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Tyrannosaurus
05-12-10, 04:43
What a mature use of $20,000 for promoting science and reason, brought to you by the most secure organization in America! Rather unlike that useless Catholic church that sets up hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and orphanages around the world!

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/553325-billboard-you-know-it-s-a-myth

Squibbly
05-12-10, 05:35
Although I support science and reason, I find this to be a huge waste of money. There really isn't any gain in trying to push your beliefs on someone else. To then factor in that $20 000 was spent on pushing said beliefs (at least I think that was their initial intention)... my eyebrows are furrowed.

Ward Dragon
05-12-10, 05:36
I fail to see what's unreasonable about celebrating peace and love :p

patriots88888
05-12-10, 05:37
The way I see it, let them have the billboard. It's their money and if they wish to waste it accordingly, so be it.

As far as their message's 'actual' intent goes, I'm not sure who they are trying to kid here. Obvious trolling is obvious!

Squibbly
05-12-10, 05:38
@ Ward Dragon: Yeah... I don't know. I'm overall confused by that advertising. :p

Bongo Fury
05-12-10, 05:57
20,000 isn't a great a deal of money really. When you consider the free air time that fox ( and presumably other networks) gave them, and all the Internet blathering that is sure to follow; they got a lot of bang for the buck.

patriots88888
05-12-10, 06:03
20,000 isn't a great a deal of money really. When you consider the free air time that fox ( and presumably other networks) gave them, and all the Internet blathering that is sure to follow; they got a lot of bang for the buck.

That 'bang for the buck' is making them look rather silly though. I'm not convinced anyone really gives a hoot or will be all that bothered about their supposed 'thoughtfulness' for their fellow atheists.

Ward Dragon
05-12-10, 06:04
Obvious trolling is obvious!

:vlol:

@ Ward Dragon: Yeah... I don't know. I'm overall confused by that advertising. :p

Yeah, it seems to me like they intentionally set out to offend people and then tried to backtrack and redefine their purpose when they got called out on it.

20,000 isn't a great a deal of money really. When you consider the free air time that fox ( and presumably other networks) gave them, and all the Internet blathering that is sure to follow; they got a lot of bang for the buck.

That's true, but even so I still can't see that billboard changing anybody's mind. People who already support the message still support it, people who are religious are still religious, and I doubt agnostics in the middle would be influenced by something like that anyway :p So I think all the billboard will accomplish is to make extremists more extreme (with the atheists being emboldened and the religious getting defensive and counter-attacking). Considering that the atheist extremists are definitely outnumbered by religious extremists, I think this tactic will work against them XD

Bongo Fury
05-12-10, 06:53
:vlol:

That's true, but even so I still can't see that billboard changing anybody's mind. People who already support the message still support it, people who are religious are still religious, and I doubt agnostics in the middle would be influenced by something like that anyway :p So I think all the billboard will accomplish is to make extremists more extreme (with the atheists being emboldened and the religious getting defensive and counter-attacking). Considering that the atheist extremists are definitely outnumbered by religious extremists, I think this tactic will work against them XD

well, i'd also doubt it would have much of an effect on anyone, but they did get a lot of coverage for a low price. how it works out for them ...well who knows.

TRLegendLuver
05-12-10, 08:18
Ugh. I am so tired of useless threads. :pi:

Ward Dragon
05-12-10, 08:20
Ugh. I am so tired of useless threads. :pi:

So don't post in them? :pi:

Tyrannosaurus
05-12-10, 09:05
I'm just astonished at how so many atheist organizations, who claim to be in support of science and reason, are incredibly self-serving instead.

Well, I probably shouldn't be.

Ward Dragon
05-12-10, 09:08
I'm just astonished at how so many atheist organizations, who claim to be in support of science and reason, are incredibly self-serving instead.

Well, I probably shouldn't be.

It's human nature, right? :p

Seriously though, I think most people (whether religious, atheist, agnostic, etc.) don't really care about this tiff and are just living their lives happily uninvolved in pointless fighting with each other :) Stuff like the billboard gets attention simply because it's not something that people see every day, therefore it stands out. I'm sure most atheists aren't trying to insult everybody who disagrees with them.

Minty Mouth
05-12-10, 10:13
There's nothing wrong with the billboard, from a moral or ethical point of view.

It's just a waste of money :p

Andyroo
05-12-10, 10:55
Their money to do with as they please, just as any church would do to preach.

This is no different than when christians put up stuff like this to preach at and push their beliefs on anyone that drives passed. Also like a sign or billboard about god outside a church, it's the same thing. I'm sick to death of seeing a giant religious mural on the side of a brick wall telling people to believe in god, like the one near a friend's house. It's a ****ing eyesore. Or a big sign at a park saying "the lord is your savior".

It's a breath of fresh air to see something about religion that's not preaching 'the word of god'.

I'm just astonished at how so many atheist organizations, who claim to be in support of science and reason, are incredibly self-serving instead.

I'd say the same thing but about any and all religious organisations being self-serving first and foremost.

Jabe
05-12-10, 11:41
Hmmm - the American Atheists are sponsoring reason? I wonder what they would think of comedian Brad Stine when he said "Whats more reasonable - to believe in a God you cannot see, or to be angry at a God you don't even believe in?"

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 11:46
It's childish really. Reminds me of that atheist bus campaign some atheist group had over here last year. The one thing they hate more than anything are religions pushing their faith onto other people - yet these people are doing exactly the same. :confused:

Imagine how these atheists group would react to a billboard telling people God is definitely real.

Archetype
05-12-10, 11:53
Surely they could do something better with the $20,000 rather than be so hypocritical?

Forwen
05-12-10, 12:05
Why the negative message though? If I saw a Christian billboard saying something to the effect "Let's celebrate the birth of our Lord in peace" I'd think 'good for you'... But if it followed with "All the rest of you will burn in hell" I'd just think '**** you' and move on. Goes both ways.

Minty Mouth
05-12-10, 12:21
Imagine how these atheists group would react to a billboard telling people God is definitely real.

You get that practically everywhere you go at this time of year. It's the whole point of religion, in fact: God is definitely real.

Dennis's Mom
05-12-10, 12:22
I'm just astonished at how so many atheist organizations, who claim to be in support of science and reason, are incredibly self-serving instead.

Well, I probably shouldn't be.

In all fairness, there's an awful lot of religious organizations out there that are just as self-serving and self-righteous. I look at some church campuses and "ministries" and wonder if Jesus would be happy about them.

Why the negative message though? If I saw a Christian billboard saying something to the effect "Let's celebrate the birth of our Lord in peace" I'd think 'good for you'... But if it followed with "All the rest of you will burn in hell" I'd just think '**** you' and move on. Goes both ways.

And that's the crux of it. The "you know you're an idiot, right?" tone.

I see no high ground in being rude. If Atheists want to pretend they're more enlightened than people of faith, then they should act more enlightened. Spending money just to say "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" is not exactly "reasonable."

The Season of Reason--IN YOUR FACE! :confused:

The justification for their behavior is always "they did it first!" pointing fingers at the religious folks.

Again, using an excuse that didn't work in 3rd grade isn't exactly going to make me believe you've found the Right Path to Enlightenment.

Minty Mouth
05-12-10, 12:27
And that's the crux of it. The "you know you're an idiot, right?" tone.

I see no high ground in being rude. If Atheists want to pretend they're more enlightened than people of faith, then they should act more enlightened. Spending money just to say "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" is not exactly "reasonable."

The Season of Reason--IN YOUR FACE! :confused:

The justification for their behavior is always "they did it first!" pointing fingers at the religious folks.

Again, using an excuse that didn't work in 3rd grade isn't exactly going to make me believe you've found the Right Path to Enlightenment.

Well, the guy in the video said that wasn't the point: it wasn't aimed at christians, rather agnostics and atheists who hadn't totally comitted to the viewpoint yet.

Punaxe
05-12-10, 12:37
How is it hypocritical? American Atheists aims to promote reason, freedom of thought, separation of church and state, et cetera. To do that, you must get your message out. It could have been worded in a nicer way, but if American politics is anything to go on, nice and positively stated messages are far and few between to begin with overthere.

It would be hypocritical if American Atheists was principally opposed to the communication of any and all world views, but they are not. They are simply promoting their own, stated as an alternative to the dominant one.

More generally, separate from American Atheists per se, it is not hypocritical to promote independent thought against reliance on authority, precisely because independent means it is not dependent on the organization or authority doing the "preaching".
If you, in reply to that, would say that that is an ideal view of atheist organizations' goals that is not always the case in practice, you would of course be correct - just as the ideal view of religion as a shared community service bringing peace and hope is not always the case in practice either. They're just two fundamentally different world views which have its differences and similarities. Neither is necessarily hypocritical for opposing the other.

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 13:41
You get that practically everywhere you go at this time of year. It's the whole point of religion, in fact: God is definitely real.I've yet to see a billboard telling me what to think about God/religion.

Tyrannosaurus
05-12-10, 13:42
I'd say the same thing but about any and all religious organisations being self-serving first and foremost. That self-serving Catholic church! It's only the largest non-profit charity in the world.

How is it hypocritical? American Atheists aims to promote reason, Reason so long as it leads away from faith, no matter how good or bad the logic actually is.

freedom of thought, Freedom of thought so long as it is non-religious.

separation of church and state, More like aiming to strip every vestige of religion out of the public sphere.

To do that, you must get your message out. That message being that American Atheists are incredibly insecure and would rather spend money on a stupid billboard than actually promoting science and reason as they claim to. Doing so would cause them to admit that atheism does not equate with science or reason, which would, of course, damage their pretensions.

larafan25
05-12-10, 13:46
I don't get it, they say myth, but they show the manger with baby jesus, jesus was real. o.O That's not a myth.

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 13:49
I don't get it, they say myth, but they show the manger with baby jesus, jesus was real. o.O That's not a myth.It's probably meant to be Richard Dawkins when he was a baby.

Dark Lugia 2
05-12-10, 13:50
I don't get it, they say myth, but they show the manger with baby jesus, jesus was real. o.O That's not a myth.

I think its centering more around how baby jesus being the son of god and miricale baby to Mary etc. :p

I havent checked out the link, but I saw 'richarddawkins.net' and was like oh boy :p He dismisses religion almost 100%

Forwen
05-12-10, 13:54
That self-serving Catholic church! It's only the largest non-profit charity in the world.



That's a good one. They're a charity alright... Except when they're not.

Minty Mouth
05-12-10, 13:55
I've yet to see a billboard telling me what to think about God/religion.

Neither of us lives in America.

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 13:59
Neither of us lives in America.Well then your comment isn't true, unless you're referring to America.

Lemmie
05-12-10, 14:38
I don't think the intent, that it's targeted at so called 'closeted' atheists, really stands up to scrutiny. I certainly think the way the message is put across is off-putting and a bit rude.

Again, as others have said, it's a bit of a waste of money for an unclear and somewhat offensive message.

Punaxe
05-12-10, 15:05
(...) Reason so long as it leads away from faith, no matter how good or bad the logic actually is.

Freedom of thought so long as it is non-religious.

More like aiming to strip every vestige of religion out of the public sphere.

That message being that American Atheists are incredibly insecure and would rather spend money on a stupid billboard than actually promoting science and reason as they claim to. Doing so would cause them to admit that atheism does not equate with science or reason, which would, of course, damage their pretensions.

Yes, these are valid points to discuss, assuming they are true - I am not familiar with the work of AA and was simply going by their own mission statement. I was just pointing out that bringing the word "hypocritical" into the discussion was not a valid point in the context it was given.

So you do not agree with the work of AA and think they should be more of a charity organization instead. That's fine. Next time I see a billboard promoting Pepsi Cola, I'll make a thread about it. I don't like Pepsi Cola, and would prefer if they spent all their money on saving the Brazillian rain forest instead.

I mean, if this thread was supposed to be about the actual content of AA's work, a rather different title and opening post would have probably been better. Seeing a billboard of an organization promoting whatever it is they are organized for should not be very surprising anymore in this day and age. :p

Edit to add:
That self-serving Catholic church! It's only the largest non-profit charity in the world. (...)
I keep hearing this, but how is it measured, actually?

Cochrane
05-12-10, 15:39
That's true, but even so I still can't see that billboard changing anybody's mind. People who already support the message still support it, people who are religious are still religious, and I doubt agnostics in the middle would be influenced by something like that anyway :p So I think all the billboard will accomplish is to make extremists more extreme (with the atheists being emboldened and the religious getting defensive and counter-attacking). Considering that the atheist extremists are definitely outnumbered by religious extremists, I think this tactic will work against them XD
Iím not sure itís supposed to change anyoneís mind (although it is definitely worded as if it was). It can be compared to the bus ad campaign a few years earlier. According to its inventors, the idea was not to change anyoneís mind, but to make it obvious that atheists are a valid group, just like anyone who believes in something.

It probably differs by country, but at least in Europe, society is becoming more atheistic all the time. Fewer and fewer people go to church, believe in a literal christian god or even in some god principle. But for some reason, when ethical questions are discussed, people still invite various kinds of church leaders as moral authorities. In Germany, church services are part of some public celebrations. In the US, the words "In God We Trust" are on all the money. The idea that not believing is an actual world view, instead of e.g. laziness, is one that has much too little awareness in most of the world. That sign is meant to change that. I doubt it will succeed, but I think the idea behind it is not bad.

I've yet to see a billboard telling me what to think about God/religion.
Really? You never saw any "Jesus loves you!" signs? I can tell you some places where they have been hanging for ages in my home town. Or did you ever see a billboard paid for by a church with some bible verse about truth and stuff? There are such campaigns from time to time in the cologne subway, and all the time on churches there. And frankly, isnít a church itself a billboard saying "God is real, worship him!"? If that werenít the intention, then why are they all lavishly decorated and fitted with high towers?

And of course I am perfectly fine with all that. Itís their private property, or at least their legally bought ad space. Itís not like I donít see other ads that I disagree with all the time (in particular ones for Microsoft products and MediaMarkt). But if we allow this public presence for religion, then why should we call it childish or even disallow it (which happened with the bus campaign in Germany: No bus operator was willing to have such things on their buses, even though most donít mind religious messages) when atheists suddenly do the same?

Love2Raid
05-12-10, 16:21
Isnīt this aimed at atheists though? I mean, they surely donīt think they can īconvertī religious people this way, right?

I think they are saying īwhy celebrate Christmas if you donīt believe in Christ anyway?ī.

The Great Chi
05-12-10, 17:05
Its about time these atheists had George Michael singing YOU GOT'A HAVE FAITH to them :D

robm_2007
05-12-10, 18:59
while i am not an Atheist, i do think they deserve to uphold their right to claim that Jesus/God is a myth, as much as a religion-followers have the right to say that Jesus/God is a fact.

there is no actual evidence saying that God is real or fake, therefore: You can claim anything's (real)fake, if the only basis for dis(believing) in it is that nobody has proved that it does(nt) exist.

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 19:09
IReally? You never saw any "Jesus loves you!" signs? I can tell you some places where they have been hanging for ages in my home town. Or did you ever see a billboard paid for by a church with some bible verse about truth and stuff? There are such campaigns from time to time in the cologne subway, and all the time on churches there. And frankly, isnít a church itself a billboard saying "God is real, worship him!"? If that werenít the intention, then why are they all lavishly decorated and fitted with high towers?

And of course I am perfectly fine with all that. Itís their private property, or at least their legally bought ad space. Itís not like I donít see other ads that I disagree with all the time (in particular ones for Microsoft products and MediaMarkt). But if we allow this public presence for religion, then why should we call it childish or even disallow it (which happened with the bus campaign in Germany: No bus operator was willing to have such things on their buses, even though most donít mind religious messages) when atheists suddenly do the same?I've never seen any of that.

I have a problem with people on both sides forcing their views on others. That includes things like "God is definitely a myth" or "God is definitely real" and implying that religious people are not reasonable, for example.

Cochrane
05-12-10, 19:33
I've never seen any of that.
Never seen that? Not even on churches, or for that matter, churches themselves? The UK is an odd place indeed. But let’s not dwell on that, because such things indisputably do exist in the US, which is the focus of this thread.

I have a problem with people on both sides forcing their views on others. That includes things like "God is definitely a myth" or "God is definitely real" and implying that religious people are not reasonable, for example.
Alright. So the british national anthem, if I recall correctly, starts with "God save the queen", and the queen's titles include "By the grace of God" and "Defender of the Faith". To me, that is a pretty high-level example of a religious world view being promoted in the public sphere. Are you opposed to that as well?

Forwen
05-12-10, 19:43
Not directed at me, but a few remarks...


Alright. So the british national anthem, if I recall correctly, starts with "God save the queen", and the queen's titles include "By the grace of God" and "Defender of the Faith". To me, that is a pretty high-level example of a religious world view being promoted in the public sphere. Are you opposed to that as well?

"God Save the Queen", as I understand, isn't officially recognised as the anthem of the UK, and is treated as such because of tradition. The Royal Family themselves is a relict of the past so it follows that titles and customs associated with them would have a long history... That, and don't forget the Queen is the head of the Church of England as well.

There is a difference between being 'present' and being 'promoted'.

Mad Tony
05-12-10, 20:28
Never seen that? Not even on churches, or for that matter, churches themselves? The UK is an odd place indeed. But letís not dwell on that, because such things indisputably do exist in the US, which is the focus of this thread.Except for churches, nope. Of course, Churches have every right to put signs like "embrace Jesus" outside. I'd be fine with atheist organizations having signs outside their buildings saying "embrace scientific reason" too.

Alright. So the british national anthem, if I recall correctly, starts with "God save the queen", and the queen's titles include "By the grace of God" and "Defender of the Faith". To me, that is a pretty high-level example of a religious world view being promoted in the public sphere. Are you opposed to that as well?That's not the same though.

disapearing-boy
05-12-10, 23:13
I don't understand why atheists have to go so far, atheism is almost like a religion for some people, they go at it full time! Just leave it be. I'm Agnostic btw..

We rarely have any religious advertising in Ireland (excluding in the grounds of religious buildings) but I've seen it creeping in a little, more and more. But it's not aggressive advertising.

I was in the US and it seemed like a constant left vs right war. Whether it was in billboards or in the media, it always seemed very polarized with both extremes constantly at each others throats.

trlestew
05-12-10, 23:16
OH MY!
RELIGIOUS AND ANTI-RELIGIOUS BILLBOARDS!
ALL HELL MUST BREAK LOOSE!!!! D:



:rolleyes:
I'm not an atheist, but these signs don't bother me. I know what I believe in, and nothing will change that. As long as they're not shoving their beliefs down my throat, I could ignore it.

Tombraiderx08
05-12-10, 23:30
I don't even know what to say.

All this religious bickering just irritates me. People will follow the morals and lessons of fairytales like little red riding-hood, the billy goats gruff, the three little pigs, and the boy that cried wolf and all those other things, but when it comes to the bible, it's just a crock to people. It's like, regardless of the historical accuracy of the events that may or may not of took place, that shouldn't matter, the morals are still whats up. If you don't want to teach your child to be religious, okay, just don't raise them to be an a-hole.

larafan25
05-12-10, 23:55
If you are secure in your beliefs this billboard shouldn't even create a discusson, it's just...a billboard. :/

Croftizzle
06-12-10, 01:22
I love how he said "all aethiests should come out of the closet"

scoopy_loopy
06-12-10, 01:43
This is kind of sad, I'm not overly Christian, but I don't think they should try and diminish it with Billboards like that. They border on insulting, to be honest.

Dennis's Mom
06-12-10, 12:29
"God Save the Queen", as I understand, isn't officially recognised as the anthem of the UK, and is treated as such because of tradition. The Royal Family themselves is a relict of the past so it follows that titles and customs associated with them would have a long history... That, and don't forget the Queen is the head of the Church of England as well.

There is a difference between being 'present' and being 'promoted'.

I think there's something to be said about tradition and history. Expurgating all of that would --in my North American eyes at least--diminish the totality of the British Crown in ---again, what I perceive--- it represents.

There's a LOT of history behind that crown and how it came to be the head of the Anglican church. Behind that epithet are Thomas a Becket and Henry II, Richard the III, Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell and the Divine Right to Rule that formed the British Empire.

If you are secure in your beliefs this billboard shouldn't even create a discusson, it's just...a billboard. :/

If the billboard had an image of two guys holding hands and the text said, "you know it's just a choice, right?" I doubt anyone would be saying "if you were secure in your homosexuality we wouldn't be discussing the billboard." People would be justifiably appalled.

"Oh, but the billboard is only targeting those people who think they *might* be gay and just aren't sure!"

Would anyone buy that? No. Everyone would recognize as what it is: a thinly veiled insult.

It's the level of discourse. It's. Simply. Rude. There's no reason to put someone else down just so you can stroke your self-righteous gland.

Twilight
07-12-10, 01:55
there's churches everywhere, everyone's fine.
a billboard supporting atheism, not ok.

?

Ward Dragon
07-12-10, 02:30
there's churches everywhere, everyone's fine.
a billboard supporting atheism, not ok.

?

I think the issue is that it's not supporting atheism, but rather it's attacking religion. I don't think anyone would be annoyed by it if it wasn't phrased in an antagonistic way.

QiX
07-12-10, 04:48
I think the issue is that it's not supporting atheism, but rather it's attacking religion. I don't think anyone would be annoyed by it if it wasn't phrased in an antagonistic way.

As much as I don't believe in any form of god or religion I think the whole idea of atheism stupid to say the least. The concept itself is odd: Why one would define his personal view on religion and mysticism by the something he doesn't believe? Why not say "I'm materialist" or "I'm naturalist" or even "I'm scientificist" instead of posing as against God?

Back to the billboards, I don't see how it promotes reason or science. Or Richard Dawkins, he's a man of sciences when he talks about his views on evolution and such. But bashing religion makes him a preacher, and not a good one.

Admles
07-12-10, 05:01
I don't get it, they say myth, but they show the manger with baby jesus, jesus was real. o.O That's not a myth.
Only to Christians / believers.

He's a complete myth to others.

silver_wolf
07-12-10, 05:28
Jesus is a known historical figure, whether you're religious or not. And I think these billboards are stupid. Even if I wasn't Christian, they're just wrong. Attacking personal beliefs never helps. Although I was happy to see the Catholic's retaliation :D

Forwen
08-12-10, 08:38
As much as I don't believe in any form of god or religion I think the whole idea of atheism stupid to say the least. The concept itself is odd: Why one would define his personal view on religion and mysticism by the something he doesn't believe? Why not say "I'm materialist" or "I'm naturalist" or even "I'm scientificist" instead of posing as against God?

That's antitheism, not atheism.

Also, scientifist? :eek: Never heard this term before. And personally I'm ardently against treating science as an equivalent of a religion - it certainly can influence your beliefs, but on its own it's quite the opposite.

Croft_Original
08-12-10, 18:24
That's antitheism, not atheism.

Also, scientifist? :eek: Never heard this term before. And personally I'm ardently against treating science as an equivalent of a religion - it certainly can influence your beliefs, but on its own it's quite the opposite.

^This. I get fed up with scientists who behave as if science is some kind of replacement for religion and anyone who doesn't agree is ignorant. Science is facts with a small f, not the truth with a capital T. :)

Croft.

lara c. fan
08-12-10, 19:40
Jesus is a known historical figure, whether you're religious or not. And I think these billboards are stupid. Even if I wasn't Christian, they're just wrong. Attacking personal beliefs never helps. Although I was happy to see the Catholic's retaliation :D

I thought we had no evidence for his existence but the Bible? :confused:

Endow
08-12-10, 20:02
.

Minty Mouth
08-12-10, 20:04
I thought we had no evidence for his existence but the Bible? :confused:

The advertisement I get on this page for the Documentary 'The God Who Wasn't There' is very relevant.

Find and watch this documentary. It's an hour or so long, but very interesting. It explores this very topic.

R6THwSYY_aU

Mad Tony
08-12-10, 20:12
I lost a lot of respect for Dawkins after reading his take on religion. Well not to say I had any more respect for him before, than I did for anyone else but....

You want to be really shocked? Watch Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008).I have absolutely no respect for Richard Dawkins. He goes further than your regular militant atheist. Much further.

I get the impression he was sexually abused by a priest as a child or something. There's absolutely no way somebody could be so mad at something they don't even believe in.

Spider Man
08-12-10, 20:40
What a mature use of $20,000 for promoting science and reason, brought to you by the most secure organization in America! Rather unlike that useless Catholic church that sets up child molestation, jails, rapeing homes, and strip clubs around the world!

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/553325-billboard-you-know-it-s-a-myth

I edited your post:o

Mad Tony
08-12-10, 21:01
I edited your post:oIn all fairness, the catholic church do do good things as well as bad. As for the atheist organization - there's promoting science and reason and then there's being insulting and elitist.

Mona Sax
08-12-10, 21:19
If the Catholic church were a non-profit organization, Vatican City would be a slum. Being based on power and money, I don't think it could be any more removed from the stories about the probably fictional guy it claims as its founder.

TRfan23
08-12-10, 21:39
tbh this doesn't offend me or bother me much, even though I'm in between an agnostic & theist.

What does bother me is that guy on my course who detests Catholics and tries to make it out as if I'm not one, yet I am :pi:
Fine I may seem like a retarded person in person, but I know after having my holy communion and attending Church every 2 weeks a Sunday and having confirmation... that I'm a casual Catholic.
He's not an atheist he's actually a protestant, which I don't have a problem with over him at all. Besides my dad's also a protestant, whereas my mum's Catholic.

trXD
08-12-10, 22:27
This bilboard is stupid, nobody in the world is going to have their beliefs about the world influenced by a billboard. However in terms of the offensiveness, some christians are just going to have to the deal with it, a lot of people believe that the christian stories aren't true, if they take that as a direct insult its their problem.

larafan25
08-12-10, 22:38
The advertisement I get on this page for the Documentary 'The God Who Wasn't There' is very relevant.

Find and watch this documentary. It's an hour or so long, but very interesting. It explores this very topic.

R6THwSYY_aU

That was very interesting, I never knew.:)

The Great Chi
08-12-10, 22:53
This bilboard is stupid, nobody in the world is going to have their beliefs about the world influenced by a billboard.....I agree about the billboard. It could not possibly knock religion.

Most of the population of the earth have needed regiion in one form or another, just as George Michael sings 'you got-a have faith', most people need some sort of faith in their lives.

Think of it otherwise, we are born, procreate and die, surely there must be something more to life, than just death. Yes there is an afterlife or no there is not, that is the usual thoughts of mortal men.

This thinking has been the way of the caveman onwards, since the time we thought 'I think therefore I am', the faith and need for religion followed, when early man were burying their dead, prayers to the ancesters were given.

OK, Religion has caused wars and all sorts of nasty things over the years, but it has also been good and caring in other respects.

When it boils down to it, mans greatest fear is the beyond and what comes next, if anything, and thats where religion does help with faith.

Religion will never be stopped while man has 'soul' and ponders on the meaning of life. (and death).

And no the answer is not 42 :D

trXD
08-12-10, 22:56
I agree about the billboard. It could not possibly knock religion.

Most of the population of the earth have needed regiion in one form or another, just as George Michael sings 'you got-a have faith', most people need some sort of faith in their lives.

Think of it otherwise, we are born, procreate and die, surely there must be something more to life, than just death. Yes there is an afterlife or no there is not, that is the usual thoughts of mortal men.

This thinking has been the way of the caveman onwards, since the time we thought 'I think therefore I am', the faith and need for religion followed, when early man were burying their dead, prayers to the ancesters were given.

OK, Religion has caused wars and all sorts of nasty things over the years, but it has also been good and caring in other respects.

When it boils down to it, mans greatest fear is the beyond and what comes next, if anything, and thats where religion does help with faith.

Religion will never be stopped while man has 'soul' and ponders on the meaning of life. (and death).

And no the answer is not 42 :D

Not 100% sure what you are saying, but if you literally mean that every human needs faith then I disagree, some people are convinced this is true, but really, it simply isn't. I don't have any religious faith, I don't care what happens to me after I die unless I go somewhere horrible, and thats the truth. Man in general has always sought answers, but I wouldn't say every individual has, nor that they need to.

Cochrane
08-12-10, 23:01
In all fairness, the catholic church do do good things as well as bad. As for the atheist organization - there's promoting science and reason and then there's being insulting and elitist.

Personally, I donít think the individual virtues of the organizations matter. The catholic church could be the nicest organization in existence, but that would not make the existence of a god any more or any less likely. God either is who he is and has the followers he happens to have, or he simply isnít.

As for atheist organizations, I think they should be treated the same as the "I donít eat toast"-club: They may make some good points, they may make some bad ones, but either way, they can surely never speak for all or even just most people who donít share anything except not doing something thatís rather popular.

The Great Chi
08-12-10, 23:05
Not 100% sure what you are saying, but if you literally mean that every human needs faith then I disagree, some people are convinced this is true, but really, it simply isn't. I don't have any religious faith, I don't care what happens to me after I die unless I go somewhere horrible, and thats the truth. Man in general has always sought answers, but I wouldn't say every individual has, nor that they need to.I was just giving a story of why most people on earth need religion.

I agree with you that others do not need faith, if they feel strong enough to belive there is nothing afterwards.

I note you do not have any religious faith, but you do have the conception of hell, or as you put it 'unless I go somewhere horrible', which I assume comes from learning this from your upbringing.

That is an interesting point, because quite a lot of people will cling to religion because of this fear of hell.

Religion is quite a massive subject, and quite rightly so.

Mad Tony
08-12-10, 23:06
Personally, I don’t think the individual virtues of the organizations matter. The catholic church could be the nicest organization in existence, but that would not make the existence of a god any more or any less likely. God either is who he is and has the followers he happens to have, or he simply isn’t.What? :confused: I think you misunderstood me. Spider Man gave a ridiculously one-sided view of the Catholic Church and while I'm not Catholic myself I thought it was best to inform him that it has good points as well as bad. That's all I said.

This bilboard is stupid, nobody in the world is going to have their beliefs about the world influenced by a billboard. However in terms of the offensiveness, some christians are just going to have to the deal with it, a lot of people believe that the christian stories aren't true, if they take that as a direct insult its their problem.It's the message. "If you believe in God you don't believe in science and reason". It's of course a load of bull**** and I wish atheist organizations would stop with the "with us or against us" mentality.

Not only that but it's quite forceful, something atheists (not all of them) are always quick to pick up Christians on.

trXD
08-12-10, 23:18
I was just giving a story of why most people on earth need religion.

I agree with you that others do not need faith, if they feel strong enough to belive there is nothing afterwards.

I note you do not have any religious faith, but you do have the conception of hell, or as you put it 'unless I go somewhere horrible', which I assume comes from learning this from your upbringing.

That is an interesting point, because quite a lot of people will cling to religion because of this fear of hell.

Religion is quite a massive subject, and quite rightly so.

As for hell, yes I have a concept of it, simply because I have heard of it, but I don't have a shread of belief in it. Hmm, well the afterlife is just something I have never though about much, it's not possible to know what happens and I have no doubt that its something we will never know until the time comes, so I don't disbelieve or believe any of it :)


It's the message. "If you believe in God you don't believe in science and reason". It's of course a load of bull**** and I wish atheist organizations would stop with the "with us or against us" mentality.

Not only that but it's quite forceful, something atheists (not all of them) are always quick to pick up Christians on.

I am not really fammiliar with atheist organizations, so I can't say about that, but the billboard was certainly not displaying that message, it was just telling athiests they can celebrate the logic side of the holidays as apposed to the christian side. Whether or not it is saying that christians don't believe in science and such is completely subjective, in my opinion it does not, it doesn't seem directed at christians at all.

Cochrane
08-12-10, 23:20
What? :confused: I think you misunderstood me. Spider Man gave a ridiculously one-sided view of the Catholic Church and while I'm not Catholic myself I thought it was best to inform him that it has good points as well as bad.
It wasn’t directed at you in particular, your post just was the latest time this discussion came up here, with some people putting down the catholic church (or the christian faith, or religion in general) and others defending it. There can be no denying that the catholic church has good and bad parts, as should be expected of a two-thousand year old organization that claims to have absolute truth, so I actually agree with you. I just don’t think the entire discussion, as such, is relevant to the question "Is christmas a myth/is this sign evil" to begin with.

It's the message. "If you believe in God you don't believe in science and reason". It's of course a load of bull**** and I wish atheist organizations would stop with the "with us or against us" mentality.

Not only that but it's quite forceful, something atheists (not all of them) are always quick to pick up Christians on.
Let me take that as an opportunity to sum up my feelings quickly. This sign is condescending, it doesn’t make much sense ("celebrate reason"? How exactly is that supposed to work?), it doesn’t even have good typography. I can see why people are upset about it, and they have every right to be.

But at the same time, religion is being forced down our throats every day everywhere. Not where you live, apparently, but definitely in Germany and I’m pretty sure also in the US. I find that more than just a little bit offensive, all things considered. So when I hear that people are offended by an atheist message on a billboard, my first thought isn’t "how awful!". There is a small part of me that thinks "Serves you right, now you see how I feel". I know that’s petty and evil and stuff, and I do realize that this poster is worded too strongly. But at the end of the day, it’s posted in a country where every single piece of currency tells you that in order to be a full citizen, you have to believe in God, so I just can’t get outraged about it.

As for the atheists being quick to pick on Christians, again, apparently something UK-specific (and internet specific, but internet arguments hardly count as a referendum on how the public is feeling). Here in Germany, there are catholic bishops who repeatedly said that all atheism inevitably leads to Hitler and that there should be no room in society for art that has no relation to God. When people get outraged about such toxic nonsense, it’s only because of the Nazi comparisons, nothing else. My experience is definitely not one of christians being discriminated against.

Mad Tony
09-12-10, 11:46
But at the same time, religion is being forced down our throats every day everywhere. Not where you live, apparently, but definitely in Germany and I’m pretty sure also in the US. I find that more than just a little bit offensive, all things considered. So when I hear that people are offended by an atheist message on a billboard, my first thought isn’t "how awful!". There is a small part of me that thinks "Serves you right, now you see how I feel". I know that’s petty and evil and stuff, and I do realize that this poster is worded too strongly. But at the end of the day, it’s posted in a country where every single piece of currency tells you that in order to be a full citizen, you have to believe in God, so I just can’t get outraged about it.There's a difference between religion being simply present and religion being shoved down people's throats. The latter of course does happen but I think a lot of what you're describing falls into the former.

As for the atheists being quick to pick on Christians, again, apparently something UK-specific (and internet specific, but internet arguments hardly count as a referendum on how the public is feeling). Here in Germany, there are catholic bishops who repeatedly said that all atheism inevitably leads to Hitler and that there should be no room in society for art that has no relation to God. When people get outraged about such toxic nonsense, it’s only because of the Nazi comparisons, nothing else. My experience is definitely not one of christians being discriminated against.The message I'm getting from your posts is that you think Christians do it as well - yeah I know, and I've said this on several occasions. The militant extremists from both sides annoy me.

I am not really fammiliar with atheist organizations, so I can't say about that, but the billboard was certainly not displaying that message, it was just telling athiests they can celebrate the logic side of the holidays as apposed to the christian side. Whether or not it is saying that christians don't believe in science and such is completely subjective, in my opinion it does not, it doesn't seem directed at christians at all.Almost everything about the billboard implies Christians aren't reasonable.

You know it's a mythThat's imposing their views on other people. They think they know it's a myth but that's it. I and many others don't know it's a myth because we believe in it. So what? Why not let people be? Being as reasonable as they are you'd think they know we humans can't prove it either way.

This season, celebrate reasonThat's implying "you can't be reasonable if you believe in Christianity". That is a bit uncalled for is it not?

American Atheists - reasonable since 1963A little bit more overt, but there's still the implication that you can't be a Christian and be reasonable.

The whole billboard reinforces the militant atheist belief that you either believe in God or you believe in science and reason. While I'm well aware Christian organizations do similar things that does not make what this atheist organization are doing any less wrong.

Dennis's Mom
09-12-10, 12:22
The problem is that most people come to discussions like this axes to grind, usually handed to them by people with axes to grind.

Most of the "arguments" I read on teh internets sounds like something from a google search or quote from a message board. Gross oversimplifications, usually created (again!) by people with an axe to grind. People who think their personal experience or the last book they read quantify all that is known and all there is to know on the subject.

To me the most reasonable position--and the most scientifically justified--is that we do not and cannot know everything about the topic.

Being the curious sort, I know an awful lot about a lot of things, but the greatest lesson I've learned is that the world and people are a lot more complex than I'd like to believe. I do the universe and humanity a great disservice by denying them that complexity and pigeon-holing ideas and people into little boxes just so I can feel comfortable or superior.

Cochrane
09-12-10, 14:25
There's a difference between religion being simply present and religion being shoved down people's throats. The latter of course does happen but I think a lot of what you're describing falls into the former.
Where do you draw the line between those two? Because I think you draw it at a different place than I do.

The message I'm getting from your posts is that you think Christians do it as well - yeah I know, and I've said this on several occasions. The militant extremists from both sides annoy me.
Yeah, but it’s not so much the militant extremists that get me. Ignoring them is easy. I don’t mind normal believers who don’t mind me either, of course. I have more of an issue with the people who seem to think that being a christian or some sort of believer is the default state and anything else is weird or irrelevant. I think there are quite a few more of them than you, being a believer yourself, might realize.

Dennis's Mom
09-12-10, 14:51
Well, I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption to assume someone from a country with a predominate history of Christianity is a Christian, any more than it would be unreasonable to assume someone from Lebanon or Egypt is a Muslim.

I don't think is an unreasonable assumption to think someone is heterosexual. The odds are that you assume correctly.

I mean, I'm carrying an umbrella if there's a 50/50 chance of rain. In both of these examples, the odds of your assumption being correct are much higher.

Now, you are correct that, upon the discovery the assumption is wrong, you should not be treated with anything more than perhaps, mild surprise at being wrong. (We are all surprised at being wrong. :D)

But you're a big enough boy to know that any choice that goes "against the grain" is going to generate eyebrow raising. As a fifty year old married woman with three kids who plays violent video games and has written yaoi, trust me, I know. ;)

So while I don't think anyone should make you feel weird or less in any manner for being a non-believer, neither do I think you are entitled to carry a cross about people assuming you are a believer by inquiring what you're doing for Christmas, for example.

Mad Tony
09-12-10, 16:09
Where do you draw the line between those two? Because I think you draw it at a different place than I do.I have no idea.

Yeah, but itís not so much the militant extremists that get me. Ignoring them is easy. I donít mind normal believers who donít mind me either, of course. I have more of an issue with the people who seem to think that being a christian or some sort of believer is the default state and anything else is weird or irrelevant. I think there are quite a few more of them than you, being a believer yourself, might realize.They annoy me too, and so do atheists who think believing in any form of god or religion us is weird. Works both ways and I really don't know what you're getting at here.

Cochrane
09-12-10, 17:06
Well, I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption to assume someone from a country with a predominate history of Christianity is a Christian, any more than it would be unreasonable to assume someone from Lebanon or Egypt is a Muslim.

I don't think is an unreasonable assumption to think someone is heterosexual. The odds are that you assume correctly.

I mean, I'm carrying an umbrella if there's a 50/50 chance of rain. In both of these examples, the odds of your assumption being correct are much higher.

Now, you are correct that, upon the discovery the assumption is wrong, you should not be treated with anything more than perhaps, mild surprise at being wrong. (We are all surprised at being wrong. :D)

But you're a big enough boy to know that any choice that goes "against the grain" is going to generate eyebrow raising. As a fifty year old married woman with three kids who plays violent video games and has written yaoi, trust me, I know. ;)

So while I don't think anyone should make you feel weird or less in any manner for being a non-believer, neither do I think you are entitled to carry a cross about people assuming you are a believer by inquiring what you're doing for Christmas, for example.
I think I didnít explain what I mean properly. Of course youĎre right. What I mean is when it is made official. For example, this year, germany celebrated 60 years of our modern constitution. The official celebration started with a church service. It was one for both protestants and catholics, and apparently the ones in charge thought they had covered everyone who mattered with that. To get back to the topic of this thread, in the US, messages of unity usually invoke a deity - see the "under god" in the pledge of allegiance or the "in god we trust" on money. This is the kind of mindset that seriously annoys me.

They annoy me too, and so do atheists who think believing in any form of god or religion us is weird. Works both ways and I really don't know what you're getting at here.

What Iím getting at here is that there are more such people on the christian side than on the atheist side. If itís reversed in the UK, thatís great, yet another reason to move there as soon as you introduce the Euro and drive on the right side of the road. But I strongly think that this is the case in Germany and I am fairly certain in the US as well.

Mad Tony
09-12-10, 17:55
What Iím getting at here is that there are more such people on the christian side than on the atheist side. If itís reversed in the UK, thatís great, yet another reason to move there as soon as you introduce the Euro and drive on the right side of the road. But I strongly think that this is the case in Germany and I am fairly certain in the US as well.So you think there are more ignorant, elitist and militant religious people than there are atheists? Personally I think it's about equal.

thanatos
10-12-10, 05:41
So you think there are more ignorant, elitist and militant religious people than there are atheists? Personally I think it's about equal.

Of course there are more people on the religous side trying to force their belief on us than athiests, simply because there are more religous people than athiests and because religion advocates such behaviour, converting someone is something, they believe, to be celebrated.

Every week, EVERY WEEK, we have at least two groups of people in our city center, a small city i might add, loudly preaching the word of god through obnoxious speeches as well as song, dance and constantly handing out leaflets. And i don't mean the same two groups each week either!

Guess how many athiests stand around shouting their heads off about how scientific evidence directly contradicts events in the bible, or if everyone took the bible as simply a book with some good life guiding themes rather than an absolute truth that must be obeyed we'd all be better off. If they did i can gurantee there would be a public outcry, I mean just look at the power of a single billboard the vast majority of the world wouldn't have even heard off, let alone seen, if athiest preaching was as common as religous.

Mad Tony
10-12-10, 11:40
Of course there are more people on the religous side trying to force their belief on us than athiests, simply because there are more religous people than athiests and because religion advocates such behaviour, converting someone is something, they believe, to be celebrated.

Every week, EVERY WEEK, we have at least two groups of people in our city center, a small city i might add, loudly preaching the word of god through obnoxious speeches as well as song, dance and constantly handing out leaflets. And i don't mean the same two groups each week either!

Guess how many athiests stand around shouting their heads off about how scientific evidence directly contradicts events in the bible, or if everyone took the bible as simply a book with some good life guiding themes rather than an absolute truth that must be obeyed we'd all be better off. If they did i can gurantee there would be a public outcry, I mean just look at the power of a single billboard the vast majority of the world wouldn't have even heard off, let alone seen, if athiest preaching was as common as religous.I was just on about religious people and atheists in general. In my own experiences I've come across just as many militant atheists as I have militant Christians.

Dennis's Mom
10-12-10, 13:00
I think I didnít explain what I mean properly. Of course youĎre right. What I mean is when it is made official. For example, this year, germany celebrated 60 years of our modern constitution. The official celebration started with a church service. It was one for both protestants and catholics, and apparently the ones in charge thought they had covered everyone who mattered with that. To get back to the topic of this thread, in the US, messages of unity usually invoke a deity - see the "under god" in the pledge of allegiance or the "in god we trust" on money. This is the kind of mindset that seriously annoys me.

Again, I think there's something to be said for history and tradition, and you can't deny that religion (and religious freedom!) have had a HUGE hand in shaping Germany.

I think you're looking at it from a very closed *cough* mindset. You're determined to view any public acknowledge of religion as turning Germany into some kind of "believer's only" club. You could view it as simply a ceremony acknowledging the anniversary and acknowledging it in the fashion that Germans of the past would have recognized and approved.

Every week, EVERY WEEK, we have at least two groups of people in our city center, a small city i might add, loudly preaching the word of god through obnoxious speeches as well as song, dance and constantly handing out leaflets. And i don't mean the same two groups each week either!

This is called "freedom of speech." Trust me, it's more annoying to live in a world without it.

Guess how many athiests stand around shouting their heads off about how scientific evidence directly contradicts events in the bible, or if everyone took the bible as simply a book with some good life guiding themes rather than an absolute truth that must be obeyed we'd all be better off. If they did i can gurantee there would be a public outcry, I mean just look at the power of a single billboard the vast majority of the world wouldn't have even heard off, let alone seen, if athiest preaching was as common as religous.

Well, technically, there are quite a few atheists who do that, although they've found far more effective methods to get their message out than standing on the mall. Their names are mentioned quite frequently here on the board, in thead even.

Dawkins, Harris, et al., have created their own disciples who spread their message. Teh internets is their mall and forums threads are their leaflets.

I bet if I had the means and cared to take the time to count, that Dawkins's name alone would be mentioned on this board more times than any "believer" authors names collectively.

Cochrane
10-12-10, 14:33
Again, I think there's something to be said for history and tradition, and you can't deny that religion (and religious freedom!) have had a HUGE hand in shaping Germany.

I think you're looking at it from a very closed *cough* mindset. You're determined to view any public acknowledge of religion as turning Germany into some kind of "believer's only" club. You could view it as simply a ceremony acknowledging the anniversary and acknowledging it in the fashion that Germans of the past would have recognized and approved.

I respectfully disagree. Religious freedom includes the freedom not to be religious as well, and 39% of germans today are not members of any religious community. It is obviously hard to say how many of these are atheists, but I think it is safe to say that not being religious, or at least not christian, is a huge part of modern Germany. That was not always the case in the past, of course, but our past is so confusing and at times dark that I don't think itís a good idea to do something only because it was considered a good idea in the past.

I can understand your opinion, and Iím definitely not saying that you are wrong. Germany, like the rest of the western world, is definitely influenced by christianity to an overwhelming degree, and that is nothing bad. While writing this, Iím listening to christmas songs myself. But I think the government itself should not be atheist, christian or anything, but neutral and open for everyone. I don't think it is to the degree it should be (it is definitely far less neutral than, say, the US government), and that annoys me.

Admles
10-12-10, 19:26
:vlol: Christians complaining about Atheists preaching unfairly is the biggest case ever of the pot calling the kettle black.

thanatos
10-12-10, 20:26
(Whoops, double post, really shouldn't try complicated forum replies on a phone!)

thanatos
10-12-10, 20:32
Again, I think there's something to be said for history and tradition, and you can't deny that religion (and religious freedom!) have had a HUGE hand in shaping Germany.

I think you're looking at it from a very closed *cough* mindset. You're determined to view any public acknowledge of religion as turning Germany into some kind of "believer's only" club. You could view it as simply a ceremony acknowledging the anniversary and acknowledging it in the fashion that Germans of the past would have recognized and approved.



This is called "freedom of speech." Trust me, it's more annoying to live in a world without it.


Bit of casual condescension, nice.


Well, technically, there are quite a few atheists who do that, although they've found far more effective methods to get their message out than standing on the mall. Their names are mentioned quite frequently here on the board, in thead even.

Dawkins, Harris, et al., have created their own disciples who spread their message. Teh internets is their mall and forums threads are their leaflets.

I bet if I had the means and cared to take the time to count, that Dawkins's name alone would be mentioned on this board more times than any "believer" authors names collectively.

Until there are huge buildings erected in every city worshipping the Truth of Science, with one of the laws, under punishment of eternal punishment, to be to never question it, I don't think they can be compared.

trXD
10-12-10, 20:57
That's imposing their views on other people. They think they know it's a myth but that's it. I and many others don't know it's a myth because we believe in it. So what? Why not let people be? Being as reasonable as they are you'd think they know we humans can't prove it either way.

That's implying "you can't be reasonable if you believe in Christianity". That is a bit uncalled for is it not?

A little bit more overt, but there's still the implication that you can't be a Christian and be reasonable.

The whole billboard reinforces the militant atheist belief that you either believe in God or you believe in science and reason. While I'm well aware Christian organizations do similar things that does not make what this atheist organization are doing any less wrong.

Most people who have certain believes say they "know" that they are right but still accept people who don't think the same way, ask any christian, hindu, or anything if they know if they're religion is right and they will say "yes", because they aren't undecided.

"You can't be reasonable if you believe in christianity", I absolutely do not see that in the billboard, that is how you are taking it. It is saying that you can celebrate reason other than the christian side of it which you don't believe in (the billboard is talking directly to athiests), it isn't saying that christians can't celebrate reason just as much :confused: I don't see how that statement implies that at all.

This militant belief, I'm sure exists amongst ignorant people, but I do believe your looking at a twisted version of this billboard, and I'm just not seeing what your seeing.

Mad Tony
10-12-10, 21:15
Most people who have certain believes say they "know" that they are right but still accept people who don't think the same way, ask any christian, hindu, or anything if they know if they're religion is right and they will say "yes", because they aren't undecided.The billboard is in a public place, and thus all kinds of people will see it. Telling all of these people they "know" it (Christianity) is a myth is rather forceful and insulting.

"You can't be reasonable if you believe in christianity", I absolutely do not see that in the billboard, that is how you are taking it. It is saying that you can celebrate reason other than the christian side of it which you don't believe in (the billboard is talking directly to athiests), it isn't saying that christians can't celebrate reason just as much :confused: I don't see how that statement implies that at all.Umm, how can you even celebrate reason and what it's got to do with Christmas? The billboard is clearly telling people to celebrate reason (however you do that) instead of what Christmas is really about which is the birth of Christ.

This militant belief, I'm sure exists amongst ignorant people, but I do believe your looking at a twisted version of this billboard, and I'm just not seeing what your seeing.Or perhaps you're just choosing to ignore the blatant anti-religious message of this billboard. I would be in support of a billboard encouraging people to think for themselves and make their own minds up, but that's not what this billboard is doing. Unfortunately a lot of these atheist organizations and prominent atheist figures aren't content with leaving people to decide what they believe in for themselves - they want to force their own views onto them, which is a shame really since the majority of atheists from my experience are quite reasonable, which is ironically something these atheist organizations are not.

trXD
10-12-10, 21:32
The billboard is in a public place, and thus all kinds of people will see it. Telling all of these people they "know" it (Christianity) is a myth is rather forceful and insulting.

Like I said, everyone says this about their beliefs, that they know it, otherwise they wouldn't believe it. If someone finds someone else's belief insulting then that is their problem.


Umm, how can you even celebrate reason and what it's got to do with Christmas? The billboard is clearly telling people to celebrate reason (however you do that) instead of what Christmas is really about which is the birth of Christ.

Oh come on, christmas isn't just about chirst these days. It's turned into something different to that, people give presents too each other and celebrate their family and friends, many MANY people celebrate christmas without brining any sort of religion in it.


Or perhaps you're just choosing to ignore the blatant anti-religious message of this billboard. I would be in support of a billboard encouraging people to think for themselves and make their own minds up, but that's not what this billboard is doing. Unfortunately a lot of these atheist organizations and prominent atheist figures aren't content with leaving people to decide what they believe in for themselves - they want to force their own views onto them, which is a shame really since the majority of atheists from my experience are quite reasonable, which is ironically something these atheist organizations are not.

The idea that this billboard is directed, even partly, to christians in order to insult them, doesn't fly with me. It isn't saying anything sinister, it has a simple message to athiests, obviously you believe different.

Mad Tony
10-12-10, 21:40
Like I said, everyone says this about their beliefs, that they know it, otherwise they wouldn't believe it. If someone finds someone else's belief insulting then that is their problem.It's not just insulting, it's forceful and unwarranted. This is without mentioning that it completely goes against the message of the billboard.

Oh come on, christmas isn't just about chirst these days. It's turned into something different to that, people give presents too each other and celebrate their family and friends, many MANY people celebrate christmas without brining any sort of religion in it.Really? I would never have guessed that.

The idea that this billboard is directed, even partly, to christians in order to insult them, doesn't fly with me. It isn't saying anything sinister, it has a simple message to athiests, obviously you believe different.The billboard is directed at everybody. However, I expect it's directed at atheists least.

Shaman
10-12-10, 21:44
What a mature use of $20,000 for promoting science and reason, brought to you by the most secure organization in America! Rather unlike that useless Catholic church that sets up hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and orphanages around the world!

http://richarddawkins.net/videos/553325-billboard-you-know-it-s-a-myth
Excuse Me! I am Catholic! So would you please watch what you say! :mad: I can explode if you want me to. GET THE MESSAGE!

EDIT: Wait, were you being sarcastic?

Mad Tony
10-12-10, 21:49
Excuse Me! I am Catholic! So would you please watch what you say! :mad: I can explode if you want me to. GET THE MESSAGE!

EDIT: Wait, were you being sarcastic?He was clearly being sarcastic. I don't think he could have made it more obvious by going on and listing the good things that the Catholic church does.

Cochrane
10-12-10, 23:14
Unfortunately a lot of these atheist organizations and prominent atheist figures aren't content with leaving people to decide what they believe in for themselves - they want to force their own views onto them, which is a shame really since the majority of atheists from my experience are quite reasonable, which is ironically something these atheist organizations are not.

I think you're right, and that is probably due to the nature of the thing. Atheism is not a philosophy or in any form coherent. For most, atheism is not a part of their life, it's just that something else (namely religion) isn't. Apart from the occasional internet thread, I count myself among that group. Me and most people like me wouldn't join an atheist organization any more than any "I don't really like mushrooms group".

Those who do think that being atheist is an important part of their identity, so much that they form organizations about it, are hence a little bit more extreme, to say the least. And I do not agree with everything they say or do.

However, just like the "all men are evil kind" of feminism or the Free Software Foundation, while I don't agree with their particular views, I think they have an important role in society. Those kinds of groups can help open the public discourse to new issues or new ways of thinking about old issues. In that way, they can help help people come to a compromise that is good and better for everyone (although they themselves will probably still complain).

Is that billboard sign helping in that direction? I'm not sure. It's way too offensive, of course, and as I said before, makes no sense (so apparently american atheists were unreasonable before the 1960sÖ). But it gets people who are not on the internet talking about atheism and whether it is a valid point of view. It's not the best way to do that, but I think it is an effective way nevertheless.

larafan25
10-12-10, 23:44
I think any sort of advertising your ideologies or beliefs is kind of extreme. It's a personal thing, in that sense, I do not mean something you hide or are ashamed of, it's just the basis of your beliefs and actions.

It shouldn't be anything more or anything less.

HURLEYstickmen
11-12-10, 08:34
Wait, hold on a second...
If God created people "in his image", and if we are imperfect, then therefore "God"
must be too. Of course I'm atheist too, but really, I don't know if Jesus DID exist or
not, but they certainly can't call it a "myth". I know that angels - or any mythological
being, for that matter - cannot exist on this planet, so that part is a myth, but
seriously, I mean, how can a single baby be "King of all the World"? I know I
don't believe in God, but the random idea that the Earth is less than 6000 years of age
is, to me, unbelievable.

I've never been fond of Christianity, or locked doors.

Mad Tony
11-12-10, 09:45
but the random idea that the Earth is less than 6000 years of age is, to me, unbelievable.Not everyone believes that.

thanatos
11-12-10, 11:22
Not everyone believes that.

The bible does though.

Mad Tony
11-12-10, 11:26
The bible does though.Please point me to the passage in the Bible where it says the Earth is 6,000 years old.

thanatos
11-12-10, 11:39
Please point me to the passage in the Bible where it says the Earth is 6,000 years old.

I'm not sure if I really want to spend my day pointing to all the things in the bible texts that can be scientifically proven to be false.

But if you insist; the bible is quite clear that Adam lived 6000 years ago, which I admit is only referring to mankind and not the Earth per se but you see my point. Of course you could say that errors like that occur through translation error or the fact the bible was written by man, not god, but I know I wouldn't like to make excuses for something I supposedly unquestionably believe in.

Of course my lack of belief doesn't mean I would slap up a giant billboard trying to force my opinion on others, all I was saying originally is that it's a bit rich for the religious community to complain about some one trying to impose their beliefs on others.

Mad Tony
11-12-10, 11:56
I'm not sure if I really want to spend my day pointing to all the things in the bible texts that can be scientifically proven to be false.

But if you insist; the bible is quite clear that Adam lived 6000 years ago, which I admit is only referring to mankind and not the Earth per se but you see my point. Of course you could say that errors like that occur through translation error or the fact the bible was written by man, not god, but I know I wouldn't like to make excuses for something I supposedly unquestionably believe in.So in other words, it doesn't say it but it can be interpreted that way, like many things.

all I was saying originally is that it's a bit rich for the religious community to complain about some one trying to impose their beliefs on others.Surely then you must be against atheists complaining when religious people impose their beliefs on others too?

Endow
11-12-10, 12:07
.

Archetype
11-12-10, 12:30
If God created people "in his image", and if we are imperfect, then therefore "God"must be too.



We are all capable of terrible things, hense 'free will'. God is only good, so therefore anything bad is of our own doing.


the random idea that the Earth is less than 6000 years of age


It's like genesis, 'God created the earth in 6 days and on the 7th he rested'.
Time is only relevent to us. For God, those 6 days could have 6 million etc.

thanatos
11-12-10, 12:31
So in other words, it doesn't say it but it can be interpreted that way, like many things.

Surely then you must be against atheists complaining when religious people impose their beliefs on others too?

No, it actually states it's 6000 years ago that Adam lived, no interpretation, that's what it states. It's actually surprisingly clear on the length on all the ages.
It also states, famously, the world was created in Six days. Many believe this IS open to interpretation but due to the fact that he did it in six days with rest on the seventh as a guide for Human kind on how to structure their lives, it wouldn't make sense for him to do that if a day, to him, was a million years. Not to mention the fact that the word used for "a day" in this case translates as STRICTLY one HUMAN day.

I do not agree with the billboard, no, it is ridiculous and unnecessary. All i'm saying is - Yo, Catholics, chill the hell out, who cares, and whatever you do, don't rise to it and put up your own billboard across the road! ... oh http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/culture/family/5351-catholic-groups-respond-to-anti-christmas-billboard

Dennis's Mom
11-12-10, 13:01
I'm not sure if I really want to spend my day pointing to all the things in the bible texts that can be scientifically proven to be false.

But if you insist; the bible is quite clear that Adam lived 6000 years ago, which I admit is only referring to mankind and not the Earth per se but you see my point. Of course you could say that errors like that occur through translation error or the fact the bible was written by man, not god, but I know I wouldn't like to make excuses for something I supposedly unquestionably believe in.


No, the Bible is not "quite clear" that Adam lived six thousand years ago. That's the result of a lot of guesswork working out a time line created by based on references in the Bible. Also what "day"? There was no light on the first day. So . . . ? The Bible also claims a day to God is like a 1000 years, which, if you're using old testament symbolism "1000" was a huge number, not literally "1000."

And by suddenly changing your tune--there's a *cough* world of difference in claiming that the earth is 6,000 years old vs. humanity---your point suddenly vanishes. What point were you trying to make? That there are people who think every word of the Bible must be interpreted literally and believed in its entirety?

Yes, those people exist. We already knew that. I don't care for them either.

Bit of casual condescension, nice.

I don't think it's condescending at all, and unless you are equally as annoyed by anyone else who parades their preferences publicly---bizarre clothing, too loud music, bumper stickers, requests to sign petitions, then you've got no special grievance. You only think it's different because you don't like what they're selling. However, it's a free country and that means they have just as much right to hand out poorly written leaflets as the guy who pulls up next to me with his woofers blasting atrocious music that he clearly thinks is so wonderful everyone wants to hear it.

That's the price of living in a "free" country. It's all or nothing. Everyone has the right to be annoyed and annoying. [/QUOTE]

Until there are huge buildings erected in every city worshipping the Truth of Science, with one of the laws, under punishment of eternal punishment, to be to never question it, I don't think they can be compared.

Sorry, we're not discussing buildings, we're discussing proselytizing attempts. As I've already pointed out, people are far more likely to invoke atheist prophets in any discussion than than believers are to actually discuss religious ones.

I mean, how much "theology" has actually been mentioned in this thread alone by "believers"? Not much. Most of what's been mentioned has been by atheists/agnostic side who think they know what religion is all about by mentioning a few high-profile memes and recent scandals. (And I'm not dismissing these charges out of hand either. I'm well aware of how much ammunition has been handed out to shoot back at religion.) But it's still not a theological discussion. I wouldn't even say it's a religious one.

I could discuss theology. I could point out where people have missed the point, failed to get the entire story, taken things out of context. But I know there's no point in that. No one "wins" religious arguments---well, except in their minds, I guess. Everyone walks away high-fiving themselves with one hand and stroking their self-righteous gland in the other.

And that's the real problem. People are far more interested in being "right" than being kind, so it always turns into a finger pointing game of "they did it first" to justify being rude.

Which bring me back to my original point: the billboard is rude. Putting someone else down to lift yourself up is wrong whenever anyone does it.

Mad Tony
11-12-10, 13:25
No, it actually states it's 6000 years ago that Adam lived, no interpretation, that's what it states.Where does it say that? Genuine question by the way, last time I read the Bible was when I was in year 11.

thanatos
11-12-10, 14:20
No, the Bible is not "quite clear" that Adam lived six thousand years ago. That's the result of a lot of guesswork working out a time line created by based on references in the Bible. Also what "day"? There was no light on the first day. So . . . ? The Bible also claims a day to God is like a 1000 years, which, if you're using old testament symbolism "1000" was a huge number, not literally "1000."


It's a little bit more than guesswork, it gives us detailed genealogies and numerous dates to work from. It's not told to us DIRECTLY (ie. this is Adam, he lived 6000 years ago) but it is quite clear when you see the timeline worked out using the bible as its source. This timeline has been around for hundreds of years and isn't really disagreed with by people who are smarter and have spent much more time studying these things than us! And could you please point me to where it claims a day is "like a thousand years."

And by suddenly changing your tune--there's a *cough* world of difference in claiming that the earth is 6,000 years old vs. humanity---your point suddenly vanishes. What point were you trying to make? That there are people who think every word of the Bible must be interpreted literally and believed in its entirety?

Yes, those people exist. We already knew that. I don't care for them either.

I was using the idea of Earth and Humanity as interchangeable simply because It was easier in the context of my reply (wanted it to be snappy, not detailed. Also, according to the bible the Earth was created six days before Adams birth so the point's not exactly worth arguing over and as I pointed out, in original Hebrew the word used, in this case, as Day refers specifically to the human concept of a day, ie. 24 hours.


I don't think it's condescending at all, and unless you are equally as annoyed by anyone else who parades their preferences publicly---bizarre clothing, too loud music, bumper stickers, requests to sign petitions, then you've got no special grievance. You only think it's different because you don't like what they're selling. However, it's a free country and that means they have just as much right to hand out poorly written leaflets as the guy who pulls up next to me with his woofers blasting atrocious music that he clearly thinks is so wonderful everyone wants to hear it.

That's the price of living in a "free" country. It's all or nothing. Everyone has the right to be annoyed and annoying.

I wasn't saying I was annoyed at religious groups shoving their views in everyone's faces, I was merely pointing out that if they do that they can hardly get upset when Atheists put up a big, albiet pretty daft, billboard.
I actually originally posted the comments in reply to comments about atheist beliefs being pushed on us more than religious, which in my opinion is daft.


Sorry, we're not discussing buildings, we're discussing proselytizing attempts. As I've already pointed out, people are far more likely to invoke atheist prophets in any discussion than than believers are to actually discuss religious ones.

I mean, how much "theology" has actually been mentioned in this thread alone by "believers"? Not much. Most of what's been mentioned has been by atheists/agnostic side who think they know what religion is all about by mentioning a few high-profile memes and recent scandals. (And I'm not dismissing these charges out of hand either. I'm well aware of how much ammunition has been handed out to shoot back at religion.) But it's still not a theological discussion. I wouldn't even say it's a religious one.

I could discuss theology. I could point out where people have missed the point, failed to get the entire story, taken things out of context. But I know there's no point in that. No one "wins" religious arguments---well, except in their minds, I guess. Everyone walks away high-fiving themselves with one hand and stroking their self-righteous gland in the other.

And that's the real problem. People are far more interested in being "right" than being kind, so it always turns into a finger pointing game of "they did it first" to justify being rude.

Which bring me back to my original point: the billboard is rude. Putting someone else down to lift yourself up is wrong whenever anyone does it.

I'm not even attempting to get into a discussion of whether Christianity is right or wrong, if I were I would bring up that countries have been invaded and thousands slaughtered over the words in a book, but also people have found comfort and happiness in the simplicity of faith as well as many dedicating their lives to helping others because of their beliefs.

I am merely debating two points: One, that the bible does actually state the age of the Earth, and Two, Catholics complaining about Atheists attempting to force their beliefs on others is as someone eloquently put it earlier in this thread, the kettle getting ****ed off after the pot called it black.

The billboard is the work of a small group of being designed to stir up controversy. How is it more annoying than having to listen to people on loud speakers shout at you that YOUR beliefs are wrong and your an evil person and your going to hell etc, etc. I ignore the street preachers in every city of western world, you can ignore the ONE daft billboard.




Where does it say that? Genuine question by the way, last time I read the Bible was when I was in year 11.

The genealogies are in Genesis 5 and several of the other Genesis sections (is that the right word? Sorry, I'm sure you know what I mean).

The Great Chi
11-12-10, 14:38
This interpetation of the bible literally is most interesting, if you look at the early chapters we have people that supposedly lived over 100 years, or 200years or even 950 years old :eek:

'noah age when he died ... genesis 9:29 is 950'

This is very interesting because it is either a load of rubbish or exageration or some of these early people really did live far more than the 'three score and ten' of nowadays :D

This leads us down the path of the evolution of the human being.

1....Either we have the god theory, where we were made instantainiously by god.

2....Or we have the Darwin theory of evolution by changing monkey to man over a long period.

3....Or we have an Ancient Alien race modifiying our genes from nethanderal to homosapien re: 'Chariots of the gods' 'Stargate' type of idea. To be used possibly as a slave race at the time.

Going by the bible it seems mans body was ment to live a long time, but now generations later we are lucky if we reach 100.

I wish there was more proof on the subject, rather than relying on a 2000 year old book (bible).

Tyrannosaurus
11-12-10, 21:10
If you want to learn about Catholic charities, I can offer you the following links:

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

http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/NetCommunity/

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

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

http://books.google.com/books?id=7n8dPi2ew9YC&pg=PA497&lpg=PA497&dq=catholic+church+largest+non+profit+organization +in+the+world&source=bl&ots=1yqQimoXSL&sig=t_25_OLClNxpa2_zXfh5C7xiszA&hl=en&ei=ZPYDTZ3FBoOinQfX96DlDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

And these are just the first bits of info that come up with a quick and cursory search at google and wikipedia. You can criticize these charities all you like, but my only point is that they've gone further in making the world a better place than any silly atheist organization ever has. It should provide a little perspective on how petty this billboard business actually is.

Tyrannosaurus
11-12-10, 21:29
R6THwSYY_aU

Are you insane? Michael Moore is a more reliable documentarian than Flemming. Almost no one with actual credentials takes the Jesus myth theory seriously, and the people interviewed are mostly those on the fringes of academic scholarship. Every one of these points can and has been challenged by other academics. Furthermore, some facts are just misrepresented and taken out of context. Yes, there is a 40 to 70 year gap between the composition of the latest gospels and the events they purport to capture, but as far as the standards of historical accuracy go, that's pretty damn good. Everything we know about Alexander the Great, for example, was written some 300 years after his time, and those sources don't agree either. There are much larger gaps in all of the sources we have on Julius Caesar as well. Furthermore, a close examination of the text of the earliest gospels strongly suggests that they were adapted from earlier sources, which means that although we don't have access to the earliest versions, the stories about Jesus were almost certainly written down before then.

Similarly, in the research I've done on the 19th century geologist William Buckland, the only book that actually purports to be a chronology of his life (arranged by his daughter) was publilshed 37 years after his death, which is a similar time gap. The author quotes liberally from other sources as well, and writes with a certain distance from the material.

The points made about Paul really just amount to an argument from omission. No, he didn't know the earthly Jesus, but he did know Peter the discipline, and was, you know, executed alongside him during the reign of Nero.

The purported parallels between the life of Jesus and early pre-christian deities is pure pablum as well. If you actually bother to look up the myths yourself, you'll see that their similarities are superficial at best, and virtually nonexistent in general. The most popular parallel deities to make this claim with, like Horus, Mithras, and Dionysus, have already been thoroughly debunked.

Do you check the veracity of the claims people make, or are you swayed by passion and rhetoric instead? This turd is no more well supported than The Da Vinci Code. It's only one step above Zeitgeist and What the *bleep* do we know?

Here are a few criticisms:

http://members.optusnet.com.au/gakuseidon/God_Who_Wasnt_There_analysis.htm

http://www.tektonics.org/gk/godthere.html

http://www.answeringinfidels.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=87

Ward Dragon
11-12-10, 21:54
It's a little bit more than guesswork, it gives us detailed genealogies and numerous dates to work from. It's not told to us DIRECTLY (ie. this is Adam, he lived 6000 years ago) but it is quite clear when you see the timeline worked out using the bible as its source. This timeline has been around for hundreds of years and isn't really disagreed with by people who are smarter and have spent much more time studying these things than us!

I think Inherit the Wind made a really strong case for why that timeline is merely an interpretation and shouldn't be taken literally :pi:

Punaxe
11-12-10, 22:06
If you want to learn about Catholic charities, I can offer you the following links:

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

http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/NetCommunity/

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

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

http://books.google.com/books?id=7n8dPi2ew9YC&pg=PA497&lpg=PA497&dq=catholic+church+largest+non+profit+organization +in+the+world&source=bl&ots=1yqQimoXSL&sig=t_25_OLClNxpa2_zXfh5C7xiszA&hl=en&ei=ZPYDTZ3FBoOinQfX96DlDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

And these are just the first bits of info that come up with a quick and cursory search at google and wikipedia. You can criticize these charities all you like, but my only point is that they've gone further in making the world a better place than any silly atheist organization ever has. It should provide a little perspective on how petty this billboard business actually is.

Coming up with a few charities that call themselves Christian for one reason or another is a far cry from proving that the Church is the largest charitable organization in the world.

But even so, what point are you making? Should every organization that wants to promote anything be measured by the amount of charity work they do in the name of what they promote? I underlined that last bit, because what could be done in the name of atheism, except for raising awareness? Why would you, in this context, compare a religion with probably the most extensive body of beliefs, axioms, rules, guidelines et cetera of any, to atheism - nothing more than the disbelief in any deity?

To come back to my earlier analogy with every other organization in the world doing what organizations do - promote themselves or their products - should I feel outraged at the next hamburger commercial I see because the manufacturer does not do as much charity work in the name of cow-killing and people-feeding than do a bunch of organizations in the world conviently grouped together under the denominator "Christian"?

You might have had a point if you had said "I think Christian teachings are generally good because they include caring for our fellow men", but you were somehow comparing these teachings and what is done in their name to atheism, which doesn't have any teachings at all. Nor does American Atheists. It has goals, as does every other organization in the world. Do you see any validity in comparing every other organization in the world to the collection of every Christianity-related charitable organization in the world based on the amount of charity work they do? If not, why was it relevant here?

How much charity work have you done? Because if it's less than the combined outcome of every positive action that has ever been undertaken by any man calling himself a Christian - surely, whatever you have to say isn't worth publishing.

My apologies for the negative tone, I hope you realize I do respect you. I agree that the billboard does not represent the most politically and ethically correct way of bringing out the message, but it sure has gotten people talking about it. And in my opinion, that's about as much as can be said about it. There is absolutely no reason to bring non-arguments about charity into the discussion.

Ward Dragon
11-12-10, 22:12
Coming up with a few charities that call themselves Christian for one reason or another is a far cry from proving that the Church is the largest charitable organization in the world.

He specifically pointed out Catholic charities, which I think do represent "The Church" (usually when people say "The Church" they are referring to the Vatican, right?).

Anyway, I think he was trying to make the point that he's tired of his religion being villanized so he wanted to point out the good things that have been done as well.

Punaxe
11-12-10, 22:25
He specifically pointed out Catholic charities, which I think do represent "The Church" (usually when people say "The Church" they are referring to the Vatican, right?).

Anyway, I think he was trying to make the point that he's tired of his religion being villanized so he wanted to point out the good things that have been done as well.

They relate to "The Church", but I don't think it's a valid count. Would I be correct to group all humanist charities together to argue that secularism is better than any monarchy, as there are fewer charities operating in the name of monarchy?

As I said, he is in his right to point out the good things about Christianity, and perhaps I totally misunderstood him thrice in a row now, but it seemed to me like he was attacking atheism as a whole, and comparing it to Christianity, on the basis of achievements of organizations that call themselves atheist or Christian respectively which I think is irrelevant to the discussion of a single billboard, or to the fundamentals of either atheism or Christianity.

Ward Dragon
11-12-10, 22:30
They relate to "The Church", but I don't think it's a valid count. Would I be correct to group all humanist charities together to argue that secularism is better than any monarchy, as there are fewer charities operating in the name of monarchy?

As I said, he is in his right to point out the good things about Christianity, and perhaps I totally misunderstood him thrice in a row now, but it seemed to me like he was attacking atheism as a whole, and comparing it to Christianity, on the basis of achievements of organizations that call themselves atheist or Christian respectively which I think is irrelevant to the discussion of a single billboard, or to the fundamentals of either atheism or Christianity.

But he was specifically referring to Catholicism, which has a very rigid hierarchy and all Catholic organizations answer to the Pope one way or another. That's why he grouped the charities together as part of the same organization.

In any case, like I said, that billboard attacks the core of people's beliefs so it's no surprise that people seeing it would feel defensive and want to point out that they are not in fact unreasonable (contrary to what the billboard claims about their faith). So to that end, I think it's funny to point out how much money was wasted on the billboard and then try to make the case that one's religious group is more reasonable because they spend the money helping people instead.

Punaxe
11-12-10, 22:39
I don't think that's the kind of "reason" the billboard is aiming at, nor that the money is wasted per se.
If they were claiming that atheism is at present making more people happy than Christianity, the mentioning of charities would be relevant, but I maintain that in the current discussion of this billboard it is not.

Tyrannosaurus
11-12-10, 22:40
Non-literal interpretation is dogma, not heresy. Fundamentalism started more or less as a backlash against papal corruption (i.e. the bible becomes the ultimate authority on God, not the church) and Enlightenment ideologies. The notion that the Earth is only 6,000 years old goes back to Anglican Archbishop Ussher and his chronology, published in 1650.

To quote St. Augustine:

“It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation”

(The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20 [A.D. 408]).

Cochrane
11-12-10, 22:51
I still don't get how the catholic church being nice or not has anything to do with the billboard. There can be no denying that a lot of good has been done in the name of christianity, but that neither proves nor disproves the hypothesis that Jesus is the son of an omnipotent deity and so on.

Or is the idea really "a lot of religious people are quite nice, so please make your point in not such an offensive way"? In that case, I certainly agree.

Tyrannosaurus
11-12-10, 22:54
^ My point was actually neither. But see below.

Coming up with a few charities that call themselves Christian for one reason or another is a far cry from proving that the Church is the largest charitable organization in the world.

But even so, what point are you making? Should every organization that wants to promote anything be measured by the amount of charity work they do in the name of what they promote? I underlined that last bit, because what could be done in the name of atheism, except for raising awareness? Why would you, in this context, compare a religion with probably the most extensive body of beliefs, axioms, rules, guidelines et cetera of any, to atheism - nothing more than the disbelief in any deity? I wouldn't, and I'm not. "Atheism" is no more well defined than "theism", so I certainly don't view it as a cohesive philosophy unto itself. What I am specifically mocking are the self-important atheist organizations like American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation etc., that really only seem to set up and execute petty goals like this billboard or make attempts to remove public religious displays etc. I don't think they're helping the advancement of civilization as much as they think they are.

Nor does American Atheists. Oh, it does. You can visit their website, and that of many similar groups. The sign outside their office reads "Promoting Science & Reason" or something similar. What I scoff at is how little a development like this helps to facilitate either.

My apologies for the negative tone, I hope you realize I do respect you. No offense taken.

I agree that the billboard does not represent the most politically and ethically correct way of bringing out the message, but it sure has gotten people talking about it. And in my opinion, that's about as much as can be said about it. There is absolutely no reason to bring non-arguments about charity into the discussion. I wouldn't say there is no reason to bring that up. My purpose was to embarass AA and similar organizations by pointing out how petty their use of money actually is compared the work of a religious group they surely hate (and will never discuss).

Punaxe
11-12-10, 23:44
(...) Oh, it does. You can visit their website, and that of many similar groups. The sign outside their office reads "Promoting Science & Reason" or something similar.

Hm yeah, I classified that as a "goal" and as such found it fair to put AA in the same corner as every other organization, but I suppose you could say that "science" is a teaching, albeit still entirely different in almost every aspect, so I'd say comparisons are still out.

What I scoff at is how little a development like this helps to facilitate either. (...) My purpose was to embarass AA and similar organizations by pointing out how petty their use of money actually is compared the work of a religious group they surely hate (and will never discuss).

That's fair enough, but I still think comparing any organization's use of money to what charities do with their money is ... well, something to be avoided. AA wants to promote atheism in the USA, not help people in Africa, and it is their right to do so.

So it would be fairest to measure their use of money with regards to their own goals, and while I don't have any figures or so, I do think organizations like these - and billboards like these - have helped spread awareness of atheism.

Finally, what does it mean for organizations like these, to be "self-serving"?

Cochrane
12-12-10, 00:06
I wouldn't say there is no reason to bring that up. My purpose was to embarass AA and similar organizations by pointing out how petty their use of money actually is compared the work of a religious group they surely hate (and will never discuss).

What makes you think they hate those religious groups, and the charities of the catholic church in particular, though? Admittedly, I don't know what American Atheists do other than this sign, given that the organization is not very active in Germany, but just being atheist in general does not mean that one has to hate all persons or organizations that are religious.

All german atheist organizations whose websites I've looked at acknowledged and praised the work the church did in charity organizations. They also tend to argue that much of that some of that are jobs that should really be public and faith-neutral in general, to avoid possible discrimination. One can agree or disagree with that (for me it depends on whether actual discrimination is happening, which is usually not the case), but either way, it does not seem to be equivalent to hate for me.

Ward Dragon
12-12-10, 00:12
What makes you think they hate those religious groups, and the charities of the catholic church in particular, though?

I think it's the tone of the billboard, which seems to me to be intentionally mocking anyone who believes in the nativity story. The clear implication is that someone who believes in that "myth" is unreasonable. I can definitely see how someone might interpret that message to mean that particular atheist group hates religion.

Dennis's Mom
12-12-10, 13:05
It's a little bit more than guesswork, it gives us detailed genealogies and numerous dates to work from. It's not told to us DIRECTLY (ie. this is Adam, he lived 6000 years ago) but it is quite clear when you see the timeline worked out using the bible as its source. This timeline has been around for hundreds of years and isn't really disagreed with by people who are smarter and have spent much more time studying these things than us! And could you please point me to where it claims a day is "like a thousand years."
http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=bible+quote+1000+years+is+like+a+day&btnG=Google+Search

I wasn't saying I was annoyed at religious groups shoving their views in everyone's faces, I was merely pointing out that if they do that they can hardly get upset when Atheists put up a big, albiet pretty daft, billboard.
I actually originally posted the comments in reply to comments about atheist beliefs being pushed on us more than religious, which in my opinion is daft.

I think we agree more than we disagree. And as I've said,this billboard isn't pushing a belief so much as it's insulting a belief. Had they put up a billboard that said, "Feeling alone this holiday season? You aren't." with the name of some atheist organization, I would consider that completely fair.

The billboard is the work of a small group of being designed to stir up controversy. How is it more annoying than having to listen to people on loud speakers shout at you that YOUR beliefs are wrong and your an evil person and your going to hell etc, etc. I ignore the street preachers in every city of western world, you can ignore the ONE daft billboard.

I have no problems ignoring a billboard. What I have a harder time ignoring is bad behavior. There's a coarseness to society now. Being "in someone's face" is a good thing to be. Telling people off, belittling them for their beliefs or political views---this has become standard behavior in society.

For me, this billboard just typifies how ugly life has become. It's like a really expensive sucker punch. That could have been a computer lab at a school, you know? For the record, I feel the same way about the 200 foot cross some church erected on the south Sam Houston Tollway or any preacher shouting "you're going to hell!" I just really have a hard time thinking that's what Jesus wants from us. :confused:

I think Inherit the Wind made a really strong case for why that timeline is merely an interpretation and shouldn't be taken literally :pi: Great. Play. ;)

I think worrying about the literal truth of the Genesis story (or any story in the Bible) is missing the entire point of the Bible, particularly for Christians who appear to be the most worried about it. :(