An atheist organisation has filed a lawsuit to prevent the World Trade Center cross from going on display at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
American Atheists filed the lawsuit this week in the state court of New York and posted a copy on its website. [...]
Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said: 'The WTC cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their god, who couldn't be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross. It's a truly ridiculous assertion.'
I have found, in my experience of debating atheists, that they don't much like these sorts of questions. Oh, sure, they'll be dismissive of them, and try the "sky-daddy spaghetti-monster" taunting a little longer, but few of them are actually willing, in my experience, to deal honestly with the philosophical ramifications of atheism. Once, in college, I did meet an honest, engaged sort of atheist. He expected me (as this was a Catholic school) to try to convert him in the hour or so we were conversing, but instead, I led him (gently, I swear!) through all of the implications of his atheistic, zero-population-growth, save the planet, environmental extremism. By the end of the conversation he fully admitted that if he were face to face with a timber wolf the only just thing he could do was use his hypothetical gun to shoot himself, not the wolf--and, by extension of that, given his admitted promiscuity, the failure rates of various forms of birth control, the fact that keeping any unintended offspring would be his paramour of the moment's decision rather than his, and the devastating environmental impact in a couple hundred years of one child's being born today the only truly moral course of action for him, given his belief system, was suicide before he could commit the crime and folly of reproduction, accidental or otherwise.
Luckily for me, at this point he also admitted to being a total hypocrite, such that he wished his own temporary existence to continue, and would rather snuff out the lives of worthless third world hyper-breeder-type families via contraception, abortion, and so forth. I say "luckily" because otherwise I might have ended up guilty of being an accessory to suicide via rational suggestion. But I saw him around the campus one or two more times that semester, enjoying tricking a certain sort of sensitive, sentimental girl (which he probably--ha!--had mistaken me for) into engaging in "sky-daddy" debates about which he could feel smugly superior; but he never made the mistake of asking me to discuss religion again, and I have a feeling he might have been just slightly unsettled by our conversation.
When atheists fly into hissy fits over crosses, or engage in juvenile taunting over a thoughtful person like Jen Fulwiler's serious, rational discussion about how she used to think when she was one of them, I have a feeling that what they'd like to avoid at all costs is a debate about whether they can really prove that atheism is the best, most rational response to questions that have nothing to do with empiricism, or why, indeed, any sort of morality or virtue--even the most weak, tepid civil kind--makes any sense at all. At least the Randian atheists are logically consistent: if this world is all there is, and there is no hope or possibility of doing anything that will bring lasting good, lasting peace, or lasting joy to this world (leaving aside the question of a future world), then why would anybody waste any sort of time at all in pursuits that are not completely self-centered and hedonistic?