there is no god”, or “god does not exist”, or whatever is popular at the moment.

    “There is no god,” and “god does not exist” are not positive claims. They are the null hypothesis. The hypothesis (“there is a god”, and “god does exist”) are the ones requiring support.

  65. #65 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: marym | October 21, 2008 1:00 PM
    Is it just me or does that lonely 5p on the end of £ 29,985.05 offend your sensibilities?

    Well, PZ is stumping for it so I assume he did contribute.

  66. #66 gazzaofbath
    October 21, 2008

    On The Guardian newspaper blog on this issue it was said that the ‘probably’ is in the advertisement because the advertising authority wouldn’t accept the blunt ‘there is no God’ in case it offended believers! I haven’t seen that confirmed by the advertising authority – but it sounds true!

    But I have to agree with another contributer to the blog who suggested that a long term solution to religion in the UK is compolsory viewing of ‘The Life of Brian’!

  67. #67 mumfie
    October 21, 2008

    Sorry, just sent you this on email, after donating

    And the 5p is probably part of the Gift Aid where they add the tax back onto your donation so it will have odd digits.

    I very much look forward to seeing these around.

  68. #68 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: tsg | October 21, 2008 1:13 PM

    yet so many here state the affirmative “there is no god”, or “god does not exist”, or whatever is popular at the moment.

    “There is no god,” and “god does not exist” are not positive claims. They are the null hypothesis. The hypothesis (“there is a god”, and “god does exist”) are the ones requiring support.

    Since your out of context excerpt demonstrates your lack of comprehension -

    Run little doggie, run.

  69. #69 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Since your out of context excerpt demonstrates your lack of comprehension -

    Run little doggie, run.

    Dodge noted.

  70. #70 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: tsg | October 21, 2008 1:21 PM
    Since your out of context excerpt demonstrates your lack of comprehension – Run little doggie, run.
    Dodge noted.

    It was a nice try tsg, hijacking the thread off on a tangent. Or did the topic get off the bus somewhere?

  71. #71 negentropyeater
    October 21, 2008

    The problem with this discussion about “probably” is that already committed atheists are clearly not the target group of this campaign.

    The target group are all these weak religious people, who don’t practice, like there are tens of millions in the UK and who the churches are trying to recruit with their own campaigns.

    So the question is what kind of message will be the most efficient in getting these people to think.

  72. #72 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    What?! Buck up boy! Don’t insult us by showing up without all your plugs firing. It’s too early in the morning for you to get your asswhuppin.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvwh9_HsUmU

  73. #73 CW
    October 21, 2008

    The simple fact is that if one truly believes something, there is no probably about it.

    Yep, that’s the typical theist position: “I believe it, therefore it is True.” It is exactly that attitude which moves me from merely being an atheist towards antitheism. You are, by adopting this sloppy and arrogant position with regards to atheism, confirming the accusation so often leveled by theists: that atheism is a religion too. In your case this seems to be a valid comment.

  74. #74 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    It was a nice try tsg, hijacking the thread off on a tangent. Or did the topic get off the bus somewhere?

    I’m not the one who was comparing “The Titanic is unsinkable” to “god does not exist”.

    But, since you don’t have any apparent desire to have a serious discussion, and would rather make vague implications so you can say something without really saying anything, I’ll just assume you will deny that’s what you meant and save a bunch of time.

  75. #75 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: negentropyeater | October 21, 2008 1:28 PM

    The problem with this discussion about “probably” is that already committed atheists are clearly not the target group of this campaign.

    So the question is what kind of message will be the most efficient in getting these people to think.

    You’re quite right on the target group. But those you wish to reach will see it (probably) as weak. The alternative is being direct (Posted by: gazzaofbath | October 21, 2008 1:16 PM) which would also be a mistake.

    The problem most ardent atheists have is that any discussion seemingly is one way, the atheist’s way. So “what kind of message will be the most efficient in getting these people to think” requires a quid pro quo. Unfortunately, any quid pro quo delivered a la Dawkins or Hitchens will not be well received. Ridicule never is.

  76. #76 RedGeek
    October 21, 2008

    Am I evil? (#56):
    Oh, and Stephen Green of Christian Voice? Do shut the fuck up, there’s a good fellow.

    Stephen Green is one of the few people who make me ashamed to be Welsh.

    Last I heard was that Mr Green had gone bankrupt after losing his blasphemy case against “Jerry Springer – the Opera”, so I guess he’s preoccupied with that for a change…

    http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2008/07/02/7002/zealot_bankrupt_by_springer_case

  77. #77 Coel
    October 21, 2008

    #66 “On The Guardian newspaper blog on this issue it was said that the ‘probably’ is in the advertisement because the advertising authority wouldn’t accept the blunt ‘there is no God’ in case it offended believers!”

    This is not really true. The “probably” is there because the person who started this first suggested that slogan. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/20/transport.religion

  78. #78 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: tsg | October 21, 2008 1:35 PM
    But, since you don’t have any apparent desire to have a serious discussion

    About what? The topic? Or your attempted tangent?

  79. #79 Coel
    October 21, 2008

    Salt says:

    You’re quite right on the target group. But those you wish to reach will see it (probably) as weak.

    I don’t think you’re right. In Britain, the “probably” will be seen as un-dogmatic, un-pushy and friendly, and thus in line with British style for effective advertising. (Brits often react badly to brash US-style TV adverts.)

  80. #80 tsg
    October 21, 2008
    But, since you don’t have any apparent desire to have a serious discussion, [and would rather make vague implications so you can say something without really saying anything, I'll just assume you will deny that's what you meant and save a bunch of time.]

    About what? The topic? Or your attempted tangent?

    I’m glad to see I wasn’t disappointed.

  81. #81 Zeb
    October 21, 2008

    I’ll keep my eyes open for that.

  82. #82 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Coel | October 21, 2008 1:49 PM
    Salt says: You’re quite right on the target group. But those you wish to reach will see it (probably) as weak.

    I don’t think you’re right. In Britain, the “probably” will be seen as un-dogmatic, un-pushy and friendly, and thus in line with British style for effective advertising. (Brits often react badly to brash US-style TV adverts.)

    You’re right about US adverts being brash. We do not get adverts like in the EU (oh la la).

    Are you suggesting that the British are more pliable than other cultures? And how will this message be received in your growing Islamic community?

    As an aside, this type of a campaign has a hard road to hoe. But I’d like to posit that if inroads in diminishing Christianity were to be accomplished, say even world wide, atheists may just find far less tolerance from Islam and fondly look back on the days where Christianity flourished.

  83. #83 Karey
    October 21, 2008

    Why can’t we have more positive groups like this buying up advertising time. I’ve been getting annoyed lately by the fact anyone can buy ad time on these public services, cos in LA all I’m seeing on the tv screens on buses are debt consolidation and get rich quick scams. Its like super late night TV and it bugs me because the people most vulnerable to these scams would be the demographics that take the bus often. But then here I’m reminded of why its OK that anyone can advertise I guess.

  84. #84 Coel
    October 21, 2008

    Salt says:

    Are you suggesting that the British are more pliable than other cultures?

    No, just that Brits appreciate understatement rather than brashness or dogma. (For example the dominant religion is CofE agnosticism rather than US-style literalism.) The “probably” is well pitched to the UK.

    And how will this message be received in your growing Islamic community?

    It’ll be interesting to see if there is comment from them.

  85. #85 Salt
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Coel | October 21, 2008 2:15 PM
    And how will this message be received in your growing Islamic community?

    It’ll be interesting to see if there is comment from them.

    Perhaps. But if I were to apply what I understand from my reading of Sun Tzu, Islam will stay quiet. Let your adversary grow weaker and not of your doing, as you grow stronger.

  86. #86 kev_s
    October 21, 2008

    The thing is … if this message starts with ‘Probably…’ and god does nothing about it…next time the message can be “See God did nothing! That proves it!” (Or something similar)
    I think the plan is for more messages (if there is money) so we should think of the whole ‘campaign’, not just the first message.

  87. #87 negentropyeater
    October 21, 2008

    A much better message IMHO :

    No evidence for God : so why bother ?

    On a bus, you need something that reads fast !

    It has also the merrit of avoiding this uncertainty issue (afterall, there really is no evidence for God), and “enjoy life” has become sooooo generic and over-used, it’s lost any meaning in advertsing.

  88. #88 maureen
    October 21, 2008

    Another thing I like about this is the healthy contribution being made by all tax payers – column 4 and approaching 8K the last time I looked.

    UK tax payers, if they tick the right box, increase the value of their gift by 2.82 for ever 10 GBP because the BHA has charitable status for tax purposes. Nice to think that the Stephen Greens of this world are helping to pay for the campaign. That alone makes this worth doing.

  89. #89 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    This is one step away from placing the God delusion in hotel rooms. And yet people still insist that this isn’t simply another faith based system of thought..

    Were did the laws that govern the universe come from Mr. Dawkins? How do you account for the mental properties of the mind – qualia and intentionality to name just two? All the work lies ahead of you.

  90. #90 Timcol
    October 21, 2008

    For those who worry that the ‘probably’ is too weak, as somebody noted it won’t necessary read that way to a Brit. The word ‘probably’ is often used in an ironic and even slightly sarcastic way. Like

    Brit A: “I think it’s going to be sunny today”
    Brit B: “Probably!” (meaning no chance in hell that there won’t be a huge deluge and not a scrap of sunlight)..

  91. #91 Nerd of Redhead
    October 21, 2008

    Pete the Rookey, do you have any physical proof for your alleged god yet? You talk a good game, but the always lack the proper proof. One might think you have delusion problems.

    You could always avoid our comments if you stopped posting here.

  92. #92 dahduh
    October 21, 2008

    A lot of people are objecting to the use of the word “probably”.

    “Probably” is exactly right. If you say “certainly” the obvious retort is “prove it!” Well you can’t, so believers go smugly home and end of debate.

    It’s religious dogmatists who claim certainty, and this ad challenges people to rather think about probabilities. Then the religious dogmatists will say “but we know better”, and the obvious retort is “prove it!” Well they can’t, and the tactical advantage swings to our side. By saying “probably” we are demonstrating that we are not dogmatists and are open to reasonable debate; and debate, the most corrosive substance known to faith, is what we’re really after.

  93. #93 Katharine
    October 21, 2008

    Pete Rooke -

    You dualist gobshite. Your lack of understanding is massive.

    ‘Qualia’ are, by fallacious philosopher Chalmers’ definition, is ‘the ways things seem to us’. He misunderstands these, however, as things, not actions carried out by the brain.

    Perception is a function of the sensory organs and the integrative portions of the brain; clearly, you are not familiar with the function of the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes and the thalamus and hypothalamus. These structures are central to the interpretation of information. Memory is also a factor in interpreting these.

    Intentionality is tied directly to human instincts and needs, which are driven by cognition, the limbic system, and hormones. These things have been developed for years by evolution. Are you familiar with studies about vasopressin in voles? Emotion can be sharply influenced by chemicals. It’s why psychotropic drugs work.

    Give us proof, you walking thought-terminating cliche.

  94. #94 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    What’s the matter Pete? Run short on porno huh.

  95. #95 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    This is one step away from placing the God delusion in hotel rooms. And yet people still insist that this isn’t simply another faith based system of thought..

    No, no it’s not Pete. And even if there was a campaign to give aways copies of the God Delusion tell me where faith plays into that?

    And why the God Delusion, there are so many other good books on rational thought?

    You should go back to your rape fantasies and leave this to the sane folks.

  96. #96 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    £35,000 and still going.

    Holy Fuck!

  97. #97 Tulse
    October 21, 2008

    How do you account for the mental properties of the mind – qualia and intentionality to name just two?

    In contrast to Katherine, I do think these are hard philosophical problems, but postulating some sky fairy does nothing to solve them.

    (This thread has a lively discussion of just these matters.)

    To return to the issue at hand, when I read the ad, oddly enough I thought the formulation “enjoy your life” was more problematic, as it might be suggestive of the kind of amoral hedonism that the religious often accuse atheists of (because we have no morality imposed on us by a giant daddy figure).

  98. #98 Monkey's Uncle
    October 21, 2008

    Well, as a brit I found the ‘probably’ a bit wishy washy, seeing as you have had ‘Jesus Is Lord’ type messages on buses, billboards and other places.

    But thinking about it, maybe the ‘probably’ does make it friendlier…also there was a campaign for lager with the tag ‘probably’, so it might be an allusion to that..

    Pete Rooke, you are an arse. I do frequently enjoy many intelligent discussions with religious people, and the discussion of ‘The God Delusion’ being provided in hotel rooms along with gideon bibles has been agreed on in principle with many religious groups. After all, it’s good to see both sides to the story, isn’t it? Or is religion that weak and ineffectual that it can’t handle a bit of free speech?

  99. #99 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    Pat, I recommend wisechoice.net/forchristians/. Dozens of filter categories to choose from and although no system can ever be deemed 100% effective this is fairly close.

  100. #100 Piltdown Man
    October 21, 2008

    Patricia (#38):

    My big red A gets no attention whatsoever, no one in Dumbfuckistan knows what it means.

    Can’t think why. You talk out of it enough!

    (Hey, I kid! I kid because I love!)

  101. #101 Tulse
    October 21, 2008

    It’s now at close to £36,000. I really hope they can reach ten times their target.

    Behold the awesome power of teh Intarwebs!

  102. #102 Nerd of Redhead
    October 21, 2008

    Pete #99, for you this is a porn site. Time to upgrade your filter.

  103. #103 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Piltdown Man its obvious you have a crush on Nick Gotts. I wouldn’t dream of tearing you away from him.

    And ol’ Pete is just here to try and sneak a look up my skirt while I’m twirling. God sees you Pete.

  104. #104 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    A lot of people are objecting to the use of the word “probably”.

    “Probably” is exactly right. If you say “certainly” the obvious retort is “prove it!” Well you can’t, so believers go smugly home and end of debate.

    What bothers me about it is that god is the only non-existent entity we feel the need to qualify with “probably”. Nobody ever says there’s probably no Santa Claus, probably no Tooth Fairy, probably no Easter Bunny, etc, although none of those statements are provable. Say, “there’s no god”, though, and suddenly the degree of certainty required to make such a statement rational goes up by several orders of magnitude. Why is god in a different category? The burden of proof is on the claimers, not us.

    It’s religious dogmatists who claim certainty, and this ad challenges people to rather think about probabilities. Then the religious dogmatists will say “but we know better”, and the obvious retort is “prove it!” Well they can’t, and the tactical advantage swings to our side. By saying “probably” we are demonstrating that we are not dogmatists and are open to reasonable debate; and debate, the most corrosive substance known to faith, is what we’re really after.

    In that it draws attention to the idea that all knowledge is conditional, I agree: “probably” is correct. The problem is it makes it sound like there is reasonable doubt it may be so.

  105. #105 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    And ol’ Pete is just here to try and sneak a look up my skirt while I’m twirling.

    Why not? I am.

    God sees you Pete.

    But not me…

  106. #106 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    It’s now at close to £36,000. I really hope they can reach ten times their target.

    In a way I hope so to. Many people in this city are only too happy to live there life completely unaffected by any of the great existential questions and instead muddle through, never never made to think by the largely secular media.

    This campaign may well prove to be counter-productive at least in terms of proselytizing.

  107. #107 Alan C
    October 21, 2008

    Over 800 comments to the Guardian newspaper’s article. This is getting a lot of attention!

  108. #108 Tony Sidaway
    October 21, 2008

    At the moment it just went over £36,000, which means it’s raking in nearly £4,000 per hour. Apparently it was featured on the local BBC evening news in London. This publicity is of course free and is of somewhat greater value than the signs on the buses.

  109. #109 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    You’re right Nerd. Ol Pete trolls in hoping one of the girls will say something slutty.
    Put it away, and go wash your hands Pete.

  110. #110 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    And ol’ Pete is just here to try and sneak a look up my skirt while I’m twirling. God sees you Pete.

    Well not if it’s a sheer mini-skirt below the knee-roll..

    I jest, I jest; that definitely wasn’t the best choice of phrasing. You can stop bringing it up now though..

  111. #111 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Why tsg you ol’ hound dawg! *wink*

  112. #112 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Why tsg you ol’ hound dawg! *wink*

    What, that was a secret?

  113. #113 One Eyed Jack
    October 21, 2008

    Return me to the mother land!

    Seriously, what were our founding fathers thinking? Let’s send the UK a couple crates of tea and an apology. Maybe they’ll take us back.

  114. #114 Matt7895
    October 21, 2008

    One Eyed Jack, come over to the UK. The water is cold, but it’s relatively fundie free.

  115. #115 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Here ya go tsg – happy peeking!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSsMoKagofI&feature=related

    Careful though, it’s FRENCH twirling…

  116. #116 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Here ya go tsg – happy peeking!

    You’re such a tease.

    I like that.

  117. #117 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    …that definitely wasn’t the best choice of phrasing. You can stop bringing it up now though..

    Funny.

    We’ve been telling you the same thing for months now, Pete.

  118. #118 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    tsg – Next time Bride of Shrek flounces through, you might try sweet talking her into treating you to Tassel Twirling.

  119. #119 Piltdown Man
    October 21, 2008

    A.

  120. #120 Peter Mc
    October 21, 2008

    This started in June but has just got some news traction. Prof Dawkins has put his hand in his pocket.

    One Eyed Jack you will be very welcome, we have finest kind tea so no bribe necessary.

  121. #121 scruff
    October 21, 2008

    I like the guy on the donation list who gave £6.66.

  122. #122 gazza
    October 21, 2008

    The author of the slogan explains her rationale;

    http://www.atheistcampaign.org/

  123. #123 Rey Fox
    October 21, 2008

    Hey Piltie, don’t you have demonic activity to monitor?

  124. #124 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Piltdown Man, I’m gonna tell Nick you’re flirting with me.
    Give it up, I don’t twirl for christians.

  125. #125 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Well at least icky Pete staggered off to find more mini-skirt porno.

  126. #126 Lowell
    October 21, 2008

    I see Pastor Pete Rooke is back.

    Pastor Pete, you never answered my question the last time I saw you here: what happened to your church’s website, http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/stchadsomegachurch/

    I remember it had a donation button back during Crackergate. How can I donate to St. Chad’s Omega Church now that the site is gone?

  127. #127 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    @ Lowell

    There wasn’t enough support to make it viable although I do still make my services available; not that you are genuinely interested.

  128. #128 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    not that you are genuinely interested.

    LOL

    ORLY?

  129. #129 Lowell
    October 21, 2008

    @Pastor Pete

    There wasn’t enough support to make it viable although I do still make my services available; not that you are genuinely interested.

    Oh, I don’t know. What services do you offer?

  130. #130 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    What services do you offer?

    do you like wanking?

    Pete’s especially good at that.

  131. #131 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Watch out Lowell, he’s a peeker…

  132. #132 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    Piltdown man, is that supposed to be clever?

  133. #133 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Why Ichthyic, I think we just about have a funny going here.
    Ol’ Pete can pull out his peeker and wank it for Lowell.
    Better stand back though, Lowell, Petey never cleans up after himself.

  134. #134 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    Counselling on the word of God via webcast. If anyone is genuinely interested then catch hold of my attention the next time I pop in here.

    absit invidia,

    Pete Rooke

  135. #135 Lowell
    October 21, 2008

    do you like wanking?

    Pete’s especially good at that.

    How could you say such a thing about Pastor Pete? He’s a man of God, for goodness’ sake.

  136. #136 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    See, just let any of the women make a mini-skirt comment, or talk about peeking, and ol’ Pastor Pete heads right back to his porno room.

  137. #137 Pete Rooke
    October 21, 2008

    Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede

    I have counselled in prisons and not come across such filth.

  138. #138 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    Counselling on the word of God via webcast.

    Wow that sounds great

  139. #139 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons and not come across such filth.

    And I’ve read christian blogs and not come across someone so boring.

  140. #140 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    now, now, all you dirty minded freaks (oh wait, that’s me too).

    anyway, learn your phraseology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanker

    on da intertubes, it means something a bit different, usually.

    I like the synonym, “pretentious git”.

  141. #141 Peter
    October 21, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons and not come across such filth.

    You should get out more.

  142. #142 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Better be careful Rev., ol’ Pilty is feeling frisky today. I think he’s dropped poor NickGotts.
    You being all Big and Dumb, and Chimpish all over, he’s liable to make a pass. ;o)

  143. #143 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons

    as a prisoner?

    or was it that nobody else would pay you?

  144. #144 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons and not come across such filth.

    hey, I just realized that’s yet another perfect example, almost the very definition of, wanking.

    nice job, rev.

    see? I told you all Pistol Pete was good at wanking.

  145. #145 John Phillips, FCD
    October 21, 2008

    Well worth a few quid, if only to annoy the deluded and with the £47,000+ presently donated they can do that for even longer now :) Though on a more positive note, and one of the real goals of this project, I hope it may make some people actually think.

  146. #146 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    You being all Big and Dumb, and Chimpish all over, he’s liable to make a pass. ;o)

    I wasn’t going to drink any Makers tonight but that may change.

  147. #147 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    Pete, stay the fuck out of that thread on my blog.

  148. #148 Chav
    October 21, 2008

    ‘probably’?

    Isn’t that an agnostic, rather than an atheist position?

  149. #149 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    It’s a sorry sight, to see a grown Chimp cry.
    Buck up now Rev., let him have it with your fence picket.

  150. #150 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    I don’t like fundies wingnuts like Pete telling me they’ll pray for me in a thread about a loss.

    Randy Stimpson already left a questionable comment there.

  151. #151 Nerd of Redhead
    October 21, 2008

    Patricia, next time Crazy Pete wanders through tell him you are twirling in a habit. That should get his attention. ;)

  152. #152 Kel
    October 21, 2008

    Randy Stimpson already left a questionable comment there.

    It appears that entropy is Randy Stimpson’s God. Though it’s too bad he doesn’t understand how the concept works in the real world.

  153. #153 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 21, 2008

    I take it back on Randy in that instance. He says he meant well.

  154. #154 Patricia
    October 21, 2008

    Never seen such filth…
    Where the hell is the filth? Did I miss it? *alarmed look*

    If he means the French Twirling, then he’s a bigger moron than I thought.

    “The lord commanded: And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of a man in their sight.” Ezk 4:12
    In other words, Pastor go eat shit.

  155. #155 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 21, 2008

    Posted by: Pete Rooke | October 21, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons and not come across such filth.

    This coming from the man who thinks about making a book bound by the the skin of a loved one.

  156. #156 stuart
    October 21, 2008

    The ‘probably’ would have been added to appease the Advertising Standards Authority.

    Putting ‘There Is No God’ is a definite statement that would have to be proved, the probably means it doesn’t have to be and the ad can’t be pulled.

    Carlsberg lager has advertised itself for years with the slogan ‘Probably the best lager in the world’, they wouldn’t have been allowed it if the ‘probably’ was missing!

  157. #157 Kel
    October 21, 2008

    I take it back on Randy in that instance. He says he meant well.

    Fair enough, though I read the comment and I found it a very odd thing to say. It almost felt like a more sciency way of saying “the lord giveth and the lord taketh away”. But yeah, I’m sure he meant well. Unlike Pete Rooke who just seems want to preach for the sake of preaching. “I’ll pray for you”

  158. #158 Monado
    October 21, 2008

    BobC said

    Does anyone say there’s probably no pink elephants orbiting Pluto?

    That should be in the next round of bus ads, along with “Prove that we’re not being watched over by leprechauns” and “The Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is founded on both faith and knowledge: we have faith that She is pink and we know that she is invisible” and “Horus bless you.”

  159. #159 Derek
    October 21, 2008

    Where can I get this little slogan in bumper sticker form?

  160. #160 Luger Otter Robinson
    October 21, 2008

    Stuart (comment #156), in Copenhagen (where Carlsberg beer is actually produced), it’s advertised as “Carlsberg, probably the best beer in town” not even “country” or “world”. So it’s certainly just truth in advertising. Personally, I prefer Beck.

  161. #161 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    Putting ‘There Is No God’ is a definite statement that would have to be proved,

    A) no, it’s not
    B) if they don’t have to prove “Jesus Saves”, then they don’t have to prove this either.

  162. #162 Kel
    October 21, 2008

    I found Carlsberg to be absolute rubbish as a beer, though it could just be that it’s gone foul on importing. I liked it a lot more than Heineken, though that’s not saying much. I too prefer Becks, though mostly I drink Australian Ales, Pilsners and Weissbier. Love the weissbier

  163. #163 Andrew
    October 21, 2008

    There is a wonderful quote on the BBC News site:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm

    “But Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: “Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.

    “I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti.*

    “People don’t like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don’t like it.**”

    * That seems like a bit of a veiled threat to me.
    ** The Christian Voice says people don’t like being preached at – exactly where should I buy an irony meter that won’t keep exploding?

  164. #164 redf
    October 21, 2008

    NO, NO, and NO. How can you advertise atheism, yes that is exactly what it is when one places it on a bus like that and wants others to follow an imposed belief. You(PZ meyers) think it is so logical and using reason to have no religion. You act like religion is a bad influence on people. No you only hear and want to hear about the crazy religious nuts and extremists that give will give further positive credit to your belief that religion is dumb. Not everyone thinks like you, or needs to for that matter.

    Atheism is not organized, its a personal choice stop trying to make it into some new major issue that it will never become. I don’t know what exactly do you want some sort of proposition on it. You are wasting your time attempting to promote Atheism as and organized effort. If people see this on a bus they will either find it funny, offensive, or just plain dumb. I would find it plain dumb, why would you spend money on it. Well i guess it doesn’t really matter religion isn’t in any danger of becoming extinct. Atheists don’t need to feel the need to separate themselves. Atheists are not being discriminated against. Just stop now, before you waste so much time on something so worthless.

  165. #165 tsg
    October 21, 2008

    NO, NO, and NO.

    POE, POE and POE.

  166. #166 Ichthyic
    October 21, 2008

    You act like religion is a bad influence on people.

    because it is.

    name one positive value of religion that couldn’t exist in an entirely secular social organization.

    OTOH, the negatives pile up like a laundry list of things that would enable an addict.

  167. #167 Colin
    October 21, 2008

    OK, so they are saying there’s PROBABLY no god.

    Doesn’t that make them militant agnostics? Now there’s a concept for you!

    (“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.”)

  168. #168 David Johnson
    October 21, 2008

    I prefer “There Are No Gods – Just Deal With It” myself as I feel it’s punchier, more to the point, and a lot shorter…

    …mind you, I came up with it, so I might be a bit prejudiced here….;)

  169. #169 Kel
    October 21, 2008

    Doesn’t that make them militant agnostics? Now there’s a concept for you!

    I like the bumper sticker Michael Shermer mentioned he saw once: “I’m a militant agnostic: I dont know and you don’t know either”

  170. #170 redf
    October 22, 2008

    to: Ichthyic

    how has religion been a good influence on people? how can you ask that? I want to know, you never went to church with your family when your were younger. What exactly do you think they preach in most churches. Once again you cling to the examples of religion nuts and extremists or whatever you want to call it. Religion teaches us moral values and basic guidelines to live better and better the lives around us. Ok that is not the only thing religion teaches. But apparently you don’t know that religion has been around a long time, and its teachings of moral values (for example: 10 commandments) have trickled down through time and given people guidelines to live by. Religion has so much influence in so many things you don’t even realize. A secular society wouldn’t have the influence of proper values without religion being there.

    Naturally you believe that religion is only about converting. Wow, that really angers me that you would talk in an extreme like that “name one…” what is wrong with you honestly. Is your head that far up your ass you will dismiss anything to do with religion. You must thrive on the negative info adding it to your ignorant argument about why religion is so bad based on a minority of radicals who give religion a bad name. Religion has given us the guidelines of how to live righteously throughout time. It positive effects are almost everywhere.

  171. #171 Kel
    October 22, 2008

    A secular society wouldn’t have the influence of proper values without religion being there.

    You’ve got to be kidding!

  172. #172 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    I want to know, you never went to church with your family when your were younger

    What exactly do you think they preach in most churches.

    you mean aside from the useless fictions?

    like the golden rule, say, which is an entirely secular notion?

    Naturally you believe that religion is only about converting.

    naturally you start with your conclusions.

    Let me ask YOU:

    do you need a fictional skypappy looking over your shoulder so you won’t do nasty bad things?

    I don’t.

    Once again you cling to the examples of religion nuts and extremists or whatever you want to call it.

    where?

    Religion teaches us moral values and basic guidelines to live better and better the lives around us.

    what is specific to religion that requires it in order to teach empathy?

    the concept of hell?

    I don’t need a stick to teach people with a modicum of intelligence about standard societal ethics and empathy.

    do you?

    the concept of love?

    don’t need any fictional skypappys for that either.

    But apparently you don’t know that religion has been around a long time, and its teachings of moral values (for example: 10 commandments

    apparently you don’t know that ethics has been around a lot longer than the abrahamic religions have.

    besides that, which 10 commandments require a religion in order to be taught and be useful again?

    refresh my memory, cause other than expressing worship of a fictional deity as a commandment, i hardly see anything in them that can’t be taught outside of a xian church.

    do you?

    Religion has so much influence in so many things you don’t even realize.

    like pedophilia? frankly your statement is not a plus for your argument.

    A secular society wouldn’t have the influence of proper values without religion being there.

    have you ever even thought about it before? are you even capable of doing so? because even a brief amount of thought devoted to the issue should enable you to conclude that isn’t correct.

    You’ve fallen for the same fallacy Leo Strauss did; that religion is “required” to maintain societal structure.

    examine some of the secular european countries, and tell me how much their lack of religion has lead to anarchy and chaos.

    funny, in many measurable areas, they’re far better off than the US.

    Wow, that really angers me that you would talk in an extreme like that “name one…” what is wrong with you honestly….It positive effects are almost everywhere.

    what in the fuck are you talking about?

    you STILL, after gibbering on for several paragraphs, have not actually named one.

    do you even realize that?

    I give YOU as an excellent example of what religious indoctrination can do to someone’s thinking processes.

    seriously, I suggest you sit down sometime with a pad of paper, and write down the things you think can only be accomplished through religion, and then try to find out whether you are right or not.

    It shouldn’t be too hard.

  173. #173 redf
    October 22, 2008

    Kel:

    ugh no you have got to be kidding. secular: having nothing do with religion. What can you only think in this time period. Only up until the 20th century a small amount people really start to split from religion due to advancements in science and freedom. What about the previous 20 centuries, most all of that is like everyone is religious. Laws, choices, i don’t know most everything in the world is based of religious influence.

  174. #174 Patricia
    October 22, 2008

    You fucking moron. The religious hanged my ancestors in American and England.
    Ever heard of the Salem witch trials? How about the Pendle Forest witches.
    Death. That’s what your fucking religion brings.
    Peace, hope, love? Bullshit. Death. Idiot.
    Didn’t think any of us knew history past yesterday did you, jackass. *wink* Aren’t you just special.

  175. #175 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    oops, I quoted it but forgot to answer you:

    I want to know, you never went to church with your family when your were younger

    assuming that’s actually a question… every sunday until I was about 14.

    It was pretty obvious the vast bulk of it was utter nonsense, but we went for the ritual value.

    as I got older, I realized you don’t need religion at all to value and practice bonding rituals.

    baseball works just as well, or parties, or trips with friends to the beach…

  176. #176 Patricia
    October 22, 2008

    Gawd damn it. Can I be the Queen of Typos
    in America?

    Patricia, QoT – hey that looks pretty slick.

  177. #177 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    What about the previous 20 centuries, most all of that is like everyone is religious.

    Pleased to meet you, oh worshiper of Zuess.

    oh, wait, you don’t worship Zeuss?

    why not?

  178. #178 Kel
    October 22, 2008

    secular: having nothing do with religion.

    Not at all. The role of religion won’t die in a secular society, the role of a single relgion underpinning society goes. Secularism protects the freedom of religion by not enforcing any religion onto others.

    What can you only think in this time period. Only up until the 20th century a small amount people really start to split from religion due to advancements in science and freedom. What about the previous 20 centuries, most all of that is like everyone is religious.

    And what does that prove? In last 100 years, we have come further in terms of human rights, securing equality for all; including the rights of those who had a different skin colour and those with vaginas.

    Laws, choices, i don’t know most everything in the world is based of religious influence.

    No, you have that the wrong way round. Religion is based off the rule of law, religion came after the social constructs of morality and tribal rule. There were laws in place well before organised religion was. Take religion out of the equation and you still have law, you still have morality, you still have a code of conduct people must adhere to in order to be a member of that society. Religion was a meme built on the foundational structure of society, not the other way around. These days we have advanced beyond the need for religion, it’s a folly to pretend otherwise.

  179. #179 Patricia
    October 22, 2008

    Ichthyic – Whats wrong with you, honestly…

    See this is the stuff that makes me need to wear Depends.

  180. #180 redf
    October 22, 2008

    Ichthyic:

    of course the one pedophiliac priest represents the whole Christian religion.

    “you mean aside from the useless fictions?”
    useless fictions, that is obviously just your opinion if you can get over that. you act like that is such a statement that means something. The Bible which you are referring to, let’s just talk about Christianity since we both live in America and it can be safe to assume that we both know more about that particular religion than any other.

    The Bible which has been around for centuries is full of useless fiction which you yourself don’t live by or have too. But you know what some people do live by these “useless fictions” and learn from them and maybe even apply them in their everyday lives. Do you think the Bible has bad intentions, it tells people to do bad things, it influences them in bad ways? No, sorry but its not written that way, and you are not religious, and neither am I, but I believe in God, who is not a “skypappy”

    The Salem witch trials once again a single event represents the vast majority of everyone who practices that religion. I find it unfair for you to label every religious follower some sort of ignorant person who is not open to reason. Its not like believing in God holds them back.

    Pleased to meet you, oh worshiper of Zuess.
    oh, wait, you don’t worship Zeuss?
    Regarding Zeus believing in him a Greek God is not being religious. what exactly are you saying there. You are adding to my point. What is Christianity the only bad religion just because you live with it. I don’t know to me it really seems like you love the bad examples that make a religion look bad and corrupted just to further your point about how you aren’t religious and are somehow smarter than people who do believe in religion.

    This is an example, there are terrorists who die in the name of God. They give a bad name to Islam, a less than 5% amount of followers of that particular religion have such a huge impact on how most of the world thinks of Islam. Just like you using pedophiliac priests, salem witch trials, and that preachers preach about Hell and burning in it all the time to represent a whole following of everyone in the religion.

    Stop separating yourself from people who have faith in something. They are just as smart as you are.

  181. #181 Patricia
    October 22, 2008

    Moron! I’m in charge of the witch trials, not Ichthyic. He didn’t say a damned thing about them.
    How many ways do you want your religious ass kicked fool?
    Can’t take it that a woman can bust your chops, and beat you over the head with your scriptures?
    Bring it on.
    I’ll cast a spell on your monkey ass that will drop your dick into the dirt. Let’s go sissy.

  182. #182 redf
    October 22, 2008

    i know you said i stopped writing and refreshed page to see if anything new came up, so i just addressed that issue in my long post as well.

    That’s right I am just some religious nut. Thanks for assuming the worst through the internet. Yeah everyone who believes in God doesn’t use reason and wastes their time.

    Ok you are pretty gay, i want my religious ass kicked? Yeah you say so much with that. Dumbass shut the hell up, you know what i wasn’t talking to you, just shut the hell up. retard.

  183. #183 Piltdown Man
    October 22, 2008

    Patricia:

    Ever heard of the Salem witch trials? How about the Pendle Forest witches.

    That’s what comes when you let amateurs run the show. The Holy Inquisition was noted for its diligence, efficiency, impartiality and leniency – you can’t compare it with those bunglers.

  184. #184 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    of course the one pedophiliac priest represents the whole Christian religion.

    not the reason I brought it up. If you recall, you were the one who brought up the issue of the rampant influence of religion. The head of the largest evangelical church in america (Ted Haggard = head of a church that is 30 million strong), was a crack abuser and had sex with gay prostitutes.

    great influence religion had on HIM, eh?

    and the fact that I’m still waiting for you to tell me what religion has to offer of a positive nature in and of itself, tells me what influence the brainwashing has had on you.

    useless fictions, that is obviously just your opinion if you can get over that.

    how can one “get over” the fact that there are not now, nor have there ever been any deities? OF WHAT USE IS A FLYING UNICORN?

    as to why you don’t worship Zeuss…

    oh, I see:

    Regarding Zeus believing in him a Greek God is not being religious.

    it’s not xianity, so it’s not a religion. I’d bet the early greeks and romans would have taken exception to your opinion.

    ROFLMAO.

    Stop separating yourself from people who have faith in something. They are just as smart as you are.

    I hope you aren’t including yourself in that?

    Just like you using pedophiliac priests, salem witch trials, and that preachers preach about Hell and burning in it all the time to represent a whole following of everyone in the religion.

    and so you aren’t responsible even though it’s obvious your religious thinking generates these things?

    convenient.

    Ok, I waited patiently enough for you to present even ONE thing that religion, in and of itself (again, that means it CAN’T be accomplished by any other method), actually improves.

    you failed to do so, and instead spouted a ream of gibberish.

    do you even get that?
    I guess not.

    …and you speak as if i have MY head wedged?

    here’s your word for the day:

    psychological projection.

    look it up.

    you’re too far gone to have a conversation with, but thankyou for being another datapoint in my “religion is bad for your brain” database.

    I think at this point, you’re a nice, fat fish for someone else to play with.

    *drops fishing pole*

    *plonk*

  185. #185 redf
    October 22, 2008

    Ichthyic:

    “The head of the largest evangelical church in america (Ted Haggard = head of a church that is 30 million strong), was a crack abuser and had sex with gay prostitutes.”

    Of course religion is to blame for that. But thats not what you are saying you are saying that religion did not save him from doing those things. Ok well that is up to him he is a horrible Christian then. It comes down to the individual to make the right choices about how they practice and apply their faith.

    Regarding the positive influences of religion. I was assuming they are too obvious to point out. For one Ben Franklin said to live like Jesus. So most of the New Testament tells us how to live and act like Jesus. The ten commandments is another big one. The story of Job, in keeping your faith.

    I am not about to deny certain individuals have taken advantage of religion and used it wrongfully. And if religion wasn’t there in the first place they would not have something to take advantage of. But that isn’t right or reasonable to go by that assumption. Religion is not to blame for anything, the individuals choice’s he or she made takes the blame.

    I truly believe a small minority that follows a religion doesn’t represent the religion and whether its teachings are reasonable or right.

  186. #186 Kel
    October 22, 2008

    The story of Job, in keeping your faith.

    Faith is hardly an endearing trait of religious belief, and given the way it’s used, it’s one of the more negative aspects of religion. If you want to make a good argument, talk about communal work, about bringing the community together, about the functional aspects that go beyond the relationship between God and man. For those are the aspects that have a place in the future of society. Faith just means that people will believe without evidence on ideas that are manifestly untrue.

  187. #187 redf
    October 22, 2008

    alright communal work, bring community together, loving your neighbors. Well to some the story of Job interprets as believing in something, perseverance.

  188. #188 Nerd of Redhead
    October 22, 2008

    My problem with religion starts with the invisible non provable sky daddy. I’ve seen fantasy writers come up with better plots. Then add a book written by petty, insecure, and fallible people and claim it was inspired by the invisible non provable sky daddy and is totally true. What a way to remove any attempt to truly inspect and critic the writings. Then they have the nerve to try to force everyone else around to also worship their invisible non provable sky daddyTM. I stopped believing because when the whole package was looked at critically, it didn’t add up to anything logical. Then the people who really believed kept acting badly. Not a good inducement to believe. To paraphrase Desi, religion, you have some spainin’ to do.

  189. #189 Patricia
    October 22, 2008

    Pilty – You bastard, you are trying to bait me.
    My ancestor’s were hanged by good christians.

    But that doesn’t absolve you from being unfaithful to NickGotts.

    Trying to anger me won’t work. Generation after generation being hanged by thumpers, breeds tolerance.

  190. #190 Nerd of Redhead
    October 22, 2008

    In the last sentence, I meant splainin’. Time for bed.

  191. #191 Kel
    October 22, 2008

    I don’t think anyone here would say that the bible is void of anything good, practical or inspiring; of course there are those elements to the text. But in the same pages lie many cruel, injust, condemnable, intolerant acts that have no place in modern society. While we see many tolerant moderate Christians (which I’m all in favour of), there are still those who use the more deplorable parts of the bible to justify their own intolerance and hate. The homosexual issue is almost exclusively divided down religious lines, while there is still some homophobia in the general community, the most passionate opponents of gay rights are bible bashers – citing not only the old testament but the new testament as well to justify their intolerance. Then there’s the threat of hell, the passive aggressive condemnation of another’s actions and justification again on intolerance.

    If you want to talk about the good of religion and the stories people derive from the holy source, then you can’t ignore the bad – which there most certainly is. Lashing out at secularism is missing the point of secularism – this is the ideal that will protect the freedom of religion. This will not mean that the Nazarene church will have the power to impose it’s will over all society, it’s a way to ensure the basic rights of all people including the right to believe. Where do people get the idea that secularism is a bad thing?

  192. #192 redf
    October 22, 2008

    i understand that God has to be tangible before you can believe in him. but then faith wouldn’t exist. Look its a spiritual, cultural tradition, I don’t go to church i would find it a waste of time. I just don’t want to deny that there is a God. I don’t know, he doesn’t do anything for me and doesn’t have too.

    Just I think Nerd of Redhead needs to realize that constantly calling him a sky daddy and demanding proof of his existence isn’t going to further any argument. There’s faith for a reason. Thanks Ichthyic, I feel i learned a few things from you. I gotta sleep now

  193. #193 Kel
    October 22, 2008

    There’s faith for a reason.

    To allow incredulous memes to propagate without facing scrutiny.

  194. #194 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 22, 2008

    Posted by: Patricia | October 22, 2008

    Gawd damn it. Can I be the Queen of Typos
    in America?

    Patricia, QoT – hey that looks pretty slick.

    Back off, you hussy! I called myself QoT a couple of weeks ago! Do I need to place that on my moniker?

  195. #195 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 22, 2008

    Posted by: Piltdown Man | October 22, 2008

    Patricia:

    Ever heard of the Salem witch trials? How about the Pendle Forest witches.

    That’s what comes when you let amateurs run the show. The Holy Inquisition was noted for its diligence, efficiency, impartiality and leniency – you can’t compare it with those bunglers.

    I really do not give a flying fuck if inquisitors are pros or amateurs. They are enforcing a deranged system.

    Also, if you think that The Holy Inquisition were lenient, I would love to let you go through it’s leniency. I think one term for that is “get medieval on your ass”.

  196. #196 Blake Stacey
    October 22, 2008

    Well to some the story of Job interprets as believing in something, perseverance.

    And to others, the take-home message of Job is to keep your head down and your mouth shut because you won’t be able to understand what God throws at you — or why. Oh, and God will strip away everything you ever cared about on a whim, or a bet, a fucking wager with some other divinity — and then God will give it all back, as if new loved ones can be troweled in to fill the wounds left by the old.

  197. #197 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    Back off, you hussy! I called myself QoT a couple of weeks ago! Do I need to place that on my moniker?

    cat fight!

  198. #198 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 22, 2008

    It seems that a cat fight between a slut and a dyke was needed. I hope Patricia does not mind.

  199. #199 Rey Fox
    October 22, 2008

    “There’s faith for a reason.”

    Faith is bunk.

  200. #200 adamh
    October 22, 2008

    As long as the atheists stick to ads, no problem.

    Its when they get political power and get the Gulags going that we need to be concerned!

  201. #201 bastion
    October 22, 2008

    At #22, Tony Sidaway wrote:
    It has been already condemned by some people as “militant”

    Damn skippy it’s militant! I mean, it’s an bloomin’ ad on the side of a bus, fer goodness sake!!

    For years I’ve been shocked at the militant ads on the sides of local buses like those for deodorants, beer, vodka, radio stations, the state lottery. And now atheism?!!

    What in the world will these totally out-of-control atheists do next?!!

  202. #202 Ichthyic
    October 22, 2008

    What in the world will these totally out-of-control atheists do next?!!

    billboards.

    muhahahahhahahaha!!

  203. #203 Kaiser
    October 22, 2008

    Wow, it`s now at £ 53,536.58 .

  204. #204 Apeman
    October 22, 2008

    Personally, I think it’s hilarious.

    I’d also like to see: “Homeopathy? Are you f*cking kidding me?”

  205. #206 jim
    October 22, 2008

    My wife just emailed me to say that we’ve donated a tenner. It figures, of course–one group funds adverts that say “You’re going to HELL!”, another funds adverts that say “No actually, you aren’t. Probably.” Which one is being offensive?

    I agree, though, that bendybi are an abomination unto Nuggan. Bring back the Routemaster!

  206. #207 Johnny
    October 22, 2008

    As a Londoner myself, I am both very happy and amused by this scheme of Dawkins’. I was getting pretty sick of all the adverts on buses and tubes advertising Christianity and anything to counter this is greatly appreciated. What kind of religion can it be when you have to start advertising anyway? Inanity countered by rationality…almost makes me proud to be English again. Now if Dawkins could do something similar about calamity Brown…

  207. #208 negentropyeater
    October 22, 2008

    adamh,

    Its when [Atheists] get political power and get the Gulags going that we need to be concerned!

    Strange, haven’t seen any Gulags in Western Europe, yet many of those who have been in political power since the last four decades were non believers.

  208. #209 Rohan
    October 22, 2008

    It’s now at 58,000 pounds and counting.

    Already raised more than 10X the target with people from all over the planet donating.

    Time to start thinking bigger I feel

  209. #210 Vaal
    October 22, 2008

    How about …

    GOD(S) ARE BASED ON IRRATIONAL ANACHRONISTIC CHILDISH SUPERSTITIONS. GET A GRIP!”

    or

    “GET THAT PRIEST A PROPER JOB! (away from children)”

    That would get them going :)

    Double decker bus around the bible belt of the US, anyone?

  210. #211 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 22, 2008

    As long as the atheists stick to ads, no problem.

    Its when they get political power and get the Gulags going that we need to be concerned!

    Legion is that you?

    Nah. That name doesn’t fit the pattern.

  211. #212 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 22, 2008

    There’s faith for a reason.

    There are ponzi schemes for a reason too.

  212. #213 tsg
    October 22, 2008

    I agree, though, that bendybi are an abomination unto Nuggan.

    Yeah but, to be fair, there’s precious little that isn’t an abomination unto Nuggan these days. It says quite a bit when your holy scripture comes in a loose leaf binder.

    But at least I didn’t have to kiss the Duchess.

  213. #214 Nerd of Redhead
    October 22, 2008

    Just I think Nerd of Redhead needs to realize that constantly calling him a sky daddy and demanding proof of his existence isn’t going to further any argument. There’s faith for a reason.

    Having to have faith is the weakness of religion. All con artists require that you have faith in them. Otherwise, their cons don’t work.

    If you can’t see the problem, reboot your brain.

  214. #215 Tulse
    October 22, 2008

    £ 65,269.46 — great Cthulhu, they seem to have provided a release for a lot of pent-up demand.

  215. #216 jim
    October 22, 2008

    I was just reminded of the time I saw a learner bus in London (they’re a different colour and have ‘L’ plates plastered over them) go by clearly displaying the route number ’666′. Which I thought was a nice touch.

  216. #217 John M
    October 22, 2008

    £75000 in less than two days. Phew!

  217. #218 phantomreader42
    October 22, 2008

    redf the death-cultist troll @ #180:

    of course the one pedophiliac priest represents the whole Christian religion.

    And of course the entire church with an official policy of shielding pedophile priests from justice, going back decades, maybe even centuries? Well, that couldn’t possibly reflect on the single largest chrisitan denomination in any way. No, no, just because the church does everything in its power to protect pedophiles, and nothing whatsoever to protect the victims, that couldn’t POSSIBLY mean the church might be doing anything even slightly wrong. In case you can’t tell, that was sarcasm.

    More death-cult minimization of human suffering:

    The Salem witch trials once again a single event represents the vast majority of everyone who practices that religion.

    Yeah, the Salem Witch Trials were just an isolated incident. And all those other witch hunts for centuries throughout Europe, each one also an isolated incident. Yep, all those tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people tortured, murdered, their property stolen, their families disgraced, all in the name of god, well there’s no connection between those incidents at all. There couldn’t possibly be any general conclusion to be drawn from it all. Each and every time innocent people have been brutally murdered for religious reasons, with exactly the same justification, well all those incidents are completely unrelated. No connection at all. Even to consider the possibility that there might be makes baby Jebus cry. In case you can’t tell, that was sarcasm.

    The death-cultist whines:

    I find it unfair for you to label every religious follower some sort of ignorant person who is not open to reason. Its not like believing in God holds them back.

    Well, if the shoe fits…

    This is why believers are thought of as delusional and in denial. Because you are. You refuse to accept the facts right in front of you. The truth is, your religion has been torturing and murdering people for thousands of years. These were NOT isolated incidents. This was NOT the work of a few “bad apples”. These actions were OFFICIAL church policy, and still remain so in some cases.

    The death-cultist proves he can’t read his own bible:

    Do you think the Bible has bad intentions, it tells people to do bad things, it influences them in bad ways? No, sorry but its not written that way

    Once again, blatant denial. The Bible depicts god explicitly commanding genocide, and his followers carrying it out, and does so in a positive light. This same bible demands the murder of homosexuals, nonbelievers, “witches”, even disobedient children. It’s right there in the text of your supposedly “holy” book. The fact that you’ve gotten very good at pretending such passages don’t exist doesn’t make them go away.

    redf doesn’t even know what religon is:

    and you are not religious, and neither am I, but I believe in God, who is not a “skypappy”

    Now you’re in denial about the meaning of words! Belief in god is one of the defining characteristics of religion! If you can’t even communicate in intelligible English, what possible reason is there for anyone to bother listening to you?

    Of course, everyone has noticed that in all the reams of bullshit you’ve spewed here, you have yet to answer the original question. As a reminder, here’s the question you’re hiding from:

    name one positive value of religion that couldn’t exist in an entirely secular social organization.

    Just name ONE positive value of religion that is actually unique to religion. Just ONE. Name one thing that religion does that actually provides some benefit, a benefit that can’t be gotten otherwise. If relgion is so wonderful and important, this should be easy. Why, then, have you so totally FAILED at it? Why, in all this garbage and whining, have you been completely unable to show even ONE legitimate benefit for religion?

    redf @ #192:

    i understand that God has to be tangible before you can believe in him.

    Strawman. All we need is a single speck of evidence. Something even you know you are utterly incapable of providing.

    but then faith wouldn’t exist.

    And why is that a bad thing? What is the advantage to believing in things that aren’t real? Why is it considered a virtue to believe things that are totally unsupported by evidence? Where did the human race get this idea that the facts should have no bearing whatsoever on what you believe?

    Look its a spiritual, cultural tradition

    So was slavery. So was human sacrifice. So IS racism, even today, in large parts of this very country. And in some cultures, female genital mutilation and arranged marriages. Just because it’s traditional doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s simply insane to keep doing something for no other reason than that it’s the way it’s been done in the past. The appeal to tradition is simply an excuse to avoid looking at the real-world effects of your actions.
    In the words of Mark Twain Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

    redf’s core whine:

    I just don’t want to deny that there is a God.

    Who’s asking you to? We’re asking you to name a single unique benefit from religion. You’ve utterly failed to do this. We’re asking you to provide a shred of evidence that your god actually exists. You’ve utterly failed to do this.
    No one’s asking you to deny your god, they’re asking you to support your claims. You have utterly failed in this. Either name a benefit of religion, or admit that there aren’t any. Either show the evidence for your god, or admit that there isn’t any. You’re the one who sees believing without evidence as a virtue, so admitting that nothing you’ve said is supported by any evidence isn’t the same as denying your imaginary god.

    redf admits there might as well be no god:

    I don’t know, he doesn’t do anything for me and doesn’t have too.

    So, your god does not do anything for you at all, you freely admit this, and this fact does not diminish your faith in the least. A god that does nothing, goes nowhere, speaks to no one, leaves not the slightest trace of its existence, has no effect on the universe whatsoever, doesn’t differ in any meaningful way from a god that doesn’t exist. Your god is absolutely indistinguishable from no god at all.

    redf’s final, desperate pleading for relevance:

    There’s faith for a reason.

    Yes, to bilk the gullible. To promote credulity and obedience to traditional authority, and avoid that pesky issue of evidence. Because as long as you can get people to follow you based on faith, you’ll have all the money and power you can squeeze out of them, an excuse to get around any law, willing sex slaves and assassins and suicide bombers, even generations of children offered up on the altar for whatever use your whim dictates. But the instant your followers start asking for evidence, the whole house of cards comes crashing down.

  218. #219 DiegoRO
    October 22, 2008

    Congratulations for British atheists, who prove their courage. Will those buses not be preferential targets for bombings?? If my country (Brazil) allowed such public campaigns regarding religion, it would almost literally raise hell among religious people. The buses would not remain intact at all.

  219. #220 DiegoRO
    October 22, 2008

    Congratulations for British atheists, who prove their courage. Will those buses not be preferential targets for bombings?? If my country (Brazil) allowed such public campaigns regarding religion, it would almost literally raise hell among religious people. The buses would not remain intact at all.

  220. #221 Anna
    October 22, 2008

    How does it go again? Ah yes,

    “Oh Lord, protect me from thy followers”…

    Only the nasty intolerant ones, that is :-)

    You believe what you believe. I respect that. I’ll believe what I want to believe, and I’d like you to respect that in turn. Even if what I believe differs from what you believe. In fact, I don’t even intend to tell you what I believe!

  221. #222 Tulse
    October 22, 2008

    the Salem Witch Trials were just an isolated incident.

    You mean the “trials” part were isolated, right? Because I hear Sarah Palin’s pastor friend doesn’t bother with the judicial aspect…

  222. #223 redf
    October 23, 2008

    to phantomreader42(and no one else but him, so shut the hell up):

    I don’t even care if you get this, I just looked at this page right now to look if any more responses from last night, and i find yours…

    What the hell first off, I can’t be agnostic. And I am sure you have a multitude of reasons for why being agnostic is dumb, because you will assume all this stuff about my beliefs.

    And I am a troll and death cultist, just because I seem to be the one guy on this post who actually disagrees with what PZ meyers wrote. Just shut the fuck up honestly. Jackass, pick apart every single one of my sentences. You know what you are the one who isn’t open and reasonable, you will assume the absolute worst about what religion has to offer. I don’t know what world you live where you honestly think you can compare religion to slavery. And don’t say “our world” to what world do you live in.

  223. #224 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 23, 2008

    Posted by: redf | October 23, 2008 12:48 AM [kill]?[hide comment]

    to phantomreader42(and no one else but him, so shut the hell up):

    Blow out your ass you silly little fucker.

    And I am a troll and death cultist, just because I seem to be the one guy on this post who actually disagrees with what PZ meyers wrote.

    Wrong. Just check out Salt. Oh, wait, you need to think yourself the brave man standing up to the mindless atheist horde. If you took some fucking time to read, you would find others who disagree with Myers.

    And that is “M-Y-E-R-S”, not “M-E-Y-E-R-R”. Funny thing, it is usually trolls who misspell PZ’s name.

    Now shut the hell up.

  224. #225 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    Ahh redf, you’ve certainly got the fire inside you. Too bad you are missing the knowledge to make your words anything more than fodder, but keep up the dream nethertheless.

  225. #226 Piltdown Man
    October 23, 2008

    Patricia (#189):

    My ancestor’s were hanged by good christians.

    No, they were hanged by lawless Protestant heretics.

    Trying to anger me won’t work.

    Why would I do that? You’re already perpetually angry.

    Generation after generation being hanged by thumpers, breeds tolerance.

    Generation after generation??? Wow – they must have been doing something wrong. Perhaps they were actually witches!

  226. #227 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    Perhaps they were actually witches!

    Nah, it was just demonic possession lol. Of course it’s fun to watch people justify absolute horrors committed in the past by rationalising it as supernatural.

  227. #228 Wowbagger
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man wrote:

    No, they were hanged by lawless Protestant heretics.

    Aye. And they probably were nae Scotsmen, either!

  228. #229 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    No, they were hanged by lawless Protestant heretics.

    Oh, right. Good lawful Catholic Christians adhered to doctrine by setting their victims on fire.

  229. #230 Piltdown Man
    October 23, 2008

    Wowbagger (#228):

    No, they were hanged by lawless Protestant heretics.

    Aye. And they probably were nae Scotsmen, either!

    Of course, everyone knows that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren’t True Atheists . . .

  230. #231 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    Of course, everyone knows that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren’t True Atheists . . .

    Who here is denying they were atheists? Nice strawman there…

  231. #232 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Of course, everyone knows that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren’t True Atheists . . .

    Of course. They were setting themselves up as murderous God-like despots, just like Jesus of Nazareth.

    “But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them.”

    True Atheists would reject even themselves being God…

  232. #233 SEF
    October 23, 2008

    A quick predition – it will take less than a week for a Muslim or evangelical bus driver to claim ‘victimisation’ when they get suspended for refusing to drive a bus with one of these ads on the side.

    If any muslim does try that on, they should have their case thrown out (and get sacked) for dishonesty if they didn’t already refuse to drive any buses carrying adverts for interest-based banking and various other things which are against their religion (ie any pictures at all if truly fundy).

  233. #234 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    redf @ #223:

    to phantomreader42(and no one else but him, so shut the hell up):

    Why don’t YOU shut the hell up? You’re the one who has utterly failed to support any of your idiotic claims with even the slightest speck of evidence.

    What the hell first off, I can’t be agnostic. And I am sure you have a multitude of reasons for why being agnostic is dumb, because you will assume all this stuff about my beliefs.

    You never claimed to be agnostic. You whined about the virtues of faith, whined about not wanting to have to deny god, babbled about the benefits of religion (not one of which you have managed to name), and tossed in a thinly-veiled repeat of the “atheists have no morals” lie. These do not look like the actions of an agnostic, more like those of a sociopathic religious apologist. An agnostic is as a rule someone who thinks the question of the existence of a god is unknowable. This really doesn’t fit well with your whining about “denying god”. Maybe you could actually look at the definition of the word, that might be a new thing for you:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic

    redf the death-cultist troll:

    And I am a troll and death cultist, just because I seem to be the one guy on this post who actually disagrees with what PZ meyers wrote.

    “Death-cultist troll” is basically a shorthand for someone who has no interest in honest discussion, just wants to babble and spew religious bullshit. Like you. You came here with a self-inflicted case of the vapors over advertising atheism, babbling about the virtues of religion (and again, there’s that question you’re still hiding from), frantically trying to sweep every failure of religion under the rug.

    Not to mention that you can’t even spell the name of the guy who writes this blog correctly, even when it’s ON THE FUCKING PAGE!

    redf:

    Just shut the fuck up honestly.

    You first. :P

    redf:

    Jackass, pick apart every single one of my sentences.

    I notice that while you enjoy whining about having your bullshit exposed as such, you haven’t made any attempt at all to actually defend or support anything you’ve said. If you think I’m wrong in my criticism of your idiocy, you could point out where. You haven’t even tried to do this.

    redf:

    You know what you are the one who isn’t open and reasonable, you will assume the absolute worst about what religion has to offer.

    What should I be open to? You’ve never even bothered offering the slightest shred of evidence to support any of your claims. How is it reasonable to accept your bullshit without any evidence at all?

    Oh, and what was it again that religion has to offer? Do you remember Ichthyic’s question, way back at #166? The one you have utterly failed to answer in all this time? Here, I’ll repeat it for you YET AGAIN:

    name one positive value of religion that couldn’t exist in an entirely secular social organization.

    You see, you still haven’t answered that. Just one thing religion does that’s actually beneficial, and that wouldn’t happen in the abscence of religion. If religion has all these wonderful benefits you seem to think it does, it shouldn’t be hard for you to name just ONE. And yet you have utterly failed to do so.

    redf:

    I don’t know what world you live where you honestly think you can compare religion to slavery.

    The real world. The same world where the allegedly holy book of the largest religion contains the following:

    Leviticus 25:44-46:

    Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
    Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
    And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

    Ephisians 6:5:

    Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

    And those aren’t the only biblical endorsements of slavery. Through much of American history, christian preachers defended slavery and racism on bibilical grounds. Religion has defended slavery for thousands of years. The Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims, all had slaves, and their gods made no objection. To this day, slavery is stil practiced, mostly in backward religious areas of the world (Middle Eastern countries mostly come to mind). Fundamentalist men (of multiple faiths) hold their wives and children in a state of virtual slavery, citing their religon as justification for this despicable practice. And yet you refuse to see any connection at all between religion and slavery. I’m guessing you don’t live in the real world, nor have you apparently ever visited it.

    You are in denial. Religion enables that denial. Religion celebrates that denial. For centuries, religion has provided justification for atrocity, intolerance, and insanity. What good has religion done that could make up for all this? What benefit is there to religion, that can’t be gotten without all this madness? You were asked that question a day and a half ago. You have utterly failed to answer it. In fact, neither you nor any other apologist for religion has really even tried. You hide from the question, hide from the facts, and repeat the same lies you’ve been spoon-fed since childhood.

  234. #235 Piltdown Man
    October 23, 2008

    Kel (231):

    Of course, everyone knows that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren’t True Atheists . . .

    Who here is denying they were atheists?

    Owlmirror is (232):

    Of course, everyone knows that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren’t True Atheists . . .

    Of course. They were setting themselves up as murderous God-like despots … True Atheists would reject even themselves being God…

    Nice try, but there’s an unbridgeable semantic chasm between ‘God’ and ‘God-like despot’. Stalin, Mao et al were ATHEISTS, megalomaniac ones.

    Nor can you even claim that their atheism was incidental to their murderous ideology. They killed in the name of an inherently atheist system.

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism? How much more innocent blood must be spilt before people rise up and slaughter their oppressors?

  235. #236 Nick Gotts
    October 23, 2008

    Generation after generation??? Wow – they must have been doing something wrong. Perhaps they were actually witches! – Piltdown Scumbag

    Who lives up to his handle with a magnificent example of blame-the-victim. Like those Jews, eh, Pilty? If you Catholics have persecuted them for 1700 years, they must deserve it, eh? You filth.

  236. #237 Rev. BigDumbChimp, Kot, OM
    October 23, 2008

    They killed in the name of an inherently atheist system.

    They were killed in the name of an inherently Totalitarian system. That is the relevant point. If every atheist was out killing people you’d have a leg to stand on. But you don’t.

  237. #238 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man the death-cultist troll @ #235:

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism? How much more innocent blood must be spilt before people rise up and slaughter their oppressors?

    What oppressors? Oh, yeah, the ones that exist only in your delusions.

    Since it’s obvious that your religous dogma has driven you insane, you may not be able to grasp this fact, but THERE IS NO “TYRRANY OF ORGANIZED ATHEISM!” You are NOT “suffering” anything! The persecution you whine about exists only in your own delusions. YOU are the one explicitly defending the murder of countless innocent people in the name of your imaginary god.

    Go fuck yourself, you worthless delusional scumbag.

  238. #239 Nick Gotts
    October 23, 2008

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism?- Piltdown Scumbag

    There are times when one must just stand amazed and aghast: the extent of disconnection from reality which must lie behind such absurd claims. What “tyranny” is that, Scumbag? If you live in North Korea, or live in China and have converted to Falun Gong, you can reasonably claim to be a religious believer persecuted by “organised atheism”, at least in the weak sense of “an organised body professing an atheist ideology”. Elsewhere, religious persecution is overwhelmingly practised by religious believers, as has been the case overwhelmingly through history.

  239. #240 Nick Gotts
    October 23, 2008

    I have counselled in prisons – Pete Rooke

    as a prisoner?

    or was it that nobody else would pay you?

    – Ichthyic

    You think anyone who isn’t in prison is going to stand still and let Pete Rooke “counsel” them, do you?

  240. #241 Nerd of Redhead
    October 23, 2008

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism? How much more innocent blood must be spilt before people rise up and slaughter their oppressors?

    Pilty, had any trouble attending the church of your choice recently? If you haven’t, then where is the conspiracy? Evidence my dear man. Without evidence, all you have is paranoiac blather.

    Freedom of religion also means my freedom from your religion-or any other religion.

  241. #242 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 23, 2008

    There are times when one must just stand amazed and aghast: the extent of disconnection from reality which must lie behind such absurd claims. What “tyranny” is that, Scumbag? If you live in North Korea, or live in China and have converted to Falun Gong, you can reasonably claim to be a religious believer persecuted by “organised atheism”, at least in the weak sense of “an organised body professing an atheist ideology”. Elsewhere, religious persecution is overwhelmingly practised by religious believers, as has been the case overwhelmingly through history.

    And even then it is less about the religion and more about Totalitarian governments keeping down any organizations that may pose a threat to their control.

  242. #243 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 23, 2008

    That was in reference to the first part of Nicks comment.

    The religious groups persecuting other religious groups is all about the religion.

  243. #244 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Oh! My goodness, look at all this carryin’ on I slept through.

  244. #245 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism? How much more innocent blood must be spilt before people rise up and slaughter their oppressors?

    I’ve been saying the same thing about stupid people like yourself, Piltdown.

    By the way, we know you think you’re clever by referencing the Piltdown skull in your handle, but it’s a pretty safe bet you haven’t a fucking clue as to what the hoax signified. The Piltdown skull was that of anatomically modern human with the jaw of a orangutan, which was thought at the time to represent an intermediate step in hominin evolution. You see, at the time it was thought that the first major ‘progress’ the human species made was in developing modern, large brains, with which we ‘decided’ to become bipedal, use tools, etc. to ‘better’ our condition, a sort of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, as it were. The impetus for such thinking was not scientific in nature, but religious in origin: it comes directly from the scala naturae in which humans are posited as supreme over all other forms of life, second only to God.

    That’s not to say that those that bought into the Piltdown hoax were poor scientists or otherwise stupid, even if some of them did show good ol’ fashioned Christian projection in wanting the skull to be genuine. At the time, there was a relative dearth of hominin fossils, and so the true course of our evolution was considerably contentious and murky.

    However, even at the time, there were many that did question the ersatz skull. These included those that believed, based on the available evidence at the time, that increased cranial capacity was one of the last features to develop in modern humans, an hypothesis which mounting evidence has now shown to be true.

    So in fact, the Piltdown hoax is not the great blow to science and the study of evolution that morons like yourself believe it to be. Further, the fact that it took 40 years to determine that it was a hoax only serves to underscore the non-existence of the Great Scientific Conspiracy? you and your fellow persecution-complexers like to imagine lurking in your closets: a dogmatic hegemony wouldn’t have criticised, examined, poked, and prodded the skull for forty years to determine its legitimacy.

    Anyway, if you’d like to one day cease being a total fucking clueless twit, at least with regard to hominin evolution, I recommend The Human Career by Richard Klein (now in its second edition, printed in 1999–you might want to wait for the third edition which will include the substantial findings from the last decade of palaeoanthropology), or, if you’re more of a biography and history of science type of person any of the books by Richard Leakey.

    If hoaxes are truly your thing, why not click on the link in my name to read about the substantial number of hoaxes perpetrated by good, honest Christian folks like yourself?

    On second thought, nevermind; I just answered my own question.

    Yours in truth, not Christ,

    Brownian

  245. #246 Piltdown Man
    October 23, 2008

    Nick Gotts (#236):

    Generation after generation??? Wow – they must have been doing something wrong. Perhaps they were actually witches! – Piltdown Scumbag

    Who lives up to his handle with a magnificent example of blame-the-victim.

    And you’ve just provided a magnificent example of another characteristic liberal tic – the unquestioning assumption that all ‘victims’, everywhere, are guiltless.

    I daresay many of the ‘witches’ executed by the Protestant rebels were entirely innocent. But to imagine witchcraft has no basis in reality is to show one’s ignorance. Witches were, and are, a reality. What about Gilles de Rais or Catherine Deshayes, aka La Voisin? What about Jack Parsons or Ted Paisnel? Or Michel Bertiaux?

    Like those Jews, eh, Pilty? If you Catholics have persecuted them for 1700 years, they must deserve it, eh? You filth.

    Allow me the indulgence of quoting what I said about the subject on the RDF:

    … no one is denying Jews were frequently victims of mob violence in Christian society, notably during the Crusades and the extreme social trauma of the 14th-century Black Death. I’m not sure there’s much difference there from pre-Christian or post-Christian society. But I do know medieval ecclesiastical authorities often acted to protect the Jews on such occasions, for example suppressing the sect of Flagellants (who incited anti-Jewish violence) and condemning the so-called “blood libel” (“Die Päpstlichen Bullen über die Blutbeschuldigung,” Berlin, 1893, and Munich (Aug. Schupp), 1900, contains the bulls of Innocent IV, Gregory X, Martin V, Paul III, and the opinion of Lorenzo Ganganelli (later Clement XIV). Many popes have either directly or indirectly condemned the blood accusation; no pope has ever sanctioned it.” – Jewish Encyclopedia).

    Whereas the Jews are made to the image of God, and a remnant of them will one day be saved, and whereas they have sought our protection: following in the footsteps of our predecessors We command that they be not molested in their synagogues; that their laws, rights and customs be not assailed; that they be not baptized by force, constrained to observe Christian festivals, nor to wear new badges, and that they be not hindered in their business relations with Christians. – Pope Martin V, Declaration on the Protection of the Jews.

    Medieval Europe was no Christian utopia and often failed to act according to the Gospels, not least in its treatment of the Jews. But just to set things in their full historical context, one might want to consider the following:

    How did the Church’s first martyr St Stephen die?

    What was Saul of Tarsus up to before he saw the light?

    What happened to those Christians who refused to support the false messiah Bar Kochba?

    Did many Jews distinguish themselves by sheltering Christians from their Roman persecutors?

    Oh, and here’s an interesting historical event that seems to have conveniently slipped down the memory hole. You see, there are two sides to every story.

    Does any of this excuse later mistreatment of the Jews by Christians? Of course it doesn’t. But it does illustrate that the image of the Jew as always and everywhere the powerless victim of Christian brutality is a distorted and one-sided one.

  246. #247 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Witches were, and are, a reality. What about Gilles de Rais or Catherine Deshayes, aka La Voisin? What about Jack Parsons or Ted Paisnel? Or Michel Bertiaux?

    Or Brownian? or Rev. BDC? or any of the Molly winners here? Just how do you think we scored all those votes anyway? Campaigning? Prayer?

    No, my friends, through witchcraft, pure and simple. And thanks to modern science, I no longer have to messy my hands with newts’ eyes and symbolic Devile’s Congresses. I cast my hexes by coding them in SAS:

    DATA creotard.spell_victims;
    SET pharyngula.trolls;
    IF moron=”Piltdown_Man” THEN DO;
    species=”toad”;
    children=”eaten by cannibals”;
    spouse_or_so=”contracts rickets”;
    END;
    RUN;

  247. #248 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man, have you ever actually studied the transcripts from any of the witch trials? Do you have any clue of the cruelty that was used to torture those poor people? How do you defend that?

  248. #249 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    My goodness Brownian! What a big wand you have!

  249. #250 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Witches were, and are, a reality.

    /jawfloor

    Do you mean witches casting spells type of witches, witches practicing nature related religions like Wicca types of witches or do you mean really mean women who won’t give you the time of day types of witches?

    I would think these are more your speed.

  250. #251 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Does any of this excuse later mistreatment of the Jews by Christians? Of course it doesn’t. But it does illustrate that the image of the Jew as always and everywhere the powerless victim of Christian brutality is a distorted and one-sided one.

    It also illustrates that Christianity has no more usefulness in enforcing, ensuring, or even coaxing ‘moral’ behaviour out of its followers than plastic Slinkies do the kids who play with them.

    Hey Piltdown Man! What do you call a variable that is not correlated with any measurable outcome, is itself undetectable in any reliable way, and likely doesn’t actually exist?

    Besides witchcraft, I mean.

  251. #252 Nick Gotts
    October 23, 2008

    And you’ve just provided a magnificent example of another characteristic liberal tic – the unquestioning assumption that all ‘victims’, everywhere, are guiltless. – Piltdown Scumbag

    I have done no such thing. I see you are still unable to make a comment without both lying and exposing your disgusting prejudices, so I will be immediately returning you to my killfile.

    it does illustrate that the image of the Jew as always and everywhere the powerless victim of Christian brutality is a distorted and one-sided one. – PS

    Since no-one has been projecting this image, your link is irrelevant. Funny, I’m more used to being accused of being anti-semitic because I criticise Israel.

  252. #253 Nick Gotts
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man, have you ever actually studied the transcripts from any of the witch trials? Do you have any clue of the cruelty that was used to torture those poor people? How do you defend that? – Patricia

    He doesn’t just defend it, he revels in it. The thought of righteously torturing women really gets him off!

  253. #254 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    My goodness Brownian! What a big wand you have!

    It’s big so as to take attention away from the small size of my–damn! I gotta learn to stop explaining my tricks!

  254. #255 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Patricia @ #248:

    Piltdown Man, have you ever actually studied the transcripts from any of the witch trials? Do you have any clue of the cruelty that was used to torture those poor people? How do you defend that?

    He defends it because he worships cruelty. There is no room in his diseased mind for compassion. It’s all filled up with delusions about the “glory” of a nonexistent devil*.

    Piltdown Man, your god is nothing more than a figment of your imagination. But if such a being actually existed, if there really were such a sickening invisible sky-tyrant who rejoices at the slaughter of innocents, it would be the duty of all good people to OPPOSE such evil.

    Your god does not exist, but it wouldn’t be worthy of worship even if it did.

    *I use the term “devil” in the Dungeons & Dragons sense, meaning an extraplanar being of alignment Lawful Evil, tyrranical, cruel, manipulative, and alien to the material plane. This is distinct from a “demon”, which is Chaotic Evil, capricious and randomly destructive. Since Piltdown Scumbag seems to be a big fan of organized oppression and mass murder, LE seems fitting.

  255. #256 Nerd of Redhead
    October 23, 2008

    Pilty, still quoting religious texts without proving your imaginary god or proving that the scriptures are divinely inspired (very hard to do without a god). Get your priorities straight. First prove your god with physical evidence, then prove your scriptures, and then, and only then, quote church doctrine. Otherwise, you just look stupid.

  256. #257 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Nice try, but there’s an unbridgeable semantic chasm between ‘God’ and ‘God-like despot’.

    Since “God” does not speak for himself (and indeed, almost certainly does not exist), the “chasm” is actually a hairline crack.

    Stalin, Mao et al were ATHEISTS, megalomaniac ones.

    Megalomania being the key trait, not atheism.

    Nor can you even claim that their atheism was incidental to their murderous ideology.

    I most certainly can indeed argue that atheism was utterly incidental to their respective ideologies: If they had me before their guns, and I said “I am an atheist, but I utterly reject and oppose this murder, theft, and destruction that you commit for the sake of Bolshevism/Maoism/agrarian collectivism/whateverism”, they would not have hesitated to kill me.

    Citing Wikipedia:

    The Khmer Rouge tried to impose the concept of “Year Zero” and targeted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Western-educated intellectuals, educated people in general, people who had contact with Western countries or with Vietnam, the crippled and lame, and the ethnic Chinese, Laotians and Vietnamese.

    Nothing about sparing atheists qua atheists in there. As a nerd, I most certainly would have been murdered as a “Western-educated intellectual” or “educated person in general”.

    The same goes for Chinese Maoism and Stalinist Bolshevism: There, too, adherence to the group and the ideology was far more important than belief in God. Although of course, it was more complex and political than that:

    Citing:
    http://books.google.com/books?isbn=0765607484

    Using voluminous archival records that are carefully read and analyzed, she [Tatiana A. Chumachenko, author of Church and State in Soviet Russia] redraws the map of personal and institutional relationships between the Orthodox Church and the Soviet government. This history becomes a story filled with personal sacrifices and petty grievances, genuine patriotism and political betrayal. Communists and church leaders collaborated with one another to advance their own agendas. Secret policemen persistently argued for more churches to be opened, while Orthodox bishops exchanged greetings and gifts with high-ranking government officials. Members of both groups advanced their causes and became victims when the political winds shifted.

    Since the Orthodox are schismatics, I have no idea of anything they do matters to you. You never did answer my questions about that…

    How long must we suffer the tyranny of organised atheism? How much more innocent blood must be spilt before people rise up and slaughter their oppressors?

    When you write “atheism”, I’m pretty sure that you actually mean “non-Catholicism”. You denigrate the mass-murderers of the 20th century while simultaneously bloodlusting for a Catholic-led genocide of your own…

    Do you have your uniform designed yet? Have you put much thought into how you’re going to kill non-Catholics en masse? Or is the ancient Catholic tradition of live cremation good enough for you?

    But it does illustrate that the image of the Jew as always and everywhere the powerless victim of Christian brutality is a distorted and one-sided one.

    Actually, it demonstrates sadly that when one religious faction gains power, it turns on those religious factions that held power, and are now out of power.

    Just as you long for Catholicism to regain power, and so the Church can get back to slaughtering everyone who is not Catholic.

  257. #258 Blake Stacey
    October 23, 2008

    Communists and church leaders collaborated with one another to advance their own agendas. Secret policemen persistently argued for more churches to be opened, while Orthodox bishops exchanged greetings and gifts with high-ranking government officials.

    I’m totally going to use that the next time somebody insists that atheistic scientists collaborate with “moderate Christian leaders” to fight creationism. You know who else collaborated with church leaders? Stalin and his secret police, that’s who!

  258. #259 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Pilty, You’ve finally succeeded in making me so damned mad I had to go outside and walk around clucking at my chickens.
    Until you actually know something about witches shut up.
    This months FFRF newspaper has a pretty decent article about it. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of torture.

  259. #260 Rey Fox
    October 23, 2008

    Witches and demons and goblins, oh my!

  260. #261 Laser Potato
    October 23, 2008

    “*I use the term “devil” in the Dungeons & Dragons sense, meaning an extraplanar being of alignment Lawful Evil, tyrranical, cruel, manipulative, and alien to the material plane.”
    Forget Jesus, all you need to beat Satan is a d12 and a high-leveled Paladin.

  261. #262 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Laser Potato @ #261:

    Forget Jesus, all you need to beat Satan is a d12 and a high-leveled Paladin.

    Nah, try a Ranger with some good favored enemy choices, a couple well-enchanted weapons, maybe a few levels of Rogue or an interesting prestige class. And just for bonus points, start with the most screwed-up racial background you can find. :P

  262. #263 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Witches were, and are, a reality. What about Gilles de Rais or Catherine Deshayes, aka La Voisin? What about Jack Parsons or Ted Paisnel? Or Michel Bertiaux?

    Or Jesus of Nazareth?

    You never did respond to my argument that if demons are real, there is nothing to prevent a particularly powerful demon from either possessing someone and claiming to be the son of God, or helping someone claim to be the son of God.

    The secular response is: Anyone can call themselves a witch. Anyone can claim to be able to do magic (and some of the crazier people kill in order to perform what they claim is magic).

    But if magic actually really worked, it would be demonstrated by real, verifiable evidence. It hasn’t been, so it’s almost certainly all fake.

  263. #264 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Hearing you guys talk about D&D almost makes me wish my DM wasn’t such a miser that we never got anything beyond a generic +1 dagger or longsword at the end of our modules. Hell, in 6 years of play with up to 14 players at a time I don’t think I ever saw an actual character make it to Level 5.

    Temple of Elemental Evil? We never made it past the Foyer of Tangential Disgruntledness.

  264. #265 Tulse
    October 23, 2008

    Hell, in 6 years of play with up to 14 players at a time I don’t think I ever saw an actual character make it to Level 5.

    You have my profound sympathy — running a kick-ass high level character is such a hoot.

  265. #266 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Brownian, OM @ #264:

    Hearing you guys talk about D&D almost makes me wish my DM wasn’t such a miser that we never got anything beyond a generic +1 dagger or longsword at the end of our modules. Hell, in 6 years of play with up to 14 players at a time I don’t think I ever saw an actual character make it to Level 5.

    My D&D buddies are crazy. Last campaign, I played a ranger and was just waiting for an opportunity to cast Resist Energy on myself and SET MYSELF ON FIRE as a way to deal with swarm enemies. Then there was the time the sorcerer stole a magic orb by setting up an Immovable Rod in front of the golem guarding it, casting Mage Hand, and running like hell.

    And now I’m DMing. The party just found a greatsword, and know it’s a bane weapon, but don’t know what kind. And the fighter has an axe that can cleave and cast scrolls, which given the last batch of loot will allow him to summon, of all things, a fiendish cephalopod. Strangely, that last sentence seems to put this post on-topic again. :)

  266. #267 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    Witches were, and are, a reality.

    Right… next you are going to say that mental illness is really demonic possession and that a cracker turns into Jesus on command of a priest… It’s all getting 14th century up in here

  267. #268 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    I’ve never read the Hammer of the Witches, but I’ve heard from some of my witchy lesbian friends that it is absolutely horrifying.
    The transcripts for the Salem witch trials are on line and I’ve read most of them, awful.

  268. #269 phantomreader42
    October 23, 2008

    Kel @ #267:

    Right… next you are going to say that mental illness is really demonic possession and that a cracker turns into Jesus on command of a priest… It’s all getting 14th century up in here

    Mayhap he hath imbibed too deeply of the communion wine?

  269. #270 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    next you are going to say that mental illness is really demonic possession

    That would depend on “praeternatural phenomena associated with their condition & how they reacted to the presence of Catholic sacramentals.”

    and that a cracker turns into Jesus on command of a priest

    That’s what pulled him here in the first place.

  270. #271 Piltdown Man
    October 23, 2008

    Patricia (#268):

    I’ve never read the Hammer of the Witches, but I’ve heard from some of my witchy lesbian friends that it is absolutely horrifying.

    Either these “witchy lesbian friends” of yours are middle-class Wiccan dilettantes – in which case they know bugger all about real witchcraft & their views on the subject are worthless.

    Or they are actually serious occultists – in which case what they say cannot be trusted.

    (Montague Summers’ introduction to the Malleus Maleficarum is online & well worth reading. His History of Witchcraft is also very good.)

  271. #272 Nerd of Redhead
    October 23, 2008

    Pilty, you recommending something as reputable is funny. Still no proof for your god, which makes your words worthless. TSK, TSK.

    The prime directive: If you posit god, prove him/her/it/they. Otherwise, STFU.

  272. #273 Brownian, OM
    October 23, 2008

    Or they are actually serious occultists – in which case what they say cannot be trusted.

    So, no different than Catholics then.

    I cannot for the life of me understand how Catholics fail to realise that if you’re going to indict someone for being evil, you should at least try to be somewhat less evil than they.

    If only Jesus had something to say on the subject. Say, like in Matthew 7:5, or John 8:7 or something like that. But Alas! he never did, insofar as the average Catholic knows.

  273. #274 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man, the whole point of my remark is that I value the opinions of my friends, and obviously I was practicing witchcraft with them or how else would I know they are witches. The thought of them being tortured or hanged is dreadful.

  274. #275 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    in which case they know bugger all about real witchcraft

    Yes, magic was all around us… but went away as soon as empiricism went to investigate it.

  275. #276 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    *snrk*

    The translator, Montague Somers, is an interesting figure in his own right, but let’s just say for present purposes that in terms of competence, his version is amateurish. He clearly didn’t use the oldest edition, he garbles the many references to earlier authorities, and he not infrequently guesses when he doesn’t understand something. Also, he writes in a crabbed, old-fashioned style that I think borders on the incomprehensible at times. Finally, he adopts the perspective of curmudgeonly Catholic from the Middle Ages who entirely believes in the view laid out in the work. In his history of witchcraft from the post-First World War period he equates Bolshevism and feminism (the main ills of his own world) with medieval witchcraft. This sort of thing is amusing, but not scholarship.

    I’m sure that the whole “curmudgeonly Catholic from the Middle Ages who entirely believes in the view laid out in the work” is exactly why Pilt likes it.

  276. #277 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008
  277. #278 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Watch he’s gonna bring up sex with devils. With no clue whatsoever that no one believes in devils but christians and other religious idiots.

  278. #279 Kel
    October 23, 2008

    Silly Pilty, myths are for kids.

  279. #280 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 23, 2008

    Pilty, you better shut up about witches. Some of us just might become so upset, we will use our powers (On loan from Satan!{And wouldn’t you want to know how we got them}) to track you down through the intertubes. Because the intertubes is not really the result of technology. It is witchcraft. And we can find you.

    And then Pilty, we have ways of making body parts straight! Oh, the fun to be had corrupting a righteous man!

  280. #281 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Montague Summers, from Wikipedia:

    Summers was a member of the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society for homosexuals founded in 1897 by George Ives, which was named after the location of the battle where the Sacred Band of Thebes was finally annihilated in 338 BC.

    Too funny!

    Order of Chaeronea, also from Wikipedia:

    The Order of Chaeronea was a secret society for the cultivation of a homosexual moral, ethical, cutural and spiritual ethos.

    The reason this is so ironically hilarious is that Pilt was so adamant that gays with a secret agenda had infiltrated the priesthood (“the lavender mafia” ), thus leading to the pedophilia scandals. Yes, he’s so very wrong in so many ways, but here he is recommending something from an actual homosexual with a secret agenda…

    And I see that Oscar Wilde was a member. Interesting.

  281. #282 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Oh, and Wikipedia says that Montague was pals with Aleister Crowley, and pretended to be a priest, and was accused of having sex with young boys!

    Pilt, you’re shilling for a flaming founding member of the lavender mafia, who was also a serious occultist, not to be trusted!

    *Snrk* *snrk* *snrk*

  282. #283 Wowbagger
    October 23, 2008

    Piltdown Man wrote:

    Nice try, but there’s an unbridgeable semantic chasm between ‘God’ and ‘God-like despot’. Stalin, Mao et al were ATHEISTS, megalomaniac ones.

    Nor can you even claim that their atheism was incidental to their murderous ideology. They killed in the name of an inherently atheist system.
    blockquote>

    PM, you use the term ‘semantic chasm’; you do realise that there’s a similar gap between ‘atheist’ and ‘antitheist’, don’t you? By killing people for their religious beliefs, the people you mentioned are the latter, whether or not they were the former.

    A- = without. Anti- = against. An important distinction.

  283. #284 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    And one more *snrk*…

    Looking at the table of contents for the translation of the Malleus, I note quite a few chapters that are devoted to things like witches who “Deprive Man of his Virile Member”.

    Well.

    If Pilt starts ranting about how something very precious to him has been stolen, we’ll know that someone on here is really a witch…

  284. #285 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    I forgot Pilty is a catholic. Do you suppose he’s on a mission for Big Bad Bill?

    He really should run away, his soul is in mortal danger. Janine could start bouncing at any moment. I’m afraid to. Some law of motion would down me, once the well filled bosom reached a certain speed.

  285. #286 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 23, 2008

    Ownmirror, what do you think think I was going to take after I corrupted Pilty? And it is not his precious bodily fluid.

  286. #287 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    EWWWWWWWWWWW!!

    Owlmirror! EWWWWWWWW!!!!

  287. #288 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    Pilt isn’t just a Catholic, he’s a hard-core, hard-right Catholic who thinks the Pope is a weak liberal, Vatican II was a terrible liberal mistake, and the Church needs to go back to setting people on fire.

  288. #289 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Clear the fainting couch!

    *gasp* *gag*

    The debbil made you say that.

  289. #290 Nerd of Redhead
    October 23, 2008

    Owlmirror, in other words, Pilty is a batshit insane catolick fundamentalist. We need to hold a reformation in his honor. Time to desecrate crackers until he goes away. Lets see, I have Ritz, saltine, and oyster on hand. The Redhead might have some savories stashed away. And we do have some catolick relatives on the outs with the established church who might be willing to do us a favor……

  290. #291 Patricia
    October 23, 2008

    Sangria & key limes have somewhat revived the heaving bosom…

    Pilty better watch out, Brownian is feeding the flying monkeys, but when he gets back, he can just whip out that impressive wand and the zap is on.

  291. #292 The MadPanda
    October 23, 2008

    Pass the popcorn. We finally found a Troll that’s almost worth slaying. (NOT for the 845 XP, mind you, but for the sheer entertainment value.)

    Since today’s special friend doesn’t realize he’s off the table and into someone’s pint of lager, there’s probably no harm in smacking him down with a verbal shovel. Certainly reason and common sense make no impact. Perhaps we should put him in a giant mason jar next to the Rookester and let them duke it out?

    Let’s face it: the lad needs help which (of course) he will not seek because the demons will get him if he admits to anything that might possibly be considered mortal weakness or failing.

    I’d quote Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, but there’s no point wasting good Discworld lines on the likes of this Epic Fail of a one-note Johnny.

    The MadPanda, FCD

  292. #293 Owlmirror
    October 23, 2008

    ‘semantic chasm’; you do realise that there’s a similar gap between ‘atheist’ and ‘antitheist’, don’t you? By killing people for their religious beliefs, the people you mentioned are the latter, whether or not they were the former.

    I’m unwilling to concede even that much semantic grace to Pilt’s vindictive and hypocritical accusations. The term “antitheist” might well also characterize someone who is opposed to the idea of God, yet strongly affirms a secular humanist ethos.

    No, what his list of monsters have in common is that they were all anti-intellectual, anti-human, anti-liberal, anti-rational, anti-empirical. In their fanaticism, they are far more like the very worst adherents of religions. It’s the willingness to torture and kill that defines them as monsters, not the underlying cause they claim to defend.

    The Khmer Rouge said “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.” Abbe Amalric said “Kill them all. God will know his own.” It’s the same underlying murderous foulness just wearing a different skin.

  293. #294 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    Well then it’s time to call out his demons, and let the shewolves howl.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v7kyzpoVDj0&feature=related

  294. #295 Patricia
    October 24, 2008
  295. #296 Ichthyic
    October 24, 2008

    Pilt isn’t just a Catholic, he’s a hard-core, hard-right Catholic who thinks the Pope is a weak liberal, Vatican II was a terrible liberal mistake, and the Church needs to go back to setting people on fire.

    sounds like Peter’s father (adoptive) from Family Guy.

    http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Francis_Griffin

    I always suspected pilty was really a cartoon character.

  296. #297 Kel
    October 24, 2008

    Pilty has still given be the best laugh I’ve ever had from a believer, when he said he believes in demonic possession I nearly passed out from laughing so hard. All you have to do is take a batshit insane concept as a paramater for reality and hilarity will follow.

  297. #298 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    I think Pilty is just trolling for the sluttiness, gays, lesbians, and general godless bouncing that goes on around here.

    He’s probably off in his closet dreaming of being kidnapped and strapped into some naughty mans panties, while six year olds twirl up and down the stair case.

  298. #299 Ichthyic
    October 24, 2008

    and strapped into some naughty mans panties

    or a double wetsuit?

  299. #300 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    Hummm…
    Well now Kel, I’m not sure I can disagree with ol’ nasty Pilty about demon possession…
    I’ve personally been laid out and had the devil pounded into me more than once. ;o)

  300. #301 Ichthyic
    October 24, 2008

    I’ve personally been laid out and had the devil pounded into me more than once.

    yeah, but did he stay for breakfast the next day?

  301. #302 Kel
    October 24, 2008

    It probably wouldn’t be a bad guess that Pilty is into S&M. Maybe he’s just in denial and blaming his thoughts on demonic possession. But I’m with Pilty on this, chicks in nun costumes are freaking hot!

  302. #303 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    Double wet suit – you comic!

    Maybe Pilty likes dressin up like Alice in Wonderland, those catholics do like their dresses after all.

    Oh! There it is – they wear a double wetsuit UNDER their Alice costume.

  303. #304 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    Ichthyic – Hell he’s been showin’ up for over thirty years!
    Some of my best friends told me my mistake was feeding him.

    He stands around farting and scratching his nether region, but I don’t pay attention. If it doesn’t frighten the chickens to the point they won’t lay eggs – it just can’t be that bad.

    So long as he showers me with jewels – how can I complain. ;o)

  304. #305 Rey Fox
    October 24, 2008

    “Either these “witchy lesbian friends” of yours are middle-class Wiccan dilettantes – in which case they know bugger all about real witchcraft & their views on the subject are worthless.

    Or they are actually serious occultists – in which case what they say cannot be trusted.”

    Heads I win, tails you lose, listen to the guys with the torches in their hands. Sounds good to me.

    Really…if anyone can direct me to any enchanting witches or succubi, then please don’t hesitate. Halloween is coming, and I got no date.

  305. #306 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    Oh now Rey, don’t get depressed. I got some lesbian witchy friends that can bounce and flounce you gents into second class berths.
    mmmmmm – succubi – oh!

  306. #307 Katkinkate
    October 24, 2008

    Re: the Piltdown fossil, if anyone is interested. ABC (Aust) Radio National Science Show had a story on the Piltdown fossil a several years ago. According to Robyn Williams (the host), the key problem that prevented it being identified as a hoax right off, was that the curator of the museum that was given responsibility for preservation and storage, was a man obsessed with the safety of his fossil collection and in order to prevent accidental damage, loss or theft, made it a policy that a copy of all fossils were made (of plaster) for examination and the original was carefully locked away safe. So all the initial investigators saw was the plaster model. It wasn’t until some time after his retirement, that the new curator made the original fossils available to the scientists on request. One of the first scientists who saw the original fossil raised the alarm, leading to an indepth investigation. They never proved who was responsible, but there was a definite suspect, but I can’t remember his name. If I remember right, it was thought to be some sort of revenge prank.

  307. #308 Piltdown Man
    October 24, 2008

    Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker (280):

    Pilty, you better shut up about witches. Some of us just might become so upset, we will use our powers (On loan from Satan!{And wouldn’t you want to know how we got them}) to track you down through the intertubes. Because the intertubes is not really the result of technology. It is witchcraft. And we can find you.

    And then Pilty, we have ways of making body parts straight! Oh, the fun to be had corrupting a righteous man!

    Foolish technomancer! Your puny intertubes are no match for my St Benedict medal.

  308. #309 Piltdown Man
    October 24, 2008

    Patricia (#274):

    Piltdown Man, the whole point of my remark is that I value the opinions of my friends, and obviously I was practicing witchcraft with them or how else would I know they are witches.

    OK, so what do you understand by ‘witchcraft’? (This being an atheist blog and all.)

  309. #310 Kitty
    October 24, 2008

    Katkinkate – It is widely believed in archaeological circles that Charles Dawson was the forger who produced Piltdown man. It is, perhaps, significant that there were no further finds at the gravel pit after his death in 1916.
    Patricia – You might be interested in ergotism as a cause of the symptoms exhibited by those cursed by the Salem witches.
    Apologies if it’s old news to you. It is a fascinating piece of research which shows how natural horrors required supernatural explanations in the absence of the science to explain them.
    Piltdown man might want to read it too – though I doubt he’ll see the significance.

  310. #311 Nick Gotts
    October 24, 2008

    The reason this is so ironically hilarious is that Pilt was so adamant that gays with a secret agenda had infiltrated the priesthood (“the lavender mafia” ), thus leading to the pedophilia scandals. – Owlmirror

    Well, I did wonder at the time how he could be so sure of this “lavender mafia” stuff, and now he recommends a work by a notorious homosexual, suspected child abuser, and consorter with magicians. Hmmm…

  311. #312 Rev. BigDumbChimp, Kot, OM
    October 24, 2008

    OK, so what do you understand by ‘witchcraft’? (This being an atheist blog and all.)

    sigh

  312. #313 Tulse
    October 24, 2008

    Wow — they’ve just topped £ 100,000!

  313. #314 Owlmirror
    October 24, 2008

    witchcraft obviously means incantations, such as:

    while (pain.cognitive >=
    pain.physical
    && conscious
    && !concussed )
    {
    strike (head , desk);
    }

    and hexes. I know lots of hex:

    0xABADCAFE
    0xBAADF00D
    0xBADCAB1E
    0xBEEFCACE
    0xCAFEBABE
    0xC0DEDBAD
    0xDEADBEEF
    0XDEADC0DE
    0xDEADF00D
    0xDEADBEEFCAFE
    0xDEADCAFEBABE
    0xDECAFBAD
    0xFADEDEAD
    0xFEEDBABEF00D
    0x00FEEDFACEC0FFEE
    0X00B00B1E
    0x1337C0DE

  314. #315 Owlmirror
    October 24, 2008

    what do you think think I was going to take after I corrupted Pilty? And it is not his precious bodily fluid.

    There’s no use crying over Pilt’s milt.

  315. #316 Andy
    February 9, 2009

    You Brits love to celebrate Christmas don’t you? – but it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ – it’s all about a jolly red fella who gives you a tingly feeling on Christams morning – Santa’s been Santa’s been… yet you think nothing of you and your childrens salvation and the only doorway that takes you from a red hot fiery pit into Heaven. The reason you think there’s no God – is becasue you have never invited the Holy Spirit into your lives to show you that He exists. You are in a catch 22 – you don’t give your life over to Jesus because you don’t believe – therefore you don’t receive the Holy Spirit that shows you the way. And because you never repent and give your life over – you wll never believe.
    So many souls wish they just had one second on earth to repent. But that day will never come. You have that chance now. Repent of your sins, give your life over to Jesus and forgive those that have done you wrong and receive the Holy Spirit. You will then understand what Christians are ranting about. Stop watching those pristine evangilists who do nothing but preach for money and wealth. Stop looking to a specific religion such as being a Catholic or Protestant. Pick up your Holy Bible and read – the truth is there – the Holy Spirit will guide you. Find a church that preaches the truth of the Bible – it does not have to be a great and packed church with thousands of people. God loves a humble spirit. This is not about the world – this is about you and your responibility for your own salvation. This is personal between you and Jesus Christ. For crying out loud, just read your Bible and you will see how prophecy is coming true, year by year – can you afford to be apart of those who lead you away and then in hell you say, “If I had only known, if I had only known, give me that chance now, please give me that chance now, I believe now…” To late.
    But you can do it now – forget about the rubbish out there and those Christians who have put you off – go to Jesus alone and humble and you will find the true meaning of a real faith with a real God.
    My friends – I live in Africa – it is a hard place, and without the love of Jesus, I would dare to think. You forget that when you mother loves you and you love her – that civility and perect love comes from the commandments of the Bible. Dare to destroy it completely – and I promise that not even your children will be spared – because you will teach them that there are no boundries, and also you will not have the blessing of God who loves it when parents show their children to love Jesus and the truth.

    Andy

  316. #317 Steve_C
    February 9, 2009

    Oh christ. Here we go. The bible is crap! Go away.

  317. #318 SEF
    February 9, 2009

    Ooh look – a late arriving retard. Though, sadly, there is some excuse for a prevalence of religious retards in places like Africa. Life there is a lot closer to the harsh conditions of the bronze-agers who collectively made up (ie by plagiarising from each other) that particular rubbish. So that primitive, evil religion resonates with them far more than with civilised people of more advanced morality.

    It’s an environment of subsistence living, with very little education or time to think. One where people are living in constant fear (from disease, famine and each other!) and desperately breeding (in lieu of any national health service or social security). And where foreign missionaries are deliberately preying upon those fears and their relative ignorance of reality.

  318. #319 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 9, 2009

    Andy, Typically I would point by point answer your post, but because it is no different than hundreds of posts than came before it…

    Andy, go fuck yourself.

  319. #320 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 9, 2009

    Ah, a godbot with nothing cogent to say, and proves it by saying it at length. Sigh. Why is it belief in imaginary deities causes their brains to atrophy? (/Rhetorical)

  320. #321 Andrew
    February 21, 2009

    There’s definitely a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life

  321. #322 Kel
    February 21, 2009

    There’s definitely a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life

    Evidence please.

  322. #323 clinteas
    February 21, 2009

    Drive-by troll @ 321,

    When the brainwashed dimwits like yourself stop trying to interfere with people’s life and children’s education, I will start enjoying my life even more.

  323. #324 Kel
    February 21, 2009

    The reason you think there’s no God – is becasue you have never invited the Holy Spirit into your lives to show you that He exists. You are in a catch 22 – you don’t give your life over to Jesus because you don’t believe – therefore you don’t receive the Holy Spirit that shows you the way.

    then again it has the opposite effect too. If you already give yourself to Jesus, then why do you need the holy spirit to show you the way? My mother has a bumper sticker on her car, it says “The more I believe in angels, the more I see them” which is exactly the same kind of self-confirming thinking that we as sceptics seek to avoid.

    Belief in God is thoroughly useless if one must believe in God to have evidence that God exists. Facts should speak for themselves, while they may be interpreted differently, they should still stand up on their own regardless of what one believes.

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick

  324. #325 Rey Fox
    February 21, 2009

    “Repent of your sins, give your life over to Jesus and forgive those that have done you wrong and receive the Holy Spirit.”

    And people wonder why atheists get peevish every now and then. It’s because we got pricks like this presuming to be able to tell us what to do.

    “There’s definitely a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”

    I’m worried. How am I supposed to enjoy my life when I got this God character peering over my shoulder all the time expecting me to grovel because of some crazy self-sacrifice thing he did thousands of years before I was born?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.