Raised as a good Catholic boy myself, but consider myself purely agnostic these days, I've often wondered why many atheists are so snarky, bordering on bitter. They also have this idea that they have something new and profound to say every time.I suggest reading this article from Theodore Dalrymple.Theodore Dalrymple - What The New Atheists Don't See:http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_oh_to_be.html
I have no idea what Tiger Woods believes but he has recently been living out the message contained in the atheists bus advertisement. Sadly for him, I suspect that right now he is more worried than happy. No one can prove there is no God. Athiests non belief system, as described in their bus slogan, is based on a "probability" and, in reality, is nothing more than a personal preference. We all know what atheists do not believe. I would prefer they spent their money telling us what they do believe.
I am not a Christian but I'll defend any-one's right to believe what they want without being belittled or persecuted. I used to find your erstwhile contributor Brian Spondre's attack on beliefs etc distasteful. Now I think that it is a stupid waste of money, and it is as silly as Tamaki's billboards.However no more than the millions spent by christian churches in advertising. The difference here is that the people who are paying for this probably does not shame the contributors into providing the money the way Destiny and other Pentecostal churches does. They probably also do not own hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property around Auckland the way the Catholics, Angligans and others does (I have always been amazed at how churches can go on about poverty and be so rich). It is also ironic that the biggest percentage of monies collected by churches come from the poorest in the congregation. I once was contracted to produce a documentary on Roberts Leardon when him, Trevor Jaxley, Ian Bilby and others held a rally in the ASB Centre in Auckland. My disgust at the constant reminder that eftpost was available for tithes as well as credit cards and checks being accepted was only surpassed when leardon "prayed " during a collection that "God would open people's hearts and wallets so that they can give" because that in turn will return their blessings tenfold.Like you Adolf I also believe that money is better spent on food parcels on both sides.
Bok, you may well be right about the happy clappy, 'wear your faith on your sleeve' outfits but I can assure you that Presbyterian and other so-called mainline denominations receive eighty percent of their revenue from less than twenty percent of their members - the ones who can afford to be generous. In my own parish there are three people who give more than $2k per year and thirty people who give less than $500.
Andrew what does Tiger Woods fidelity or lack of have to do with the probablity of their being a god?Thats about as nonsensical as the original posters comment about food parcels.Aethists irritate me to a lesser extent than Christians, in that at least they don't put so much faith into a ridiculous and often hateful little book. However anyone who fervently believes in the existence or non-existence of a god is displaying an extremely closed, ignorant and weak little mind.
How often have atheists waged war on those who believe in God? It surprises me that the signs are so apparently irritating to people.Faversham
Well, Angus, problem there (but not for me :) : I'm a great admirer of Theodore Dalrymple, AND an agnostic. It's interesting how people deploy arguments and inspirations selectively.
Now, the real point...the worst thing Atheists/Agnostics have done lately is to begin to behave like believers - slogans, marches, protests, "being offended", posters etc etc yadda yadda, BAD IDEA guys - but given the mess religion has made (and will make further) of the world, I understand their desperation. Watching competing religions argue, AND using the public arena as the matrix for what should actually be a PRIVATE barney, is is like having to stand by and watch immature, out-of-control, drug-besotted teenagers having a rumble, but with lethal weapons.You cannot argue God into existence, nor can you argue him out of existence - but what you can do is LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE.
"I have no idea what Tiger Woods believes but he has recently been living out the message contained in the atheists bus advertisement." ANDREW: Bullshit; atheists are no more or less prone to bad behaviour than and other human. For every stupid comment like that one, I can quote an example of religious hypocritical behaviour exactly like his (and worse), from St Augustine to Jimmy Swaggart.What's more, such cases are even more hypocritical precisely because of their religious affiliations in the first place (like terrorists visiting a strip joint the night before they go out and kill).You're gonna have to do better than that - though I respectfully suggest that, instead, you (a) live your belief quietly to yourself and (b)stop clutching at straws like "Tiger Woods", for goodness sake.You can "believe" what you like about Atheists and Agnostics, but you'll be no more provably right than you are about God. Belief is belief - it's not fact.
Adolf it is for exactly that reason that i have a lot of time for the small "good old fashioned churches" where the emphasis is on the what you guys believe and get from the bible. unfortunately the higher up the chain you go even in the Presbyterian, Anglican etc churches, money and power starts to play a part again. Small congregations invariably suffer through lack of money and large congregations dont. I still believe that it is against everthing you guys believe , that you can have a small congregation stuggling not have enough money to run the support they want for their parishioners, and yet the church owns millions in property.As I said the happy clappers have turned it into a farce of unbelievable proportions. You have a story in the bible of jesus chucking out the traders in the church, yet these guys will sell everthing from books to salvation.Do yourself a favour anfd go and visit Lifeway up at Snells, A hero worshiping cult that rivals Destiny, accept they are smart enough to be very quiet and surreptitious. Like I say. I aint no Christian, but give me the small parish where the vicar, priest, father whatever really cares, visits the sick and the elderly and honestly feels for his flock.
The divorce rate in the US is higher for Christians then AtheistsSame goes for prison inmatesI have no idea why
Bok, I don't agree with your assertion that 'higher up the presbyterian chain' money and power come into play. There is actually no heirarchy. That is one of the attractions.There certainly is a case of excess assets, many underutilised, and limited cash at the front line but that is changing quite quickly. A small parish can put up a good business case for a 'growth' project these days and receive substantial central funding from residual property sale proceeds. Unfortunately most property sale proceeds are bound by statute (NZ Govt not Church)to be used only for acquisition of or repairs to existing property.It takes a long time for a big ship to change course but eventually the helm is answered.
How much will they cost?Around $10,000 - but that target's already been passed, so there may end up being quite a few buses with that plastered on them.I bunged them a donation. If nothing else, it'll help inform Muslim immigrants what kind of a country they've come to. A lot of Muslims mistakenly assume that Western countries are Christian.
Like Psycho, Atheists seem to be predominately Socialists and they tend to be more fundamentalist in trying to supplant Christian belief than Christian fundamentalists are in trying to promote their beliefs.
Another good reason to avoid travelling on buses.
"A lot of Muslims mistakenly assume that Western countries are Christian."Interesting line, and good point, Milt. Maybe it would be more accurate to say something like: "Western countries are living in a state of post-Judeo-Christian confusion, but with all the advantages of that heritage" :)
Baxter: "Atheists seem to be predominately Socialists and they tend to be more fundamentalist in trying to supplant Christian belief than Christian fundamentalists are in trying to promote their beliefs."Bullshit, Baxter, but if you draw comfort from believing that, like from any other un-provable belief, you cling to it, buddy. However, for your info:1) Every agnostic or atheist I know (and I know many) is deeply Conservative, and deeply concerned about the near-irreparable socialist damage being done to our society2) they are, equally, mostly quiet and self-contained about this – noisy people like Richard Dawkins are exceptions3) the reason you notice the noisy exceptions is because that phenomenon is NEW – religion just isn't used to having to deal with cogent, forthright criticism (Muslims STILL don't get freedom of speech) and it's not that long ago that doing so would have lead the critic to grisly death. Times change - get used to it.
Aethists irritate me to a lesser extent than Christians, in that at least they don't put so much faith into a ridiculous and often hateful little book.They put their faith into oppressive political ideologies such as socialism, which are hateful when they are effective, and expensive and wasteful when they aren't. They persist with them despite all the evidence that they don't work. They sneer at creation science, and then invent belief systems which are even more fanciful and irrational, such as dialectical materialism. Then finally they tell us we need to atone for our sins against the planet and try to impose a lifestyle on us which makes Puritanism seem hedonistic.
Wake Up said:"Well, Angus, problem there (but not for me :) : I'm a great admirer of Theodore Dalrymple, AND an agnostic." Not sure what you're getting at there (I assume you know that Dalrymple is an atheist)
What I like about Dalrymple is that he's right about what's wrong, pure and simple. His atheism is irrelevant (as would be any other "belief" he espoused, if he did), and I don't see it as a factor in his withering analyses of how we are stuffing up our world. My point is, if somebody is getting it right, or doing it right, I don't care what he "believes" in the process. That's his business. Equally, that's why I don't care what Muslims "believe" - but I'm very concerned about how wrong they're getting it.
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