HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Why we need atheist ad campaigns

Happy Heathens

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

1Citizenjoyce
Mar 29, 2011, 3:45pm Top

Greta Christina makes a good case here:
http://www.alternet.org/story/150399/%22spreading_the_good_news_about_atheism%22...

We are, after all, the most despised group in America. Better to be loud and be proud than to hide in the corner and hope no one notices.

2FrancoisTremblay
Edited: Mar 29, 2011, 4:56pm Top

And what is it that you're selling? What commodity are you pushing? Information about atheists or atheism that fits on a bus is not a commodity. No one would pay to be told that religion is bunk (although one may very well pay for a full book on the topic, as has been demonstrated many times).

I guess I am being a hypocrite right now, since I am part of an atheist group that is putting out a big road sign soon. But ultimately I fail to see the point.

3clamairy
Edited: Mar 29, 2011, 4:58pm Top

We're selling the idea that there are a lot of us. And pushing the idea that we're regular people, like everyone else.

The point is that they need to know we're out there, and we're not a bunch of baby eaters

(Edited to add something because you added something after I posted.)

4bluesalamanders
Mar 29, 2011, 5:55pm Top

And to say you're not alone to atheists who feel isolated and surrounded by religious people.

5XOX
Mar 29, 2011, 9:18pm Top

Wherever atheists are being discriminated against, there is where the visibility campaign is needed.

For example, if in the US, you could no chance to win an election if you come out as an atheist, it is a problem caused by the religious deluded in your district, there is something to be done in that situation to make it right.

6Mr.Durick
Mar 29, 2011, 10:21pm Top

We could pass a constitutional amendment requiring that 14.1% of elected office holders be atheists.

Robert

7XOX
Edited: Mar 29, 2011, 11:48pm Top

>6 Mr.Durick:

First, I'm really uncomfortable to use any current statistic and put it into such an important document as the constitution. Constitution should remain the same unless it has a fault that affected negatively on the rights of the people.

Second, any change still require some of campaign.

8Mr.Durick
Mar 29, 2011, 11:33pm Top

The constitution right now says that there shall be no religious test as a prerequisite to holding public office, or something very like that. To make mandatory an atheistic segment of public service would require a change to the constitution to allow it. I used 14.1% because that's what Wikipedia said was the percentage of Americans who are atheists. The amendment could as well speak in generalities against some published scale, except our census figures do not include religious data.

We already have people buying advertising space on buses, for example, encouraging those who claim doubt. That sort of thing would have to build hugely to make a difference in national political reality, and I don't think it likely that it will build that much any time soon.

If advertising won't work and we don't make a change to the constitution, how would we assure that a minimum, at least, of our elected officers be atheists?

Robert

9Phocion
Mar 30, 2011, 12:08am Top

Atheists are not united, so I don't see the point. To unite would be hypocritical.

10Mr.Durick
Mar 30, 2011, 12:25am Top

XOX said in 5 and 7 that something has to be done to allow atheists to be elected to public office. I believe that an atheist could win in my precinct if the question of his or her religiosity never arose; I also believe that in my precinct the question might very well not arise. In most of the United States, though, that is not the case. So I made a couple of suggestions.

Robert

11Lunar
Mar 30, 2011, 3:36am Top

I'll accept even the most obnoxious of atheist ad camapigns before I'd ever go for the idea of 14% of the population getting to impose their own representatives upon the supermajorities residing in however many dozen electoral districts it would take to achieve proportionality. Making people uncomfortable with a harmless message is one thing. But taking away their so-called representatives just makes people outright hostile.

12clamairy
Mar 30, 2011, 7:21am Top

I believe it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as are many of Mr.Durick's posts.

13beelzebubba
Mar 30, 2011, 9:26am Top

Well, as an atheist and a baby eater (baby back ribs, baby carrots, Baby Ruth's), I think the idea of an ad campaign is a good one. But I would like to see it done in the form of a calendar, showing a prominent female atheist each month.

14psocoptera
Mar 30, 2011, 2:05pm Top

5 & 10: I am pretty sure there is at least one atheist/agnostic in congress. According to Wikipedia, Pete Stark of California's 13th district is atheist. But if I had to guess, I think we will have an openly gay president before an openly atheist one. For one thing, I think the gay community is better organized.

15dtw42
Edited: Mar 30, 2011, 6:14pm Top

Well they have their gaydar to spot each other, and gay bars/clubs to meet in. How do you spot a fellow atheist? (Apart from the few with Darwin badges on their cars...)

ETA: Some sort of bluetooth app or summat? When you come within range of each other, noodly appendages creep onto the side of your phone screen? :^)

16Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 30, 2011, 6:14pm Top

The trail of dead in their wake, natch.

17Citizenjoyce
Mar 30, 2011, 6:43pm Top

Flames coming out of our heads? Or would be coming out of our chests?

18XOX
Mar 30, 2011, 8:58pm Top

>15 dtw42:

How do atheist meet?

That's a good question.

I think a new line of accessories for atheist is good. I wore a teapot pendant for awhile, I use red A as profile on website.

We will see each other. Talking to some atheists who give a thought about religious nonsense is good. Religions should become so fringe that people don't see them as a threat but a group of nutjobs that people laugh at from a distance.

19Essa
Mar 30, 2011, 11:51pm Top

> 13 I think the idea of an ad campaign is a good one. But I would like to see it done in the form of a calendar, showing a prominent female atheist each month.

Well, there's the two annual calendars that Skepchick puts out, Skepdudes and Skepchicks. :)

20beelzebubba
Mar 31, 2011, 1:01am Top

Essa, I hadn't heard of Skepchick before. Checked out the website (very cool) and discovered she also has a Youtube channel (even cooler!). Thanks!

21Gord.Barker
Mar 31, 2011, 1:07am Top

People meet because they are something not because they are not something.
I doubt that a-astrology people would meet, nor would a-leprechaun believers.
a-thiest is the same, our dislike of something is not enough of a draw.

As for laughing at the nutjobs in organized religions, well...I already have an extensive list of groups to laugh at (politicians, economists, scientologists, politicians, etc) that I may not get to them for a while

22ed.pendragon
Mar 31, 2011, 4:38am Top

> 21
I agree; atheism being a not-belief I don't think atheists need a badge or accessory to say so.

Solidarity in the face of irrationality is another thing though. Ads countering zealous religious evangelism is perfectly OK, especially when such evangelism is covertly or overtly political.

23bluesalamanders
Mar 31, 2011, 9:15am Top

19 Essa - My sister got me the Skepdudes calendar for this year. I was mostly joking when I asked for it, but it's quite pretty, I must say ;)

I've been to a few atheist meetups with a friend in Boston and there are always interesting people and interesting things going on. I keep meaning to go to the local atheist group's monthly dinner thing, but I haven't quite managed it because it conflicts with my board game group. Of course, I've met a lot of atheists and agnostics at my board game group, too.

24paradoxosalpha
Edited: Mar 31, 2011, 9:31am Top

> 17

Chests, per Vathek.

25clamairy
Mar 31, 2011, 9:43am Top

You guys just gave me the push I need to join the mensa atheist group online. Maybe I can find some locals, too.

26FrancoisTremblay
Mar 31, 2011, 4:49pm Top

To tell people that atheists exist is not a commodity. It's not something that you can sell.

27jjwilson61
Mar 31, 2011, 5:15pm Top

26> What's your point? That advertising is only about selling commodities? It isn't. What about public service announcements?

28Phocion
Mar 31, 2011, 5:17pm Top

Atheists are not united, and to do so would be hypocritical. Handle it at the individual level.

29jjwilson61
Mar 31, 2011, 5:41pm Top

Hypocritical how exactly?

30Lunar
Edited: Mar 31, 2011, 5:54pm Top

#26: Advertising is about increasing the likelihood of a behavior (or decreasing it as in the case of anti-smoking ads) on a mass scale. Usually the target behavior is the purchase of some product, but it's not exclusively about that. All sorts of public awareness campaigns exist that use advertising.

#28: If a particular approach to promoting atheism is a commonly held issue of interest (which goes without saying when it comes to the people who choose to fund the organizations that put forth such campaigns), then it doesn't matter if they are different from each other in other ways. Pick any other group and you will also find diversity.

31bluesalamanders
Mar 31, 2011, 6:02pm Top

Women, African-Americans, and gays are not cohesive groups either. Should none of those movements have happened?

32Phocion
Mar 31, 2011, 6:15pm Top

30: Except other groups do not continually insist they are not united.

33Bookmarque
Mar 31, 2011, 6:22pm Top

I don't insist on being an island, I only insist on not worshiping some deity.

34jimroberts
Mar 31, 2011, 6:24pm Top

I wish my days were long enough to follow more of Greta Christina's posts; often I don't get round to her: but who should I demote?

35jimroberts
Mar 31, 2011, 6:32pm Top

We do tend to agree on quite a lot: gods are not needed for happiness, love, morality, sense of purpose etc. Indeed, it is theists who seem, according to their own claims, to lack self-esteem and morality not imposed by arbitrary authority, to live in fear rather than uninhibited happiness, and to prefer to hate their supposed enemies rather than love their friends.

36Phocion
Mar 31, 2011, 6:52pm Top

We do tend to agree on quite a lot: gods are not needed for happiness, love, morality, sense of purpose etc. Indeed, it is theists who seem, according to their own claims, to lack self-esteem and morality not imposed by arbitrary authority, to live in fear rather than uninhibited happiness, and to prefer to hate their supposed enemies rather than love their friends.

As opposed to atheists, many of whom live by, "Well, it makes me feel good, therefore it is good."

37keristars
Mar 31, 2011, 7:05pm Top

36> Dunno, back when the "without God" topic was trending on Twitter about a year ago, it was often followed by statements such as "my life would be worthless" or "I am nothing". It was pretty depressing.

38Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 31, 2011, 7:33pm Top

As opposed to atheists, many of whom live by, "Well, it makes me feel good, therefore it is good."

This is precisely the argument that rrp has mounted multiple times, normally using truthfulness or factuality as a foil to the concept.

39Phocion
Mar 31, 2011, 7:39pm Top

This is precisely the argument that rrp has mounted multiple times, normally using truthfulness or factuality as a foil to the concept.

The difference being I realize the "God says it's good, so it's good" argument is just as silly.

40bookishglee
Mar 31, 2011, 8:28pm Top

Adverts for atheists? haven't seen them, would love one of those, they are so cute and grouchy. I'd keep the little fellow in a box and toss it a holy relic now and then for it to gnaw on.

41Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 31, 2011, 8:39pm Top

#39

No, he's argued that it doesn't matter whether God exists or not, if the belief makes one feel good.

42madpoet
Apr 1, 2011, 12:31am Top

Atheist advertising? What's next? Atheist missionaries? Perhaps to the 'unenlightened' of the Bible Belt?

Funny how atheists are sounding more and more like religious believers, intent on converting others who believe differently.

But when you say that politics and religion don't mix, I wholeheartedly agree. A religious politician is an oxymoron, like an 'ethical lawyer' or a 'polite blogger'.

43FrancoisTremblay
Apr 1, 2011, 1:16am Top

"What's your point? That advertising is only about selling commodities? It isn't. What about public service announcements?"

So you want atheists to put out propaganda? That's nice.

44Bookmarque
Apr 1, 2011, 7:00am Top

wow. PSAs automatically mean propaganda. Interesting knee-jerk.

the thing that's also interesting is how most atheists don't like how much power the religious have in politics, but are unwilling to do what it takes to achieve equality.

45bluesalamanders
Apr 1, 2011, 8:47am Top

This conversation seems to be a good example of why those billboards and any other kind of advertising is in fact necessary. People are so hostile when we just want to say "hello, we exist".

46clamairy
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 4:59pm Top

#45 - No kidding!

#42 - "Funny how atheists are sounding more and more like religious believers, intent on converting others who believe differently."

Since when is announcing we exist an attempt to covert? Isn't that what any group advocating equal rights for its members tries to do? You've missed the point entirely. We're a much-maligned minority. It hasn't been all that long since one of our presidents said, "I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens..."

47pinkozcat
Apr 1, 2011, 10:09am Top

Australia has an athiest Prime Minister who lives, unmarried, and childless, with a man who has designated himself "First Bloke".

It is possible, in some parts of the world to admit to atheism and be elected to high office.

48clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 10:17am Top

#47 - That is truly good news, and something that the less-enlightened corners of the world should strive for. (I don't see it happening very quickly, though. Can you imagine an atheist seeking office in any Islamic state?)

49bluesalamanders
Apr 1, 2011, 11:24am Top

"First Bloke" makes me giggle.

50Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 12:31pm Top

Having a checklist of minorities in a leader is not enlightened. I would be happy to see a woman president, and President Obama has made the next election of a black leader easier by being elected, but this is not a bingo card.

Besides, we had an atheist leader before Australia: Thomas Jefferson was as atheist as one could be at that time.

This atheist campaign of "we exist" is unnecessary. People know you exist, and that's why so many distrust you. Focus on what matters: petition to remove creationism from public schools; teach correct history, that we are not a Christian nation; stop electing Republicans; etc.

51clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 12:36pm Top

"This atheist campaign of "we exist" is unnecessary. People know you exist, and that's why so many distrust you."

I disagree. People know Richard Dawkins exists, yes. However, they have not been able to put the face of the person next door together with the word atheist before. This isn't about getting Sam Harris publicity. This is about devilifying 'everyday' atheism.

52Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 12:43pm Top

And by uniting, you're giving them the message you deny all the time: that atheists are a unified group. Make your decision: are atheists together in their disbelief, or are they just individuals?

There are better battles than displaying billboards.

53Jesse_wiedinmyer
Apr 1, 2011, 12:50pm Top

People know you exist, and that's why so many distrust you.

Atheists exist, so people distrust them. Sounds like enough has been said.

Focus on what matters: petition to remove creationism from public schools; teach correct history, that we are not a Christian nation; stop electing Republicans; etc.

Would you like atheists to wipe Christian's asses, too?

54clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 12:51pm Top

We're not 'uniting,' unless you consider every openly gay person in the US part of a 'united' group just because they've admitted they're gay. If you using that ludicrous definition of 'united' then go ahead and paint me part of a group.

55Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 12:53pm Top

53: Or you could continue to bend over for the Christians and let them tell your children God created man. It's your call. Christians do not have to treat you equally. Hold signs if you think it will change their minds. The more I talk to atheists, the more I stop caring; and given that I stopped caring for Christians, I'm running out of people to care about.

56clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 12:55pm Top

#55 - Then perhaps you should stop posting until you start to care again.

57Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 12:56pm Top

We're not 'uniting,' unless you consider every openly gay person in the US part of a 'united' group just because they've admitted they're gay. If you using that ludicrous definition of 'united' then go ahead and paint me part of a group.

Gays are united in that they are attracted to the same sex. It's when they try to unite with bisexuals and transgenders that the group falls apart, because then they are uniting because they are not straight. Atheists would unite by being disbelievers, and it will not last.

Stop acting like a group. Stop being hypocritical.

58Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 12:57pm Top

56: Then perhaps atheists should stop acting so moronically.

59Jesse_wiedinmyer
Apr 1, 2011, 1:01pm Top

Why does the subtext about this seem to be "fuck off?"

Because you exist, you are distrusted. It's your fault that you're distrusted. You haven't done enough to not be distrusted. It's your own fault that you're being fucked in the ass. And if you try to change people's minds about this, it amounts to nothing less than hypocrisy.

60Jesse_wiedinmyer
Apr 1, 2011, 1:02pm Top

If you didn't exist, Clamairy, you wouldn't be distrusted.

61jjwilson61
Apr 1, 2011, 1:06pm Top

Phocion, did you read the article. It gives lots of different reasons for the ads. But in addition to "We exist" another but more important to my mind is "We exist, and we're not fire-breathing monsters". If it stirs up controversy and causes a few people to think then it's done it's purpose.

And what unites atheists is their oppression by theists. If you removed that then there would be no reason for them to come together.

62clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 1:08pm Top

#60 - Too true.

#58 - Oh, I see. You are the final arbiter of all that is and isn't moronic. I can play that game, too. My personal definition of moronic: a bored individual taking a piss in random threads for kicks.

63Bookmarque
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 1:14pm Top

Yeah, I've noticed this pattern, too clam. No wonder it feels so alienated and lonely. Ah, wait, I just noticed the age. Explains a lot. Damn I feel so old and reasonable. Ha!

64Phocion
Apr 1, 2011, 1:15pm Top

62: Why should I unite with individuals who prove to be as irrational and fairy-tale believing as Christians?

65Bookmarque
Apr 1, 2011, 1:16pm Top

no fear of that P. No fear.

66jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 1:21pm Top

64> ?

ETA: 1) Where did that fairy-tale bit come from?

2) No ones asking you to join anything.

67VenusofUrbino
Apr 1, 2011, 2:58pm Top

>61 jjwilson61:
And what unites atheists is their oppression by theists. If you removed that then there would be no reason for them to come together.

Well said, jj.

68streamsong
Apr 1, 2011, 3:17pm Top

Jesse, I'm honestly thinking of flagging your post number 59. Not because of the use of a bit of Anglo Saxon verbage, but because you seem to think that homosexual rape is the worst invective you can throw out there. I'm offended on behalf of gay friends. Can it be a bit of anti-gay prejudice is showing?

I'll be happy to withdraw my objections if you can explain why homosexual rape is worse than any other sort of rape.

Darn, if I flag your post, it'll be a first in all my time here at LT and I'll no longer be a flag virgin.

69clamairy
Apr 1, 2011, 3:23pm Top

#68 - Are you trying to be funny? Last I knew homosexuals were not the only people to engage (freely or otherwise) in anal sex.

70streamsong
Apr 1, 2011, 3:29pm Top

clamairy, nope, not funny at all. I'm serious on this one.

71Citizenjoyce
Apr 1, 2011, 3:31pm Top

I think this thread is proving the gist of the article. Why in the world should atheist ads engender such harsh responses? As Clamairy indicated they just say we exist, your nice cookie baking, lawn mowing, little league game coaching, library fund donator may well be an atheist. How does such a statement enrage anyone? Oh, I see. Maybe it enrages those who just are in the mood to be enraged.

Damn birds, I hear them singing in the back yard. Shoot them all, grind their bones to dust. Ah, there, I feel better.

72FrancoisTremblay
Apr 1, 2011, 3:32pm Top

"wow. PSAs automatically mean propaganda. Interesting knee-jerk."

Propaganda is basically an organized attempt to convince someone of something using rhetoric, symbols, emotional associations, etc. How else would you qualify what atheists are doing?

NOTE: I am NOT saying that propaganda is bad. This seems to be a problem with people, who associate propaganda=bad. I am in favour of propaganda for causes that require it, but atheism is not one.

"the thing that's also interesting is how most atheists don't like how much power the religious have in politics, but are unwilling to do what it takes to achieve equality."

What equality? Equality of what? What is it you think we are all working towards?

"This conversation seems to be a good example of why those billboards and any other kind of advertising is in fact necessary. People are so hostile when we just want to say "hello, we exist"."

Hostile? I am not hostile to atheists. I simply don't think atheism in itself is worthy of propaganda or movements or anything else. It is just a negative position. Some atheist groups may very well be worthy of such, but that's a different matter.

As I pointed out before, I am part of an atheist group which has just bought a billboard, so this is obviously not a topic for which I have knee-jerk opposition.

73Bookmarque
Apr 1, 2011, 3:40pm Top

No wonder the religious have power, they know how to get things done. Divisiveness for its own sake reaps its own rewards and is eminently shown on this thread. Well done, you've accomplished your task. No sense trying to win consensus when people so much want the opposite. No sense trying to get out from under an unpopular opinion if the members of the group are so happy to be thought of so erroneously.

74Jesse_wiedinmyer
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 3:47pm Top

Jesse, I'm honestly thinking of flagging your post number 59. Not because of the use of a bit of Anglo Saxon verbage, but because you seem to think that homosexual rape is the worst invective you can throw out there. I'm offended on behalf of gay friends. Can it be a bit of anti-gay prejudice is showing?

1) The statement is an explicit paraphrase of Phocion's "Or you could continue to bend over for the Christians."

2) Look up "pegging" or "strap-on play" or "anal sex" and you'll see that none of these things are exclusively the domain of gay men.

75beelzebubba
Apr 1, 2011, 3:55pm Top

From atheist ads to buggering. This is one of the most amusing threads I've read in a long time. Thanks for the entertainment.

76Jesse_wiedinmyer
Apr 1, 2011, 3:58pm Top

Like peanut butter and chocolate.

77jjwilson61
Apr 1, 2011, 6:01pm Top

72> NOTE: I am NOT saying that propaganda is bad. This seems to be a problem with people, who associate propaganda=bad. I am in favour of propaganda for causes that require it, but atheism is not one.

That's interesting. Your previous statement from post 43:

So you want atheists to put out propaganda? That's nice.

doesn't really make sense unless you are presuming that propaganda is bad.

78ed.pendragon
Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 6:12pm Top

There seems to be a lot of confusion here, largely arising out of Humptydumptyisms: I mean a word to mean exactly what I mean it to be. Propaganda, atheism, PSAs, perceived anti-gay prejudice, are these quintessentially good or bad? Depends surely on how you define these terms or attitudes. Answers in essay form, please. Otherwise all I sense is heat, not enlightenment.

79bookishglee
Apr 1, 2011, 11:53pm Top

People, people we must not fight amongst ourselves, we should look to what unites us not that which divides us. We must focus on the real enemy here: Marketing.

80bluesalamanders
Apr 2, 2011, 12:31am Top

72 FrancoisTremblay
I simply don't think atheism in itself is worthy of propaganda or movements or anything else. It is just a negative position. Some atheist groups may very well be worthy of such, but that's a different matter.

Considering the widespread prejudice (in the US, at least) against atheists, I completely disagree about it not being worthy of propaganda and movements and so on. Frankly, I find your opinion on the matter utterly baffling.

81Phocion
Apr 2, 2011, 12:35am Top

No one is taking away your right to vote, to marry, and I'm willing to bet white atheists do not have trouble finding jobs the way blacks do.

82Citizenjoyce
Apr 2, 2011, 12:37am Top

Ah, do we have some atheist guilt? What next, the atheist rage defense used after we beat to death someone found sitting near a bonfire?

83bluesalamanders
Apr 2, 2011, 12:43am Top

81 Phocion

Prejudice against one group doesn't negate prejudice against another.

84Phocion
Apr 2, 2011, 12:50am Top

Can I have books offered in mirror text? Because the last presidents have been left-handed, and I've seen nothing done.

85ed.pendragon
Apr 2, 2011, 4:43am Top

Before we return to petty squabbling, let's look at the supposedly negative aspects of atheism, the denial of the existence of deity/deities. Considering that so much of organised religion (despite its seeming positivism: God is Love, Allah is Great) is concerned with negativity (deny yourself, do penance, martyr yourself, feel guity, humble yourself, the overwhelming 'do-nots' of the Ten Commandments) I think that atheism's denial of such negativity comes out as a positive.

In Britain the atheist torch is largely carried by the British Humanist Society (I expect something similar operates in most other countries) and to me this humanist stance, an outcome of Renaissance thinking, seems to be a positive position to take in contradistinction to the certainty held by so many theists of different denominations.

In addition, so many positive messages, mostly of a humanist nature, are shared by both sides of the divide (Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself being the principal) that I would have thought that it would be better to accentuate the common ground so as to reduce the risk of absolute demonisation by and of either side. And how to get this message to society at large? I would suggest that positive ad campaigns must be a part of this.

86madpoet
Apr 2, 2011, 7:16am Top

>85 ed.pendragon: "the overwhelming 'do-nots' of the Ten Commandments"

Let's see: 'Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not commit adultery. Do not bear false witness against your neighbour.' Which one of these 'do nots' do you disagree with?

Of course the Ten Commandments are about what you shouldn't do. Isn't any legal code? The laws of most countries tell you what you aren't allowed to. They don't tell you what you should do (besides pay taxes).

87madpoet
Apr 2, 2011, 7:21am Top

>46 clamairy: "We're a much-maligned minority"

...with a persecution complex.

Really, compared to other minorities: African-Americans, gays and lesbians, Muslims in France and the U.S., Christians in Muslim countries... atheists have nothing to complain about.

88majkia
Apr 2, 2011, 7:40am Top

The persecution complex is entirely Christian around here. I hear, daily, how persecuted Christians are because they have to tolerate anyone who believes otherwise.

"We Exist" doesn't demand everyone else go away.

89Bookmarque
Apr 2, 2011, 8:06am Top

defending oneself against incorrect opinions is hardly a persecution complex. Way to read into things!

90ed.pendragon
Apr 2, 2011, 9:01am Top

> 86
Of course the Ten Commandments are about what you shouldn't do. Isn't any legal code? The laws of most countries tell you what you aren't allowed to. They don't tell you what you should do (besides pay taxes).

Not all of the commandments are couched as do-nots, in particular keep the Sabbath and honour your parents, but overwhelmingly, yes, they are about what you shouldn't do. But I would contest that laws tell you only what you aren't allowed to (and I'm not just talking about tax-paying here), frequently stating what you should do, though admittedly often with penalties if you don't.

Let's see: 'Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not commit adultery. Do not bear false witness against your neighbour.' Which one of these 'do nots' do you disagree with?

I don't think I said that I disagree with the commandments. What I said was that much organised religion is couched in negative language. They can be couched in more positive ways: do I need to remind you of Jesus' summation of Old Testament law, quoted in Matthew? 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' While I don't hold with the Jesus' first commandment (which summarises the first three of the OT), the negative injunctions of most of the remaining commandments can be easily replaced by Jesus' positive and, dare I say it, humanist second commandment.

91madpoet
Apr 2, 2011, 9:04am Top

>89 Bookmarque: 'Reading into things'?

Besides the quote above, here's another one, from this thread.

>1 Citizenjoyce: "We are, after all, the most despised group in America."

I can think of several minorities that would disagree. Sounds like paranoia/persecution complex to me.

One question: is there an atheist brand of cheese? Y'know, to go with the atheist whine? ;-)

92ed.pendragon
Apr 2, 2011, 9:06am Top

Madpoet, I don't think being rude to people is going to help you influence them to your way of thinking.

93paradoxosalpha
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 9:08am Top

>90 ed.pendragon: the negative injunctions of most of the remaining commandments can be easily replaced by Jesus' positive and, dare I say it, humanist second commandment.

Unless you embrace the self-hatred inherent in the doctrine of original sin, which sort of shoots the whole thing to hell.

94ed.pendragon
Apr 2, 2011, 9:12am Top

I rather doubt that Jesus was conversant with the Catholic Church's later formulation of original sin. Unless he was God of course, and was omnipresent and omniscient.

95madpoet
Apr 2, 2011, 9:17am Top

>90 ed.pendragon: I agree with you, that it is better to phrase it as Jesus said, in a positive way. Too often, Christians get caught up in legalism. Point taken.

But the fact is, as you pointed out yourself, religion isn't necessarily negative. The only thing atheists can agree on (apparently, at least in this thread) IS a negative: that there is no god. In their (not so humble) opinion.

96paradoxosalpha
Apr 2, 2011, 9:26am Top

>94 ed.pendragon:

Original sin isn't a teaching unique to Catholics. And I rather doubt the existence of a "historical Jesus," so what? The simple fact is that for most Christians of any conventional sort, their "love of neighbor as self" is conditioned by their hatred of self as sinful.

97ed.pendragon
Apr 2, 2011, 9:40am Top

> 95
I think this comment ("in their not so humble opinion") is being unnecessarily antagonistic. You seem to be branding anybody who doesn't appear to agree with you as lacking humility. And you don't seem to have taken on board my point that it may be possible for some rapprochement in acknowledging humanistic common ground.

98LolaWalser
Apr 2, 2011, 9:51am Top

Religion is so much in your face in the US it makes sense to make atheism visible and vocal. In fact, it is probably a civic duty and a moral obligation in some places.

99clamairy
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 10:02am Top

#91 - I used the term 'much maligned' to refer to American atheists. I stand by it. I do think it's still quite safe (and in many circles encouraged) to voice one's hatred of atheists in this country. Our good buddy Newt just used us as an example of what he fears most. I didn't say we were the most attacked or the most reviled. I said publicly maligned. Every time President Obama adds the words 'unbelievers' to a speech in an effort to make us feel included there's a negative reaction from the right. We have members in this group who have told us they would lose their jobs if they admitted to being an atheist. You don't consider that an issue?

(Edited for clarity. I haven't had my caffeine yet.)

100ed.pendragon
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 10:05am Top

> 96
I'm sorry to be boring the pants off anybody but I promise to shut up after this! Original sin was not a concept familiar to Jesus if he was historical (and, yes, the jury's still out on this) but was initiated by St Paul in his epistles (he at least probably existed) and developed by the Early Church (which at this time, though not specifically called Catholic, was effectively the only established Church, despite a rash of heretical movements, until the Late Middle Ages. It may be anachronistic, but to call it the Catholic (=Universal) Church is conventional.

The "hatred of self as sinful" is an aspect of many of the dualistic beliefs and Christian heresies that reared their heads from time to time, commonly called Manicheeism but prevalent in many gnostic groups, where the human body was material and created by an evil demiurge. Christians nowadays often subscribe to this thinking without any historical or theological perspective.

101clamairy
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 2:16pm Top

102Citizenjoyce
Apr 2, 2011, 2:28pm Top

A perfect cartoon, clamairy.

I quoted Greta Christina's claim that atheist's are the most despised group in America due to the results of polls that show people are at all times very reluctant to vote for atheists for any public office. Unlike xians who constantly complain that they are being persecuted by the mere public existence of anyone disagreeing with them, voting results show otherwise.

103Phocion
Apr 2, 2011, 3:28pm Top

Cry when they remove your constitutional rights; and being aware that you are not born with natural rights, no one even has to guarantee you those. Being in a republic means no one has to vote you into office. And if atheists keep acting like hipsters ("look at my awesome and ironic bumper sticker wit"), they'll never be elected.

If you want to get somewhere fast, do what other minorities do: find a different minority for the majority to focus their rage.

104FrancoisTremblay
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 4:03pm Top

"doesn't really make sense unless you are presuming that propaganda is bad."

No, I do not presume that all propaganda is bad. I just assume that most people here do think propaganda is bad, and thus would not want to generate it. I think atheist propaganda is a stupid idea, not an evil idea.

"Considering the widespread prejudice (in the US, at least) against atheists, I completely disagree about it not being worthy of propaganda and movements and so on. Frankly, I find your opinion on the matter utterly baffling."

This is due to the dual nature of "atheism." To Christians, it is a boogeyman. But in reality, it is basically nothing, ideologically speaking. Nothing unites us and nothing will ever unite us.

Only people who spend time in their own little circle of friends would think that atheists all think the same. Go to any atheist group of any size and you'll be disillusioned really fast. Then you won't find my opinion "baffling."

And I do agree with other commentators here when they say that atheists have a persecution complex. In this, they merely mimic Christians. It is an iron law that people become what they fight against. Hence, we see atheists gaining victim complexes, trying to suppress atheists who don't act as they think they should, making pronouncements about ethics (from an "atheistic" standpoint), trying to use the State for their own ends, etc.

This is just standard power/counter-power dynamic. Counter-power nearly always conforms itself to the contours of the power it opposes. In doing so, the people within the counter-power adopt mental habits that are closer and closer to those who oppress them. This inevitably leads to the co-optation and downfall of that counter-power. We see this in every revolution, every civil rights movement, basically in every attempt to fight power.

105Citizenjoyce
Apr 2, 2011, 4:04pm Top

>103 Phocion: If you want to get somewhere fast, do what other minorities do: find a different minority for the majority to focus their rage.

I see, you essentially have nothing of interest to say on the subject.

106Essa
Apr 2, 2011, 4:07pm Top

madpoet, et al.: This thread (Just how hard is it to be an Atheist in your country?) might help address your claim that atheists/agnostics/etc., are just a bunch of whiners who are fabricating all of their experiences of discrimination.

As for atheist and humanist and other such groups advertising, I don't see what the problem is. If I bought a billboard to advertise a gaming shop or something ("Are you good at games? You are not alone. www.blahblahgameshop.net"), is that propaganda? Is it offensive to non-gamers? Am I declaring myself superior to all other people? No, I'm simply alerting like-minded people to the existence of a resource they might be interested in.

I'll admit I don't much care for the snarky tone of some ads, but some are simple and contain very positive messages -- e.g., atheists are human just like everybody else; here's a local group you can check out if you're interested; and so on.

107clamairy
Apr 2, 2011, 4:18pm Top

Thanks, Essa! I couldn't remember which thread contained those personal stories.

108beelzebubba
Apr 2, 2011, 4:38pm Top

Essa, I don't think that thread, or any other, will sway madpoet, and his ilk, in the least. He has nothing but animosity for atheists. In one of the posts in his blog (hope you don't mind, mad) he blames the Holocaust, and just about every other atrocity committed by man, on atheism.

109Bookmarque
Apr 2, 2011, 4:41pm Top

odd since Hitler was a Catholic.

110clamairy
Apr 2, 2011, 4:46pm Top

Ah, so he's one of those. What's he doing posting in here then? Trolling?

111Bookmarque
Apr 2, 2011, 4:50pm Top

yup, I guess so. {throws another baby on the barbie}

112jjwilson61
Apr 2, 2011, 4:52pm Top

104> Only people who spend time in their own little circle of friends would think that atheists all think the same.

And not all Christians are the same. Not all environmentalists are the same. You don't need to be the same in all respects to band together to around an idea.

113clamairy
Apr 2, 2011, 5:25pm Top

#104 - Where do you get the idea that merely calling attention to the fact we exist would also imply that we all think alike?

114Mr.Durick
Apr 2, 2011, 5:35pm Top

Hitler was a Catholic as much as the Pope shits in the woods.

Robert

115Bookmarque
Apr 2, 2011, 5:37pm Top

sorry if that offends, but that's how he was raised/schooled and many of his letters to his contemporaries comment on his beliefs as a Catholic. I don't say it's the reason for his insanity/depravity, however.

116beelzebubba
Apr 2, 2011, 5:48pm Top

Since Ratzinger trained in the German infantry near the end of WWII, and I'm sure part of that training was going on forest maneuvers, there's a very good chance he's defecated in the woods.

117Citizenjoyce
Apr 2, 2011, 6:18pm Top

Beelzebubba, you win the prize for best comeback ever!

118Mr.Durick
Apr 2, 2011, 6:33pm Top

The Wikipedia article on Hitler's religiosity is congruent with what I remember from Kershaw's life of Hitler and other desultory reading. He abandoned Catholicism before it was ever fully formed in him, as it might be guessed Ratzinger abandoned sylvan defecation, if he ever practiced it, before his ordination as the Bishop of Rome.

Robert

119beelzebubba
Apr 2, 2011, 7:06pm Top

Garnered from some desultory surfing:

From the Lansing State Journal newspaper (Lansing, Michigan) of February 23, 1933.
HITLER AIMS BLOW AT 'GODLESS' MOVE

Chancellor's Forces Seek the Catholic Support for Latest Campaign



BERLIN, Feb. 23 (AP)--A campaign against the "godless movement" and an appeal for Catholic support were launched Wednesday by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces. They struck at two of his formidable opponents in the March 5 elections, the first at communists and the latter at the allied Catholic parties.

Meanwhile five more persons were killed and scores were injured Tuesday night in the incipient civil war which has been waging since Hitler's rise to power. This brought the number of deaths in political clashes since the first of the year, when Hitler began negotiations for the chancellorship, to about 70.

A campaign against the "godless movement" was announced by Bernard Rust, nazi commissioner for education and culture in Prussia, in an address Tuesday night before students at the technical university here. He said the details would be revealed in the next few days. In his speech opening the campaign for the reichstag and Prussian diet elections, Hitler attacked communists for the spread of atheism.

An appeal to Catholic nazis was printed Wednesday in Hitler's Voelkischer Beobachter, assailing the Catholic centrist and populist parties. It recalled the papal encyclical of January 9, 1928, which admonished priests to serve the religious interests of the nation and not to affiliate with political parties. Hitler, himself, is a Catholic.

Nazis invaded a centrist campaign meeting at Trier but were repulsed after a stiff fight. Several persons were injured at Kiel and Opladen in nazi-reichsbanner clashes.

120paradoxosalpha
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 7:30pm Top

>100 ed.pendragon:

Apologies for continuing what you thought you'd finished, but you couldn't be more wrong about the origins of the self-hating doctrine of original sin. The great original promulgator of this doctrine was Augustine of Hippo, who embraced it (and saw it recognized by the highest authorities of the Western church) after he rejected Manichaeanism and became Christian clergy. Pelagianism is the Christian heresy that rejected original sin, and against which Augustine waged an extensive and ultimately successful campaign at the end of his career. (There is an excellent overview of this history in Elaine Pagels' book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.)

There's hardly any traditional Western Christianity today (Catholic or Protestant) that doesn't claim to accept Augustine's theology, including his teachings about original sin--especially his teachings about original sin. For a taste of the traditional Christian rejection of self-respect, see the prayer of Saint Ambrose recited for many centuries by Catholic priests throughout Western Europe as an element of preparing themselves for Mass.

ETA close parenthesis

121Essa
Edited: Apr 2, 2011, 9:05pm Top

The great original promulgator of this doctrine was Augustine of Hippo, who embraced it ... after he rejected Manichaeanism and became Christian clergy.

True, but just because someone converts to a new religion, doesn't mean that he sloughs off the old religion and/or cultural milieu in which he has been steeped all of his life. From what little I have read on him, it seems that, even though he consciously, intellectually rejected Manichaeism and adopted Christianity, he was nevertheless influenced by his old background (as any human would be), and retained ideas about body/spirit duality, sex = icky, and so on; and those ideas seeped into Christianity as well (through his influence as well as that of others).

As for #28, "handle it at the individual level," I agree that one-on-one interactions are often the best remedy for alleviating prejudices of all kinds. But it's not an either/or thing -- we can have both individual and group efforts. Civil and human rights issues in the U.S. made great strides not only via individual action, but also through legislation and public awareness. Perhaps non-religious people can achieve the same.

Edit for grammar.

122madpoet
Apr 3, 2011, 3:12am Top

>108 beelzebubba: You're taking my blog comments way out of context. I was replying to atheists who blame everything on religion (including the Holocaust). And showing that there were a few very nasty atheists out there too. I certainly don't blame every bad thing that happened on atheists.

Hitler was not a Catholic. Saying he was one because he happened to be born in a Catholic family is like saying that an atheist who is born in a Christian family is a Christian. Too many Christians- Catholic and Protestant- didn't speak out against him (to our shame). But Nazism has nothing to do with Catholicism or Christianity. It goes against everything Jesus taught.

I wouldn't call Hitler an atheist, either. (He was actually interested in many occult ideas, as I understand.) Some of the Nazi ideology (social darwinism, and their reverence for Nietzsche) have roots in atheism, but I don't know of any atheists today who would agree with what Hitler did.

As for eating babies: where do you guys get this stuff?!

123FrancoisTremblay
Edited: Apr 3, 2011, 7:02am Top

"And not all Christians are the same. Not all environmentalists are the same. You don't need to be the same in all respects to band together to around an idea."

Thank you for proving my point. Christians do not put out ads to tell people Christianity exists. Environmentalists do not put out ads to tell people environmentalism exists. Those people put out ads to fight against something. They are selling the concentration of activism into their specific organizations. Cohesion. It makes sense for Christians or environmentalists, who share many beliefs, to be cohesive, but there is nothing for atheists to be cohesive about.

So again, there is no such thing as "atheist advertisement." Stop pretending this makes any sense whatsoever. You people are trying really hard for people to take a big nothing very seriously, which is just laughable. What is it you want people to take so very seriously? Not going to church on Sunday? Give me a fucking break.

In short, cut this bullshit and decide of the proper place of atheism: either it's just a negative claim (and stop trying to make a group based on a single negative claim cohesive), or it's an ideology you can sell (and stop saying it's just a negative claim).

If you continue in this misrepresentation, then you don't know what you're talking about, and you've got no place taking PR decisions (as many of you apparently have self-appointed yourselves Directors of PR for Atheism Inc.) about a position you can't even define! The only _rational_ alternative is for you to stop trying to impose your idea of what atheism is on other atheists.

124Booksloth
Apr 3, 2011, 7:16am Top

#123 Excuse me? Every time I go to my local shopping centre I am confronted with a massive poster outside some or other place of worship quoting some or other bible verse - what are those fighting against exactly? The same happens when I go into my nearest town to shop - there's always some guy disturbing my peace with a loud hailer yelling about how I'm on the fast track to hell because I don't like the same books he does. Likewise when I go to put my feet up on a Sunday - some fool comes banging on the door wanting to discuss what I would do if I picked up a watch while out walking on the moors and thinking that proves something about his or her invisible friend. And these people are fighting . . . what?

I personally don't think we atheists do need ad campaigns any more than we need campaigns telling people the earth is round (doesn't the American constitution have something about truths that are self-evident) but we have a perfect right to have them if we want - paid for, incidentally, out of our own money and not out of other people's taxes. If ever proof were needed that there are still a hell of a lot of people who need the perfectly straightforward piece of inofrmation that their beliefs are just that, not facts, this thread has to be it.

125ed.pendragon
Apr 3, 2011, 7:24am Top

>120 paradoxosalpha:
The ideas that Augustine wrote about had their roots a lot earlier, and he certainly didn't originate the concept of original sin, which St Paul was writing about in the 1st century, two or more centuries before: 'By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,' and 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive'. As with Augustine, Paul will not have been immune to gnostic ideas on dualism, which pre-dated even Jesus (whether or not you believe he existed).

126FrancoisTremblay
Edited: Apr 3, 2011, 7:47am Top

These people are fighting YOU. They think YOU are evil for not believing what they believe.

Do you believe THEY are evil for not believing what you believe? Then get a bullhorn and go yell at them that they are irrational. Put a poster up at a shopping center that says "God is not great."

Otherwise, get off your pedestal, because you're no one's White Knight.

Again, what I am saying here is, decide what atheism is. Either decide it makes positive claims and go propagate those, or decide it is a negative claim and stop pretending it's not. How many times am I gonna have to repeat this before you fucking get it?

127ed.pendragon
Edited: Apr 3, 2011, 7:58am Top

> 127
Oops! Methinks the lad doth protest too much.

128bluesalamanders
Apr 3, 2011, 8:46am Top

126 - Right, so, they think we're evil and you think we're supposed to just sit back and take it.

This conversation is pointless.

129LolaWalser
Apr 3, 2011, 8:51am Top

#128

This conversation is pointless.

From the second Francois wrote up in #2: "I guess I am being a hypocrite right now, since I am part of an atheist group that is putting out a big road sign soon."

Maybe it's a very long April's Fool exercise.

130bluesalamanders
Apr 3, 2011, 8:53am Top

Well, in that case: Ahahaha ahaha ahahhaa! What a good joke!

131LolaWalser
Apr 3, 2011, 9:00am Top

What kills me is that he's a "part of an atheist group". And it's no Sunday reading club either--they are actually putting up a sign. How many of us who have defended the idea of making atheism visible can say as much?

Anyway, I must go check for the freshly hatched fairies in the garden now. I like to spend my weekend mornings productively.

132clamairy
Apr 3, 2011, 9:52am Top

#129 - I noticed that, too. I was wondering if, since FT obviously lost the battle over the sign with the rest of his group, he was simply 'dicking us around' in here to make himself feel better.

133prosfilaes
Apr 3, 2011, 11:17am Top

#123: Christians do not put out ads to tell people Christianity exists.

You mean the billboard that just says "Jesus" I see on a regular basis doesn't exist?

134jjwilson61
Apr 3, 2011, 11:34am Top

So if there were a place where people who didn't wear hats were publicly reviled and accosted in the streets to wear a hat and had no chance of being elected to public office. Would it make no sense for those people to form some sort of an organization and advocate for the cause of no hat discrimination?

135prosfilaes
Apr 3, 2011, 11:34am Top

#122: Too many Christians- Catholic and Protestant- didn't speak out against him (to our shame). But Nazism has nothing to do with Catholicism or Christianity.

But that's absurd. A nation that was and is Christian voted for the Nazis and didn't violently object when they seized power. With the acquiescence and help of the Christian population, they persecuted the same Jews and homosexuals the Christians were persecuting.

It goes against everything Jesus taught.

That's a silly standard for judging whether something is Christian or not. How many Christians have become Pharisees, through and through, and likewise persecution of the Jews is a good old Christian mainstay, though thankfully rare in the modern day.

136beelzebubba
Apr 3, 2011, 12:08pm Top

Modern day christianity bears no resemblance whatsoever to the teachings of Jesus.

137drbubbles
Apr 3, 2011, 12:39pm Top

Heck, there are parts of the Pauline Epistles that don't.

138paradoxosalpha
Apr 3, 2011, 12:43pm Top

> the teachings of Jesus

No such thing.

The teachings attributed to Jesus include those championed by "Modern day christianity."

Trying to rescue "Jesus" from Christianity is a pointless exercise.

139Phocion
Apr 3, 2011, 12:46pm Top

doesn't the American constitution have something about truths that are self-evident

The Declaration of Independence, actually:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Do you believe you are born with these rights, that they are self-evident? You are guaranteed nothing by birth.

140BTRIPP
Apr 3, 2011, 12:55pm Top

Re.#137: "Pauline Epistles"

Heck, post-1stCentury Christianity is pretty much just "the Pauline Heresy"!

 

141Essa
Apr 3, 2011, 1:07pm Top

there is nothing for atheists to be cohesive about.

Why are you a member of a local atheist group, per post #2?

142clamairy
Apr 3, 2011, 1:42pm Top

#141 - It must be a great way to meet babes.

143BTRIPP
Apr 3, 2011, 2:01pm Top

Re.#142: "It must be a great way to meet babes."

Heh ... well, there are both monthly "Free Inquiry" and "Brights" Meet-ups here in Chicago, so I guess that would be a possibility!

 

144FrancoisTremblay
Apr 3, 2011, 4:34pm Top

I am a member of a local atheist group because of the conversation. It's just an occasion to get out of the house. That's all.

145XOX
Apr 3, 2011, 8:48pm Top

>98 LolaWalser:

Agreed.

See this ad.

Living Without Religion - A Campaign by the Center for Inquiry

More of this type of ad is needed in the US with such a hugh population of religious deluded.

146XOX
Edited: Apr 3, 2011, 11:22pm Top

And this one.



Atheist transit ads in Kamloops a first in B.C.

So far, only the rapist-cult-Catholic Church got offended by this harmless act.

147Essa
Apr 3, 2011, 11:21pm Top

> 144 Well, and there you go. That's one good use of atheist advertising: to spread the word to non-religious people that there are local groups near them where they, too, may find good conversation and an occasion to get out of the house.

> 142 :D
(Although, if non-believers are able to meet and match-make at these types of things, more power to them!)

148XOX
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 12:00am Top

"The atheist movement has been accused of shooting itself in the foot by adopting a tone so militant as to alienate potential supporters, and fortify the religious lobby. I ask Grayling if he thinks there is any truth in the charge, and he listens patiently and politely to the question, but then dismisses it with a shake of the head.

"Well, firstly, I think the charges of militancy and fundamentalism of course come from our opponents, the theists. My rejoinder is to say when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we're doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don't like it," he laughs. "So we speak frankly and bluntly, and the respect agenda is now gone, they can no longer float behind the diaphanous veil – 'Ooh, I have faith so you mustn't offend me'. So they don't like the blunt talking. But we're not burning them at the stake. They've got to remember that when it was the other way around it was a much more serious matter."

--AC Grayling

149FrancoisTremblay
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 3:55am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
"I noticed that, too. I was wondering if, since FT obviously lost the battle over the sign with the rest of his group, he was simply 'dicking us around' in here to make himself feel better."

What battle? If you read what I said before, I am not against actual organizations promoting themselves and trying to get more members. They provide an actual SERVICE.

"You mean the billboard that just says "Jesus" I see on a regular basis doesn't exist?"

What billboards that just say Jesus? What are you talking about?

"Right, so, they think we're evil and you think we're supposed to just sit back and take it."

Again, not what I said! You people have to LIE about what I say over and over. Why?

"This conversation is pointless."

You are damn right it is. You people can't even decide what atheism is! It is pointless to debate with people who already believe I am wrong without even having a coherent position themselves. Hence why I will retract myself from the discussion, in fact from this group. So far your discussions are nothing but self-serving rhetoric (we're White Knight atheists riding on their White Horse posing on a White Pedestal!!!), and you keep lying about what I say, not only on this thread but on other thread, and I'm fucking tired of it.

Freethinking? Not in here. You guys can't THINK, let alone freely think.

If you ever decide on what atheism is, why don't you tell me and we can have an actual discussion? Until then, have fun in the echo chamber.

150ed.pendragon
Apr 4, 2011, 4:23am Top

> 149
Woooeee! "I don't like this game, or at least the way you're playing it, so I'm going to take my ball away." Actually, we've got our own ball that we like kicking around.

151ed.pendragon
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 5:12am Top

> 148
For those wanting to see the source of XOX's Grayling quote, and get references for Grayling's new tome The Good Book: a Secular Bible http://www.librarything.com/work/11135556/book/71877732 see this Guardian article
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/03/grayling-good-book-atheism-philosoph...

152Bookmarque
Apr 4, 2011, 8:02am Top

waaaahhh. argue, argue, huff. Yeah, we'll miss ya.

153jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 9:55am Top

149> You people can't even decide what atheism is!

That's an odd complaint. This is a group that anyone can join, so why should you think that we'd all have the same opinion? Or that is even a desirable thing?

154Booksloth
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 10:08am Top

#153 I think the problem was not so much whether we should all have the same opinion but that we didn't all have his opinion.
Ed for typo.

155majkia
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 12:26pm Top

This one perhaps? Or possibly one of the other thousands that come up if you google images for 'Jesus billboard'

156keristars
Apr 4, 2011, 4:59pm Top

155> That reminds me so much of a car sticker I see in the parking lot at work that reads "If You Believe" with a simple cross shape. They're both so inexplicable, making me look at them and ask "...and?"

157Booksloth
Apr 4, 2011, 5:15pm Top

#155 looks like Jesus could be the name of the builder.

158Citizenjoyce
Apr 4, 2011, 5:46pm Top

A man of some evangelical denomination came proselytizing to my house the other day, and when I told him I was an atheist and didn't plan to change he looked confused. He said, "You mean you don't believe in Jesus?" When I told him I thought Jesus had probably been a very nice man but of no import to me, he just looked at me kind of blankly like I had 3 eyes and a tail. Poor guy must not get out much.

I was going to say that perhaps FT's problem was that he didn't live in the US so hadn't seen all the God billboards, but looks like I was wrong. However the billboards aren't everywhere, and I actually haven't seen one that says Jesus.

159dtw42
Apr 4, 2011, 5:58pm Top

One does think it must be tempting to put up another one further down the road with just some random other name on it: "Gavin" or "Alf" or some such. Just by way of saying "what about him?"

160Citizenjoyce
Apr 4, 2011, 6:04pm Top

I love it, a big sign saying only "Gavin". Oh my, the speculation it would generate!

161beelzebubba
Apr 4, 2011, 7:45pm Top

157: Well, he was a carpenter, right? Or was that just his dad? Uh, I mean step-dad?

162Bookmarque
Apr 4, 2011, 8:05pm Top

Jesus was a carpenter previous to his career as a prophet.
- Ministry

163majkia
Apr 5, 2011, 8:11am Top

Here in the south, in an area where there are more churches than used car lots, there are Christian billboards every damn where.

Not to mention all the church light-up scrolling signs that preach at you as well.

164XOX
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 9:20pm Top

To counteract all the bullshit religous signs, this one should be put up somewhere.

165clamairy
Apr 5, 2011, 9:46pm Top

#164 - I posted that in another thread in this group 3 days ago.
;o)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/113360#2615386

166paradoxosalpha
Apr 5, 2011, 9:56pm Top

I'm really tired of the whole down-my-throat-shoving trope that seems to be everywhere lately. I mean, it's an arguable improvement on the decapitation motif that was so popular in the first half of the previous decade, but still. Coerced fellatio doesn't need to be a major nexus of public metaphor, no matter how many fantasies teabaggers have about the President's unit.

167XOX
Apr 5, 2011, 9:58pm Top

> 165

I just saw that. Thanks.

168keristars
Apr 5, 2011, 10:01pm Top

166> I'm so confused. I had no idea the "shoved-down-my-throat" thing was a reference to fellatio. I've always pictured it as a mother forcing her kid to eat some nasty green vegetable like broccoli.

169jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 10:52pm Top

168> In the last sentence of what was posted in 164 the "it" doesn't refer to broccoli.

170keristars
Apr 5, 2011, 11:02pm Top

169> Oh, geez, I somehow didn't manage to connect the complaint to the picture. Clearly.

171pgmcc
Apr 9, 2011, 8:18am Top

Apologies if someone has posted this before, but I think people here will appreciate it.

http://youtu.be/HhGuXCuDb1U

172majkia
Apr 9, 2011, 9:00am Top

thanks for that pgmcc. That's great!

173Citizenjoyce
Apr 9, 2011, 6:54pm Top

A Tim a day keeps the assholes away? Not really, but he does make them more bearable.

174XOX
Apr 11, 2011, 5:49am Top

175Citizenjoyce
Apr 11, 2011, 3:43pm Top

I like that: be smart, don't start. Of course, most kids don't have a choice in that matter.

176XOX
Apr 11, 2011, 11:21pm Top

>176 XOX:

We don't really have Santa Claus here except for western style mall.

So, it is not that hard to tell children what's real and what's not. Santa is not real as he is hired by the mall people. God is not real as it is made up by westerners.

177Bookmarque
Apr 12, 2011, 8:31am Top

really? there are no eastern gods? I guess the Europeans are original after all.

178paradoxosalpha
Apr 12, 2011, 11:15am Top

While "everyone knows" that Santa Claus is just "God with training wheels," he's still a potentially toxic psychoactive fungus, to wit: amanita muscaria.

179Citizenjoyce
Apr 12, 2011, 3:05pm Top

>178 paradoxosalpha:, paradoxosalpha, thanks so much for mentioning amanita muscaria. I went to a dude ranch in Colorado last year and took lots of pictures of the pretty red polka dotted mushrooms I saw there, not knowing they were toadstools that might kill you or might just get you high. You brightened up my day with a little new knowledge.

180paradoxosalpha
Edited: Apr 12, 2011, 3:25pm Top

Yes, those little red-capped elves that live up around the mountains are treacherous.

ETA: I've heard that if you drink the pee of reindeer that have eaten them, you can avoid the most toxic alkaloids, and still fly around the world in time to get the kids their presents. But don't try this at home unless you're a Siberian shaman!

181Citizenjoyce
Apr 12, 2011, 3:39pm Top

Oh, alas, I seem to have lost both my shamanic abilities and my reindeer.

182XOX
Apr 12, 2011, 11:00pm Top

>177 Bookmarque:

No, there is no eastern god, except in fantasy books. We have journey to the west. We take it as serious as you would take LOTR in the west.

183tomcatMurr
Apr 13, 2011, 12:46am Top

XOX, where are you from and what is your first language? just intensely curious here, and your profile doesn't say.

184XOX
Apr 13, 2011, 4:16am Top

>183 tomcatMurr:

Obviously, I'm from the east.

185tomcatMurr
Edited: Apr 13, 2011, 6:03am Top

Obvious to whom? East of what?

186bookishglee
Apr 13, 2011, 7:05am Top

East of Eden?

187beelzebubba
Apr 13, 2011, 7:08am Top

East of the Sun and West of the Moon?

188Bookmarque
Apr 13, 2011, 7:28am Top

no eastern gods? wow. just wow. nothing to see here folks. literally.

189clamairy
Apr 13, 2011, 7:37am Top

Hee hee. Did anyone else have that oft-used* word 'deluded' suddenly pop into their head?

*oft-used in a certain other group on LT, I mean.

190Bookmarque
Apr 13, 2011, 8:03am Top

nope, but several others did come to mind.

191XOX
Apr 14, 2011, 2:05am Top



This come to mind.

192XOX
Edited: Apr 14, 2011, 2:08am Top

Many imaginary gods, none of them real.

193jjwilson61
Apr 14, 2011, 10:40am Top

191> So who is that?

194paradoxosalpha
Apr 14, 2011, 11:18am Top

195dtw42
Apr 14, 2011, 2:58pm Top

196ed.pendragon
Apr 25, 2011, 6:24am Top

Perhaps we don't need atheist ad campaigns, just more secularist ads. Or perhaps we have enough of the latter, as a Scottish Catholic ecclesiastic suggests: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/24/cardinal-keith-obrien-aggressive-sec...

197Booksloth
Apr 25, 2011, 7:08am Top

#196 I'm not a violent person but I swear I'm getting so close to showing the next person who thinks disagreeing with the notion of their invisible friend is 'aggressive' what aggression really is. Calm down . . . breathe . . . indulge in a bit more worship of the Easter bunny . . .

198clamairy
Apr 25, 2011, 7:50am Top

#196-197 - Methinks the man's tubular metallic hat must be too tight.

Perhaps we should warn the people against backward thinkers in funny hats.

199Bookmarque
Apr 25, 2011, 8:31am Top

funny how the Catholic church never mentions all those cultures they destroyed over the centuries.

200clamairy
Edited: Apr 25, 2011, 8:50am Top

#199 - It's not important compared to the imminent danger of things like 'secular thinking.'

Group: Happy Heathens

1,131 members

28,820 messages

About

This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,503,827 books! | Top bar: Always visible