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Holy (not) f***! - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
Holy (not) f***!
The Atheist Bus Campaign has raised over £100,000.

As a futile p***ing in the wind gesture it was rather amusing. Now that it's raised that kind of money, it just seems like a profound waste.

I always said Dawkins turned atheism into a religion. Now it's even more so - it's fleecing its followers for unnecessary gestures just like many other religions.

About the only good thing that can be said about it is that at least it does raise the profile of atheism/agnosticism in Britain. However, I wish the money had been spent on improving the life of people in Britain rather than on ads.

(In case you don't know, I'm Wiccan (in the disorganised rather than Gardnerian sense), not atheist or agnostic, but for practical purposes share a broadly humanistic approach to life with many atheists and agnostics.)
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invisible_al From: invisible_al Date: October 26th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know, I liked it. From the comments on the donation page I got the impression that people liked being able to have their point of view out there where normally it's marginalised. It's nice to know you're not alone thinking that stuff, I mean apart from Dawkins who appears to be 'the face of atheism' (and he really can be a giant offensive prat) it doesn't really get much play in the media compared to "church leaders worry about x" and giant posters for the 'Alpha Course".

£100,000 is also miniscule in terms of an advertising spend, the press coverage alone it generated is well worth that small amount of cash.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: October 26th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
£100,000 may be a miniscule advertising budget, but it's enough money to run a medium sized CAB or small charity like the Open Rights Group for a year or more.

It's up to people what they give their money for, but to me at least, there seem to be many other worthy causes out there in more desperate need of financial support.

And I'd say the same goes for advertising the Alpha Course or verses from the BIble.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: October 26th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Worthy causes" trump anything else you care to spend money on.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: October 26th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
For all I know, a large gig or football game costs about that much to produce too. I'm not objecting to the idea that people choose to spend their money on something other than the social good, so much as the idea that it's OK because £100,000 is small beer in terms of national ad campaigns.

This just seems like such a pointless empty gesture to me.
_nicolai_ From: _nicolai_ Date: October 26th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I'd generally prefer not to have to argue the toss about religion or not, the way that major organised religions organise to try to make the world revolve around them tends to mean that those of us who wish the world not to revolve around them have to actively go and put spanners in their works.
brinker From: brinker Date: October 26th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, to me it seems a bit silly. Of course, I think it's silly when churches spend money to advertise as well. There are all sorts of wonderful causes churches spend money on... ranging from disaster relief to paying their ministers (and yeah, I do think paying ministers is a good thing... because they do do a good service and a very full time service and so it works better to pay them.)

Raising money with the primary goal of publicity doesn't exactly massively impress me, but then.... so do lots of other groups in the world, so if they want to too.... well... whatever.
lnr From: lnr Date: October 26th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it as a pretty pointless gesture, which seemed funny when it was talking about 11 grand, but just seems like a sad waste of money now. But I guess the people donating their money made their own mind up and thought it was worth spending on, so I'm not sure I can criticise too much.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: October 26th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
That pretty much sums up how I feel about it. It's not the most decadent thing our society does by a long way.
tea_and_cuddles From: tea_and_cuddles Date: October 27th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought this in the BBC's article on the bus was delightfully insightful, and perhaps even justifies the campaign in my view:
However the Methodist Church said it thanked Professor Dawkins for encouraging a "continued interest in God". Spirituality and discipleship officer Rev Jenny Ellis said: "This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life."
undyingking From: undyingking Date: October 27th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes, nice example of law of unintended consequences. Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.

I agree with our host that it does seem a lot of money for a gesture. Suggests to me not so much that there's an unsuspected huge groundswell of sympathy for Dawkinsism, but that the kind of people who do support it have lots of spare cash and are maybe lacking the inclination to spend it on anything more useful ;-)
From: vyvyan Date: October 27th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you, and I'm completely atheist.
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