Taking God for a Ride

The new anti-God ad campaign.

Comments (23)

(23) Anonymous, February 2, 2009 4:58 PM

Good without God

If there is any doubt that atheism, especially when intertwined with the religion of evolution, had anything to do with the holocaust, I recommend Ben Stein's recent documentary "Expelled" as a starting point and further study from there. As for whether or not someone can actually be "good" without God, perhaps the question should first be posed "What IS good?" What standard do we base that on? If "good" is simply "up lifting" or "positive" then you must take that to it's logical conclusion and say that "bad" is to criticize or to "tear down" to behave "negative" but those terms are ambiguous. For instance, if I "up lift" the act of murder - that is still "bad" not "good" - but why do I know that. Because I believe that to commit murder is wrong according to the law. What law? Is it okay to murder in a country where there is no government? Of course not! So then, what law? The law of G-d of course. That is my standard of "good" and "bad" "right and wrong" - you may say that this is extreme, but I assure you it is not. To "be good for goodness sake" will ultimately lead many to such logical conclusions in their behavior, and has.

(22) ilan, November 23, 2008 11:44 AM

holocaust and atheism?

i want to add that the mention of the holocaust was a cheap shot and rather distasteful. one should only use such a heavy-duty example when one is sure it is appropriate, and only if one is ready to make the analogy clear. otherwise, in this case, one dishonors the memory of the victims. it is simply nonsense that the holocaust had anything to do with atheism. furthermore, the examples of murder for the sake of religion outnumbers (is at the very least equal to) examples of murder caused by atheism - jews should know!!

(21) Phil, November 23, 2008 10:33 AM

To Chaya, from #14

Unless I'm mistaken, I think that the word "God" is a derivative of "Good," not the other way around. (I do not state this to make a point.)

(20) Grace Fishenfeld, November 22, 2008 3:43 PM

Good exists, thank God!

There is othing wrong with being good for the sake ofbeing good. One need not be good because of fear or that there is a pay off for good deeds in any way. I don't believe that God is transactional. We do not make deals with God. If we learn anything by keeping God in our hearts and minds, we learn that being caring of our neighbor is what is good. Good is up lifting and yes, we are awakened of this from Jewish learning.The concept of God as the creator who handed to mankind the responsibility for making the word flurish should not conflict with Humanism. The Humanists are wasting a lot of money on waring against the idea of God. I would like them to move along next to those who trust in monotheism. Let them do good deeds, for the sake of doing good deeds. They need not be disrespectful. Humanists can define themselves by acts that are benificial to the human spirit. Attacks on God is not a worthy mission. I suggest a fight against mean spiritedness, crualty and greed. $40,ooo would be well spent on a war against poverty.

(19) Max Green, November 22, 2008 12:40 PM

The Definition of Good

Dear Rabbi: G-d (or whatever anybody wants to call it) created humankind to protect and nurture all life on earth. If everyone stuck to that simple rule, we'd have heaven on earth. Of course we'd be without most of what we have now. But we'd never run out of what we need - food, water, shelter and godness.

(18) Joey, November 21, 2008 4:41 PM

While I agree with Rabbi Saloman's basic position here, I don't think this is quite as drastic as he seems to. The New Atheists that he cites are known for rather radical and vicious attacks on religion itself, this seems to be a pretty basic statement in support of atheism. While I, like most of the people here, think it's wrong, it strikes me as about as kind to religion as any pro-atheist message could be. God bless!

(17) Paul, November 20, 2008 12:48 PM

Thank you

Dear Rabbi, Thank you for another important video. Best Wishes Paul

(16) NesanelS, November 19, 2008 8:01 PM


This is amazing, because it comes just at a time when we are looking forward to Chanuka. And the whole concept of Chanuka was the fight against the impure and we won! As the rabbis explain, The Creator wants us to go out and start and then we will win! But also the difficulties began because we needed this remider, also the fight is like a respectful way to come to this.

(15) Orrin Kom, November 19, 2008 4:30 PM

Hey, If They Didn't Need the Money...

I think we all know people who could have used the 40K. Like ourselves...

(14) Chaya, November 19, 2008 11:29 AM

Goodness is just another name for G-d

To Daniel - it is a Jewish to do good for the sake of good. The ultimate Good is G-d. I think the word "Good" is actually a derivative of the word "G-d". The humanist society's ad campaign is probably having an effect that they don't want. They are getting more people to think about G-d and that's Good.

(13) Ari, November 19, 2008 9:47 AM

Let the atheists stand in FRONT of the bus and try that

The Brits fear, as Nietzche did, that being a believer destroys pleasure. I guess they never heard R. Weinberg's 5 Levels of Pleasure.

(12) Yosef ben abraham, November 19, 2008 9:36 AM

We that belive that G-D is why don't we create our own bumper sticket to aknowledge that G-D is.

(11) a b, November 19, 2008 9:03 AM


#5 Chuck: RMBM says atheism is worse.

(10) Yisroel Pollack, November 19, 2008 8:21 AM

Hypocritical AHA

People of their ilk epitomize being bad. They show contempt for the One Who breathes life into their nostrils and shows them a world of beauty and splendor.

(9) Daniel Cohen, November 19, 2008 7:58 AM

i thought it was a jewish idea to do good for the sake of good..

(8) sharona, November 19, 2008 1:47 AM

funny you mention that since I often pray that the bus comes soon. There is so much evidence if people would open their eyes. For example, when the arab countries tried to destroy the new state of Israel, people thought it was finished, but Israel survived. Someone must be looking out for us. There are many examples in life that point to our Creator, we just need to see it. I think that Not acknowledging this, shows a lack in humility. The person thinks he can do without G-d, like a teen who thinks that he doesn't need his parents, he's fine on his own.

(7) Dvirah, November 18, 2008 9:25 AM

Christian Philosophy

While I agree, of course, with Rabbi Salomon, I would like to point out that one needs to take into consideration where these people are coming from - especially in the States, with its Puritan background. The idea that G-d is against pleasure and enjoying life and being "good" means being miserable is purely Christian, in particular the Calvinist-derived Protestant variety. Look for example at the advert for ice-cream (displayed here in Israel, imported from the US): "feels like a crime" - only a society that equates pleasure with evil could come up with that. And since all religions claim to be the "word of God", it is only natural that these people think that G-d, not false religion, is the problem.

(6) Phil, November 18, 2008 7:55 AM

for goodness sake

If I may play devil's advocate for a second... What if the advertisement said, "Just be good, lishmah"?

(5) Chuck Short, November 17, 2008 5:01 PM

"no god" or "false god"

which is the lesser of two evils?

(4) Yehoshua, November 17, 2008 9:46 AM

I am so thankful...

I am so thankful that I live in Israel. Here things are so clear, that if a person wants to deny G-d's existance, then he has got to really make and effort to NOT SEE His hand in day to day private and national life! The more a person is connected to Torah study, prayer and just-plain-talking it over with Him on a constant basis, the more that person sees just how silly those people there in the States or England are. (Basically, a person who denies His existance usually is just angry with Him, or wants license to "do his own thing...") We see G-d in every newscast and in every rainfall that comes... or doesn't come. I am so thankful that I am here in His palace.

(3) Debora, November 17, 2008 3:29 AM


I'd like to see Your video in some other public places, since most ppl who watch it here, already think that way.

(2) ross, November 16, 2008 10:02 AM

It works every time

Let's spend $40,000 to bring these people to the front lines of a war and stick them in a foxhole, then see what they do. Isn't that how the saying goes? You would be surprised how many of these people automatically use phrases like "Thank G-d" etc. Not worth the blood pressure.

(1) Rosen, November 16, 2008 7:58 AM

the two extremes

There are two extremes to whether a society adapts to. There is theocracy (or fascism), where everyone is required to think the same way and attend church, which is spiritual extortion to at least some people. The other extreme is communism, where belief in G-d can have people persecuted, which possibly happened in the fmr. USSR and may be happening in China today. Both theocracy and communism are ultimately wrong, because one is idolatrous and the other denies belief in the hope of G-d. Thus, Torah can bring upon middle ground and understanding better, because G-d is understandably impartial and universal.


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