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This is so absurd, i could not make it up





Indi
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7818980.stm

i'm sorry... i just have nothing to say on this. (It does contain a hint of a topic for intelligent discussion... but i'm laughing so hard i can't quite manage to bring it up yet.)
nolimitcare
i can understand someone wanting to be opinionated, but attacking a religious belief is just not the way to do it. but then again, christians who say there is a god there is a god are no different then these advertisers who dont believe and are tellin people there probably aint one... does it belong on 800 busses in multiple countries, probably not.
Indi
nolimitcare wrote:
i can understand someone wanting to be opinionated, but attacking a religious belief is just not the way to do it.

There is nothing there "attacking" anything or anyone. It just states a neutral fact you can arrive at by a number of epistemological methods. If saying "God probably doesn't exist" is "attacking" theists, then saying "there may be no sasquatch" must be waging bloody war on cryptozoologists.

nolimitcare wrote:
but then again, christians who say there is a god there is a god are no different then these advertisers who dont believe and are tellin people there probably aint one... does it belong on 800 busses in multiple countries, probably not.

By that logic, your opinion that you have just shared with us does not belong on this public website, which may be viewed in hundreds of countries.
catscratches
I'd like to see what consequences the Christians would have suffered if they set up a "There's probably a God"-campaign. I bet they've already done it and had no trouble with it at all.
Afaceinthematrix
Ehh... it's a little absurd, but overall I think that it's pretty funny.Some Christians have nothing better to do than to try and get rid of everything that doesn't fit with their agendas. These are the same type of people who want Creationism taught in schools over evolution... but whatever... That's really just the typical Creationist. They want everything that doesn't fit with their agendas to go...
saratdear
I think it is absurd for Christian Voice to complain about something that they have no evidence about, but I do not call them absurd for believing in what they are complaining about.

The best thing they could do , if they want to do anything, is make a set of advertising hoarding themselves.
Bikerman
catscratches wrote:
I'd like to see what consequences the Christians would have suffered if they set up a "There's probably a God"-campaign. I bet they've already done it and had no trouble with it at all.
They do it routinely.
The Guardian Oct 2008 wrote:
As you read this, a new advertising campaign for Alpha Courses is running on London buses. If you attend an Alpha Course, you will again be told that failing to believe in Jesus will condemn you to hell. There's no doubt that advertising can be effective, and religious advertising works particularly well on those who are vulnerable, frightening them into believing. Religious organisations' jobs are made easier because there's no publicly visible counter-view to refute their threats of eternal damnation.

Source - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/21/religion-advertising

Adverts for religion appear all over the place - from billboards in front of churches to free slots on radio and TV. They (organised religions) get tax exemption and preferrential treatment in the UK legislature.

The campaign (by the Humanist Society, to which I belong) is an attempt to counter, in a small way, the huge amount of religious advertising.
deanhills
First thing that went through my mind when I saw the photo with the bus and slogan was, "small things amuse small minds"! Then I tried to figure out exactly what is being advertised here? Usually public transportation is used for advertising services, and messages from public authorities, i.e. breast cancer tests, use condoms, etc. etc., maybe a public celebration, conference or something.

Still trying to figure out what the objective of the advertisement is and what the campaign is about?

Second thing was Richard Dawkins' name. People I know hold him in great esteem, so I would have though he would have had better things to do with his money, than advertisements like these. Sort of really undignified by what I thought he was supposed to stand for, i.e. above all of the religious stuff. Perhaps if the advertisement had been placed at Heathrow Terminal Five, well then it could have been better appreciated by his more regular audience?
liljp617
Quote:
But Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: "There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

"But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it."



Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused Shocked Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

deanhills wrote:
First thing that went through my mind when I saw the photo with the bus and slogan was, "small things amuse small minds"! Then I tried to figure out exactly what is being advertised here? Usually public transportation is used for advertising services, and messages from public authorities, i.e. breast cancer tests, use condoms, etc. etc., maybe a public celebration, conference or something.

Still trying to figure out what the objective of the advertisement is and what the campaign is about?

Second thing was Richard Dawkins' name. People I know hold him in great esteem, so I would have though he would have had better things to do with his money, than advertisements like these. Sort of really undignified by what I thought he was supposed to stand for, i.e. above all of the religious stuff. Perhaps if the advertisement had been placed at Heathrow Terminal Five, well then it could have been better appreciated by his more regular audience?


It doesn't really matter. The fact is it will likely be removed by official order and we will witness first hand the continuing destruction of freedom.
ocalhoun
Still not quite sure on the motivations of 'evangelical atheists'...
I don't know why they would think it worthwhile to spend:
Quote:

a total of £11,000

To have a slim chance of converting a few people to atheism.
But they should be able to do things like this just like any other religion could. I've never seen a Christian ad on a bus, but I have seen plenty of billboards.
c'tair
[quote="Indi"]
nolimitcare wrote:
If saying "God probably doesn't exist" is "attacking" theists, then saying "there may be no sasquatch" must be waging bloody war on cryptozoologists.



This made me rotfl.
And I'm with bikerman here. Christian propaganda is sometimes omnipresent - real life situation of mine - a priest was scare-mongering people in my country (ap. 90% roman catholics) that catholics are abused here. Time to flex some freedom and maybe, just maybe it will make someone rethink their stance on some stuff.
wumingsden
I only skim read, but want to say a few things:

The advertising campagin there is No God was a response to an opposing campaign which said god does exist, blah. blah. blah. With a link to a website which stated that all non-believers are Sinners and woould burn in Hell.

Also, the advertising campaign needed £11,000, but over £80,000 was donated within the first few days.

I think There Is A God & There Is NO God campaign's are rather pointless, as previously mentioned, so who knows why it was started to begin with.
But its nice for the non-believers to speak out and do the exact same thing as the believers, and get exposure for it.

Here where I live, we have a Speakers Corner....where basically anyone can preach anything (as long as it doesn't incite hate). But Christian speakers are allowed to speak out and condem people, tell people they're going to Hell, etc. But the non-believers aren't able to do it.
Indi
catscratches wrote:
I'd like to see what consequences the Christians would have suffered if they set up a "There's probably a God"-campaign. I bet they've already done it and had no trouble with it at all.

You should have bet money. Easy win.

deanhills wrote:
First thing that went through my mind when I saw the photo with the bus and slogan was, "small things amuse small minds"! Then I tried to figure out exactly what is being advertised here? Usually public transportation is used for advertising services, and messages from public authorities, i.e. breast cancer tests, use condoms, etc. etc., maybe a public celebration, conference or something.

What city do you live in? In every city in every country i've ever been in, bus advertising is used to advertise any and everything. There are even bus advertisements on the buses here right now advertising... bus advertising!!!

But don't take my word for it.

Just ask the United Church of Canada.

Here's one by the Archdiocese of Washington that just says welcome to the Pope.

Can't leave Muslims out either.

And just to hammer the point home here is a (admittedly poor quality) photograph of an ad inside a bus that consists of nothing more than a Bible verse.

deanhills wrote:
Still trying to figure out what the objective of the advertisement is and what the campaign is about?

It's no great secret if you really cared to find out. Good grief, the BBC even hands you the answer on a platter. In that article, on the upper right, is a little "SEE ALSO" list... which exists to helpfully provide contextual information about the article. Right now it lists two previous articles about the bus ads, one about Dawkins and one about something else that may or may not be related. Of the two previous articles one is about the amount of money the campaign raised and the other is about the campaign itself. Logically if you want to know about what the campaign is about, that one about the campaign is an intelligent place to start.

And lo.

Right there on that page, in bold, in a box with big quotes around it, is your answer.

Total search time: ~2 seconds.

deanhills wrote:
Second thing was Richard Dawkins' name. People I know hold him in great esteem, so I would have though he would have had better things to do with his money, than advertisements like these. Sort of really undignified by what I thought he was supposed to stand for, i.e. above all of the religious stuff. Perhaps if the advertisement had been placed at Heathrow Terminal Five, well then it could have been better appreciated by his more regular audience?

i have no idea where you get such silly ideas.

First, one of his stated goals - a goal that he spends an enormous amount of his career on - is to spread awareness of atheism. That was the whole point of The God Delusion, for crying out loud! And putting ads out to make people more aware of it seems like a pretty bloody obvious way to continue that trend to me. What else should he spend his money doing, if not exactly what he's made a career out of trying to do?

Second... undignified? He's doing what he's always done - speaking out about atheism because he feels it is being marginalized in our society (he is fond of pointing out that although there are far more atheists than Jews, Blacks or Hispanics in America, it is socially unacceptable to insult any of those groups while atheists are the most hated group of all). "Above all the religious stuff"? i don't even know what that means. He made an ad to raise awareness of a cause close to his heart. The ad is simple, unoffensive (except to bigots, of course - the content of the ad itself is in no way offensive) and quite amusing and clever. What is undignified about that? What about that is "beneath" anything, religious or not?

And i frankly don't even have a clue what the rest of all that was about.

ocalhoun wrote:
Still not quite sure on the motivations of 'evangelical atheists'...
I don't know why they would think it worthwhile to spend:
Quote:

a total of £11,000

To have a slim chance of converting a few people to atheism.

That was hardly the goal of the campaign.

Consider this: every time someone mentions atheists speaking out by means of advertising here on Frihost - even when the focus is not the atheists' right to speak (which i would have think would be obvious but apparently is not), but the response - inevitably it seems, people come out of the woodwork to say (or, if not say outright, slyly suggest) that the atheists are wrong to do this. Objections range from claiming that atheist messages are "offensive" (simply because they are atheist messages) to really smarmy comments suggesting that by doing something as apparently loony as actually trying to reach out to the general public, atheists are lowering their standards in some way (as if atheists are some kind of elite that should stick to their ivory towers and not deign to deal with the masses).

These objections are all completely stupid, but they highlight the problem nicely. It's not even what the atheist message is that elicits these nonsense comments... merely speaking out is enough to shake people up! And why is this? It is because for too long, atheists have been silent.

A couple of people have said outright or suggested that religious groups do not do this kind of advertising. Bullshit. Complete and unequivocal bullshit. And i don't care where you are in the world, i guarantee that religious groups have been advertising on buses (and billboards and more) in your area for ever. i am 100% certain that all of you have seen religious advertisements on buses. Every single one of you. The fact that they haven't registered in your awareness is exactly the point of this advertising campaign. We all live in a sea of religious symbols and messages - we don't even process most of them because it's just background noise we all grew up with.

Thus the point of this campaign. These ads are a shock to the system. They are supposed to wake you up and make you aware of the sea of religious messages you live in... by showing you an explicitly blatant non-religious message. And, furthermore, a completely non-threatening, even amusing non-religious message. You're supposed to read these ads and think: "wait... am i worrying about whether or not there's a god? i never thought about it before...". Or, perhaps: "yes there is a god! and i'm not worrying about whether he doesn't exist... am i?"

i don't think Dawkins or the BHA really care about whether or not anyway is "converted" by these ads. In fact, i think they doubt anyone will be - there's really not much to the ad, after all. Granted, if anyone is converted, they will probably cheer, but i doubt they expect that to happen. But they don't really need converts. All they need is awareness raised so it's no longer such a shock when an atheist does speak out (as it quite obviously is now), and it's no longer ok to use atheists as political and social scapegoats.

Of course i can't speak for either Dawkins or the BHA, but i'll be honest and say that's all i want out of those ads. i don't care if my country is 99.9% Christian or Muslim or whatever. i really don't care. i just want to know that my rights are not going to be infringed on by their religious beliefs. If all these ads do is make people aware of the fact that atheists exist and aren't all that bad, then that's a huge victory in my eyes.

Does that make me an "evangelical atheist" now?
lagoon
I think it's more about protecting their right to speak freely in quite a religious country, than actually converting people to atheism.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:

i don't think Dawkins or the BHA really care about whether or not anyway is "converted" by these ads. In fact, i think they doubt anyone will be - there's really not much to the ad, after all. Granted, if anyone is converted, they will probably cheer, but i doubt they expect that to happen. But they don't really need converts. All they need is awareness raised so it's no longer such a shock when an atheist does speak out (as it quite obviously is now), and it's no longer ok to use atheists as political and social scapegoats.

Of course i can't speak for either Dawkins or the BHA, but i'll be honest and say that's all i want out of those ads. i don't care if my country is 99.9% Christian or Muslim or whatever. i really don't care. i just want to know that my rights are not going to be infringed on by their religious beliefs. If all these ads do is make people aware of the fact that atheists exist and aren't all that bad, then that's a huge victory in my eyes.

Does that make me an "evangelical atheist" now?

Ah, I see.
You shouldn't let people 'being offended' stop you in any way though. They probably are truly offended by it, but that doesn't negate your freedom of speech. You have a right to offend people if you want to. (At least you do in the US... Perhaps the UK is like Canada, where its illegal to offend certain people?)
deanhills


Indi, think maybe my message did not come through properly. I find the advertisement tacky by sophisticated Dawkins standards. I expected something more subtle and of greater value. Or maybe it was, and I did not get the message! Including the balloons! But thanks for letting me know what the campaign was about, which makes it even more tackier for me! I always thought atheism was outside religion, which should mean that atheists cannot be bothered any less by people who have religious beliefs. They have better things to think about. So now someone has to have a campaign in order to make atheism more credible and to support atheists? Is that not creating a religion out of atheism? Especially when you say that churches are putting advertisements up, and therefore atheists can too? I would have thought atheists had better and more nobler things to do with their time and money? Like investing in a planetarium or another hubble telescope? I would have been much more impressed with a new Richard Dawkins Planetarium, and possibly he could have put up some of his ads in there as well! Much more dignified than a red bus with balloons!

Quote:
speaking out about atheism because he feels it is being marginalized in our society (he is fond of pointing out that although there are far more atheists than Jews, Blacks or Hispanics in America, it is socially unacceptable to insult any of those groups while atheists are the most hated group of all).
Is there statistical proof for atheists being the most hated group of all? Is this factually correct? Why should atheists be bothered by something like this? Really thought they had better things to be bothered by? Such as lack of math and science education in the world, maybe Richard Dawkins can make a genuine contribution to mankind by starting schools globally that specialize in the teaching of math and science and training teachers in math and science in all the languages. That would also be a much more powerful way of getting his message across in a lasting way, much better than a red bus with balloons!
liljp617
deanhills wrote:


Indi, think maybe my message did not come through properly. I find the advertisement tacky by sophisticated Dawkins standards. I expected something more subtle and of greater value. Or maybe it was, and I did not get the message! Including the balloons! But thanks for letting me know what the campaign was about, which makes it even more tackier for me! I always thought atheism was outside religion, which should mean that atheists cannot be bothered any less by people who have religious beliefs. They have better things to think about. So now someone has to have a campaign in order to make atheism more credible and to support atheists? Is that not creating a religion out of atheism? Especially when you say that churches are putting advertisements up, and therefore atheists can too? I would have thought atheists had better and more nobler things to do with their time and money? Like investing in a planetarium or another hubble telescope? I would have been much more impressed with a new Richard Dawkins Planetarium, and possibly he could have put up some of his ads in there as well! Much more dignified than a red bus with balloons!


Atheists are still people deserving of equal rights and freedoms. The "tackiness" of this is irrelevant, because the goal is not at all about conversion or even educating the public about atheism. This campaign is a very clear example of how organized religion does not believe in and promote equality and freedom. They deteriorate even the most basic freedoms. The campaign is likely to show the blatant prejudice of organized religion against people of opposing views....even when the view is not degrading or insulting.

I see nothing more important at the moment besides eliminating prejudice and inequality in our societies and our world. I really don't. And this campaign, "tacky" as you may believe it to be, is attempting to do just that. It seems to be doing a good job as well, considering it's making people notice the oppression and prejudice of many organized religions.

Quote:
Is there statistical proof for atheists being the most hated group of all? Is this factually correct? Why should atheists be bothered by something like this? Really thought they had better things to be bothered by? Such as lack of math and science education in the world, maybe Richard Dawkins can make a genuine contribution to mankind by starting schools globally that specialize in the teaching of math and science and training teachers in math and science in all the languages. That would also be a much more powerful way of getting his message across in a lasting way, much better than a red bus with balloons!


There have been multiple studies/polls done asking questions where information regarding societal views toward atheists can be extracted. Here's one:

Quote:
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. As a result, there has only been one openly non-theistic member of Congress in history; Pete Stark. According to motherjones.com, 52 percent of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that "does not at all agree with my vision of American society", putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent). When participants were asked whether they agreed with the statement, "I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group," atheists again led minorities, with 48 percent disapproval, followed by Muslims (34 percent) and African-Americans (27 percent).


Now to me, that's a little discouraging. That an individual is so quickly negated on the basis of being rational and logical astounds me. That I could have no chance of winning the Presidency based on something so minuscule astounds me. That I am basically barred from holding any public office in my country based on me being atheist makes me cringe. There have been laws in certain states overturned that stated "no atheist can hold public office." And this wasn't 100 years ago, this was in this decade.

Why should I be bothered by something like this? Because I am the one that has experienced this prejudice first hand and is likely to experience it a lot in my life. Why should blacks have been bothered by their lack of civil rights? Needs no explanation.

The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?

I'll share my opinion on that question: Because they're mostly an insecure population of individuals that cling to their beliefs so insanely hard that any opposition is seen as a personal attack. They feel like they're backed in a corner and get defensive because the realization sets in that what they base their entire life on COULD BE COMPLETELY FALSE! And this scares the hell out of most of them, because their entire childhood they were likely indoctrinated with the idea that God does exist and there is absolutely no question about it.
handfleisch
liljp617 wrote:

The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?.


Exactly! I'll share my opinion on the other side of that question: I think any person with a deep feeling for spirituality would just chuckle at such a sign.

It reminds me of when I heard about Buddhists monks, supposedly if they heard someone making a joke about Buddha, they wouldn't think it sacrilege -- they would think it funny.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
Atheists are still people deserving of equal rights and freedoms. The "tackiness" of this is irrelevant, because the goal is not at all about conversion or even educating the public about atheism. This campaign is a very clear example of how organized religion does not believe in and promote equality and freedom. They deteriorate even the most basic freedoms. The campaign is likely to show the blatant prejudice of organized religion against people of opposing views....even when the view is not degrading or insulting.

I see nothing more important at the moment besides eliminating prejudice and inequality in our societies and our world. I really don't. And this campaign, "tacky" as you may believe it to be, is attempting to do just that. It seems to be doing a good job as well, considering it's making people notice the oppression and prejudice of many organized religions.


I believe this campaign is actually doing just the opposite, i.e. emphasizing differences. It is telling people who believe in God that perhaps there is no God and that they have it wrong. Perhaps one can see it as prejudice in reverse? Whereas if there had not been an advertisement like this and atheists had just ignored socalled prejudice and inequality, perhaps that would have shown they have nothing to prove and that they are above said prejudice and inequality?

Quote:
Is there statistical proof for atheists being the most hated group of all? Is this factually correct? Why should atheists be bothered by something like this? Really thought they had better things to be bothered by? Such as lack of math and science education in the world, maybe Richard Dawkins can make a genuine contribution to mankind by starting schools globally that specialize in the teaching of math and science and training teachers in math and science in all the languages. That would also be a much more powerful way of getting his message across in a lasting way, much better than a red bus with balloons!


Quote:
There have been multiple studies/polls done asking questions where information regarding societal views toward atheists can be extracted. Here's one:

Quote:
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. As a result, there has only been one openly non-theistic member of Congress in history; Pete Stark. According to motherjones.com, 52 percent of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that "does not at all agree with my vision of American society", putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent). When participants were asked whether they agreed with the statement, "I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group," atheists again led minorities, with 48 percent disapproval, followed by Muslims (34 percent) and African-Americans (27 percent).


The original statement by Dawkins (according to Indi) was that Americans hated atheists. I believe the above shows Americans' preference for their President to be of religious belief/disapproval, not hate for atheists. Why should atheists be more equal by virtue of their beliefs? Surely everyone has the right to their point of view? If atheists happen to be in the minority, why does that bother them so much? Why can they not simply ignore people whom they regard as "ignorant".

Quote:
The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?

I'll share my opinion on that question: Because they're mostly an insecure population of individuals that cling to their beliefs so insanely hard that any opposition is seen as a personal attack. They feel like they're backed in a corner and get defensive because the realization sets in that what they base their entire life on COULD BE COMPLETELY FALSE! And this scares the hell out of most of them, because their entire childhood they were likely indoctrinated with the idea that God does exist and there is absolutely no question about it.

The need for atheists to have an advertisement like that to me puts them on the same level as religion. They have to be equally insecure about their position regarding their beliefs. If they would just plain ignore religion or people who have different beliefs than they have, then perhaps I will be differently impressed.
liljp617
When has ignoring prejudice, disdain, and hate (and yes, there is hate in this situation; if you want to play semantics, this isn't really the place) ever worked in securing equality for any minority?
truespeed
"There's probably no god,now stop worrying and enjoy life" I wouldn't even look at that as an anti-religious headline,or even have anything to do with religion,the fact that religious people take it that way says more about them than the makers of the banner.

It reminds me of another quote attributed to Nietzsche (Although he's probably not the best person to quote an example from in this instance) "it's all so meaningless we might as well be extraordinary"

Basically another way of saying "Lifes too short,enjoy it while you can"
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
When has ignoring prejudice, disdain, and hate (and yes, there is hate in this situation; if you want to play semantics, this isn't really the place) ever worked in securing equality for any minority?


Are you sure you should compare atheism with securing equality for a minority? My perception of people who are atheists are that they are on average more intelligent people, as they have gone through great loops in their thinking to get to that point of conviction. I say "on average" as of course there are exceptions. I personally admire atheists of the category I just described. With that admiration came disappointment in atheists who feel they need to defend their position to anyone, especially through the type of advertisement on a public bus. I thought that to be completely unnecessary as that brings them down to the same level as all religions. Being atheist I thought was not about having rights, or being equal, but just plainly not believing there is religion, standing outside of it. Since atheists are standing outside religion, they need not defend their position through advertisements on buses. I would have been much more impressed if they had made a positive contribution such as chanelling that kind of funds towards math and science teaching, planetariums (also a form of teaching), that would have been much more powerful and long lasting in its effect on the thinking processes of humanity. That would have helped much more in the objective of attaining tolerance for atheism than writing the kind of slogan that appeared on 800 buses in the UK.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Indi, think maybe my message did not come through properly. I find the advertisement tacky by sophisticated Dawkins standards. I expected something more subtle and of greater value. Or maybe it was, and I did not get the message!

You are attempting to veil an insult in a compliment, but it is still just as ignorant. How is attempting to reach out to the public "tacky by sophisticated Dawkins standards"? It is exactly what he tried to do with all of his mass market books - they are all for the general population, and are not intended for "sophisticated" readers. Dawkins has long portrayed himself as a voice for atheism. Here he is using that voice to get a message out. What is tacky about that?

deanhills wrote:
But thanks for letting me know what the campaign was about, which makes it even more tackier for me! I always thought atheism was outside religion, which should mean that atheists cannot be bothered any less by people who have religious beliefs. They have better things to think about. So now someone has to have a campaign in order to make atheism more credible and to support atheists? Is that not creating a religion out of atheism?

If that is creating a religion out of atheism, then that advertisement with the guys saying "whassaaaaap" is creating a religion out of Budweiser.

Really, your thinking - if that is what it is at all - is completely idiotic. Atheists shouldn't be bothered by people who have religious beliefs? Does that include the ones who want to have us killed for being atheists? Does that include the ones that want to prevent us from holding political office (there are still requirements in several US states - and other countries as well - that forbid people from holding office unless they swear they believe in a god)? Does that include the ones that actually fire us from our jobs when they find out we are atheists (yes, that does happen)? Does that include the ones that want to put gods in science classrooms? Does that include the ones that say we don't even deserve to be considered as real citizens?

Clearly you didn't read or comprehend what i said before. The campaign is not to "make atheism more credible and to support atheists". That's just absurd - how can "God probably doesn't exist. So stop worrying and live your life," possibly do anything toward making atheism more "credible"? It offers no arguments or evidence to back its claim up! It doesn't even say "be nice to atheists" or "don't hate atheists"! It does nothing more than make atheism visible. It's a lot harder to hate a group that is right there in your face than it is to hate "the other guys".

deanhills wrote:
Especially when you say that churches are putting advertisements up, and therefore atheists can too?

i didn't say that. Did you?

i just said that churches have done it in the past, therefore they have no right to complain. That is an entirely different statement. It is a statement about the hypocrisy of the churches, not about the actions or rights of the atheists.

As a matter of fact, atheists can put up ads if they want to - even if churches didn't. That's called free speech.

deanhills wrote:
I would have thought atheists had better and more nobler things to do with their time and money? Like investing in a planetarium or another hubble telescope? I would have been much more impressed with a new Richard Dawkins Planetarium, and possibly he could have put up some of his ads in there as well! Much more dignified than a red bus with balloons!

First of all, atheists can spend their money however they bloody well please. Being an atheist doesn't mean that if you choose to spend your money on something frivolous, you are some kind of failure as a human being. Now is this a frivolous expenditure? i'll get back to that.

Second, let's just be honest here. Your problem is not with how Dawkins spends his money. If Dawkins wanted to finance a marathon you probably wouldn't lift an eyebrow. Your problem is that he is paying for... dun dun dun! ATHEIST ADVERTISEMENTS!

Third, you are implying that by choosing to invest in these ads rather than a planetarium (??? you know... the man is a biologist... not an astronomer) is a frivolous investment. i say you're full of crap. Richard Dawkins may not be doing anything to help you by paying for these ads, but he is certainly helping himself, and he is helping me, too! Because these ads will help raise awareness for atheism, which, hopefully, will help reduce the bigotry and intolerance against atheists, which would certainly make his life easier... and mine, too! That is certainly a good investment - helping to create a more tolerant society is every bit as important as yet another planetarium... and perhaps much, much more.

i can't believe that you're really as ignorant as you're sounding - i'm hoping that you're just trying to present what you hope are plausible arguments for "the other side", just for the sake of a balanced argument. Because what you are basically saying is that - for example - in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, black leaders should have not really paid any attention to all that segregation stuff that was going on at the time because it was beneath them. Rather than spending all that time and money trying to earn equality for all races, they should have invested their time and money in financing education initiatives like basic arithmetic! Racial segregation would have just gone away on its own, right? Blacks shouldn't have wasted their time and money worrying about it, right?

You do realize that is literally what you are saying, eh? That Dawkins shouldn't waste his money trying to gain equality for atheists in society. Nah, he should be doing something to benefit you, right?

deanhills wrote:
That would also be a much more powerful way of getting his message across in a lasting way, much better than a red bus with balloons!

What? Dawkins was with tacky balloons? i'll never take him seriously as an academic again!

... Seriously though... i don't think the buses have the balloons all the time. i imagine they were just there for the unveiling ceremony and press conference, as they usually are.

And all the buses in London are red, Einstein.

handfleisch wrote:
liljp617 wrote:

The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?.


Exactly! I'll share my opinion on the other side of that question: I think any person with a deep feeling for spirituality would just chuckle at such a sign.

That is what should happen. Clearly the evidence here (and in the article i linked) shows that is not what actually happens.

For the record, i see religious advertising all the time. And i have to listen to political leaders ramble on about how they feel "God" is on their side pretty much every time the topic comes up. i don't fly into a tiff about how that is "tacky" or "offensive". It just rolls right by my - i don't even grace it with a shrug. Just about the only thing that passes through my mind is "whatever floats your boat".

deanhills wrote:
I believe this campaign is actually doing just the opposite, i.e. emphasizing differences. It is telling people who believe in God that perhaps there is no God and that they have it wrong.

Er, that is not what it is telling people. That is what you are reading into it. What it is telling people is exactly what it says. That is the beauty of this campaign. It is simple, yet clear. There are no hidden messages and there is no pretence.

If you really do believe there is a god - and you don't have a chip on your shoulder about it - then you will just look at the sign, roll your eyes and say "whatever" and move on. Your life is not going to be shaken to its core by a bus ad. Seriously.

deanhills wrote:
Perhaps one can see it as prejudice in reverse?

Perhaps one should look up what "prejudice" means. There is nothing prejudicial in or about that sign.

deanhills wrote:
Whereas if there had not been an advertisement like this and atheists had just ignored socalled prejudice and inequality, perhaps that would have shown they have nothing to prove and that they are above said prejudice and inequality?

Atheists are not "above" prejudice and inequality if they are, in fact, prejudged and unequal. Perhaps if the Incas had just ignored the European incursions into their lands that would have shown they were above the genocides?

deanhills wrote:
Quote:
There have been multiple studies/polls done asking questions where information regarding societal views toward atheists can be extracted. Here's one:

Quote:
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. As a result, there has only been one openly non-theistic member of Congress in history; Pete Stark. According to motherjones.com, 52 percent of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that "does not at all agree with my vision of American society", putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent). When participants were asked whether they agreed with the statement, "I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group," atheists again led minorities, with 48 percent disapproval, followed by Muslims (34 percent) and African-Americans (27 percent).


The original statement by Dawkins (according to Indi) was that Americans hated atheists. I believe the above shows Americans' preference for their President to be of religious belief/disapproval, not hate for atheists.

You believe wrong. Perhaps if you had read past the first three sentences, you would have seen the studies i was referring to.

deanhills wrote:
Why should atheists be more equal by virtue of their beliefs?

Whoa, wait... what? Excuse me? "More equal"? No one is asking to be "more equal". We just want to be equal. We want to be not hated, looked down on and blocked from certain careers just because of our beliefs.

Do you think we are wrong to want this?

deanhills wrote:
Surely everyone has the right to their point of view? If atheists happen to be in the minority, why does that bother them so much? Why can they not simply ignore people whom they regard as "ignorant".

Because atheists are not jerks?

Seriously, what the hell is the matter with you? What do you think atheists are - a bunch of superior jerks who look down on everyone else? We're people, man, and we want to be treated like people - just like everyone else, and not like trash just because we don't happen to believe in any gods. What is so wrong with that? What's wrong with a young atheist wanting to be president and actually having a real shot?

Seriously, i might as well ask why do the Christians (for example) have such a problem with us? They're all supposedly going to Heaven anyway, so why don't they just hurry the hell up and go there and stop making our lives miserable here on Earth? If we're really going to burn in Hell then just freaking well let us have some happiness in our lives here before we go off to burn. Let us have our bloody bus ads and Dawkins tracts and whatever the hell else we want. None of it hurts you anyway.

And actually, that's a far more reasonable request than yours. ^_^;

deanhills wrote:
The need for atheists to have an advertisement like that to me puts them on the same level as religion.

Uh, actually, the need to have an advertisement puts them on the same level as any group that wants publicity.

Unless you think that having advertisements puts everyone on the same level as religion? i just saw an ad for a lawyer who fights traffic tickets. Rather a sleazy religion that one, hm?

deanhills wrote:
They have to be equally insecure about their position regarding their beliefs. If they would just plain ignore religion or people who have different beliefs than they have, then perhaps I will be differently impressed.

You see, the goal isn't really to impress you - or anyone. The goal is just to make people aware of atheism, and hopefully to show that it's really not such a nasty evil thing. And that should, theoretically, reduce the amount of intolerance and prejudice.

It is not insecure to stand up for your beliefs when they are being challenged - and make no mistake, despite your lackadaisical reading of liljp617's statistics, atheism is definitely under strong and continued attack.

liljp617 wrote:
When has ignoring prejudice, disdain, and hate (and yes, there is hate in this situation; if you want to play semantics, this isn't really the place) ever worked in securing equality for any minority?

Excellently and succinctly put. No minority group has ever won equality and respect by being invisible.

deanhills wrote:
Are you sure you should compare atheism with securing equality for a minority? My perception of people who are atheists are that they are on average more intelligent people, as they have gone through great loops in their thinking to get to that point of conviction.

Remember when i told you to look up "prejudice"? Now might be a good time.

It doesn't matter how intelligent atheists are as a group if they are being treated unfairly. What part of that is difficult to grasp? i don't even see why you would bring up intelligence. It has nothing to do with the issue. "Oh, well that group is generally intelligent, so they're not really a minority." Does that make any sense to you? If it turned out that Jews were, on average, far more intelligent than the average American, would that mean they're no longer a minority in America?

deanhills wrote:
With that admiration came disappointment in atheists who feel they need to defend their position to anyone, especially through the type of advertisement on a public bus. I thought that to be completely unnecessary as that brings them down to the same level as all religions.

Once again: the advertisement was not about "defending" any atheist positions (seriously, just look at what it says! It's two sentences! How is that a "defense"?!?), it is about making atheism visible. It is about making the general public think about atheism, and in a positive light, to boot. That is all. It is not an attempt to proselytize. It is not an attempt at an apologetic. It is just saying "atheism exists! and it's not that bad!". Nothing more, nothing less.

deanhills wrote:
Being atheist I thought was not about having rights, or being equal, but just plainly not believing there is religion, standing outside of it. Since atheists are standing outside religion, they need not defend their position through advertisements on buses.

Excuse me? Because i am an atheist i shouldn't worry about my rights or about being equal? Are you bloody serious?

deanhills wrote:
I would have been much more impressed if they had made a positive contribution such as chanelling that kind of funds towards math and science teaching, planetariums (also a form of teaching), that would have been much more powerful and long lasting in its effect on the thinking processes of humanity. That would have helped much more in the objective of attaining tolerance for atheism than writing the kind of slogan that appeared on 800 buses in the UK.

i think you are conclusive proof that these kinds of ads are indeed necessary in getting atheism heard in the public forums. Some of the things you have said in your last three posts have been among the most ignorant things i have ever heard said about atheists. In your world, apparently, atheists should be locked up in ivory towers, looking down their noses at the religious fools who flock the streets and doing nothing while their own rights and freedoms are being eroded and they are made into the pariahs of modern society. In fact, the very idea of atheists standing up for their rights and freedoms is - in your world - tacky... we shouldn't really stoop down to the level of the masses, we should just continue to scoff at them while we are treated as the lowest kind of scum in society that is not actually criminal.

Hey, why would we even care? i mean, we're so sure of our "atheist convictions" that we don't need to bother ourselves with what the rest of the world thinks about us, right? i mean, we've got lots of rewards in Heaven anyway, so we shouldn't really be concerned with Earth, ri-... oh, wait a minute... forget about that last one... Oh, but hey, we're atheists, we don't need to care about what anyone thinks about us, because we know we're right, and we don't need your approval to do anything we want like run for presi-... oh, wait... scratch that, too.

Seriously, get a clue.
handfleisch
"Be IN this world but not OF this world"
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
Are you sure you should compare atheism with securing equality for a minority?


Yes. Dead certain I should. Until I see some logical case presented that proves I, just for being an atheist, should care less about freedom, rights, and equality than any other group of people I will continue to make the comparison (or until the equality is there...frankly, it's not).

Quote:
My perception of people who are atheists are that they are on average more intelligent people, as they have gone through great loops in their thinking to get to that point of conviction. I say "on average" as of course there are exceptions. I personally admire atheists of the category I just described. With that admiration came disappointment in atheists who feel they need to defend their position to anyone, especially through the type of advertisement on a public bus. I thought that to be completely unnecessary as that brings them down to the same level as all religions.


You see, we're taking different things away from this small campaign. It's clearly not about conversion, promotion of atheism as a state of being, promotion of converting people to atheism, etc. It is very clearly to raise awareness that there are individuals in society who just happen to be atheist, and for this they are persecuted to an extent (the outcry against this campaign alone is enough to warrant the statements on persecution and inequality). It is very clearly about exhibiting the oppression many organized religions impose on society.

Nobody is defending atheism here in the sense of what it is based upon. There is nothing in the entire campaign that truly defends atheist's stances. If this were a campaign of defending, trust me, the campaign would be much more in depth in the explanations of what atheism is and what it is founded upon (ie the facts, rationality, logic, science, etc.).

How ads promoting awareness and (indirectly) equality somehow bring atheism down to organized religion is beyond me. I don't have much to say on the subject, it's a fairly silly idea.

Quote:
Being atheist I thought was not about having rights, or being equal, but just plainly not believing there is religion, standing outside of it. Since atheists are standing outside religion, they need not defend their position through advertisements on buses. I would have been much more impressed if they had made a positive contribution such as chanelling that kind of funds towards math and science teaching, planetariums (also a form of teaching), that would have been much more powerful and long lasting in its effect on the thinking processes of humanity. That would have helped much more in the objective of attaining tolerance for atheism than writing the kind of slogan that appeared on 800 buses in the UK.


Atheism itself is not about rights and equality, correct. Being a human is. Why should I be content with persecution, blatant hate, inequality, and prejudice simply because of a characteristic of my being that really has no bearing on how other people live their lives? I don't claim to be superior as a person because I'm an atheist, and I don't claim religious people to be inferior or undeserving of equality because of their being theists/deists.

What I do claim is that I am, as all people in this world are, deserving of equal rights and chances. I should not be turned down for a job for being atheist. I should not be lawfully and proverbially barred from holding public office because I'm atheist. I should not have to take down a billboard or sign because it says something about atheism or secularism. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO, and I won't allow it to happen without some sort of fight. I am not above inequality, no one is, and it's discouraging as a human to see people content with it in modern societies.

Now the question arises: What in the world should I do about it? What are my (and other atheist's) options in this predicament, because there clearly is a bad situation occurring?

Ignore it and hope it goes away? No. Take up some violent campaign against religion and its followers? No. Band together with other atheists as much as I can and get in the faces of the oppressors so they're forced to deal with it? YES.

And if you see that as lowering myself to the level of religion, that's your opinion. I see it as the only real, solid option atheists have. I refuse to be content with irrational prejudice and inequality in any modern society; I simply won't have it and will do anything reasonable in my power to fight against it. I'm not above it at all, it hits me as hard as it hits any human being and hurts just the same.

I see NOTHING more important in this very day than eliminating prejudice, oppression, and hate of any and every group of people. It is the root of many of society's problems and I can't begin to see how funding math/science or a planetarium holds up in comparison to ending intolerance.
deanhills
I respect your views liljp617 and understand that this goes deep with you. I hope I did not offend you with my views, which are obviously different from yours. I understand that you must have suffered as a consequence of your beliefs and I respect you for your integrity in this regard. I also appreciate you taking so much time to explain where people are coming from with the ads. I understand that that matters to you. I have never been persecuted for who I am and you are right in that regard, I may never be able to fully understand your position. If the advertisement is meaningful for you, then I am happy for you, and would like to apologize if any of my comments may have offended the atheists who are part of the thread. It obviously means something to you. Perhaps I have missed the good part that Richard Dawkins has made a large number of people, who happen to be atheists, happy with what he did. It must go deep for him too and he made his statement to the best of his intentions. I missed this point in all of this. Thanks to everyone (including Indi who went her usual million miles) for explaining what it is really about.
truespeed
Could these same ads be put on a bill board in America? Or are there rules/laws to stop them?
liljp617
truespeed wrote:
Could these same ads be put on a bill board in America? Or are there rules/laws to stop them?


The law certainly ideally allows them. Freedom of speech.

Would they survive here for very long? Highly unlikely. That or it would be a huge battle, likely in a courtroom, over them.

Of course, a lot of it depends on what state the billboard was put in.
truespeed
liljp617 wrote:
truespeed wrote:
Could these same ads be put on a bill board in America? Or are there rules/laws to stop them?


The law certainly ideally allows them. Freedom of speech.

Would they survive here for very long? Highly unlikely. That or it would be a huge battle, likely in a courtroom, over them.

Of course, a lot of it depends on what state the billboard was put in.


Perhaps that should be dawkins next port of call,for all the publicity the campaign in London got,you could times that by 50, if he repeated the campaign in the USA.
Bikerman
Well, we should be clear. The campaign was NOT dreamt-up by Richard Dawkins - the idea came from a comedienne Ariane Sherine. Dawkins offered his financial support (as did the British Humanist Society).
truespeed
Bikerman wrote:
Well, we should be clear. The campaign was NOT dreamt-up by Richard Dawkins - the idea came from a comedienne Ariane Sherine. Dawkins offered his financial support (as did the British Humanist Society).


Still, its a good idea,they should export the idea to as many countries as possible. The USA is an obvious one because of the "And i thank God" society.
Bikerman
I'm not sure. I don't live in the US, so my comments are based on a perception which may be faulty. It is my perception, however, that a similar campaign in certain parts of the US would almost certainly lead to violence. I can imagine that 'atheist' campaign posters in parts of the mid-west 'bible belt' would stir up a great deal of trouble. Whilst I would, as a matter of principle, support those who posted such adverts, I don't think it is a good idea to poke a tiger with a stick just to see what happens. Here in the UK we are a bit more secular in general. Obviously I don't want to over-generalise - I'm sure there are parts of the US which are equally secular - but in the UK there are no 'hot spots' of religion in the same way that you find in the US.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
I'm not sure. I don't live in the US, so my comments are based on a perception which may be faulty. It is my perception, however, that a similar campaign in certain parts of the US would almost certainly lead to violence. I can imagine that 'atheist' campaign posters in parts of the mid-west 'bible belt' would stir up a great deal of trouble. Whilst I would, as a matter of principle, support those who posted such adverts, I don't think it is a good idea to poke a tiger with a stick just to see what happens. Here in the UK we are a bit more secular in general. Obviously I don't want to over-generalise - I'm sure there are parts of the US which are equally secular - but in the UK there are no 'hot spots' of religion in the same way that you find in the US.


Quite right. I live in Southern California (near Los Angeles), and it is relatively secular. There actually was a billboard supporting atheism that was put up a few years back. All it led to was some protesting and complaining. We recently voted on "Proposition 8." Voting "no" would be supporting homosexual marriage while voting "yes" would be against it. That was strictly in California. We have thousands of protests. Most of them just included bumper stickers and groups of people standing on the corners with signs telling you to "honk" if you support "protecting marriage." There was no violence at all. Unfortunately, California voted "yes" for prejudice.

However... the vast majority of my family lives in the state of Oklahoma. That's in the mid-west and is part of the "Bible belt." Things are much different there... much different. People get extremely crazy over religion. Every time I have gone their to visit my family, I am bombarded with Christianity from every direction. So basically, your perceptions are correct and are no faulty. However, times are changing. The younger generation seems to be slightly less religious than their parents, and their parents slightly less religious than their parents. So hopefully this trend of every generation becoming less religious will continue and we will hopefully reach a day where we become a completely secular society.
Bikerman
Hmm...unfortunately I don't see it that way. I think the idea of religion as a set of 'memes' is valid. That means that religion contains a set of self-replicating ideas which are successful and will continue to replicate. One only has to consider that creationism is a relatively new phenomenon. Aquinas, back in the 13th Century was warning about biblical literalism. Over the next centuries the Catholic (and Protestant) church retreated from the literal interpretation of the bible. It is only relatively recently that there has been a resurgence in the literalistic interpretation of scripture. Given that science has conclusively demonstrated that evolution is 'real' one might be surprised by the fact that so many people choose to either deny or ignore the evidence. Meme theory, on the other hand, predicts that this is almost inevitable.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Aquinas, back in the 13th Century was warning about biblical literalism. Over the next centuries the Catholic (and Protestant) church retreated from the literal interpretation of the bible.

The church at that time is hardly the ideal that should be striven for!
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Aquinas, back in the 13th Century was warning about biblical literalism. Over the next centuries the Catholic (and Protestant) church retreated from the literal interpretation of the bible.

The church at that time is hardly the ideal that should be striven for!
Well, in my opinion the Church (and theocracy) is never an ideal that should be striven for. The point is that the evangelical/Christian right is something fairly modern.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Aquinas, back in the 13th Century was warning about biblical literalism. Over the next centuries the Catholic (and Protestant) church retreated from the literal interpretation of the bible.

The church at that time is hardly the ideal that should be striven for!
Well, in my opinion the Church (and theocracy) is never an ideal that should be striven for. The point is that the evangelical/Christian right is something fairly modern.

True, but the 13th century Catholic church is a particularly bad example.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Aquinas, back in the 13th Century was warning about biblical literalism. Over the next centuries the Catholic (and Protestant) church retreated from the literal interpretation of the bible.

The church at that time is hardly the ideal that should be striven for!
Well, in my opinion the Church (and theocracy) is never an ideal that should be striven for. The point is that the evangelical/Christian right is something fairly modern.

True, but the 13th century Catholic church is a particularly bad example.
Well, one could argue about which century was the worst, in terms of Catholic theocracy. Should we go back to the 11th century and look at the crusades? Maybe the 12th century and the atrocities committed in the name of Pope Innocent (irony is a strong part of Catholic history)....
I wasn't suggesting that Aquinas represented any zenith in religious thinking - far from it. I was merely pointing out that since the times of Aquinas the Church(es) have been willing, even anxious, to consider non-literal interpretations of the bible and the current evangelical/creationist movement is actually harking back nearly a millennium...
xalophus
Indi wrote:
And i don't care where you are in the world, i guarantee that religious groups have been advertising on buses (and billboards and more) in your area for ever. i am 100% certain that all of you have seen religious advertisements on buses. Every single one of you. The fact that they haven't registered in your awareness is exactly the point of this advertising campaign. We all live in a sea of religious symbols and messages - we don't even process most of them because it's just background noise we all grew up with.

Here in India, the only things you'll ever see advertised on a bus (or any other place for that matter) are soap brands.
OK, maybe a few other things, but definitely not religion.

It's either litigated that way to prevent inter-religious scuffle or perhaps advertising never proved effective.
Whatever the reason, I have never seen a single religious advertisement put up in a public place - by proponents of any religion - not one. (Not considering temples, mosques or churches as public places).

Not only that, there's no door-to-door evangelism either (apart from the North-Eastern parts of India, where Christianity is prevalent). *

"sea of religious symbols and messages" - not sure as to what you consider symbols and messages.
The occasional din of a religious possession/function/festival is the only time I come in contact with any kind of religious symbol/message.



* - In contrast, when I was briefly in the USA (for just over a month), I was rounded up twice by people trying to "save" me.
deanhills
xalophus wrote:
In contrast, when I was briefly in the USA (for just over a month), I was rounded up twice by people trying to "save" me.


Smile How did it go when you had to get through the US immigration? That is almost equal sometimes to negotiating with the pearly gates? But seriously, thanks for posting this information about India. This is very interesting to me. Does this apply right through India, in every State? Which part of India do you think is the most tolerant of all religions in the world?
Indi
xalophus wrote:
Here in India, the only things you'll ever see advertised on a bus (or any other place for that matter) are soap brands.
OK, maybe a few other things, but definitely not religion.

And yet... http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050704/cth%20(2Cool.jpg

(And for those of us who don't read the script or who can't get the funky link to work - and for some context - let me explain. That is a bus that is parked at one corner of a major bus terminal in a city in north India. It is no longer mobile, so it has been converted into a booth giving away Hindu tracts. Yes. At a major bus terminal.)

Granted, that bus is no longer rolling... however...

xalophus wrote:
It's either litigated that way to prevent inter-religious scuffle or perhaps advertising never proved effective.
Whatever the reason, I have never seen a single religious advertisement put up in a public place - by proponents of any religion - not one. (Not considering temples, mosques or churches as public places).

You should look harder. In this article about the subversion of Sikhism by Hinduism, several billboards advertising Sikhism are displayed in various pictures (in order to show how Hindu symbols are being snuck into them). (example)

These i found with a ten second Google images search, but frankly you don't really even need to do the search to find your claim a little unlikely. India is one of the most religious countries in the free world. To think that with all those religions competing in such a tight space there would be no use of advertising is ludicrous. If there were actual litigation preventing religious advertising - which i seriously doubt - i can't imagine it being particularly effective, given the prevalence of illegal advertising there. (And by the way, the claim of it "never proving effective" is just silly. Advertising has always been extremely effective (which is why it's so prevalent), and there is no reason it wouldn't work for religion as well (and of course, it has, all over the world).)

xalophus wrote:
"sea of religious symbols and messages" - not sure as to what you consider symbols and messages.
The occasional din of a religious possession/function/festival is the only time I come in contact with any kind of religious symbol/message.

You should open your eyes and look around more. This sign is in a hospital parking lot. i also stumbled across this.

The problem with being immersed in a sea of religion is that it you get desensitized to it. When you live in a forest, you tend not to notice the trees. That is part of the motivation behind this atheist bus campaign, to shock you into becoming aware of the abundance of messages around you. Quite a few people here have already noted that they couldn't think of seeing religious ads - well, i say take another look. If it's buses you want to focus on, take the bus to and from work or school for a week and actually read the ads. Chances are good that you will see at least one ad promoting something religious.

But if you still doubt me, and insist that somehow India is spared from having religious ads and symbols everywhere, then perhaps there are some other Frihosters here who live in India and wouldn't mind taking a stroll around town with a cell phone camera?
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:
You should look harder. In this article about the subversion of Sikhism by Hinduism, several billboards advertising Sikhism are displayed in various pictures (in order to show how Hindu symbols are being snuck into them). (example)


The sign says, "Service to humanity is service to God." Yay! I may have a chance of getting into Heaven now. I don't serve God because I am an atheist. But I do participate in charities... so maybe I'll be alright if God does end up existing. But then again, the bible does say you have to believe in Lord to get into Heaven. But then again, it also says that you can do it on good deeds alone.

Quote:
The problem with being immersed in a sea of religion is that it you get desensitized to it. When you live in a forest, you tend not to notice the trees. That is part of the motivation behind this atheist bus campaign, to shock you into becoming aware of the abundance of messages around you. Quite a few people here have already noted that they couldn't think of seeing religious ads - well, i say take another look. If it's buses you want to focus on, take the bus to and from work or school for a week and actually read the ads. Chances are good that you will see at least one ad promoting something religious.


I quite agree with that. I never really saw any religious adds in the U.S. until a girlfriend I had a while back pointed out that John 3:16 was on the bottom of a shopping bag at a store (I cannot remember which one). Then I started noticing advertising elsewhere. I found it ironic that she was Catholic and didn't recognize the verse while I am an atheist and I have that verse memorized.
xalophus
Indi wrote:
a booth giving away Hindu tracts.
Indi wrote:
several billboards advertising Sikhism

The bus-booth is selling Hindu religious books (gitapress.org)
The billboards are advertising a religious event, gathering, festivity or celebration.
There's also a temple right in the middle of a road in my city.
What's your point ?

Indi wrote:
India is one of the most religious countries in the free world.

It is also a secular country.

Most people are religious, sure.
Preachy, not really.

And I'm all too aware of how religious this country is.
There are half a dozen temples, mosques and churches within a walking distance from where I live.

And yet, I find it hard to relate to the claims of persecution made by other atheists in this thread.
My Muslim landlady still shares the Eid biryani with me, my Hindu colleagues still share Diwali sweets with me.
No one looks down at you. To the religious guy, I'm just another person with a different "belief" system !


Indi wrote:
To think that with all those religions competing in such a tight space there would be no use of advertising is ludicrous.

No they aren't. It isn't.
This is also a country where you also don't see advertisements for local Insurance/accident claims lawyers - sound ludicrous ?


Indi wrote:
If there were actual litigation preventing religious advertising - which i seriously doubt - i can't imagine it being particularly effective, given the prevalence of illegal advertising there. (And by the way, the claim of it "never proving effective" is just silly. Advertising has always been extremely effective (which is why it's so prevalent), and there is no reason it wouldn't work for religion as well (and of course, it has, all over the world).)

Advertising works, if a popular Bollywood actor were to peddle a particular brand of cola, it boosts the sales, no doubt.
But what's the point of advertising for a religion when almost everyone has got one already - and are least likely to change it based on advertisements.

Indi wrote:
You should open your eyes and look around more. This sign is in a hospital parking lot.

I know (make that "except the deep south & north-eastern parts of India where Christianity is prevalent").

Indi wrote:
The problem with being immersed in a sea of religion is that it you get desensitized to it. When you live in a forest, you tend not to notice the trees. i also stumbled across this

Right Sherlock !
I am an atheist (or whatever is it that you call a person who categorically denies the existence of god). Please don't declare that I am not capable of noticing a religious symbol when I see one.
Desensitized ? Far from it - I find religious advertising intrusive and preaching offensive.

It doesn't escape my attention that there's a lady whatshername lecturing about famous figures in Hindu mythology somewhere in the city (billboards) and that there was a Christian reverend lecturing around Christmas (again, billboards).
But none of these billboards advertise anything more than the venue and timing. Not even a quotation from a religious book.


Indi wrote:
Chances are good that you will see at least one ad promoting something religious.

No doubt.
I was merely trying to counter the blatant exaggeration of the day -
Indi wrote:
i guarantee that religious groups have been advertising on buses (and billboards and more) in your area for ever. i am 100% certain that all of you have seen religious advertisements on buses. Every single one of you.

I find the high-ground that this statement was made from, offensive too.
Not all religious people shove their beliefs down others' throats like you make it sound !

And I'm not exaggerating when I say I have not seen a single religious advertisement on a public bus. And I have travelled in public buses for more than 15 years.

Indi wrote:
But if you still doubt me, and insist that somehow India is spared from having religious ads and symbols everywhere, then perhaps there are some other Frihosters here who live in India and wouldn't mind taking a stroll around town with a cell phone camera?

I'm not doubting the assumptions/image that you have of my country.
It's the other way round.

There are not "religious ads and symbols everywhere". On my average day here I rarely ever see one.
Your cellphone journalism challenge sounds interesting.
Most of the buses here don't carry any sort of advertising, much less religious.

Besides, the point here is that - if it's not as bad as you claim, in a country like India (most religious, as you put it); it's surely better in many more places.

Indi wrote:
These i found with a ten second Google images search, but frankly you don't really even need to do the search to find your claim a little unlikely.

Did you find enough images of buses without religious advertising to make your claim highly unlikely ?
Can any number convince you otherwise ?

This makes for an interesting comparison -
http://images.google.com/images?q=hindu+billboard
http://images.google.com/images?q=muslim+billboard
http://images.google.com/images?q=christian+billboard
Tell me if you notice a difference.

It might be anecdotal, but I have been preached to -
- once in almost 30 years in India
- twice in 5 weeks in the US

Tell me if you agree with me when I say there's a difference between -
- someone hinting (or even saying it to your face) "you are wasting your life if you're not a follower of XYZ religion/god".
- someone shouting "Hey, over there, there's a bunch of XYZ followers celebrating one of their festivals".
deanhills
xalophus wrote:
I find the high-ground that this statement was made from, offensive too.
Not all religious people shove their beliefs down others' throats like you make it sound !


Agreed Zalophus. Does not feel good, but this is a forum, a debate about facts and it is not personal. It has to do with the content of your posting. You made certain claims and Indi has investigated those and she is questioning the claims as a result of her findings. You have to respect her for that.

These are the claims you made in your original posting:

Quote:
Here in India, the only things you'll ever see advertised on a bus (or any other place for that matter) are soap brands. OK, maybe a few other things, but definitely not religion.

It's either litigated that way to prevent inter-religious scuffle or perhaps advertising never proved effective. Whatever the reason, I have never seen a single religious advertisement put up in a public place - by proponents of any religion - not one. (Not considering temples, mosques or churches as public places).


You made a claim that (a) you have never seen a "single religious advertisement" in India; and (b) it could be because this has been litigated, or advertising religion in India is not regarded effective. So now we have seen advertisements about religion, and even if they are only there to announce timings of events, they are still about religion. They may not be as provocative as the one in London that started the thread, but religion is religion and your posting was quite specific and did not leave any room for doubt.

I think all of us also know that there are religions in India that are intolerant of one another. There has been attacks on mosques before, etc. etc. So the picture you now give in defence of how tolerant religions are in India of one another is not completely true either. Perhaps it is true for you and your immediate circle of friends and family but not for the whole of your country:

Quote:
My Muslim landlady still shares the Eid biryani with me, my Hindu colleagues still share Diwali sweets with me.
No one looks down at you. To the religious guy, I'm just another person with a different "belief" system !


But not for everyone else in India:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,46650,00.html in 2002.

More recently this press report of September 2008 in another area of India:

http://archive.gulfnews.com/world/India/10241733.html

After your original posting I had this picture of a religious tolerant country in my mind, and of course that was really dumb of me. Perhaps in certain areas yes, but collectively speaking as a whole, history speaks for itself.
loyal
Peace.

err, i didn't have the chance to read anything above except Indi saying it's hilarious.

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life".
Hmmm? I don't think I've ever seen a religious banner on a bus (or anti religious banner for that matter) in england, in all the places i've been. Maybe i haven't been looking hard enough...
If people do advertise their religion on buses, i guess atheists have the right also...but shouldn't we leaving advertising to the movies, books, and businesses? Keep religion as a discussion...i think advertising sort of makes light of the discussion....I wouldn't like to see hundreds of banners advertising for or against religion.

A possible future banner slogan "we've got a great offer...join Islam, and you'll recieve a free membership to al queda"? Lol...i'm kidding! i'm kidding.
Indi
loyal wrote:
If people do advertise their religion on buses, i guess atheists have the right also...but shouldn't we leaving advertising to the movies, books, and businesses? Keep religion as a discussion...i think advertising sort of makes light of the discussion....I wouldn't like to see hundreds of banners advertising for or against religion.

i would. ^_^ i think it would make for a much more interesting society around us than just having ads for injury lawyers, video games and hair care products.

There are three ultimate goals in advertising, and for a single advertisement any one, two or all three of those goals may be a motivating a factor. The purpose of an advertisement is to:
  1. Convince,
  2. Inform and/or
  3. Raise awareness
Most people are familiar with advertisements that try to convince you that you need certain products, or that this product is better than that product. These are the ads that show you some product working better than its competitors, and saying things like "4 out of 5 doctors...", etc.

You may also be able to think of several examples of ads that inform you of things, without necessarily trying to convince you to take any particular course of action. These are commonly ads for events, but also include ads for things like breast cancer - they inform you about the risks of breast cancer and how you can go about testing yourself, but they don't recommend a particular course of action (you could consider the ad as a motivator to get tested if you are a woman of the right age, or you could just consider it as a motivator to donate to cancer research if you are not).

But one of the most powerful functions of advertising is raising awareness - usually referred to in the commercial context as brand awareness. This is the case where you don't even hear a mention of why a certain product is good, or sometimes even what it does. These are the ads you see that are really just a waste of time - like the stingers on television stations that say, "you are now watching XTV", as if you didn't know or needed to know that badly. The point of these ads is not to convince you to do anything, or to inform you of any facts... it is to burn that thing into your consciousness. The more you see something the more likely you are to think about it in the future. When you sit down and think, "i want to watch TV", you brain will automatically leap to the association that has been burned into it: "TV? XTV!" This will increase the chances of you switching to XTV by default.

Everyone assumes that the atheist ads (or religious ads in general) are intended to convince... but in my experience, this is rarely the case for any religious ads. The vast majority of religious ads are simply informing you of churches or various religious services. i cannot recall off the top of my head any ads that tried to convince me to convert to any religion - but i remember scads of ads that told me how wonderful a particular religion was. Like the breast cancer ads, it left it up to me to make a judgement on what to do with that information - i could either go and seek out the church to join it, or i could simply accept their word that it was a "good" religion (as opposed to a cult, for example). Either way the religion wins, either by getting one new member or one less person ignorant about it.

But some religious ads are not intended to convince or inform, but are simply there to raise awareness. The God Speaks campaign is a perfect example... as is this atheist bus campaign. Neither campaign is really making any attempt to convince you of anything, and neither campaign is particularly informative. Both simply want themselves raised up to the front of your consciousness.

loyal wrote:
A possible future banner slogan "we've got a great offer...join Islam, and you'll recieve a free membership to al queda"? Lol...i'm kidding! i'm kidding.

In all seriousness, Islam could stand to do a little more advertising. It had its own bus ad phase, but really, with the media portrayal of Islam as bad as it is these days, Muslims should really spend much more time and effort reaching out to the rest of the world with more than just angry religious rhetoric and whining about persecution. Unfortunately, the situation has progressed so far that pussyfooting around the issue - as was done in the previous Islamic bus ad venture - is simply not good enough. It is not enough to put up banners telling us how nice Islam is ("Islam is peace") when Islam is so loudly and violently killing people in the Middle East. What Islamic groups should do is start an advertising campaign that spells out clearly: "Islam does not support terrorism." (Assuming, of course, that that statement is true... which is something i will leave up to an expert on Islam to decide.)
deanhills
Indi wrote:
In all seriousness, Islam could stand to do a little more advertising. It had its own bus ad phase, but really, with the media portrayal of Islam as bad as it is these days, Muslims should really spend much more time and effort reaching out to the rest of the world with more than just angry religious rhetoric and whining about persecution. Unfortunately, the situation has progressed so far that pussyfooting around the issue - as was done in the previous Islamic bus ad venture - is simply not good enough. It is not enough to put up banners telling us how nice Islam is ("Islam is peace") when Islam is so loudly and violently killing people in the Middle East. What Islamic groups should do is start an advertising campaign that spells out clearly: "Islam does not support terrorism." (Assuming, of course, that that statement is true... which is something i will leave up to an expert on Islam to decide.)


Good point this Indi. Some of it is already being done, but of course within the more peaceful and prosperous countries of the Middle East. The "some of it" is not direct advertising, but messages to the media by leaders of the countries. Think there is a clear message that terrorism is against Islam belief. But yes, it would be an excellent idea for people in the Middle East and perhaps also people residing in the West who are from the Middle East, to think of advertising to spread this message. I just wonder whether they have already thought about this and decided that it may provoke the terrorists? I am not an expert on Islam, but possibly there could be an unwritten law about not advertising. Perhaps some of the experts can comment on this.
xalophus
deanhills wrote:
You made a claim that (a) you have never seen a "single religious advertisement" in India; and (b) it could be because this has been litigated, or advertising religion in India is not regarded effective. So now we have seen advertisements about religion, and even if they are only there to announce timings of events, they are still about religion. They may not be as provocative as the one in London that started the thread, but religion is religion and your posting was quite specific and did not leave any room for doubt.

Indeed that's what I meant - I have never seen a religious advertisement in a public place !
How is that impossible ?
I'm all too willing to recant the moment I happen to see one.

All I ever made guarantees about was what I have seen/experienced to date - not for absolutely-100%-all-of-the-rest-of-us.

It was in direct response to the authoritative declaration that all of us have seen religious advertising on public buses (emphasis on "all"). No room for doubt, as you put it.
That's what I mean by the "high-ground". Self assumed omniscience.

I must be forgetful, for I don't remember claiming there were no advertisements about something-that-has-something-to-do-with-religion in any public place.

deanhills wrote:
even if they are only there to announce timings of events, they are still about religion

I beg to differ. If you think that by telling you about the venue/time of a religious event, they are advertising their religion, it's probably your intolerance stimulus amplifier kicking in.
And if someone finds such advertisements offensive, I think that's just plain intolerance.
If anything, these advertisements are far too less offensive than the atheist bus campaign !

deanhills wrote:
So the picture you now give in defence of how tolerant religions are in India of one another

That wasn't the motive. I was trying to show how atheism is completely acceptable here.
Religious people are quite accomodating of my "faith" - perhaps more than they are of other religions.
Not trying to paint a rosy picture - just lightening the gloomy black with a little bit of gray.

And India, specifically, because that's all I claim to know much about. I don't reside up above, you see.

deanhills wrote:
After your original posting I had this picture of a religious tolerant country in my mind, and of course that was really dumb of me. Perhaps in certain areas yes, but collectively speaking as a whole, history speaks for itself.

Again, that was not my intention or the point of discussion here, and if you were to ask me directly how the inter-religion tolerance in India was - I would have mentioned the Godhara riots & the Orrisa missionary murder after the generic "they are very tolerant". It would be dishonest if I did not.
Infact, I wouldn't even wager to claim there were "certain areas" that were not prone to religious intolerance. It could happen any where - mob mentality, by definition, is not logical !

But if, based on the in-the-news attrocities, you picture the opposite - that's just as dumb, if not more so.



On the original topic ofcourse, I read about this at James Randi's website. I whole heartedly support the cause and have even donated what little I could (a paltry sum, but it's the thought that counts) to the cause after I found out that a certain Christian bus driver had refused to drive a bus carrying this ad !
BBC wrote:
Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with "shock" and "horror" at the message and walked out of his shift on Saturday in protest.

Wait ! it gets worse -
BBC wrote:
First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses.

When he returned to work on Monday he was called into a meeting with managers and agreed to go back to work with the promise he would only have to drive the buses if there were no others available.

First Bus said in a statement: "As a company we understand Mr Heather's views regarding the atheist bus advert and we are doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned."
- Source

Now which is worse ? A person so intolerant of a view point different from his own ?
Or an Employer who accomodates his intolerance as an official poilcy ?
deanhills
xalophus wrote:
Indeed that's what I meant - I have never seen a religious advertisement in a public place ! How is that impossible ? I'm all too willing to recant the moment I happen to see one.

All I ever made guarantees about was what I have seen/experienced to date - not for absolutely-100%-all-of-the-rest-of-us.


Thanks Xalophus. Think I understand as I am as guilty as your are in my arguments. Someone in the science section accused me of too many "I's" in my statements. So I learned then that if you deal with scientists they seem to want proof along the lines of fact vs personal opinion. If you like, you can read Chris' sticky in the General Science Forum and see how it works. I'm still learning. Smile

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-76771.html

Since Indi is the expert and I am unfamiliar with James Randi will let her or any of the other Frihosters who are familiar with James Randi reply to your comments below:

Quote:
On the original topic ofcourse, I read about this at James Randi's website. I whole heartedly support the cause and have even donated what little I could (a paltry sum, but it's the thought that counts) to the cause after I found out that a certain Christian bus driver had refused to drive a bus carrying this ad !
Quote:
Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with "shock" and "horror" at the message and walked out of his shift on Saturday in protest.

Wait ! it gets worse -
Quote:
First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses.

When he returned to work on Monday he was called into a meeting with managers and agreed to go back to work with the promise he would only have to drive the buses if there were no others available.

First Bus said in a statement: "As a company we understand Mr Heather's views regarding the atheist bus advert and we are doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned."
- Source

Now which is worse ? A person so intolerant of a view point different from his own ?
Or an Employer who accomodates his intolerance as an official poilcy ?
xalophus
deanhills wrote:
Since Indi is the expert and I am definitely a novice will let her reply to your comments on the Website that you quoted

I can see where this is going.

I agree with Indi when (s)he says that the purpose of the advertisements is to raise awareness. But at the same time they have been, evidently, having quite a different effect.

That's just the religious bus driver's intolerance stimulus amplifier kicking in.
As has been the response of a few people in this thread before, they think of it as a challenge to their very beliefs.

The word "probably" in the slogan probably doesn't register.

p.s. - it appears you posted this after I was done editing/cleaning my last post.
Indi
xalophus wrote:
I agree with Indi when (s)he says that the purpose of the advertisements is to raise awareness. But at the same time they have been, evidently, having quite a different effect.

Is that the fault of the advertisement? Or is it simply a matter of intolerance and bigotry on the part of the people who are upset? If the advertisement is offensive, then it should be removed. Is it?

If the advertisement is not offensive, then the problem is in the people who are reacting badly. And if that is the case, what should we do about that? Should we accommodate their intolerance and take away rights from innocent people (the advertisers) in order to allow the protesters to maintain their bigotry?

What if the advertisement had said "Black people are not evil", and the bus driver refused to drive a bus with that on the side? What should the company do? i can tell you what i would do if i were in charge there - most companies have a policy requiring tolerance and equality in the workplace, and will fire an employee in a heartbeat for violating that policy - i would pull out the company's policy, read it to the driver and then say goodbye. Saying, "i will not drive a bus with an ad that promotes racial equality" is no different to saying, "i will not drive a bus with a black man as my partner". That would not be tolerable in any company today.

So what changes when you swap religion for race? i have never seen any company policy make a distinction. They simply say intolerance against both race and religion (and gender, etc.) are grounds for dismissal.

But there is one more question to consider. If the driver refused to endorse something, that is his right. Refusing to endorse a religion is not the same as declaring intolerance of it. If someone asked me to wear a pin that said, "Jews are not bad people", and i refused, that does not make me anti-semitic. So perhaps the bus driver is right - if he is being asked to endorse atheism he does have the right to refuse to without being considered intolerant - is his refusal to drive a bus with an atheist ad on it just a refusal to endorse atheism?

No, that argument is idiotic. Driving a bus with an ad on the side does not imply you endorse the ad. If there was an ad for Cheetos on the side of the bus, would you assume the bus driver likes Cheetos? Of course not. So the driver can't claim that people will think he supports atheism just because he is driving a bus with an atheist ad on the side. All they can assume is that he doesn't hate atheism enough to refuse to drive a bus with an atheist ad on the side.

Ah, but here we come back around again to the same point. This is blatant intolerance, no more no less. And the bus company is enabling it. If i were an atheist employee in that company, i would file suit.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
If the advertisement is offensive, then it should be removed.

False. If the ad is offensive, people should grow some thick skin. I'm very, very tired of seeing restrictions put in place just to avoid offending people.
*contemplates waging war on political correctness*
...
Eh, I've got more important things to do.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
If the advertisement is offensive, then it should be removed.

False. If the ad is offensive, people should grow some thick skin. I'm very, very tired of seeing restrictions put in place just to avoid offending people.
*contemplates waging war on political correctness*
...
Eh, I've got more important things to do.

That is not correct. If the advertisement is offensive, then that is a problem with the advertisement. For example, an ad promoting the burning of Jews is offensive.

There is a difference between an advertisement that is intrinsically offensive, and an advertisement that people find offensive. Political correctness is concerned with things that people find offensive. Hate speech laws (and similar laws restricting public speech) are concerned with things that are intrinsically offensive. The question you must ask is, is the offense in the ad, or in the people seeing the ad? If it is in the ad, then the ad should be removed. If it is in the people, then the people need to - as you say - grow some thick skin.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
There is a difference between an advertisement that is intrinsically offensive, and an advertisement that people find offensive. Political correctness is concerned with things that people find offensive. Hate speech laws (and similar laws restricting public speech) are concerned with things that are intrinsically offensive. The question you must ask is, is the offense in the ad, or in the people seeing the ad? If it is in the ad, then the ad should be removed. If it is in the people, then the people need to - as you say - grow some thick skin.


OK, now I have a better understanding for the word "probably" in the advertisement? Political correctness? Otherwise the ad would never have passed muster.

I would imagine the UK Transport Authority must have had a session to decide whether this advertisement would be offensive or not, and must have come to the conclusion that it is not offensive. Otherwise the advertisement would not have been approved for "publication". Perhaps the bus driver had a right to say what he wanted to say, but perhaps the right place would have been to his own management? So maybe we can say the message has been successully tested for political correctness by local Government illustrating local Government is open for a lesson in tolerance. A few people protested, but not of the variety that could possibly have been found in Okhlahoma? So people in overall are reasonably tolerant in the UK? Perhaps the token protest contributed to the advertisement, as it resulted in the kind of discussion that make people more aware.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
OK, now I have a better understanding for the word "probably" in the advertisement? Political correctness? Otherwise the ad would never have passed muster.

Ah, no.

The word probably is there for the simple reason that that is what the vast majority of what atheists believe. The number of atheists who would say with certainty that there is no god is tiny. In other words, it's almost certain nobody actually stopped and said, "Hey, we should put 'probably' in there, eh? You know, to protected our asses?" It is more likely that no one even dreamed up the notion of saying "there is no god" without the "probably".

For a comparison, think of a Christian saying "God loves you" - they would never dream of the notion of saying "God probably loves you", now would they? Most atheists work exactly the same, just in opposite. If someone asked me what i believe about God, i would automatically and without any thought say, "God probably doesn't exist". It would never even cross my mind to simply say, "God doesn't exist".

Frankly, if they British humanists had got it into their heads to make an ad that said "God doesn't exist", i can't imagine them worrying about it not passing muster. They would have simply gone and done it, and would have had every right to do so as well. And i seriously doubt "political correctness" was a concern. It doesn't matter whether you say, "there is no god" or "there is probably no god", neither formulation is particularly sensitive to theist beliefs (nor is the follow up "so stop worrying" quip, which is quite cheeky actually).

deanhills wrote:
I would imagine the UK Transport Authority must have had a session to decide whether this advertisement would be offensive or not, and must have come to the conclusion that it is not offensive. Otherwise the advertisement would not have been approved for "publication".

i can't speak for bus ads, but i know that in the case of radio and television commercials, it's hardly that involved a process. ^_^; You make your ad, submit it to the program director, he listens/watches, and makes sure that it doesn't break any laws or violate the spirit of the station's programming, and then he approves or turns it down.

This ad has no obscene images, no dirty words, and doesn't violate and speech laws... it was probably passed with a glance and a shrug by a single civil servant.

deanhills wrote:
Perhaps the bus driver had a right to say what he wanted to say, but perhaps the right place would have been to his own management?

Everyone has a right to speak their mind in a public forum... but not at their place of employment. If you were an employee of a store like WalMart, you cannot simply stand at the door telling Sikhs that you think their turbans are offensive. WalMart would fire you in a heartbeat, and be well justified in doing so. If they asked you to wear a pin showing the CEO and you refused because you hate white people, they would be justified in firing you for that, too - because when you are at a workplace, you are forbidden from creating an environment that devalues anyone, and demonstrating such blatant racism would certainly make any white persons working there feel pretty crappy, wouldn't it? If a female coworker joined your company and you refused to work with a woman, do you really think your boss would not be justified in firing you? (And, if your boss does not fire you, the woman would be justified in bringing suit against the company.)

The workplace is not a public forum - you are not entitled to say what you want, when you want, how you want. You are required to respect your coworkers and not create an atmosphere where anyone feels uncomfortable to work.

That bus driver did not do that - he demonstrated an intolerance for atheists that makes it impossible for an atheist to feel comfortable working with him. It was the obligation of his manager to discipline him, and his manager failed that obligation. So now, any atheists working there have the right to file suit for workplace discrimination... and frankly, the management there brought that on themselves.

Mind you, they will probably get away with it, because - as has already been pointed out - atheism does not get the same respect as other belief systems. If this had been a case of a bus driver refusing to drive a bus with one of those God Speaks signs on the side, the management would have simply told him to like it or lump it.

deanhills wrote:
So maybe we can say the message has been successully tested for political correctness by local Government illustrating local Government is open for a lesson in tolerance. A few people protested, but not of the variety that could possibly have been found in Okhlahoma? So people in overall are reasonably tolerant in the UK? Perhaps the token protest contributed to the advertisement, as it resulted in the kind of discussion that make people more aware.

It is not the responsibility of the government to determine whether something is politically correct or not. That would be censorship.

i don't doubt that the majority of people either approve of the ad or simply aren't offended by it. That is not the point. The point is that those who are objecting to the ad have no rational reason for doing so... they are simply intolerant bigots. The objection by the group Christian Voice mentioned in the first post is simply ludicrous (as the humanist group spokesperson joked, whenever he asked for legal advice, all he got was laughter). It is the kind of objection you would expect from crazy fringe groups like racial purity extremists. Yet Christian Voice is not being laughed at by the general public. They are not even being laughed at here. Their objections are being seriously considered - when they really don't warrant this kind of consideration.

Same with the bus driver. If he had refused to drive a bus with an ad for Axe deoderant on the side, he would have been fired on the spot. Yet this is tolerated? Something is wrong.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
OK, now I have a better understanding for the word "probably" in the advertisement? Political correctness? Otherwise the ad would never have passed muster.

Ah, no.

The word probably is there for the simple reason that that is what the vast majority of what atheists believe. The number of atheists who would say with certainty that there is no god is tiny. In other words, it's almost certain nobody actually stopped and said, "Hey, we should put 'probably' in there, eh? You know, to protected our asses?" It is more likely that no one even dreamed up the notion of saying "there is no god" without the "probably".

For a comparison, think of a Christian saying "God loves you" - they would never dream of the notion of saying "God probably loves you", now would they? Most atheists work exactly the same, just in opposite. If someone asked me what i believe about God, i would automatically and without any thought say, "God probably doesn't exist". It would never even cross my mind to simply say, "God doesn't exist".

Frankly, if they British humanists had got it into their heads to make an ad that said "God doesn't exist", i can't imagine them worrying about it not passing muster. They would have simply gone and done it, and would have had every right to do so as well. And i seriously doubt "political correctness" was a concern. It doesn't matter whether you say, "there is no god" or "there is probably no god", neither formulation is particularly sensitive to theist beliefs (nor is the follow up "so stop worrying" quip, which is quite cheeky actually).


Thanks Indi, I stand corrected on this one. Think I have a better understanding too. Those who are familiar with atheism, knew the statement had to do with atheism. If I had not been educated at Frihost, and had seen the ad for the first time, I would not have had the foggiest what it had been about. I would probably have shaken my head and thought to myself: This is England, everything goes. And walked on without thinking about it. If I had noticed the ad at all. As I think one of the aspects that was revealed in this thread is that people tend to miss advertising in buses. I may have passed the bus without registering the ad had been there.

Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I would imagine the UK Transport Authority must have had a session to decide whether this advertisement would be offensive or not, and must have come to the conclusion that it is not offensive. Otherwise the advertisement would not have been approved for "publication".

i can't speak for bus ads, but i know that in the case of radio and television commercials, it's hardly that involved a process. ^_^; You make your ad, submit it to the program director, he listens/watches, and makes sure that it doesn't break any laws or violate the spirit of the station's programming, and then he approves or turns it down.

This ad has no obscene images, no dirty words, and doesn't violate and speech laws... it was probably passed with a glance and a shrug by a single civil servant.

I have no evidence for this, maybe Chris could have some views since it's his country, but I think there would have been some discussion about this, more so than for a soap ad. Perhaps for a soap ad on the bus, the usual civil servant would sign off on it, but for something like this I think the civil servant would have taken it to his manager. They would have considered pros and cons in the event of people being unhappy with it. They would probably also have shown it to their legal department. There would have been some due diligence.

Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Perhaps the bus driver had a right to say what he wanted to say, but perhaps the right place would have been to his own management?

Everyone has a right to speak their mind in a public forum... but not at their place of employment. If you were an employee of a store like WalMart, you cannot simply stand at the door telling Sikhs that you think their turbans are offensive. WalMart would fire you in a heartbeat, and be well justified in doing so. If they asked you to wear a pin showing the CEO and you refused because you hate white people, they would be justified in firing you for that, too - because when you are at a workplace, you are forbidden from creating an environment that devalues anyone, and demonstrating such blatant racism would certainly make any white persons working there feel pretty crappy, wouldn't it? If a female coworker joined your company and you refused to work with a woman, do you really think your boss would not be justified in firing you? (And, if your boss does not fire you, the woman would be justified in bringing suit against the company.)

The workplace is not a public forum - you are not entitled to say what you want, when you want, how you want. You are required to respect your coworkers and not create an atmosphere where anyone feels uncomfortable to work.

That bus driver did not do that - he demonstrated an intolerance for atheists that makes it impossible for an atheist to feel comfortable working with him. It was the obligation of his manager to discipline him, and his manager failed that obligation. So now, any atheists working there have the right to file suit for workplace discrimination... and frankly, the management there brought that on themselves.

Mind you, they will probably get away with it, because - as has already been pointed out - atheism does not get the same respect as other belief systems. If this had been a case of a bus driver refusing to drive a bus with one of those God Speaks signs on the side, the management would have simply told him to like it or lump it.

This is just guess work now. I agree with all of the above and was puzzled that a bus driver should complain, as bus drivers would usually be worried about losing their jobs. Perhaps this bus driver complained to his managers. They then said that they had to go with the ad, as there is really nothing wrong with it, but if he felt like complaining about it, he could go ahead and make a public statement?
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
If the advertisement is offensive, then it should be removed.

False. If the ad is offensive, people should grow some thick skin. I'm very, very tired of seeing restrictions put in place just to avoid offending people.
*contemplates waging war on political correctness*
...
Eh, I've got more important things to do.

That is not correct. If the advertisement is offensive, then that is a problem with the advertisement. For example, an ad promoting the burning of Jews is offensive.

There is a difference between an advertisement that is intrinsically offensive, and an advertisement that people find offensive. Political correctness is concerned with things that people find offensive. Hate speech laws (and similar laws restricting public speech) are concerned with things that are intrinsically offensive. The question you must ask is, is the offense in the ad, or in the people seeing the ad? If it is in the ad, then the ad should be removed. If it is in the people, then the people need to - as you say - grow some thick skin.

So people finding it offensive is okay, while being intrinsically offensive is worth making laws against...
But what's the well-defined difference between the two?
Indi
deanhills wrote:
I have no evidence for this, maybe Chris could have some views since it's his country, but I think there would have been some discussion about this, more so than for a soap ad. Perhaps for a soap ad on the bus, the usual civil servant would sign off on it, but for something like this I think the civil servant would have taken it to his manager. They would have considered pros and cons in the event of people being unhappy with it. They would probably also have shown it to their legal department. There would have been some due diligence.

Anything is possible, but that doesn't match what i have observed happens in practice. ^_^;

Most companies and organizations that accept advertising don't have committees to do the job. (Major corporations do, sure... but a municipal transit authority??? Highly doubtful.) They have one person - the advertising director - who has all potential ads dropped on his desk. He or she doesn't "discuss" it with anyone, because there is simply no one to discuss it with - there is no manager to take it to. They have a guideline of what is and what is not acceptable - probably drafted by them, and very likely without any consultation with anyone else - and "their gut". Oh, sure they would have weighed the pros and cons, but it is very unlikely there was any kind of process or discussion. Due diligence is satisfied just fine by one person considering the issue and making a decision. You don't need lawyers and committees for due diligence. (Incidentally, the "legal department of the London Transit Authority is very likely a single staff lawyer... or a non-staff law firm they have the phone number to. ^_^ In the first case, they might have been consulted if it occurred to them... in the latter case they almost certainly would not have been, because there would have been consulting costs.)

Frankly, i don't see anything about this ad that might have raised anyone's concerns. It is only the fact that it is an atheist ad that this is even being discussed at all. If it were an ad that said: "The route to happiness is through God. Start your trip today. <insert contact information>"*, nobody would have even mentioned the issue. It would have arrived on the desk of the advertising director, he would have read it and saw nothing offensive, the money would have changed hands, and then the signs would have been made. Done. i don't see anything about this atheist ad that warrants any change in that routine. The complaint that was made was made by a crackpot... and it is a lunatic objection. There is nothing reasonable about his complaint... so why would anyone have thought it might come up beforehand? In fact, a reasonable person looking at this wouldn't see any reason to assume it might be controversial. The only clue is the fact that atheists are so poorly tolerated in society... but this is not a well known fact. You yourself didn't believe it until you saw proof. An average person wouldn't have a clue that there would be a problem.

*Incidentally - this is a real bus ad.

deanhills wrote:
This is just guess work now. I agree with all of the above and was puzzled that a bus driver should complain, as bus drivers would usually be worried about losing their jobs. Perhaps this bus driver complained to his managers. They then said that they had to go with the ad, as there is really nothing wrong with it, but if he felt like complaining about it, he could go ahead and make a public statement?

Oh most definitely not. ^_^; An employer telling his or her employees to go to the media?!?! Ha! ^_^;

The most likely scenario is the one already outlined. The man showed up for work, saw the ad, and threw a hissy fit. Then - either aware that his job was in no danger despite his intolerance, or simply not caring - he went to his supervisor and said no way. The supervisor called the manager. They sat down with the employee and tried to negotiate with him to shut the issue up before it became an issue. The man was adamant. So, to silence the problem before it spilled out and became a real problem (as it would if it got into the media), they gave the man what he wanted to shut him up.

i'd bet the ones who blew it to the media were neither the management nor the man himself. i'd bet that the buzz about the man's hissy fit flew around the gossip channels, and then either an astute reporter picked it up (as these signs are news now), or it got to the ears of someone who realized just how unethical the actions of both the man and the management were, who then turned around and called the media.

ocalhoun wrote:
So people finding it offensive is okay, while being intrinsically offensive is worth making laws against...
But what's the well-defined difference between the two?

What is an intrinsically offensive message? That question has two levels. First, universal - what is intrinsically offensive universally?

The answer is: "any message which is intended to cause harm". This includes not only hate speech, but libel and slander. This is the simple answer, of course, but there are complications, including messages that are not intended to cause harm, but are very likely to do so by any reasonable standard (for example, posting a public message that says, "My friend Susan is very drunk and passed out naked on the floor of her house at 10 City Street. Could anyone in the area check up on her once in a while and see if she's still doing ok? i left the door unlocked so you could check on her." - even though the intention is admirable, any reasonable person would realize that poor Susan is now in great danger). And, just to be clear, i am talking about harm. Real harm, as in real suffering. Not offense ("this 'harms' me because it offends my sensibilities").

Now, that's the universal answer, but specific cases have additional restrictions. For example prescribing medication is not universally intrinsically bad... but it is certainly dangerous in most public contexts (the obvious exception being, of course, when the speaker is a doctor who has performed a proper analysis of the patient). In the case of bus ads, things that might have made the ad unacceptable may include things as unintuitive as colouration (signs that are too reflective or coloured in a disruptive pattern may affect the visibility of other drivers on the road). Of course, bus ads also have to conform to the laws for all public signage - so anything that violates those laws would be intrinsically offensive, whether or not anyone who sees them would actually be offended (although, in practice, most signage laws are to prevent offence). (Note that - again - the ultimate standard here is roughly the same: the potential to cause harm. Gaudy bus ads are offensive because they might cause harm due to affecting visibility. And in theory, the signage laws should all be for the purpose of preventing real harm - although in practice this is not always the case, sadly.)

So any message is intrinsically offensive if it is intended to cause (real) harm, or will cause (real) harm by any reasonable analysis. A bus ad specifically is intrinsically offensive if it satisfies the previous requirement, or fails in other ways to meet the requirements for what is allowed on a bus ad.

Any message is instrumentally offensive if it offends someone... regardless of whether or not that offence was justified by the message (in other words, whether the message was intrinsically offensive or not). The atheist ads are not intrinsically offensive because there is nothing intrinsic about them that is intended or likely to cause harm, and they do not violate any of the laws or requirements for acceptable bus ads. But they are, obviously, instrumentally offensive to some people. But, screw them. ^_^
deanhills
Indi wrote:
i'd bet the ones who blew it to the media were neither the management nor the man himself. i'd bet that the buzz about the man's hissy fit flew around the gossip channels, and then either an astute reporter picked it up (as these signs are news now), or it got to the ears of someone who realized just how unethical the actions of both the man and the management were, who then turned around and called the media.


A good bet, have a feeling that this one is the best answer. And then when his managers sorted him out he said that it had all been misinterpreted and the media blew it up out of proportion to what had really happened.
Bikerman
Well, the issue has received suprisingly little air time over here. That doesn't actually surprise me because my perception is that most Brits have no problem at all with the ad. The driver's 'hissy fit' didn't even make the national news (I listen to Radio 4 news daily and watch CH4 news in the evening and there was no mention).
The ad itself would have been approved by the London Passenger Transport agency, but complaints about it would be dealt with by the Advertising Standards Authority (a quasi-governmental body).
http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/
Afaceinthematrix
I'll add a little sidenote to this conversation: Today I was walking to class and I passed by a guy wearing a shirt that said, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." On the back of the shirt, it had links to many different websites (including the website of Richard Dawkins). I stopped him and asked him where he got that wonderful shirt. He said that he got it online. He then told me that it originated in England as part of a bus campaign. I told him that I'd heard about it already. He then said that he bought five of those shirts so that he'd be able to wear one every single day. Then he told me some great news. He said that after he bought the shirts, two other people living in the same apartment complex as him went out and bought the shirt online. So even in Southern California (which is - correct me if I'm incorrect - about 6,000 miles/9000 km away), the advertisement is spreading. Hopefully I'll start to see more of those shirts around campus (I want to get one myself) and around the city. Hell, with them selling t-shirts, the campaign probably paid for itself.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I'll add a little sidenote to this conversation: Today I was walking to class and I passed by a guy wearing a shirt that said, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." On the back of the shirt, it had links to many different websites (including the website of Richard Dawkins). I stopped him and asked him where he got that wonderful shirt. He said that he got it online. He then told me that it originated in England as part of a bus campaign. I told him that I'd heard about it already. He then said that he bought five of those shirts so that he'd be able to wear one every single day. Then he told me some great news. He said that after he bought the shirts, two other people living in the same apartment complex as him went out and bought the shirt online. So even in Southern California (which is - correct me if I'm incorrect - about 6,000 miles/9000 km away), the advertisement is spreading. Hopefully I'll start to see more of those shirts around campus (I want to get one myself) and around the city. Hell, with them selling t-shirts, the campaign probably paid for itself.


Power of the Internet! Can imagine tomorrow there will be a 100 T-Shirts sold, and the day after 1000. T-Shirts may be a better way to advertise than buses. The US has always been the best at marketing, without needing to think about it. Sort of comes naturally to the territory. Did you manage to get hold of a t-shirt? Perhaps you can start a business in it and spread the message at the same time? Maybe you can even do your own specific version for appeal to students. Idea
Bikerman
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile
liljp617
Bikerman wrote:
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile


The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."


You're right, it will probably be strongly opposed in quite a number of States. Perhaps even in California. But in the US for every opinion there is always a great test. Takes a while for people to fight things out, and then they move on. Having the current President is one of those. Took lots of bickering over a long period of time. And then the US got there. So if you would like tolerance to happen perhaps you need to put the message out there and fight it out? Find a good author or more to write books about it that speak to people as I'm certain there has to be a number of eloquent Richard Dawkins equivalents in the US, maybe one of these days we will hear from them?
miacps
liljp617 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile


The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."


Oh man, the speech that pastor gave was a little painful for me to listen to. To my ears it was 10-15 minutes of pretty words with the G-word liberally dotted here and there. Nothing of real substance was said. Razz
Indi
miacps wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile


The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."


Oh man, the speech that pastor gave was a little painful for me to listen to. To my ears it was 10-15 minutes of pretty words with the G-word liberally dotted here and there. Nothing of real substance was said. Razz

i know that most people - especially Americans - are all sparkle-eyed for Obama right now... but let's be realistic. He seems like a very intelligent and well-spoken man... for most topics. But as far as his track record with religion goes, he's never shown himself to be particularly bright. i point your attention to both Jeremiah Wright and Rick Warren, as examples.

On the other point, on how the advertising campaign might have been received in the US, i direct you to the following:
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/02/09/atheist-billboard-taken-down/
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/11/30/questioning-god-is-apparently-hate-speech/
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/11/25/who-took-down-the-ffrf-billboard-in-rancho-cucamonga/
Note these are all from last year.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
... but let's be realistic. He seems like a very intelligent and well-spoken man... for most topics.


Intelligent and well-spoken are on the number for me too. The rest remains still to be seen as it will take more than those ingredients to be a good President and perhaps his real challenge will come when he has to deal with dirty politics and war as a good man, which he obviously has to be from what we have seen so far.

This is slightly off-topic, but which topics do you think he is not doing well with in your opinion, apart from religion?
Bikerman
Well,
it's surely a little early to be judging. The reports I have seen indicate that, to date, he has made 2 or 3 policy decisions - 1 to halt the trials at GITMO, another to close the place within 12 months. No surprises there, since I believe he was pretty clear about this in the run-up.
The other policy report I have seen indicates that he has instructed the Joint Chiefs to prepare a draw-down plan for Iraq (essentially a phased withdrawal) - again this is no surprise since it is pretty much what he said he would be doing....
miacps
Indi wrote:
miacps wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile


The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."


Oh man, the speech that pastor gave was a little painful for me to listen to. To my ears it was 10-15 minutes of pretty words with the G-word liberally dotted here and there. Nothing of real substance was said. Razz

i know that most people - especially Americans - are all sparkle-eyed for Obama right now... but let's be realistic. He seems like a very intelligent and well-spoken man... for most topics. But as far as his track record with religion goes, he's never shown himself to be particularly bright. i point your attention to both Jeremiah Wright and Rick Warren, as examples.


Yeah, I agree with you about his past religious associates, but speeches like this leave me hopeful. I don't think he'll be bringing religion into his office.

By the way, if anyone missed it, here's the painful speech/prayer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uthH3ywP5Ek
liljp617
Indi wrote:
miacps wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well,
just to add an update on this. The Advertising Standards Authority apparently received just over 300 complaints about the advert. They released their findings today. After due consideration they decided that the advert contravened no regulations and that the complaints were unfounded.
I can't say I'm particularly surprised - as Indi has already noted, the complaint was rather unbelievable. Chalk this one up to British common sense if you like Smile


The campaign would have gotten slaughtered in most of the US. Our President was just sworn in under words such as "everything we have is because of you God..."


Oh man, the speech that pastor gave was a little painful for me to listen to. To my ears it was 10-15 minutes of pretty words with the G-word liberally dotted here and there. Nothing of real substance was said. Razz

i know that most people - especially Americans - are all sparkle-eyed for Obama right now... but let's be realistic. He seems like a very intelligent and well-spoken man... for most topics. But as far as his track record with religion goes, he's never shown himself to be particularly bright. i point your attention to both Jeremiah Wright and Rick Warren, as examples.

On the other point, on how the advertising campaign might have been received in the US, i direct you to the following:
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/02/09/atheist-billboard-taken-down/
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/11/30/questioning-god-is-apparently-hate-speech/
http://friendlyatheist.com/2008/11/25/who-took-down-the-ffrf-billboard-in-rancho-cucamonga/
Note these are all from last year.


No doubt. I, by no means, expected him to come to office in the name of secularism. I'm just hopeful and naive Smile I just hoped, for once, an intelligent President would recognize and uphold separation of religion from government. Clearly, this isn't going to happen this time around either. Of course, I think it will be wayyyy more moderate than it has been in the recent past.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
No doubt. I, by no means, expected him to come to office in the name of secularism. I'm just hopeful and naive Smile I just hoped, for once, an intelligent President would recognize and uphold separation of religion from government. Clearly, this isn't going to happen this time around either. Of course, I think it will be wayyyy more moderate than it has been in the recent past.


I don't think anyone could even hope to campaign for a President on that basis. It would be a real dumb thing to do, given the statistics at the URL below? 88% Christians in 2001, perhaps this has changed since then, let's say it is more like 75%. More than the majority of the population is christian and so in a country where there is Government by the people, I imagine Government would have to reflect that? Like my mom used to say, "hope" planted a feather and hoped a tree would come up? Smile

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922574.html
Indi
deanhills wrote:
I don't think anyone could even hope to campaign for a President on that basis. It would be a real dumb thing to do, given the statistics at the URL below? 88% Christians in 2001, perhaps this has changed since then, let's say it is more like 75%. More than the majority of the population is christian and so in a country where there is Government by the people, I imagine Government would have to reflect that? Like my mom used to say, "hope" planted a feather and hoped a tree would come up? Smile

By that, aren't you implying that Christians are so closed-minded that they will only elect other Christians?

The office of the president isn't supposed to be filled with a person that simply represents a demographic average of the population - it is supposed to be filled with the person who can best lead the country. Leading the country is a job that requires a combination of economic savvy, diplomatic flair and administrative abilities... none of which are particularly uniquely "Christian" properties. Any one of any religion could meet these standards, without being particularly objectionable to Christians. For example, why would Christians object to a well-qualified Jewish president?

But what about running on a platform of secularism? Well, here's where the grand irony of American Christianity comes into play. American Christians just love to claim that America was founded on "Christian principles". It really wasn't, but let's assume for a second it was. America, while allegedly founded on Christian principles, was, when it was founded, the most explicitly secular government ever created. Alright, let's ignore that little contradiction for the moment, and just accept that it makes perfect sense for a country founded on Christian principles to be so clearly and completely secular. But if that is true, and if "Christian principles" results in a secular government... then Christians should prefer candidates running on secular platforms! Which leaves us with this bizarre dilemma. Either:
  • America really wasn't founded on Christian principles, or
  • Christians should support secular candidates, and not Christian candidates.
Zing. ^_^;

By the way, one more thing i should mention about demographics. While the president shouldn't represent a demographic average of the US, that is because he is a single person. The situation for the congress is a little different, because you are dealing with 538 people (100 senators and 438 representatives). Any single congressperson shouldn't be a demographic average, but the whole group of them - assuming that the skills required to make a good congressperson are equally distributed among all people (for example, assuming that blacks don't make better congresspeople than whites or vice versa) - should approximate the distribution of the whole. So if the population of Christians in the parent distribution is 90% (roughly 88% - although, i think it is actually closer to 80%), then we should expect the population of Christians in the sample (congress) to be ~90%, or ~484. In reality, when asked about their religion, there were 16 "no comments", so the actual sample size is 522, and the actual expected number of Christians is 470. There are 2 Buddhists, 2 Muslims, 2 Unitarians and 1 "not affiliated", leaving 515 Christians, or 98.7%.

So! For those of you learning statistics, this is your assignment! The population size is 306 million, and the value is 79.8%¹. The sample size is 522 and the value is 98.7%². You can assume the variances are identical. What is the likelihood that the two groups are from the same population, or what is the likelihood of picking that distribution of congress out of the population? (You can solve this a few different ways.)

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_U.S.A.#Self-described_religious_identification_of_U.S._adult_population:_1990_and_2001.5B44.5D
² http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/demographics.tt?catid=all
ocalhoun
^Quite true. There you have the problem with a democracy; the majority always wins.
Since the politicians themselves are no doubt aware of this trend, I wouldn't be surprised to find that some fake religion to boost their poll results.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
^Quite true. There you have the problem with a democracy; the majority always wins.

No, i disagree that this is a problem with democracy. Here's why:

First, make two assumptions. For the first assumption, assume that there is nothing about the job of congressperson that makes Christians more suitable for the job than anyone else. In other words, assume that a randomly selected Jew, Muslim, atheist, black person, woman or Trekkie each has the same probability of being a good congressperson as a randomly selected Christian. Given the job that a congressperson has to do - listening to the requests of their constituents, reading and understanding bills and their consequences, etc., none of which require the special talents of a Christian (whatever those may be) - i don't think that this is an assumption that any reasonable person will have a problem with.

For the second assumption, assume Americans are not idiots. Just bear with me.

If Americans are not idiots, then when selecting a person to do a job, they will naturally select the best person for the job. Only an idiot would select someone who is not the best person for the job, right?

Now, given the assumption that Christians are just as good (or bad) at the job as anyone else - and in fact, that religion does not affect the job performance of a congressperson at all - then their religion should not be a factor in the decision. But since we have already discovered that religion does apparently play a role in the choice, that means that we have a problem... one of our assumptions must be wrong. So, either Christians do make better congresspeople than all other religions in the US... or... i think you can see what station this train of logic pulls in to.

You see, the problem isn't with democracy itself. The problem is with bigotry, plain and simple. Yes, democracy enables the bigotry to manifest... but if the democracy did not exist the bigotry would still be an issue, whereas if the bigotry did not exist democracy would work just fine. So the problem is not democracy, it is bigotry.

And, quite frankly, in America they are reaping what they sowed. They chose to favour people who professed their Christianity loudly over people would do the job well, and they got what they asked for. They got a congress that let their entire economy fall to pot while passing bills like this (and if you think the title of that bill is stupid, read the full text). Did that bill help make America better? The people that are losing their jobs and houses due to this economic crisis should ponder that deeply.
muffinman187
religious or not i feel there's one thing in that article that make sense.."Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.""

life is short have fun.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I don't think anyone could even hope to campaign for a President on that basis. It would be a real dumb thing to do, given the statistics at the URL below? 88% Christians in 2001, perhaps this has changed since then, let's say it is more like 75%. More than the majority of the population is christian and so in a country where there is Government by the people, I imagine Government would have to reflect that? Like my mom used to say, "hope" planted a feather and hoped a tree would come up? Smile

By that, aren't you implying that Christians are so closed-minded that they will only elect other Christians?


Definitely NO. I believe in the best person for the job, and may I add that the bunch of candidates that were up for the 2008 Presidential election in the US were not of the greatest that have been offered, so much so that Obama looked like the only real choice out of the lot and hence got the votes he did. I am certain the US must have many better and much more able and experienced people that can do the job.

Since the majority of the electorate seem to be Christians, I am saying that they would be more inclined (whether right or wrong) to vote for someone who has the same background as theirs. When it gets to the Presidential candidate level, usually candidates have served in one Government office or the other to which they would have to have been elected to in the same way. So perhaps already in the selection of candidates, whether right or wrong, people will be inclined to vote for someone that they can identify with more so than the best person for the job.

I also wonder whether those deist or non-theist candidates that could potentially be excellent material for the Presidency would be reluctant to get involved in US Government, or stand for elections, as candidates usually have to go through the worst of scrutinies in the world, resembling a circus at times that must be tremendously embarassing and humiliating at times when the press starts to pick all over their personal lives and could be (by virtue of common sense) unacceptable for the calibre good candidate that is deist or non-theist. Caroline Kennedy is not necessarily a good example as she is Catholic, but I admire her for a lot of things including her intelligence, and her recent withdrawal could probably have been made along those very lines.
Indi
You know, there comes a point where you are trying so hard not to say anything the least bit offensive about anyone, that you end up not really saying anything meaningful at all. And then there is a point past that point, where amazingly desperate attempts to avoid any offence actually come full circle and become offensive. Let's analyze this piece by piece:

deanhills wrote:
Since the majority of the electorate seem to be Christians, I am saying that they would be more inclined (whether right or wrong) to vote for someone who has the same background as theirs.

Alright, let's start here. First of all, let's deal with that wishy-washy "whether right or wrong" clause, which really only exists to get you off the hook from making any kind of moral judgement at all.

Is there seriously any doubt whatsoever in your mind that this is wrong? Do you think it is right for people to choose other people for jobs solely on the basis of shared common qualities (that have no bearing whatsoever on the job in question... or do you believe that being a Christian will make you a better congressperson?)? Do you think that it is right for a white person to prefer white people for a job (where race doesn't matter at all)? Do you think that it is right for a male to prefer a male for a job (where gender doesn't matter)? Do you think that it is right for a non-Jew to prefer a non-Jew for a job (where religion or heritage doesn't matter)? (You do realize, of course, that answering "yes" to those questions effectively means you don't believe in racial, sexual or religious equality? ^_^; )

Ok, so, working on the assumption that you don't support religious discrimination, i will correct your sentence. It is now: "Since the majority of the electorate seem to be Christians, I am saying that they would be more inclined to vote for someone who has the same background as theirs (which is wrong)." (You then go on to explain that this discrimination would run through all levels of government, which is probably true, but i don't see how that helps Christian voters look any better.)

At this point, i am frankly confused as to what you are trying to do. i asked if you were implying that Christians are so closed-minded that they will only elect other Christians, and you replied... that they would "be more inclined to". Ok, granted, that is a little softer than "only", but i don't see where the "Definitely NO" comes in. Your actual answer to my question seems to be "that's what happens most of the time".

And i really don't understand the point of the "right or wrong" equivocation, unless you are trying to imply that they might be right to do this. Isn't rather painfully obvious that it is wanton discrimination? So basically, "they are discriminating against non-Christians, whether right or wrong"... is there any question whether this is right or wrong? Basically the only concrete statements in your reply are that this kind of thing might happen, perhaps. Well, yes, we already know that it does happen - i gave the statistics just a few posts before... and even without the statistics, i think it's painfully obvious to everyone that it does happen. And from your reply, if this kind of thing does happen, you are not willing to judge whether it is right or wrong. Pardon me... but assuming you know it is wrong what good are you doing by avoiding saying so? You know it happens, and you know it's wrong - i know you're at least that smart - so why are you trying to pretend you're not sure about whether it happens or whether it's wrong? Who do you think you are helping by doing that?

i will tell you now who you are helping: you are helping the bigots. By pretending that you don't know that this is happening, you give support those who want to deny that this discrimination exists. By pretending that you don't know whether it is right or wrong, you give support to those who want to claim that this kind of discrimination isn't obviously wrong. If you had the courage to just say outright what you knew was true - that this discrimination does indeed happen, and that it is wrong - your voice would be added to the people who are trying to put a stop to this nonsense.

Philosophers have a responsibility that i have heard not so subtly described as "put up or shut up". When you consider a question, you should do so with integrity. Don't be a coward - face whatever hard answers you got from asking the question. Or, don't ask the question. You actually do harm by half-assed philosophizing, so either go all the way, or don't go there at all.

Or have i misjudged you when i assume you know the discrimination exists, and you know it's wrong?

deanhills wrote:
I also wonder whether those deist or non-theist candidates that could potentially be excellent material for the Presidency would be reluctant to get involved in US Government, or stand for elections, as candidates usually have to go through the worst of scrutinies in the world, resembling a circus at times that must be tremendously embarassing and humiliating at times when the press starts to pick all over their personal lives and could be (by virtue of common sense) unacceptable for the calibre good candidate that is deist or non-theist.

i don't understand why a non-Christian candidate would be more afraid of the scrutiny than a Christian one.
Xanatos
Quote:
i don't understand why a non-Christian candidate would be more afraid of the scrutiny than a Christian one.


Its not that they are more afraid of the scrutiny it is that there will be more of it. Atheists are the most hated minority in America. It is probably tough to run for any kind of political office as an Athiest.
Indi
Xanatos wrote:
Quote:
i don't understand why a non-Christian candidate would be more afraid of the scrutiny than a Christian one.


Its not that they are more afraid of the scrutiny it is that there will be more of it. Atheists are the most hated minority in America. It is probably tough to run for any kind of political office as an Athiest.

So you're saying that not only to Christians in America discriminate against non-Christians when voting, they also give Christian candidates a free ride when they're campaigning? ^_^;

In all seriousness, i don't buy that excuse. If the Christian media scrutinizes atheist candidates hard, the non-Christian media scrutinizes Christian candidates just as ferociously. Sarah Palin didn't get an easy ride of it for being a Christian, and Barack Obama's Christian connections were deeply scrutinized.

The reason it is tough to run as an atheist candidate is not because atheist candidates are afraid of scrutiny. It is because they simply won't get voted in because they are atheists, because a large portion of the electorate are bigots. Don't blame the potential atheist candidates by implying they're afraid of scrutiny. Blame the bigots who simply won't vote for them, regardless of whether they're scrutinized or not.
liljp617
=/ It's hit pretty close to home for me...

http://inatheistbus.org/2009/05/05/bloomington-rejects-you-can-be-good-without-god-lawsuit-underway/

Quote:
Bloomington was first on the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign’s list of places it hoped to run bus ads. However, the city has rejected our campaign’s slogan, ‘You Can Be Good Without God.’ This is deeply disappointing to our campaign’s members; we all love Bloomington and were very much hoping to run ads in our hometown along with many other cities....


Was the transit system this thread was originally about a privately owned company?
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
=/ It's hit pretty close to home for me...

http://inatheistbus.org/2009/05/05/bloomington-rejects-you-can-be-good-without-god-lawsuit-underway/

Quote:
Bloomington was first on the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign’s list of places it hoped to run bus ads. However, the city has rejected our campaign’s slogan, ‘You Can Be Good Without God.’ This is deeply disappointing to our campaign’s members; we all love Bloomington and were very much hoping to run ads in our hometown along with many other cities....


Was the transit system this thread was originally about a privately owned company?
I'm not sure whether I have your question right, i.e. was Dawkins's bus ad campaign with private buses? As far as I know the buses were all public buses in different regions of the UK. There were also posters in the underground.
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
=/ It's hit pretty close to home for me...

http://inatheistbus.org/2009/05/05/bloomington-rejects-you-can-be-good-without-god-lawsuit-underway/

Quote:
Bloomington was first on the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign’s list of places it hoped to run bus ads. However, the city has rejected our campaign’s slogan, ‘You Can Be Good Without God.’ This is deeply disappointing to our campaign’s members; we all love Bloomington and were very much hoping to run ads in our hometown along with many other cities....


Was the transit system this thread was originally about a privately owned company?
I'm not sure whether I have your question right, i.e. was Dawkins's bus ad campaign with private buses? As far as I know the buses were all public buses in different regions of the UK. There were also posters in the underground.


Yes, that was my question. I asked because, from what I've read so far, the buses that denied this ad in Bloomington are strictly run by the city, so the ad was declined by city officials and not a privately owned company. I can't see how this decision could possibly be upheld in court...
Solon_Poledourus
Indi wrote:
So you're saying that not only to Christians in America discriminate against non-Christians when voting, they also give Christian candidates a free ride when they're campaigning? ^_^;
I wouldn't say a "free ride", so much as I'd say that Christians definitely get the benefit of the doubt when campaigning. It seems like there is a public assumption that Atheists can't be moral, or as moral as Christians, therefor it's OK to discount them right off the bat.
Indi wrote:
In all seriousness, i don't buy that excuse. If the Christian media scrutinizes atheist candidates hard, the non-Christian media scrutinizes Christian candidates just as ferociously. Sarah Palin didn't get an easy ride of it for being a Christian, and Barack Obama's Christian connections were deeply scrutinized..
But it's not the media who elects them, or donates to their campaigns. As much as the media did scrutinize both candidates just as you said, I would have a hard time believing that an Atheist candidate would ever have been given the nomination, much less campaign contributions.
Indi wrote:
The reason it is tough to run as an atheist candidate is not because atheist candidates are afraid of scrutiny. It is because they simply won't get voted in because they are atheists, because a large portion of the electorate are bigots. Don't blame the potential atheist candidates by implying they're afraid of scrutiny. Blame the bigots who simply won't vote for them, regardless of whether they're scrutinized or not.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
As far as the adverts on the buses... If it's a state run bus system, and they allow pro-Christian ads to be displayed(which they do in many places), then they should allow pro-Atheist ads as well. Otherwise it's just plain discrimination.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
The reason it is tough to run as an atheist candidate is not because atheist candidates are afraid of scrutiny. It is because they simply won't get voted in because they are atheists, because a large portion of the electorate are bigots. Don't blame the potential atheist candidates by implying they're afraid of scrutiny. Blame the bigots who simply won't vote for them, regardless of whether they're scrutinized or not.
Not standing for election simply because they think they won't be voted in sounds a bit defeatist to me. I would not want to vote for a defeatist. Does this then mean that there is not a single atheist in Government or semi-Government, i.e. atheists have never stood for election as they assume they won't get elected? That does not sound credible to me. How would people know? And why would they care?
Xanatos
deanhills wrote:
why would they care?


I don't think anyone should have to answer this question for you.

I'm going to post two articles that I think you should read.

Article 1 and Article 2
Vladalf
I usually categorize people who have something against someone different as egomaniacs. I'm actually astonished how much work is needed to make someone use and open their head, in any particular subject not only religion.
Vlad
deanhills
Xanatos wrote:
deanhills wrote:
why would they care?


I don't think anyone should have to answer this question for you.

I'm going to post two articles that I think you should read.

Article 1 and Article 2

You wouldn't believe it, the two sites are "blocked" where I am in the Middle East. I'm not allowed access to it. Smile
Xanatos
Hmm.. well I'll post some snippets of the two then.

Quote:
A 1999 Gallup poll conducted to determine Americans' willingness to tolerate a Jewish president (Joseph Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President at the time). Here are the percentages of people saying they would refuse to vote for "a generally well-qualified person for president" on the basis of some characteristic; in parenthesis are the figures for earlier years:

Catholic: 4% (1937: 30%)
Black: 5% (1958: 63%, 1987: 21%)
Jewish: 6% (1937: 47%)
Baptist: 6%
Woman: 8%
Mormon: 17%
Muslim: 38%
Gay: 37% (1978: 74%)
Atheist: 48%


Gallup has been asking people about whether they would vote for atheists for president for quite some time. Here are the numbers who have said "no" over the years:

February 1999: 48%
August 1987: 48%
April 1983: 51%

and

Quote:
The most recent study was conducted by the University of Minnesota, which found that atheists ranked lower than "Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in 'sharing their vision of American society.' Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry." The results from two of the most important questions were:

This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society...

Atheist: 39.6%
Muslims: 26.3%
Homosexuals: 22.6%
Hispanics: 20%
Conservative Christians: 13.5%
Recent Immigrants: 12.5%
Jews: 7.6%


I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group....

Atheist: 47.6%
Muslim: 33.5%
African-American 27.2%
Asian-Americans: 18.5%
Hispanics: 18.5%
Jews: 11.8%
Conservative Christians: 6.9%
Whites: 2.3%

Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
Does this then mean that there is not a single atheist in Government or semi-Government, i.e. atheists have never stood for election as they assume they won't get elected?
No. It just means that if there are Atheists in Government positions, they don't seem to be proclaiming their Atheism in public. I can't remember the last time I saw a politician on television who didn't tout their religious convictions as part of their qualifications for office. On that note, I don't think I have ever seen a politician proclaiming their Atheist views at all, much less as a qualification.
Why is this? Probably because Atheists are one of the groups of which it is socially acceptable to openly mock, scoff at, and otherwise belittle.
Here is an experiment; Do an internet search for documentation about politicians who openly claim to be Atheist versus those who claim other religious alignments. I'm not sure what you'd find in every single country, but I will be truly amazed to find any "out of the closet" Atheists in American politics.

I'll give you 100 Frih$ for each American politician documented who openly waves their Atheist flag.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Does this then mean that there is not a single atheist in Government or semi-Government, i.e. atheists have never stood for election as they assume they won't get elected?
No. It just means that if there are Atheists in Government positions, they don't seem to be proclaiming their Atheism in public. I can't remember the last time I saw a politician on television who didn't tout their religious convictions as part of their qualifications for office. On that note, I don't think I have ever seen a politician proclaiming their Atheist views at all, much less as a qualification.
Why is this? Probably because Atheists are one of the groups of which it is socially acceptable to openly mock, scoff at, and otherwise belittle.
Here is an experiment; Do an internet search for documentation about politicians who openly claim to be Atheist versus those who claim other religious alignments. I'm not sure what you'd find in every single country, but I will be truly amazed to find any "out of the closet" Atheists in American politics.

I'll give you 100 Frih$ for each American politician documented who openly waves their Atheist flag.
I won't even try as this is my take on it too. Yet I would hope that the reason why they are not proclaiming their atheist beliefs has more to do with the fact that this would be very wrong to do. Government is supposed to be neutral as far as personal religion and beliefs are concerned.
tingkagol
wikipedia wrote:
In general, however, Dawkins has followed the advice of his late colleague Stephen Jay Gould and refused to participate in formal debates with creationists because doing so would give them the "oxygen of respectability" they crave. He suggests that creationists "don't mind being beaten in an argument. What matters is that we give them recognition by bothering to argue with them in public."

...with this bus fiasco, it kind of defeats the purpose of "not debating" with creationists. And if visibility (or equality) really is the problem, then why not join the debates?

"There's probably no god."
I think that's what's wrong with the bus banner. Atheism wants nothing to do with "gods", but in this case brings it up since it's the very source of discrimination- and of course causing a stir. In my opinion, I'd rather advertise about evolution or something in the same vein than delve into the "there probably is no god" propaganda.
Hogwarts
tingkagol wrote:
"There's probably no god."
I think that's what's wrong with the bus banner. Atheism wants nothing to do with "gods", but in this case brings it up since it's the very source of discrimination- and of course causing a stir. In my opinion, I'd rather advertise about evolution or something in the same vein than delve into the "there probably is no god" propaganda.


Why? It's not propaganda. It's a perfectly legitimate statement. There probably is no god.

How is this discrimination? Is it fair for the Church to go around preaching their opinion but not atheists? Oh, right, of course it isn't. Atheists are just a bunch of heretics too intellectually lacking to believe in what a book tells them to do Rolling Eyes

The point of this is to cause a stir. More big bang for your advertising dollar Wink
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
The reason it is tough to run as an atheist candidate is not because atheist candidates are afraid of scrutiny. It is because they simply won't get voted in because they are atheists, because a large portion of the electorate are bigots. Don't blame the potential atheist candidates by implying they're afraid of scrutiny. Blame the bigots who simply won't vote for them, regardless of whether they're scrutinized or not.
Not standing for election simply because they think they won't be voted in sounds a bit defeatist to me. I would not want to vote for a defeatist. Does this then mean that there is not a single atheist in Government or semi-Government, i.e. atheists have never stood for election as they assume they won't get elected? That does not sound credible to me. How would people know? And why would they care?

It is not defeatist, it is practical. The only way you can get elected in most parts of the US is to trumpet your Christianity. If you are an atheist, that would require lying. An honest and open atheist simply can't win, the vast majority of the time. So why bother with the expense and effort of a futile attempt? The time, effort and expense can be better spent trying to raise awareness of atheism, and that it's not really as bad as most people think it is.

Hence: bus ads.
tingkagol
Hogwarts wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
"There's probably no god."
I think that's what's wrong with the bus banner. Atheism wants nothing to do with "gods", but in this case brings it up since it's the very source of discrimination- and of course causing a stir. In my opinion, I'd rather advertise about evolution or something in the same vein than delve into the "there probably is no god" propaganda.


Why? It's not propaganda. It's a perfectly legitimate statement. There probably is no god.

How is this discrimination? Is it fair for the Church to go around preaching their opinion but not atheists? Oh, right, of course it isn't. Atheists are just a bunch of heretics too intellectually lacking to believe in what a book tells them to do Rolling Eyes

The point of this is to cause a stir. More big bang for your advertising dollar Wink

What I meant was the delusion of the existence of a god fuels the discrimination against atheists, probably why they bother to make banners like that.

Discrimination aside, the church has been preaching for centuries because that's exactly what the bible tells them to do. Nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, I don't think atheists really need to preach about the non-existence of god because, not only science, but common sense does that for them. I'm not saying they don't have the right to do so either. But I guess everything changes when discrimination and prejudice gets back in the picture, and I probably couldn't relate to the atrocities some of you may have already witnessed first-hand.

I just hate preaching of any kind.
Xanatos
tingkagol wrote:
I just hate preaching of any kind.


This is not about preaching. It is about raising awareness. nothing is ever going to change unless people know that Atheists are actually serious.

Quote:
the church has been preaching for centuries because that's exactly what the bible tells them to do. Nothing wrong with that.


So you say that you hate preaching of any kind.... except when religion does it?
deanhills
Xanatos wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
I just hate preaching of any kind.


This is not about preaching. It is about raising awareness. nothing is ever going to change unless people know that Atheists are actually serious.
Isn't this just a difference in semantics? Whether preaching or raising awareness, Atheists would like people to see them as a group that has certain beliefs that are different from other beliefs, specifically about religion. Atheists are separating themselves as a unique group in society, and the "not believing" sort of becomes a "believing" in reverse, including "preaching"/"raising awareness". For example, what is it that Atheists wish to change? How are they going about it? And how is this different from what theists are doing?
Xanatos
deanhills wrote:
Xanatos wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
I just hate preaching of any kind.


This is not about preaching. It is about raising awareness. nothing is ever going to change unless people know that Atheists are actually serious.
Isn't this just a difference in semantics? Whether preaching or raising awareness, Atheists would like people to see them as a group that has certain beliefs that are different from other beliefs, specifically about religion. Atheists are separating themselves as a unique group in society, and the "not believing" sort of becomes a "believing" in reverse, including "preaching"/"raising awareness". For example, what is it that Atheists wish to change? How are they going about it? And how is this different from what theists are doing?


The atheist by the simplest definition probably does not want to change anything. It just so happens that many(most?) Atheists are also anti-religious for various reasons. Many of us would like to see religion disappear for the good of society and the future of humanity.
deanhills
Xanatos wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Xanatos wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
I just hate preaching of any kind.


This is not about preaching. It is about raising awareness. nothing is ever going to change unless people know that Atheists are actually serious.
Isn't this just a difference in semantics? Whether preaching or raising awareness, Atheists would like people to see them as a group that has certain beliefs that are different from other beliefs, specifically about religion. Atheists are separating themselves as a unique group in society, and the "not believing" sort of becomes a "believing" in reverse, including "preaching"/"raising awareness". For example, what is it that Atheists wish to change? How are they going about it? And how is this different from what theists are doing?


The atheist by the simplest definition probably does not want to change anything. It just so happens that many(most?) Atheists are also anti-religious for various reasons. Many of us would like to see religion disappear for the good of society and the future of humanity.
That has to be a paradox, as wishing to see religion disappear is wishing for a fundamental and radical change. You are right however that this is only a portion of atheists, as there are atheists who cannot be bothered with religion.
Xanatos
deanhills wrote:
That has to be a paradox, as wishing to see religion disappear is wishing for a fundamental and radical change.


And this is a paradox how? It is supposed to be a fundamental change.
tingkagol
Xanatos wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
I just hate preaching of any kind.


This is not about preaching. It is about raising awareness. nothing is ever going to change unless people know that Atheists are actually serious.

"There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

It is about preaching as much as it is about awareness.

Xanatos wrote:
Quote:
the church has been preaching for centuries because that's exactly what the bible tells them to do. Nothing wrong with that.

So you say that you hate preaching of any kind.... except when religion does it?

What do you think?

Yours or anybody else's freedoms won't inhibit/stop my feelings, i.e. you can be a jerk and rest assured you won't go to jail, but that doesn't stop me from feeling any hate towards you being a jerk.

(Okay, being a jerk isn't really a right, but you get my point.) Smile
Xanatos
tingkagol wrote:
"There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

It is about preaching as much as it is about awareness.


When people preach they generally believe that someone somewhere is going to take their message and convert to whatever ideology it is that they are preaching for.

This however was not intended to convert anybody.

Preaching=attempting to convert
This=causing a stir in order to raise awareness for atheism so that people can understand that the Atheist community should be taken seriously, so that the end of bigotry toward atheists can begin. Also because its funny.

See the difference?
tingkagol
Okay. I can understand that you value its 'awareness' aspect.

Quote:
This=causing a stir in order to raise awareness for atheism so that people can understand that the Atheist community should be taken seriously, so that the end of bigotry toward atheists can begin. Also because its funny.

Just nitpicking... can't help it.


Anyway, I cannot rule out the possibility that someone, somewhere out there, will heed & take this seriously.
Xanatos
tingkagol wrote:
Okay. I can understand that you value its 'awareness' aspect.

Quote:
This=causing a stir in order to raise awareness for atheism so that people can understand that the Atheist community should be taken seriously, so that the end of bigotry toward atheists can begin. Also because its funny.

Just nitpicking... can't help it.


Anyway, I cannot rule out the possibility that someone, somewhere out there, will heed & take this seriously.


Well seeing as we have reached a minor sort of agreement I am going to say that I have nothing more to say on the subject. The real truth will come about in the near future I'm sure. We shall have to see what direction atheist activism takes.
deanhills
Xanatos wrote:
deanhills wrote:
That has to be a paradox, as wishing to see religion disappear is wishing for a fundamental and radical change.


And this is a paradox how? It is supposed to be a fundamental change.


You mentioned in the first sentence that atheists do not want to change anything, and then in the third sentence that they would want religion to disappear. I saw that as a kind'a paradox:
Quote:
The atheist by the simplest definition probably does not want to change anything. It just so happens that many(most?) Atheists are also anti-religious for various reasons. Many of us would like to see religion disappear for the good of society and the future of humanity.
deanhills
Xanatos wrote:
deanhills wrote:
That has to be a paradox, as wishing to see religion disappear is wishing for a fundamental and radical change.


And this is a paradox how? It is supposed to be a fundamental change.


You mentioned in the first sentence of your original posting that atheists do not want to change anything, and then in the third sentence that they would want religion to disappear. I saw that as a kind'a paradox Smile :
Xanatos wrote:
The atheist by the simplest definition probably does not want to change anything. It just so happens that many(most?) Atheists are also anti-religious for various reasons. Many of us would like to see religion disappear for the good of society and the future of humanity.
Xanatos
deanhills wrote:
Xanatos wrote:
deanhills wrote:
That has to be a paradox, as wishing to see religion disappear is wishing for a fundamental and radical change.


And this is a paradox how? It is supposed to be a fundamental change.


You mentioned in the first sentence that atheists do not want to change anything, and then in the third sentence that they would want religion to disappear. I saw that as a kind'a paradox Smile :
Quote:
The atheist by the simplest definition probably does not want to change anything. It just so happens that many(most?) Atheists are also anti-religious for various reasons. Many of us would like to see religion disappear for the good of society and the future of humanity.


Yes that is true, however by that point I was talking about the anti-religious people, so no paradox.
tingkagol
If only all atheists weren't anti-religious... But of course I guess they're only that way because of the flak they get from theists. Come to think of it, it explains alot about people's differing views in this very forum.
liljp617
tingkagol wrote:
If only all atheists weren't anti-religious... But of course I guess they're only that way because of the flak they get from theists. Come to think of it, it explains alot about people's differing views in this very forum.


All of them aren't anti-religion. I'm anti-religion dominating society and dominating people who want to have nothing to do with that specific religion. Not the same thing.

I will never attempt to or support anything that tries to remove people's freedom of thought and people's rights to religious beliefs. I will do everything I can to oppose that freedom from being abused to infringe on the rights and freedoms of other people.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
All of them aren't anti-religion.
But some are, quite passionately so. Kind'a reverse situation when there is a majority of anti-religion enthusiasts in the company of a single Christian. That is as sad as Christian dogma against atheism.
Indi
tingkagol wrote:
If only all atheists weren't anti-religious... But of course I guess they're only that way because of the flak they get from theists. Come to think of it, it explains alot about people's differing views in this very forum.

The relationship between atheists and religious people is far more complex than these simple models imply. In fact, the idea that atheists either implicitly hate religion or become anti-religious reactionaries because of the way they're treated, is really kind of childish.

Fully exploring the relationship between atheists and religious people would require a book length argument, so i can't possibly do it justice here. But for those who are genuinely interested in the relationship between atheism and religion, here's a really brief shot:

----------------------

First of all, put all the notions of either atheists or religious people as antagonistic jerks out of your mind. Yes, it may be true a lot of the time, for both groups, but it masks the deeper problems. Assume both atheists and religious people are good people who have nothing against the other group or their beliefs, and just want to live their lives comfortably in peace.

Now consider what this means for atheists... it means absolutely nothing. They have no motivations whatsoever to tread on the toes of the religious. They have nothing to prove, no doctrines to proselytize... they're just passive nobodies who can exist without even making a blip of impact on their neighbours.

Now consider what this means for religious people... well, if you really believe your religion, then you really believe that you have a path to a happy afterlife, and that those who don't have that path are going to suffer. If you're a decent human being, you don't want people to suffer, so you're going to try to help other people find the path to a happy afterlife you've found. That's only logical. And it's ethical - in fact, it would be unethical to not try to help your neighbours. So already we have a problem: you have religious people harassing atheists to try and "save" them. (Sometimes blatantly, as in Judaistic religions, sometimes more subtly.)

And please note: at no point did i assume anything bad about religious people. This is what good religious people should do (assuming they really believe what they supposedly believe). i got to this conclusion by assuming that they were good people that cared about their neighbours - the exact same assumptions i made for atheists.

----------------------------

So far, by assuming the best about both religious people and atheists, it turns out that religious people annoy atheists... but eh. So what? Lots of things are annoyances in a free society. Most atheists, myself included, do not get over flustered by conversion attempts, so long as they are conducted respectfully. (i always accept the offered Watchtower magazines.) But things do get sinister.

Now, remember, we are still assuming that both groups are good people.

Suppose the leadership of a religious country was atheist. Is this a problem? Well... no. Because the atheists, with no other motivations than doing their jobs well (remember, we're assuming these are all good people), will concentrate all of their efforts on doing their job well. They will consider only what is best for their people - the religious people. If it is best for them to have churches, then they will build churches for them (again, remember, the assumption is that neither group has a hate on for the other). If the religious population believe that something is absolutely intolerable - say, abortion - then the atheist leaders will make abortion illegal (the assumption is that all leaders are atheist, and all citizens are religious, and there is no overlap), because... why not? If they all think it's criminal, then they all will refuse to do it anyway, so making it illegal is a moot move. The bottom line is that as far as the religious people are concerned, there is no difference between a religious government (of their own religion) and an atheist one - both will do their best to make a utopia for a religious population.

Now... suppose the leadership of an atheist country was religious. Is this a problem. Oh yes. Because, again, if these are good, honest religious people, they will want to dedicate resources to making their population spiritually healthier - however the religion in question defines that. To the atheists, they will be wasting resources. And that's bad, but it gets worse. Because they'll do this regardless of what the atheists want - because they'll think they know better. So even if the atheists insist that the funding for churches go into health care instead, the religious leaders will still build churches. And even worse: if the religious leaders believe abortion is really wrong, they will criminalize it regardless of what the atheists think. The bottom line is that for atheists... a religious government is repressive!!!

We've gone past annoyance and into the realm of taking away freedoms!!! And - i have to keep hammering this home - we are not talking about religious extremists! These are just people that honestly believe their religion is true, and are good, ethical people. They are not fundamentalist, they are not extremist, they are not vindictive bastards... none of the above. This is the logical end result of religion - "good" religion - from the perspective of an atheist.

--------------------------------

That is the bottom line - no matter how nice the religious person or how tolerant the atheist, there is only one ultimate conclusion when atheism and religion mix: religion will oppress atheism. It will happen, it must happen, and it always does happen.

And the reverse is not true. Atheism does not necessarily lead to oppressing religion. It can, sure - an atheist could oppress religion quite easily. But it doesn't have to. Oppression is not a necessary and ultimate conclusion of atheism.

And... oh yes... it gets even worse!!!

Because religion does not just necessarily result in the oppression of atheism... it also leads... to the repression of other religions! The same argument i used for religious leaders and an atheist public is true for when the public is not atheist, but not the same religion as the leaders.

-----------------------------------

So you see, the relationship between atheism and religion is not simple, and the problems between the two run a whole lot deeper than just saying atheists (or religious people) are intolerant or fed up.

And no, i say again to make this crystal clear: in all of the discussion above i am not talking about fundamentalists or extremists of any stripe. Those conclusions arise naturally from assuming the best about religious people.
tingkagol
That's exactly why I favor 'passive' religious people. These 'good' religious people cited in your example are simply delusional, irrational, self-absorbed people for not acknowledging the existence of the rest of the religions in the world including atheists, and giving them their due respect. To them it has to be "convert! convert! convert!". But obviously that's not the case nowadays... or is it? Does the pope think all our muslim brothers will burn in hell unless the vatican starts another religious crusade?

Quote:
In fact, the idea that atheists either implicitly hate religion or become anti-religious reactionaries because of the way they're treated, is really kind of childish.

Then again, alot of the things happening in this world are due to childishness. Smile
Solon_Poledourus
Make no mistake about it; I am anti-religion when it comes to the monotheism of the Abrahamic religions(Islam/Judaism/Christianity). I view those religions in particular to be a blight on humanity. Before they came around, people generally accepted that other people chose to believe other things, and went about their own business. Sure, people argued about which persons god(ess)(s) was more powerful. People fought over it, and a few wars even broke out over it. But they still accepted the existence of foreign deities, which generally made for more amicable social affairs in a religious context.

Then came this hate-monger mono-GOD out of the Middle Eastern desert, and suddenly everyone else has to go. Convert or die. Genocide is the answer to religious arguments now. No free will anymore; even if you don't believe in GOD, he will still judge you, whether or not you bought the story. His Earthly minions will judge you and call you a heretic, make a criminal out of you for 1500 years, commit atrocities the likes of which the world has never before known, all while trying to convince you that this GOD loves you. It's the most brutal form of social control ever INVENTED by human beings. And the apologizers who say "well that was 'the Catholic Church', not 'Christianity" are only trying to distance the theory from the practice. It's like being a member of the Nazi Party and saying "that was the SS, not the Nazi Party"... it's complicity.

If there were a corporation responsible for as many crimes as the Abrahamic religions, the entire world would have stepped in and shut them down a very long time ago.

Quote:
In fact, the idea that atheists either implicitly hate religion or become anti-religious reactionaries because of the way they're treated, is really kind of childish.
Really? Replace the word "atheists" with "women", and replace "religion/religious" with "abusive men". What seems childish now? The reaction of the women/atheists? Or that statement?
When people are mistreated, they change. It's not childish, it's just part of life. It's a conditioned response, a defensive mechanism.

And most of the time, it's justified.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
That is the bottom line - no matter how nice the religious person or how tolerant the atheist, there is only one ultimate conclusion when atheism and religion mix: religion will oppress atheism. It will happen, it must happen, and it always does happen.

And the reverse is not true. Atheism does not necessarily lead to oppressing religion. It can, sure - an atheist could oppress religion quite easily. But it doesn't have to. Oppression is not a necessary and ultimate conclusion of atheism.

If one takes a practical example such as the United States. Obama is obviously religious and he has also been outspoken during his election campaign of what his religion is about. However, I have not seen any oppression coming from him. He is even celebrating other religions' holy days at the White House. Perhaps this is something that has to do with tolerance? I have not heard him making any references to atheists or atheism. Where I am in a Middle East country I have also not heard any mention of atheists or atheism.

Agreed that atheism cannot oppress religion, although Stalin could probably be an example of oppression of religion. Would you regard Stalin as an atheist?
Solon_Poledourus
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.
Discrimination is oppression. Ask any black guy who tried to vote between 1870 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964(the 15th Amendment, which was ratified in 1870, stated that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude").
The discrimination of an an entire group of people, prohibiting them from attaining the equal rights of the majority, is oppression. This applies for Atheists, just as it does for any other group of people.
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.


Oppress and discriminate seem fairly synonymous to me.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.


Oppress and discriminate seem fairly synonymous to me.

Discrimination is when someone separates another person from a group for being different. Oppression is when the person who is different is being held back or restricted in some way.
Xanatos
deanhills wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.


Oppress and discriminate seem fairly synonymous to me.

Discrimination is when someone separates another person from a group for being different. Oppression is when the person who is different is being held back or restricted in some way.


Forcing someone outside of the societal norm... restricting them in some way.

They seem fairly synonymous to me.
Solon_Poledourus
To be discriminated against, is to suffer the effects of oppression.
Merriam-Webster defines oppression as a cruel or unjust use of power or authority. Discrimination is a tool of those who oppress. We could argue that blacks in America, after the Civil Rights Act was passed, were only being "discriminated" against. While that is technically correct(after all, the law now granted them equal rights), it falls short of the full picture. They still couldn't get decent jobs, due to the discriminatory hand of oppression.

The two words don't mean the exact same thing. In fact, they are a good deal different in definition. But in reality, in practice, one is never found without the other. So getting back to my point: Atheists are "discriminated" against, and this discrimination is just one facet of oppression.
liljp617
deanhills wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Let's see... You can get funding for a faith-based organization. You get enough people together and call it a church, and don't have to pay taxes on any of your income(donations). You can get loans, grants, and all kinds of other special treatment for being a religious group.

Try getting any of that for a group waving an atheist flag. It simply will not happen. That is oppression, and nothing else.
I can't agree. I see it more as discrimination and something that should be set right.


Oppress and discriminate seem fairly synonymous to me.

Discrimination is when someone separates another person from a group for being different. Oppression is when the person who is different is being held back or restricted in some way.


=/ Just not seeing much difference. If you're in a group that is being oppressed, you're being treated differently solely for being in that group. Discrimination against a group is oppression of that group. They're being held back on the basis that they're different or inherently inferior for being in that group.
Indi
tingkagol wrote:
That's exactly why I favor 'passive' religious people. These 'good' religious people cited in your example are simply delusional, irrational, self-absorbed people for not acknowledging the existence of the rest of the religions in the world including atheists, and giving them their due respect. To them it has to be "convert! convert! convert!". But obviously that's not the case nowadays... or is it? Does the pope think all our muslim brothers will burn in hell unless the vatican starts another religious crusade?

No! -_-

As i said - over and over - this is not about religious people that delusional, irrational or bigoted or anything else. i was talking about literally good religious people. People who really and honestly believe their religion, and want to do good in the world. No delusions and no irrationality (other than what comes with the religion itself), and no bigotry. This is not about people who lack respect, it is the exact opposite.

Most religious people today really aren't. They say they are, yes, but they really aren't. They're fakers. Yes, i said it. Most people who claim to be religious today don't really believe their religion - they haven't really read their religious texts, they don't really understand their religious concepts. They're fakers. They just pretend to be religious because it makes them feel good, and because its socially required.

i was talking about people who are really, and honestly religious. They do understand their religion. They do believe it. They don't believe they have the right to force their beliefs on others - they are not bad people and they're not extremists. But they are truly religious.

If you were really Christian (for example), then you would really believe that if you don't save your neighbours, they will suffer eternal torment. That's what real Christianity is. What kind of sick person would sit idly by and simply allow people to suffer eternal torment? A good person would try to convince others to find salvation, not by force, but by trying to show them the "truth" (as they see it).

i'm going to lay it out: if you claim you are Christian, and you are comfortable with sitting back and doing nothing while people head toward eternal torment, then you are either a sick bastard or a liar. Either you are heartless enough to sit back and let people suffer... or you aren't really a Christian because you don't really believe the claims of the religion.

That's the bottom line: truly religious people must try to convince other people of their beliefs. They don't need to do it by violence or harassment (which would be counterproductive in any case), but they do need to do it somehow... or else they're not really good people, or they not really sincere about their religion.

Conflict. Is. Inevitable. i don't think anyone wants it (except wackos), atheist or religious, but it cannot be avoided. It will happen - it always has happened, and there's no way to prevent it in the future.

Luckily, in modern times religion is so watered down that most people who claim to be religious really aren't. They're just going through the motions - so long as those motions don't get too much in the way of their day to day lives - and neither truly believe, nor understand their religion. And that's fine by me - because if the trend continues, conflict will be avoided. Religion will devolve to empty ritual, backed up by claims not really believed by the "devout", and we'll be able to coexist.

Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Quote:
In fact, the idea that atheists either implicitly hate religion or become anti-religious reactionaries because of the way they're treated, is really kind of childish.
Really? Replace the word "atheists" with "women", and replace "religion/religious" with "abusive men". What seems childish now? The reaction of the women/atheists? Or that statement?
When people are mistreated, they change. It's not childish, it's just part of life. It's a conditioned response, a defensive mechanism.

And most of the time, it's justified.

You have taken that quote out of the context it was in, and misinterpreted it. In the paragraph it was taken from, i was talking about modelling the relationship between atheism and religion, and that the model that just assumes atheists are jerks or reactionaries is a childish model.

Obviously, if they are the direct victims of discrimination or prejudice by religion, then most people will develop animosity back to the religion. But very, very few atheists are actually victims of direct discrimination or prejudice. Indirect, certainly, but not direct.

Retaliatory dislike may explain a tiny fraction of the conflict between religion and atheism, but it is far too simplistic and childish an explanation to cover it all. i'd wager that most of the atheists here haven't suffered direct discrimination or prejudice - sure, most, if not all, have experienced annoyance, or have run into ignorance, but i doubt that for the majority of atheists here, that their lives were actually negatively changed by religion. Even for me personally, although i can write pages of stories of religion annoying me or ignorance i've come across, i don't think i can say that it's ever really harmed me.

However, most of the atheists here are very smart - well above average intelligence by my estimate, on average (that's true in general, but i'm focusing on the atheists for now). Even those who haven't experienced direct discrimination are smart enough to see the pattern - even if they can't verbalize it as clearly and and explicitly as i can. They're not concerned about religion because religion has harmed them, they're concerned because they can see the big picture... and that religion will harm them, eventually and inevitably.

deanhills wrote:
Agreed that atheism cannot oppress religion, although Stalin could probably be an example of oppression of religion. Would you regard Stalin as an atheist?

Agreed? i didn't say that atheism cannot oppress religion. i said the exact opposite. i said: "Atheism does not necessarily lead to oppressing religion. It can, sure - an atheist could oppress religion quite easily. But it doesn't have to."

Of course atheism can oppress religion, and Stalin is hardly the only example of that. But nothing about atheism made Stalin oppress religion. Nothing about Stalin's atheism drove him inevitably to oppress religion. His totalitarianism is what made him oppress religion: he oppressed religion because the church threatened his power base.

But even if that wasn't the case - even if it was just dislike of religion that made Stalin do it... that would make his hatred and bigotry the ultimate source of the oppression, not his atheism. The bottom line is that if Stalin wasn't such an ******, there is no reason he couldn't have built an atheist state that officially tolerated, or even celebrated, religion. There is no contradiction. Atheism doesn't say you can't accept religion, it just says you don't have it.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
[Of course atheism can oppress religion, and Stalin is hardly the only example of that. But nothing about atheism made Stalin oppress religion. Nothing about Stalin's atheism drove him inevitably to oppress religion. His totalitarianism is what made him oppress religion: he oppressed religion because the church threatened his power base.
I like this point of view. As the reverse has always been true for me too. It is not religion that created oppression or acts of war, but the people associated with those acts of war using religion in which ever way. For example when people were burnt at the stake as witches, religion was used as an excuse to get rid of them.

Same with guns. Guns aren't bad, but the people using guns to kill are bad. If one would like to stop war from every happening again, taking guns away won't help. Taking the people out of the equation is the only solution. And an impractical one.
Afaceinthematrix
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233849/Passengers-left-stranded-bus-driver-refuses-board-gay-rights-advert-side.html

I'm sorry for bumping an old topic but I decided that it was preferable to creating a whole new topic when it doesn't have too much room for extra discussion and it's essentially the same thing as the previous one... This is even worse than the previous article.

It is worse because not only does it have the same level of ridiculousness, it also has a high level of bigotry. Although, I will admit that I would love to be the manager of the bus department because I would enjoy every second of firing this guy. I wouldn't fire him on gay right/religious reasons because that might be against the law in the U.K. (I don't know the laws), but I'd fire him in a second (and enjoy it!) for the simple fact that refusing to drive the bus is refusing to work and getting fired for refusing to work is a no-brainer.
nickfyoung
liljp617 wrote:
deanhills wrote:


Indi, think maybe my message did not come through properly. I find the advertisement tacky by sophisticated Dawkins standards. I expected something more subtle and of greater value. Or maybe it was, and I did not get the message! Including the balloons! But thanks for letting me know what the campaign was about, which makes it even more tackier for me! I always thought atheism was outside religion, which should mean that atheists cannot be bothered any less by people who have religious beliefs. They have better things to think about. So now someone has to have a campaign in order to make atheism more credible and to support atheists? Is that not creating a religion out of atheism? Especially when you say that churches are putting advertisements up, and therefore atheists can too? I would have thought atheists had better and more nobler things to do with their time and money? Like investing in a planetarium or another hubble telescope? I would have been much more impressed with a new Richard Dawkins Planetarium, and possibly he could have put up some of his ads in there as well! Much more dignified than a red bus with balloons!


Atheists are still people deserving of equal rights and freedoms. The "tackiness" of this is irrelevant, because the goal is not at all about conversion or even educating the public about atheism. This campaign is a very clear example of how organized religion does not believe in and promote equality and freedom. They deteriorate even the most basic freedoms. The campaign is likely to show the blatant prejudice of organized religion against people of opposing views....even when the view is not degrading or insulting.

I see nothing more important at the moment besides eliminating prejudice and inequality in our societies and our world. I really don't. And this campaign, "tacky" as you may believe it to be, is attempting to do just that. It seems to be doing a good job as well, considering it's making people notice the oppression and prejudice of many organized religions.

Quote:
Is there statistical proof for atheists being the most hated group of all? Is this factually correct? Why should atheists be bothered by something like this? Really thought they had better things to be bothered by? Such as lack of math and science education in the world, maybe Richard Dawkins can make a genuine contribution to mankind by starting schools globally that specialize in the teaching of math and science and training teachers in math and science in all the languages. That would also be a much more powerful way of getting his message across in a lasting way, much better than a red bus with balloons!


There have been multiple studies/polls done asking questions where information regarding societal views toward atheists can be extracted. Here's one:

Quote:
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. As a result, there has only been one openly non-theistic member of Congress in history; Pete Stark. According to motherjones.com, 52 percent of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. In the study, sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerties and Douglas Hartmann conducted a survey of American public opinion on attitudes towards different groups. Forty percent of respondents characterized atheists as a group that "does not at all agree with my vision of American society", putting atheists well ahead of every other group, with the next highest being Muslims (26 percent) and homosexuals (23 percent). When participants were asked whether they agreed with the statement, "I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group," atheists again led minorities, with 48 percent disapproval, followed by Muslims (34 percent) and African-Americans (27 percent).


Now to me, that's a little discouraging. That an individual is so quickly negated on the basis of being rational and logical astounds me. That I could have no chance of winning the Presidency based on something so minuscule astounds me. That I am basically barred from holding any public office in my country based on me being atheist makes me cringe. There have been laws in certain states overturned that stated "no atheist can hold public office." And this wasn't 100 years ago, this was in this decade.

Why should I be bothered by something like this? Because I am the one that has experienced this prejudice first hand and is likely to experience it a lot in my life. Why should blacks have been bothered by their lack of civil rights? Needs no explanation.

The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?

I'll share my opinion on that question: Because they're mostly an insecure population of individuals that cling to their beliefs so insanely hard that any opposition is seen as a personal attack. They feel like they're backed in a corner and get defensive because the realization sets in that what they base their entire life on COULD BE COMPLETELY FALSE! And this scares the hell out of most of them, because their entire childhood they were likely indoctrinated with the idea that God does exist and there is absolutely no question about it.



Quote:
The real questions is WHY SHOULD RELIGIOUS PEOPLE BE SO HEAVILY CONCERNED WITH A SIGN ON A BUS ABOUT ATHEISM?

I'll share my opinion on that question: Because they're mostly an insecure population of individuals that cling to their beliefs so insanely hard that any opposition is seen as a personal attack. They feel like they're backed in a corner and get defensive because the realization sets in that what they base their entire life on COULD BE COMPLETELY FALSE! And this scares the hell out of most of them, because their entire childhood they were likely indoctrinated with the idea that God does exist and there is absolutely no question about it.



It's not actually. Religious people, or Christians specifically, believe that these things are controlled by the god of this world and are just another example of that. They believe that the world that was set up by their God is being eroded away and each example of things like this just add to that believe. It strengthens their believe, in that these sorts of things are exactly as their Bible said would happen.
They look forward to the end of the world so as these sorts of things happen as their Bible said it would as in signs of the end getting nearer, their believe system is made STRONGER.

It doesn't scare the hell out of them, it reinforces their belief system.
Bikerman
Once again I have to point out that you can't really speak for 'Christians' since your own brand of Christianity is very much at the extremes and in the minority. You can speak about creationist Christians or about your particular sect of post-Calvinist Protestantism, but that is a very small percentage of the total Christian population.

The sort of end-time belief you describe is fairly popular in the US (with a small percent of the world's Christians - I'm guessing around 5% but I'll check and correct later), but otherwise it is very much a minority sport...

[edit - I underestimated, though a factor of 2 isn't bad for a first guess. The US has a Christian population of about 220 million out of a global 2.2 billion - that is about 10% by my reckoning, but remember that this is TOTAL and, absurdly, includes kids and babies as well as less fundamentalist Christians]
nickfyoung
truespeed wrote:
Could these same ads be put on a bill board in America? Or are there rules/laws to stop them?



I doubt if they would be allowed in places like the Philippines, a very devout culture. Everywhere there are Bible messages and Christian symbolism. Every mode of public transport has notices to the effect that their God is in control of each trip. Every business has christian literature in the waiting room and shrines on the walls.
Even some of the big supermarkets close down all the checkouts periodically to broadcast a devotional over the PA system.

Just can't imagine it being allowed there.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Once again I have to point out that you can't really speak for 'Christians' since your own brand of Christianity is very much at the extremes and in the minority. You can speak about creationist Christians or about your particular sect of post-Calvinist Protestantism, but that is a very small percentage of the total Christian population.

The sort of end-time belief you describe is fairly popular in the US (with a small percent of the world's Christians - I'm guessing around 5% but I'll check and correct later), but otherwise it is very much a minority sport...

[edit - I underestimated, though a factor of 2 isn't bad for a first guess. The US has a Christian population of about 220 million out of a global 2.2 billion - that is about 10% by my reckoning, but remember that this is TOTAL and, absurdly, includes kids and babies as well as less fundamentalist Christians]


Fundamental and evangelical Christianity is a bit higher than that. 20/30% figures have been bandied about.
Do you have a source for your 10%.
Bikerman
You couldn't do it in nearly ANY country outside western democracies methinks....which is a GOOD reason (rather than the plethora of bad ones) to believe we are at least somewhat civilised.
As for the US - you could (and some have) but you will get hostility even in the more liberal states. In the redneck states it might cost you dearly - up to and including fatally....
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
Fundamental and evangelical Christianity is a bit higher than that. 20/30% figures have been bandied about.
Do you have a source for your 10%.


jeez....READ the damn posting.
I said the US has 10% of the world's Christians, NOT 10% of fundamentalists....The figures are given in the posting.....sheesh

As for the number of evangelical and creationists - I don't know - I'll do some calcs later.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
Xanatos wrote:
Quote:
i don't understand why a non-Christian candidate would be more afraid of the scrutiny than a Christian one.


Its not that they are more afraid of the scrutiny it is that there will be more of it. Atheists are the most hated minority in America. It is probably tough to run for any kind of political office as an Athiest.

So you're saying that not only to Christians in America discriminate against non-Christians when voting, they also give Christian candidates a free ride when they're campaigning? ^_^;

In all seriousness, i don't buy that excuse. If the Christian media scrutinizes atheist candidates hard, the non-Christian media scrutinizes Christian candidates just as ferociously. Sarah Palin didn't get an easy ride of it for being a Christian, and Barack Obama's Christian connections were deeply scrutinized.

The reason it is tough to run as an atheist candidate is not because atheist candidates are afraid of scrutiny. It is because they simply won't get voted in because they are atheists, because a large portion of the electorate are bigots. Don't blame the potential atheist candidates by implying they're afraid of scrutiny. Blame the bigots who simply won't vote for them, regardless of whether they're scrutinized or not.



We have an Atheist Prime Minister in Australia.
Bikerman
OK - best guess for global creationist number:
I've sourced figures for national surveys and taken the definition of a creationist to be someone not believing in evolution. Whilst that would cover a wide range of fundamentalist religious - from OAC, YEC (and many Muslims), it is probably the best rough and ready stat for this....

For Europe it looks like this:


We can get a ball-park figure of around 65-70% accepting evolution (or 30-35% creationists of one sort or another)

The US is at the bottom of the 'first world' (along with Australia - which has a plethora of creationist loons, and is the home of AiG) with around 40% accepting evolution and the rest either full-on creationists or 'guided evolution/ID' variants.

Canada is between the two - about 55-60% accept evolution.

As we move to other countries it gets too complex to say very much at all, because of the mix of religions, the background and mixes with ethnic beliefs (particularly in Africa) and the lack of reliable data.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
OK - best guess for global creationist number:
I've sourced figures for national surveys and taken the definition of a creationist to be someone not believing in evolution. Whilst that would cover a wide range of fundamentalist religious - from OAC, YEC (and many Muslims), it is probably the best rough and ready stat for this....

For Europe it looks like this:


We can get a ball-park figure of around 65-70% accepting evolution (or 30-35% creationists of one sort or another)

The US is at the bottom of the 'first world' (along with Australia - which has a plethora of creationist loons, and is the home of AiG) with around 40% accepting evolution and the rest either full-on creationists or 'guided evolution/ID' variants.

Canada is between the two - about 55-60% accept evolution.

As we move to other countries it gets too complex to say very much at all, because of the mix of religions, the background and mixes with ethnic beliefs (particularly in Africa) and the lack of reliable data.



Quote:
Once again I have to point out that you can't really speak for 'Christians' since your own brand of Christianity is very much at the extremes and in the minority
.


Does that mean that my brand of Christianity then is not in the minority.



Quote:
along with Australia - which has a plethora of creationist loons, and is the home of AiG



Australia has a very small percentage of creationist loons. Ken ham is an Australian and founded AIG but it is headquartered in the US now and has been for a long time.
Bikerman
Yes of course your brand is in the minority. Even taking the countries I mentioned - do the sums (get the total Christian population and simply divide). Globally it is very much the minority. 2.2 billion Christians. 1.2 billion Catholics. 600-800 Million Protestants. So already you are down in the 40% without even subdividing Protestantism. When you do that, take out Anglicans, etc you get about 100 million baptists, 75 million Lutherans, a similar number of Methodists and reformed churchers and so on. You are very much the minority.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Yes of course your brand is in the minority. Even taking the countries I mentioned - do the sums (get the total Christian population and simply divide). Globally it is very much the minority. 2.2 billion Christians. 1.2 billion Catholics. 600-800 Million Protestants. So already you are down in the 40% without even subdividing Protestantism. When you do that, take out Anglicans, etc you get about 100 million baptists, 75 million Lutherans, a similar number of Methodists and reformed churchers and so on. You are very much the minority.



AHH but, we are talking fundamental evangelical Christianity. There are a percentage of those Anglicans and baptists etc who are just that. I have been to Baptist churches who are very fundamental and even Pentecostal.

I was 'saved' in a Presbyterian church and while the majority there were 'Presbyterian' there was enough evangelicals to get me onside.
I have also come across devout and sincere Pentecostals, spirit filled, tongue speaking, who believe in evolution.

Even in your 1.2 billion Catholics there is an element of fundamentalism with many claiming baptism in the spirit.

My 'brand' as you put is actually more than the minority because I encompass two 'brands' of Christianity if you have noticed. I embrace Pentecostalism as well as a strict reformed teaching which is in itself is a minority but one of a growing 'brand'.

It is a bit difficult to generalize.
Bikerman
Catholics are generally not creationists because the church has taken a position on it and most catholics go with the hierarchy. I don't know about the rest but if you are claiming they are creationists then show me your figures.
Ankhanu
nickfyoung wrote:
It is a bit difficult to generalize.

Nah, easy to generalize... hard to get specifically right. Quite the opposite of your intended point Wink

In general, like this. Some specific cases resemble that.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Catholics are generally not creationists because the church has taken a position on it and most catholics go with the hierarchy. I don't know about the rest but if you are claiming they are creationists then show me your figures.


http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/CreationismInChurches

The article is about the UK and percentages are very small.

I have difficulty finding such stuff on Google. Any search tips.?
Bikerman
Yes.
Spend a little time learning how to use it properly.
Start here
nickfyoung
"Of the approximate 2 billion Christians in the world today, 279 million (12.8% of the world's Christian population) identify themselves as Pentecostals, 304 million (14%) are Charismatics, and 285 million (13.1%) are Evangelicals, or Bible believing Christians"
http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/p/christiantoday.htm

My maths make that almost 40% of Bible believing Christians out of all Christians.

Pentecostals and Charismatics are Bible believing too.

That is a significant percentage and is a group I classify myself amongst so I hardly would consider it a minority.

By definition, a Christian is one who associates himself with Christ and in turn associate with the Bible as it is written.

While many who claim to be Christian refuse to accept the Bible, one wonders why bother to claim to be Christian.

To claim to have an allegiance to a religion and to not accept the writings of that religion would soon disillusion one on to the road to Atheism.
Bikerman
Weasel words and you know it.
Few of the mentioned sects believe the bible is literal and history. Most of them do not believe that the world was created recently and evolution is a con.
You have a particularly literal view of the bible (which was never intended) and that puts you in the small minority who many, if not most Christians regard as pretty bonkers.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Weasel words and you know it.
Few of the mentioned sects believe the bible is literal and history. Most of them do not believe that the world was created recently and evolution is a con.
You have a particularly literal view of the bible (which was never intended) and that puts you in the small minority who many, if not most Christians regard as pretty bonkers.



What is it about 40% that you can't see.
Bikerman
What 40%.
The Charismatics at my local church aren't Young Earth Creationists. I don't actually KNOW any Young Earth Creationists and I know a LOT of Christians...
You seem to think that YECs are general in Christianity rather than the loony fringe - they really aren't,
Josso
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2233849/Passengers-left-stranded-bus-driver-refuses-board-gay-rights-advert-side.html

I'm sorry for bumping an old topic but I decided that it was preferable to creating a whole new topic when it doesn't have too much room for extra discussion and it's essentially the same thing as the previous one... This is even worse than the previous article.

It is worse because not only does it have the same level of ridiculousness, it also has a high level of bigotry. Although, I will admit that I would love to be the manager of the bus department because I would enjoy every second of firing this guy. I wouldn't fire him on gay right/religious reasons because that might be against the law in the U.K. (I don't know the laws), but I'd fire him in a second (and enjoy it!) for the simple fact that refusing to drive the bus is refusing to work and getting fired for refusing to work is a no-brainer.


Hmmmm to be fair to the bloke though (not disputing his ignorance btw) what's the agenda of the banner/group though, that's my only question. Load of sententious NONSENSE from a totally objective slogan point of view.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
What 40%.
The Charismatics at my local church aren't Young Earth Creationists. I don't actually KNOW any Young Earth Creationists and I know a LOT of Christians...
You seem to think that YECs are general in Christianity rather than the loony fringe - they really aren't,



We know what you are referring to when you say 'Christians'. What are you referring to when you Charismatics.

I am speaking from experience, fellowshipping regularly with real Christians, all who are YECs. They are very general in the Christianity I know.
Afaceinthematrix
Josso wrote:
Hmmmm to be fair to the bloke though (not disputing his ignorance btw) what's the agenda of the banner/group though, that's my only question. Load of sententious NONSENSE from a totally objective slogan point of view.


What do you mean "being fair" to the bus driver dude? His job is to drive the bus. That's it. He didn't drive the bus and so he should instantly be fired. There are very few excuses for not getting in the bus and driving it. If the bus driver had said, "I'm feeling extremely sick and dizzy, am having trouble seeing straight, and cannot be a safe driver" then I'd congratulate him for his honesty versus him trying to still drive so that he doesn't lose a day's pay. However, this was nothing like that. He had no valid excuse for not going to work. The bus company that he drives for sells advertisements on the side. Stonewall wanted to place a political advertisement that shares their views. If he doesn't like that then tough. He can find a new job.

The intentions of Stonewall have nothing to do with the fact that this guy wasn't doing his job. Stonewall has freedom of speech like the rest of us and they used their freedom of speech to push their agenda. This guy doesn't like that and so obviously he doesn't like free speech. I think that being against free speech is even worse than being a bigot because, at least, if you're a bigot that is for free speech then someone can try to convince you to not be a bigot. I always say that the freedom of speech is the most important right because if you give me that right then I will fight for the rest of my rights.
Afaceinthematrix
nickfyoung wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What 40%.
The Charismatics at my local church aren't Young Earth Creationists. I don't actually KNOW any Young Earth Creationists and I know a LOT of Christians...
You seem to think that YECs are general in Christianity rather than the loony fringe - they really aren't,



We know what you are referring to when you say 'Christians'. What are you referring to when you Charismatics.

I am speaking from experience, fellowshipping regularly with real Christians, all who are YECs. They are very general in the Christianity I know.


Perhaps your personal conceptions are misguide you because you don't properly survey people.

To get a true number for a percentage of YEC in the church, you'd need to survey a wide group of people that you choose at random from a large variety of different Christian churches.

You may think that all the Christians that you know are YEC but that may be because only YEC talk about the age of the earth (from my experience). I know that the earth is about 4.55 billion years old and I see no reason to talk about that except in conversations like this. People who think that the earth is a few thousand years old find the need to talk about it constantly.

It may be the case where every person that you have heard talk about the age of the earth is a YEC and everybody who you haven't heard talk about the age of the earth is not a YEC. I'd challenge you to actually ask every person that you can in your church. Ask them in a completely objective way. Don't say, "You know that the earth is 6,000 years old, right?" because that may put the idea in their head. Ask them, "How old do you think this planet is?" or something like that. You obviously have had this conversation with some people and so you'll know those people's answers. However, you may be surprised to find out the answers from people that you've never had this conversation with before.
Bikerman
nickfyoung wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What 40%.
The Charismatics at my local church aren't Young Earth Creationists. I don't actually KNOW any Young Earth Creationists and I know a LOT of Christians...
You seem to think that YECs are general in Christianity rather than the loony fringe - they really aren't,



We know what you are referring to when you say 'Christians'. What are you referring to when you Charismatics.
Really? I bet you don't.
Quote:
I am speaking from experience, fellowshipping regularly with real Christians, all who are YECs. They are very general in the Christianity I know.

As I said, there are a lot of the loony fringe in 2 countries - the US and Australia.
Here in the UK it is about 10% according to a recent survey, reported here in the Guardian. The number of Christians is about 70% according to most sources such as:the BBC
so that is about 1/7th of the Christians are in the loony fringe - sounds about right, maybe even a bit high.....
nickfyoung
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What 40%.
The Charismatics at my local church aren't Young Earth Creationists. I don't actually KNOW any Young Earth Creationists and I know a LOT of Christians...
You seem to think that YECs are general in Christianity rather than the loony fringe - they really aren't,



We know what you are referring to when you say 'Christians'. What are you referring to when you Charismatics.

I am speaking from experience, fellowshipping regularly with real Christians, all who are YECs. They are very general in the Christianity I know.


Perhaps your personal conceptions are misguide you because you don't properly survey people.

To get a true number for a percentage of YEC in the church, you'd need to survey a wide group of people that you choose at random from a large variety of different Christian churches.

You may think that all the Christians that you know are YEC but that may be because only YEC talk about the age of the earth (from my experience). I know that the earth is about 4.55 billion years old and I see no reason to talk about that except in conversations like this. People who think that the earth is a few thousand years old find the need to talk about it constantly.

It may be the case where every person that you have heard talk about the age of the earth is a YEC and everybody who you haven't heard talk about the age of the earth is not a YEC. I'd challenge you to actually ask every person that you can in your church. Ask them in a completely objective way. Don't say, "You know that the earth is 6,000 years old, right?" because that may put the idea in their head. Ask them, "How old do you think this planet is?" or something like that. You obviously have had this conversation with some people and so you'll know those people's answers. However, you may be surprised to find out the answers from people that you've never had this conversation with before.



It is not really a young earth issue. It is a fundamental issue and a young earth is just a part of it. A fundamental Christian accepts the Bible as literal truth which includes all aspects.

In a fundamental church such stuff is taught regularly from the pulpit and is generally accepted.

I have come across people in a pentecostal church who were evolutionists and old earth adherents but they were generally the exception.

If Adam and Eve were the first people and the first death was to make them clothes and Jesus died to atone for the sin that started then, we can't fit in millions of years of death and suffering.
Bikerman
LOL...more fingers in ears and refusing to listen eh?
As I have frequently and correctly said, the number of Christians who take a literalist interpretation of the bible is a SMALL minority - the only figures we have are somewhere between 1/3 and 1/7 and since that is only 3 countries and includes the 2 countries with by far the most fundys then that is an extremely conservative figure which is likely to be way more than the real number.

The Catholics abandoned that sort of literalism centuries ago and most of the other sects did as well.
The only sects that require your sort of literalistic nonsense are a small minority - almost entirely in the US, and whilst other sects don't chuck the loonies out, neither do they require it to be a member.

You are labouring under the delusion that YOU take the bible literally rather than the real case which is you take some of the least likely loopy bits which were WRITTEN AS PARABLES literally - in other words you mistake the bible. But neither do you take most of the rest literally either or you would have to get circumcised, offer burnt offerings, stone adulterers, cheeky children and gays....and so on and so on. You choose to ignore most of Leviticus and Deuteronomy based on a notion of 'new covenant' which is NOT in the bible.....
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...more fingers in ears and refusing to listen eh?
As I have frequently and correctly said, the number of Christians who take a literalist interpretation of the bible is a SMALL minority - the only figures we have are somewhere between 1/3 and 1/7 and since that is only 3 countries and includes the 2 countries with by far the most fundys then that is an extremely conservative figure which is likely to be way more than the real number.

The Catholics abandoned that sort of literalism centuries ago and most of the other sects did as well.
The only sects that require your sort of literalistic nonsense are a small minority - almost entirely in the US, and whilst other sects don't chuck the loonies out, neither do they require it to be a member.

You are labouring under the delusion that YOU take the bible literally rather than the real case which is you take some of the least likely loopy bits which were WRITTEN AS PARABLES literally - in other words you mistake the bible. But neither do you take most of the rest literally either or you would have to get circumcised, offer burnt offerings, stone adulterers, cheeky children and gays....and so on and so on. You choose to ignore most of Leviticus and Deuteronomy based on a notion of 'new covenant' which is NOT in the bible.....



Take just one denomination, The Assemblies of God or AOG

It has up to 60 million adherents worldwide and believes the Bible as divinely inspired and the infallible authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblies_of_God

This is from their articles of faith or statement of belief.

"Creation:
We believe that creation was by the specific immediate act of God and there is room for those who believe the Gap Theory of Genesis 1:1-2 and those who accept the "Young Earth" position." http://ministryblue.com/belief/aog.html
Bikerman
Yep - as I said there are a few that still hold to such stuff, but this is NOT one of them.
What you have done is unfortunately becoming typical - you have inserted a quote which is about the church in Australia and wrongly credited the entire grouping with that belief....either dishonest or incompetent or both. The site you took the statement from clearly labelled Australian 'branch' whereas your FIRST reference contains the 16 statements of principle that the GLOBAL assembly hold to - and they do NOT include ANYTHING about YEC or 6-days creation at all - though they do have other loopy stuff, being pentecostalist tongue speakers - and interestingly it is NOT stuff that YOU believe Smile

Which only serves to illustrate my point that none of the fundies really know what the bible says, let alone believe it.....
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Yep - as I said there are a few that still hold to such stuff, but this is NOT one of them.
What you have done is unfortunately becoming typical - you have inserted a quote which is about the church in Australia and wrongly credited the entire grouping with that belief....either dishonest or incompetent or both. The site you took the statement from clearly labelled Australian 'branch' whereas your FIRST reference contains the 16 statements of principle that the GLOBAL assembly hold to - and they do NOT include ANYTHING about YEC or 6-days creation at all - though they do have other loopy stuff, being pentecostalist tongue speakers - and interestingly it is NOT stuff that YOU believe Smile

Which only serves to illustrate my point that none of the fundies really know what the bible says, let alone believe it.....



"THE DOCTRINE OF CREATION
POSITION PAPER
(ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL PRESBYTERY IN SESSION JULY 30 AND AUGUST 1, 2011)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).1 The Bible
begins with creation, declares at the outset that God is Creator, and reiterates this
understanding of origins from Genesis to Revelation."


"The Biblical Account of Creation Reveals Order, Progress, and Climax
Order, progress, and climax are part of the biblical account of creation. Order is seen in
the careful structuring of the various stages of creative activity in a six-day format,"

This from the US site. http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.pdf


Quote:
and interestingly it is NOT stuff that YOU believe Smile



What stuff that I don't believe. I claim to be baptized in the spirit, spirit filled and speak in tongues.
Bikerman
Yes. Do you not understand what you have just quoted? Totally different bunch of loonies - the Presbyterian - and a tiny congregation (this is a local governance policy document which will represent a few hundred, maybe a few thousand max....hardly 2 BILLION).
- and neither do THEY assert YEC nonsense. This time it must be disho9nesty because you have deliberately left out important bits which make this clear, such as:
Quote:
Genesis 1–3 accurately communicates God’s creation of the heavens and the earth.
Using language that appears to employ both prose and poetry and that contains both
literal and symbolic elements
, the story is a simple yet beautiful and compelling narrative
intended to speak to all humankind. The complexity of creation is such that humans will
never fully comprehend it. But the message that God alone is Creator plainly has been
communicated to all who, through the ages, hear and read the Genesis account.
Nowhere does this assert a literal interpretation of Genesis - though, as I said, it is fruity-loops in other areas.

I didn't know you also spoke fluent tongue-gibberish - thought only the Pentecostalists did that.

As for whether you believe the same as the tongue-gibberers - not possible because THEY don't agree. They are split into those who believe the Trinity and those who don't. So either way a big bunch of them have it wrong on that issue, and as for talking in 'tongues'....hilarious what people will buy - invented in 1900 by a con-man.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Yes. Do you not understand what you have just quoted? Totally different bunch of loonies - the Presbyterian - and a tiny congregation (this is a local governance policy document which will represent a few hundred, maybe a few thousand max....hardly 2 BILLION).
- and neither do THEY assert YEC nonsense. This time it must be disho9nesty because you have deliberately left out important bits which make this clear, such as:
Quote:
Genesis 1–3 accurately communicates God’s creation of the heavens and the earth.
Using language that appears to employ both prose and poetry and that contains both
literal and symbolic elements
, the story is a simple yet beautiful and compelling narrative
intended to speak to all humankind. The complexity of creation is such that humans will
never fully comprehend it. But the message that God alone is Creator plainly has been
communicated to all who, through the ages, hear and read the Genesis account.
Nowhere does this assert a literal interpretation of Genesis - though, as I said, it is fruity-loops in other areas.

I didn't know you also spoke fluent tongue-gibberish - thought only the Pentecostalists did that.

As for whether you believe the same as the tongue-gibberers - not possible because THEY don't agree. They are split into those who believe the Trinity and those who don't. So either way a big bunch of them have it wrong on that issue, and as for talking in 'tongues'....hilarious what people will buy - invented in 1900 by a con-man.





"the New Testament treats the first
Adam as a historical person (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Timothy 2:13,14).
Genesis 2 declares God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into him
the breath of life. This act indicates that humans are distinct from animals and that God
did not form Adam from some previously existing creation (1 Corinthians 15:39)."


You are the first to complain of cherry picking.


http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/index.cfm This the site of the AOG USA.


http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Position_Papers/pp_downloads/PP_The_Doctrine_of_Creation.pdf


This the link from that site to their Doctrine of Creation adopted by the GENERAL PRESBYTERY IN SESSION.

Nothing to do with the Presbyterian church. Presbytery (church polity), a governing body of elders

Presbytery (residence), or "rectory", the home of one or more Roman Catholic priests. You should have known this one.

Quote:
hilarious what people will buy - invented in 1900 by a con-man.



Invented in the book of Acts.


Quote:
They are split into those who believe the Trinity and those who don't.



Don't believe that, evidence?


Quote:
I didn't know you also spoke fluent tongue-gibberish - thought only the Pentecostalists did that.




I have mentioned several times that I am a Reformed Pentecostal
Bikerman
My mistake - misread the title.
The rest is still as I said. They do NOT push YEC, they DO emphasise a POETIC and SYMBOLIC meani8ng as well as the basic notion that it is accurate. In other words they are leaving it clear for MECs and OECs to join their loony band. The document is a triumph of nonsense though - a real laughable load of theological balderdash, illogical nonsense and contradiction.

As for me not telling the truth about Pentecostalists being split, of course they are - if you claim to have been one then how is it that YOU don't know this? It is hardly a secret - being the biggest Schism the church ever had?

As for evidence - do your own research. Lookup Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic Pentecostalism - it's not hard.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
My mistake - misread the title.
The rest is still as I said. They do NOT push YEC, they DO emphasise a POETIC and SYMBOLIC meani8ng as well as the basic notion that it is accurate. In other words they are leaving it clear for MECs and OECs to join their loony band. The document is a triumph of nonsense though - a real laughable load of theological balderdash, illogical nonsense and contradiction.

As for me not telling the truth about Pentecostalists being split, of course they are - if you claim to have been one then how is it that YOU don't know this? It is hardly a secret - being the biggest Schism the church ever had?

As for evidence - do your own research. Lookup Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic Pentecostalism - it's not hard.



Never heard of it. Plenty of different styles of Pentecostals. The Potters House is another one which is a bit funny.

I used to be Assemblies of God which I enjoyed but have moved to a smaller independent one now. We come under the headship of Margaret Court, you will remember her as a tennis champ some years ago. She is a pastor now. Should that be pastoress.


Reformed churches think the same way about the Pentecostal church of course but they are cessations.
Bikerman
No reformed churches do NOT think the same way. In fact many of them are in extremely vocal and bitter disagreement.

The fact that you have 'never heard' of the other branch of your ex-church says a great deal about both your knowledge of wider Christianity and your willingness to explore the belief system you buy into....They are hardly just another group - they disagree on one of the fundamental dogmas of Christianity - even though THEY take the bible literally. Amazingly non-l;iteral all this literalist stuff isn't it - Literalists are loonies, as I said Smile

So far you have shown a total of about 60 million creationists worldwide in the Pentecostalist bunch - by no means all of them as YECs as I showed you. I'll grant you double, maybe triple that number in other sects - STILL a tiny minority - 10% or so.....

If and when you want to look at this bunch critically, there are some organisations to help recovery from Pentecostalism, including this one formed by ex-loons.

There is also a HUGE amount of documentary evidence of the fiddles, scams, lies and downright deception that this bunch regularly go in for....

Yes I remember Margaret Court - great tennis player but batshit crazy and a deeply bigoted and unpleasant woman.

PS my earlier mistake in calling you lot Presbyterians was a mistake and wrong, but not totally left-field - Pentecostal was basically created from Presbyterianism by Minister Irving, until the Pressers excommunicated him Smile that was early 1800s methinks....
nickfyoung
[quote="Bikerman"]No reformed churches do NOT think the same way. In fact many of them are in extremely vocal and bitter disagreement.

The fact that you have 'never heard' of the other branch of your ex-church says a great deal about both your knowledge of wider Christianity and your willingness to explore the belief system you buy into....They are hardly just another group - they disagree on one of the fundamental dogmas of Christianity - even though THEY take the bible literally. Amazingly non-l;iteral all this literalist stuff isn't it - Literalists are loonies, as I said Smile

So far you have shown a total of about 60 million creationists worldwide in the Pentecostalist bunch - by no means all of them as YECs as I showed you. I'll grant you double, maybe triple that number in other sects - STILL a tiny minority - 10% or so.....

If and when you want to look at this bunch critically, there are some organisations to help recovery from Pentecostalism, including this one formed by ex-loons.

There is also a HUGE amount of documentary evidence of the fiddles, scams, lies and downright deception that this bunch regularly go in for....[/quote


Quote:
are in extremely vocal and bitter disagreement.



Thats what I meant. Because they are cessations they wont have a bar of the Pentecostals.


Quote:
documentary evidence[/url] of the fiddles, scams, lies and downright deception that this bunch regularly go in for...




Yes, a crazy lot. That is why I keep my handle for reformed in front. Incidentally, I am the only one in my church who believes the reformed teaching. I have almost got one other round.
Bikerman
So your beliefs are obviously not fixed, which should sort of hint to you that there IS no literal bible truth - otherwise you should have found it by now and stopped shifting.
This is, of course, both obvious and understood by many 'sophisticated' Christians (the fundies are not very sophisticated I'm afraid - too many loons) who have been changing their stories for centuries in a long managed retreat that started with the enlightenment.
Maybe one day you will graduate into being a less loony Catholic - the Penty bunch have been talking to the Vatican for some while, and there are more commonalities between your bunch and Catholicism than you think.
You could stop being a loony and join the kiddy-fiddlers...would that be better or worse I wonder? Exchange a crazy belief for a corrupt conspiracy...? hmm.....a real ethical conundrum
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
So your beliefs are obviously not fixed, which should sort of hint to you that there IS no literal bible truth - otherwise you should have found it by now and stopped shifting.
This is, of course, both obvious and understood by many 'sophisticated' Christians (the fundies are not very sophisticated I'm afraid - too many loons) who have been changing their stories for centuries in a long managed retreat that started with the enlightenment.
Maybe one day you will graduate into being a less loony Catholic - the Penty bunch have been talking to the Vatican for some while, and there are more commonalities between your bunch and Catholicism than you think.
You could stop being a loony and join the kiddy-fiddlers...would that be better or worse I wonder? Exchange a crazy belief for a corrupt conspiracy...? hmm.....a real ethical conundrum



LOL, Not much of a choice there. A looney or a kiddie fiddler.

Did have a Pentecostal mate who changed to Catholicism on his death bed. Maybe there is hope for me yet.
Bikerman
I wouldn't describe Catholicism as 'hope', just a more sophisticated and knowing delusion.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
I wouldn't describe Catholicism as 'hope', just a more sophisticated and knowing delusion.



Very true. And very deep and esoteric in many cases.

What about all those conspiracy theories about the Catholic church, are they true.

And the Jesuit order. That was pretty strange. Did you ever look at some of the stuff in their oaths. Puts Freemasonry to shame.

I used to rent the Catholic church hall every Saturday for a market. The old Father would arrive back from the club after lunch to collect the rent on his way home, pretty intoxicated.
Bikerman
Which theories? There are hundreds. Most of them are garbage - The Knights Templar 'conspiracy', the Benedictine 'conspiracy', the Crusader lost Hoard.....if you think of any Christian monastic order from the last 1200yrs there will be at least one conspiracy theory which claims they are either the real masters of the universe, or the keepers of an ultimate secret/wealth.

Amongst the worst of this genre is the gut-wrenchingly bad arse-gravy, excreted from the 'brain' of Dan Shitty-Brown. His foetid pile of turd - the Davinci Code - caused me physical pain when I was unwise enough to attempt its pages, after a well-meaning but literary clueless in-law decided it was just the thing for my birthday present.

What a complete pile of excrement that was/is. Not only is the story a mix of stupid invention and ripped-off work, it is written with about as much artistic ability and prose mastery as one might expect from a first-year English Undergrad at Wigan 'University' whose wealthy parents enabled him to find a place on a course of such banality and mediocrity that the only graduate ever to emerge and be in any way noticed by anyone is Pauline 'Re-Write' Walters. A woman who's glittering literary career saw her rise to the heights of assistant re-writer/copyist with the firm of Hatckett and Morgan - a small ad-agency who specialise in the sort of TV commercials one can see if ever unwise enough to turn one's TV to the QVC shopping channel at 3:30am on a Tuesday morning......

The man Brown should be dragged by his remaining hair, through the streets of Stratford, with a sign hung around his neck which identifies his crimes against syntax, and makes clear his violence and abuse of the fair and lovely creature that is the English language - and all the while, anyone who has ever had their love for our language tarnished and cheapened by proximity with his output, is encouraged to pelt him with soft fruits, animal dung, or any other non-lethal missiles they care to heave in his direction - in the hope that the catharsis this might trigger will allow them, once more, to pick up a book without shuddering.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
The man Brown should be dragged by his remaining hair, through the streets of Stratford, with a sign hung around his neck identifies his crimes against syntax, and makes clear his violence and abuse of the fair and lovely creature that is the English language - whilst anyone who has ever had their love for our language tarnished and cheapened by proximity with his output is encouraged to pelt him with soft fruits and other non-lethal missiles - until the catharsis involved means they feel clean enough to pick up another book without shuddering.


LoL. That's quite the review and I quite agree. I remember that people were talking nonstop about The DaVinci Code and a friend of mine highly suggested it and so I went out and purchased Digital Fortress, Angels and Demons, and The DaVinci Code. It was through my insane desire to not waste money that I made it through all three crappy books.

Everyone talked nonstop about how great they were and I was never able to get over his piece-of-crap writing style. He could take the greatest story ever and make it painful to read. His writing style is so awful that I'd rather grade papers from a first-year English course filled with engineers. It wasn't just that the stories were boring (and all three were dreadfully boring), it was that he seems to have no clue on how to make a story flow. He is awful at transitioning between scenes. His descriptions are boring. The dialogue is just silly. The only consolation was that I got the books for practically nothing at a used books store selling paperbacks.

Then the movie came out... Catholic churches were protesting it - which I found hilarious. I was still in high school and so my parents still forced me to go to church and so I had to hear the pastor preach against it which I found even more funny.
nickfyoung
Never read it or the movie. Was there a movie?

Anything that is written in that vein is usually rubbish. Don't remember a pastor preaching against it although many probably did.
Remember one preaching against the Harry Potter stuff when that first came out. Claimed it de-sensitized kids to evil etc. Never read any of that stuff either or watched the movies.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Which theories? There are hundreds. Most of them are garbage - The Knights Templar 'conspiracy', the Benedictine 'conspiracy', the Crusader lost Hoard.....if you think of any Christian monastic order from the last 1200yrs there will be at least one conspiracy theory which claims they are either the real masters of the universe, or the keepers of an ultimate secret/wealth.

Amongst the worst of this genre is the gut-wrenchingly bad arse-gravy, excreted from the 'brain' of Dan Shitty-Brown. His foetid pile of turd - the Davinci Code - caused me physical pain when I was unwise enough to attempt its pages, after a well-meaning but literary clueless in-law decided it was just the thing for my birthday present.

What a complete pile of excrement that was/is. Not only is the story a mix of stupid invention and ripped-off work, it is written with about as much artistic ability and prose mastery as one might expect from a first-year English Undergrad at Wigan 'University' whose wealthy parents enabled him to find a place on a course of such banality and mediocrity that the only graduate ever to emerge and be in any way noticed by anyone is Pauline 'Re-Write' Walters. A woman who's glittering literary career saw her rise to the heights of assistant re-writer/copyist with the firm of Hatckett and Morgan - a small ad-agency who specialise in the sort of TV commercials one can see if ever unwise enough to turn one's TV to the QVC shopping channel at 3:30am on a Tuesday morning......

The man Brown should be dragged by his remaining hair, through the streets of Stratford, with a sign hung around his neck which identifies his crimes against syntax, and makes clear his violence and abuse of the fair and lovely creature that is the English language - and all the while, anyone who has ever had their love for our language tarnished and cheapened by proximity with his output, is encouraged to pelt him with soft fruits, animal dung, or any other non-lethal missiles they care to heave in his direction - in the hope that the catharsis this might trigger will allow them, once more, to pick up a book without shuddering.



Most of the Protestant world seem to think that the Catholic Church is the beast in Revelation or other such stuff. Never really looked into it but it keeps popping up and seems to be a universal belief.
Afaceinthematrix
nickfyoung wrote:
Never read it or the movie. Was there a movie?

Anything that is written in that vein is usually rubbish. Don't remember a pastor preaching against it although many probably did.
Remember one preaching against the Harry Potter stuff when that first came out. Claimed it de-sensitized kids to evil etc. Never read any of that stuff either or watched the movies.


Harry Potter is extremely different. The Harry Potter books and movies are okay. They aren't great; they aren't amazing; they're just fun and entertaining books of no real literary merit (in my opinion). They don't challenge you on an intellectual level; they don't challenge your political beliefs; they aren't shocking; etc. They are books written at a children's level and written for children that are still fun enough for adults to enjoy (although probably not as much as children). I disagree with people when they say that they are great literature. They aren't; they're just fun stories and J.K. Rowling has a moderately good writing style but it certainly isn't at the level of someone like Mark Twain.

Speaking out against Harry Potter was just silly and I'm thinking that probably just a small few pastors did and then all of a sudden it became cool and people jumped on the bandwagon. Those books aren't any more "evil" than the Wizard of Oz. Yes they have magic (which is what scared some Christians for some reason). But The Chronicles of Narnia also had magic and C.S. Lewis is blatantly Christian. Lord of the Rings also had wizards and the such. Harry Potter is just a classic good vs. evil story where the good wizard Harry Potter ultimately defeats the evil wizard Voldemort and good triumphs evil. If you think that's evil then you should also think that Star Wars is evil because Darth Vader eventually defeats the Emperor after feeling remorse and Star Wars also has a type of magic (the force).
nickfyoung
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
Never read it or the movie. Was there a movie?

Anything that is written in that vein is usually rubbish. Don't remember a pastor preaching against it although many probably did.
Remember one preaching against the Harry Potter stuff when that first came out. Claimed it de-sensitized kids to evil etc. Never read any of that stuff either or watched the movies.


Harry Potter is extremely different. The Harry Potter books and movies are okay. They aren't great; they aren't amazing; they're just fun and entertaining books of no real literary merit (in my opinion). They don't challenge you on an intellectual level; they don't challenge your political beliefs; they aren't shocking; etc. They are books written at a children's level and written for children that are still fun enough for adults to enjoy (although probably not as much as children). I disagree with people when they say that they are great literature. They aren't; they're just fun stories and J.K. Rowling has a moderately good writing style but it certainly isn't at the level of someone like Mark Twain.

Speaking out against Harry Potter was just silly and I'm thinking that probably just a small few pastors did and then all of a sudden it became cool and people jumped on the bandwagon. Those books aren't any more "evil" than the Wizard of Oz. Yes they have magic (which is what scared some Christians for some reason). But The Chronicles of Narnia also had magic and C.S. Lewis is blatantly Christian. Lord of the Rings also had wizards and the such. Harry Potter is just a classic good vs. evil story where the good wizard Harry Potter ultimately defeats the evil wizard Voldemort and good triumphs evil. If you think that's evil then you should also think that Star Wars is evil because Darth Vader eventually defeats the Emperor after feeling remorse and Star Wars also has a type of magic (the force).



Can't watch Star Wars stuff and The Lord of the Rings put me to sleep.
Bikerman
LOL...I was listening to reading of some David Sedaris essays whilst I typed it. I love Sedaris - he writes in such a 'free' and apparently 'unmannered' style that his stuff works whether read quietly alone, or read aloud to a large group - and yet he can (and does) make me cry and laugh in the space of a paragraph.
The show featured his story of a critic who hated Sedaris' work, so Sedaris imagines him in another role... I won't spoil it if you haven't come across either the story or Sedaris himself, I will simply say that:
a) If you know the story then the style and approach of my little review is explained in a moment..
b) If you don't, then it is worth listening to whilst doing any routine or non-demanding keyboardy stuff...which can be achieved with a click below. Just compare Sedaris' style with Brown to see how bad Brown is Smile
Bikerman
I think nearly any religious fundy is going to struggle with a properly good book.
Firstly, anyone who can seriously accept the bible or quran as history/truth has such a poor, distorted, (and parochial, if not actually deliberately blinkered and egoistic) view of concepts like truth, understanding and reality that they are not going to get much out of some of the writers that I and many others would consider 'great'.
Such authors usually require the reader to be a willing participant rather than a passive receiver, with a good understanding of the human condition, and often they take it as a given that the reader has a mind capable of following and accepting logical trails and sub-plots, spotting fallacies and deceptions, etc.
None of these are traits/abilities that I can honestly report to finding in the religiously certain and I might even go further and hypothesise a negative correlation between religiousity and literary appreciation/understanding. That might also explain why the great sacred texts are, to me, documents of usually poor and only occasionally adequate literary merit, while the faithful regard them as literary masterpieces....
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
I think nearly any religious fundy is going to struggle with a properly good book.
Firstly, anyone who can seriously accept the bible or quran as history/truth has such a poor, distorted, (and parochial, if not actually deliberately blinkered and egoistic) view of concepts like truth, understanding and reality that they are not going to get much out of some of the writers that I and many others would consider 'great'.
Such authors usually require the reader to be a willing participant rather than a passive receiver, with a good understanding of the human condition, and often they take it as a given that the reader has a mind capable of following and accepting logical trails and sub-plots, spotting fallacies and deceptions, etc.
None of these are traits/abilities that I can honestly report to finding in the religiously certain and I might even go further and hypothesise a negative correlation between religiousity and literary appreciation/understanding. That might also explain why the great sacred texts are, to me, documents of usually poor and only occasionally adequate literary merit, while the faithful regard them as literary masterpieces....




Not much in to fiction at all now. Rather enjoy some systematic theology or some articles of various opinions, like your old mate Cheung.

Interestingly our pastors wife is a bit of an author in her spare time. She has published mostly kids stuff but recently her first adult novel. I really enjoyed it and found the whole concept of her story amazing. I commented on how she must have did a lot of work on such an intricate plot but she reckoned she just wrote it chapter by chapter without really knowing her self how it was going to turn out. She has another 6/8 on the go so looking forward to the next one and the sequel to her first.
tingkagol
Bikerman wrote:
I'm not sure. I don't live in the US, so my comments are based on a perception which may be faulty. It is my perception, however, that a similar campaign in certain parts of the US would almost certainly lead to violence. I can imagine that 'atheist' campaign posters in parts of the mid-west 'bible belt' would stir up a great deal of trouble. Whilst I would, as a matter of principle, support those who posted such adverts, I don't think it is a good idea to poke a tiger with a stick just to see what happens. Here in the UK we are a bit more secular in general. Obviously I don't want to over-generalise - I'm sure there are parts of the US which are equally secular - but in the UK there are no 'hot spots' of religion in the same way that you find in the US.

Did a bit of back reading and after reading the above, I immediately thought about the Mohammad toons, and that incredibly awful film that came out a few months ago.

I say do it. Let those buses run amok.
LxGoodies
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...I was listening to reading of some David Sedaris essays


Haha yeah this guy was on Dutch televisionm guest of Paul de Leeuw, he's funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQucce-422w&feature=related

Lx
JoryRFerrell
Indi wrote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7818980.stm

i'm sorry... i just have nothing to say on this. (It does contain a hint of a topic for intelligent discussion... but i'm laughing so hard i can't quite manage to bring it up yet.)


If they want to ban this advert, then they are also required to ban ANY AND ALL religious adverts.
I don't know if they have them in the UK, but here in the US, religious billboards exist. So if the religious orders want to advert their position which is unsubstantiated, they'll need to first find proof.
Otherwise, they need to remove all "bulletin boards" from the front of churches (the ones that usual try to hold some witty message about god Rolling Eyes ).

Any and all religious propaganda would be subject to the same exact scrutiny, and you know damn well they would complain about that as well.

As for proving the claim that there is no god...
When someone wants to post an ad denying the existence of bigfoot, is this going to spark a huge, nation-wide legal battle over whether or not enough evidence exists to prove/disprove bigfoot? Of course not. They would have to be "daft in the head" to do something like that wouldn't they... Twisted Evil
nickfyoung
Reminds me of the little kids who were having a free lunch on the local church. As they approached the buffet table there was a big bowel of apples. Someone had put a sign on them saying, 'just take one because God is watching.' When they got to the other end of the table there was a big bowel of candy. One little kid said, 'take as much as you want, God is watching the apples.'
Indi
JoryRFerrell wrote:
As for proving the claim that there is no god...
When someone wants to post an ad denying the existence of bigfoot, is this going to spark a huge, nation-wide legal battle over whether or not enough evidence exists to prove/disprove bigfoot? Of course not. They would have to be "daft in the head" to do something like that wouldn't they... Twisted Evil

They did not claim there was no god. They said, "there's PROBABLY no god". That claim is easy to prove. The probability of a god existing, using any rational process to determine probabilities, is infinitesimal. That's why believers have to use faith (for better or worse); because the evidence and reasoning to prove the existence of a god just isn't there.

So even if there were a standard to insist on truth in advertising, those bus ads would still be cool. In fact, it should still be cool to actually have an ad that says, "there is no god", because while we can't prove that metaphysically true, we can't prove anything metaphysically true, and we can prove "there is no god" to the highest level of circumstantial and reasonable evidence. Epistemically speaking, "there is no god" is just as likely to be true as "Colgate toothpaste cleans teeth".
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
JoryRFerrell wrote:
As for proving the claim that there is no god...
When someone wants to post an ad denying the existence of bigfoot, is this going to spark a huge, nation-wide legal battle over whether or not enough evidence exists to prove/disprove bigfoot? Of course not. They would have to be "daft in the head" to do something like that wouldn't they... Twisted Evil

They did not claim there was no god. They said, "there's PROBABLY no god". That claim is easy to prove. The probability of a god existing, using any rational process to determine probabilities, is infinitesimal. That's why believers have to use faith (for better or worse); because the evidence and reasoning to prove the existence of a god just isn't there.

So even if there were a standard to insist on truth in advertising, those bus ads would still be cool. In fact, it should still be cool to actually have an ad that says, "there is no god", because while we can't prove that metaphysically true, we can't prove anything metaphysically true, and we can prove "there is no god" to the highest level of circumstantial and reasonable evidence. Epistemically speaking, "there is no god" is just as likely to be true as "Colgate toothpaste cleans teeth".



Quote:
That's why believers have to use faith



According to the scripture that believers are supposed to go by, believers can't use faith or generate faith or manufacture faith etc. Because of original sin all believers were once dead in that sin and hated any concept of God. Scripture teaches that because of this condition, man is unable to generate faith nor does he want too.
The only way it can happen is for God to do a work inside that man and prepare him for that faith that God gives as a gift. Once he gets to that stage of course he is now a believer and has all the personal evidence he needs. This evidence of course is unavailable to the non believer and of course sounds like rubbish.
catscratches
nickfyoung wrote:

According to the scripture that believers are supposed to go by
There's a certain scripture all believers are supposed to go by?
codegeek
If you don't believe in God, that's fine, but is it really necessary to try and make every theist in the world relinquish their faith. To have a right to believe or not believe in the existence of an all-powerful force is a part of being human.

I tend to be on the agnostic side of things, and believe that it is impossible to absolutely determine whether or not there is a God. I think if you really have true faith, then God exists for you, but this is not necessarily true for anyone else.

So, theists need to stop hating atheists, and atheists also need to stop thinking about theists like ignorant sheep. There are, and always will be, intelligent minds working on both sides of the equation and the reverse is also true.
nickfyoung
catscratches wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:

According to the scripture that believers are supposed to go by
There's a certain scripture all believers are supposed to go by?



The Bible. all of it. The believer is not supposed to cherry pick the good bits out of it or the bits that suit him although most do.
LxGoodies
hi @Nick,

nickfyoung wrote:
The Bible. all of it. The believer is not supposed to cherry pick the good bits out of it or the bits that suit him although most do.

Q: what parts ?

Since the dead sea scrolls were found, many "apocryfs" surfaced in more detail, comprised in the Nag Hammadi library. Are these documents actually any less holy, just because they were not included in 3th-4th century bible canons ? Also, jews, christians and muslims tend not to agree about the precise content (and assembly) of the Old Testament. What text to believe in.. and are translations to be trusted.. it went from Aramic into Greek, from Greek to Latin and from Greek and Latin into English..

Lx
nickfyoung
LxGoodies wrote:
hi @Nick,

nickfyoung wrote:
The Bible. all of it. The believer is not supposed to cherry pick the good bits out of it or the bits that suit him although most do.

Q: what parts ?

Since the dead sea scrolls were found, many "apocryfs" surfaced in more detail, comprised in the Nag Hammadi library. Are these documents actually any less holy, just because they were not included in 3th-4th century bible canons ? Also, jews, christians and muslims tend not to agree about the precise content (and assembly) of the Old Testament. What text to believe in.. and are translations to be trusted.. it went from Aramic into Greek, from Greek to Latin and from Greek and Latin into English..

Lx



The believer accepts the 66 books of the Bible as inspired by God and his revelation and all one needs to know about God.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew or Aramaic and the New Testament in Greek. There are enough old copies to authenticate it.
LxGoodies
Of course, someone can declare that 66 books are ok.. instead of 73.. or 24..

Nevertheless, suppose you would agree on the common gronds, including Samuel and Chronicles..

How did Saul die, according to the bible ? Is there a single thruth about Sauls death, or is is ambiguous like the literal bible text is suggesting ?

Lx
nickfyoung
LxGoodies wrote:
Of course, someone can declare that 66 books are ok.. instead of 73.. or 24..

Nevertheless, suppose you would agree on the common gronds, including Samuel and Chronicles..

How did Saul die, according to the bible ? Is there a single thruth about Sauls death, or is is ambiguous like the literal bible text is suggesting ?

Lx



"1. The Phillistine archers hit Saul, he would surely die
from the wound (1 Sam 31:3).
2. Saul knowing he'd die, decided to fall on his own sword
to speed his death (1 Sam 31:4-5).
3. An Amalekite saw Saul fall on his sword and then went up
to him. Saul told him he was trying to die but his life
wouldn't end, so he asked that the Amalekite also try to
kill him. That was apparently enough to do him in.
(2 Sam 1:6-10)"


That is one version. It doesn't really matter to me one way or the other how he died. Lots of people go looking for contradictions and try to discredit the Bible. I am comfortable with it the way it is.
LxGoodies
What about 2 Sam 1:15 ?

SAMUEL 2 1:15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

There is a web page that explains it more clearly than I am able to.

Lx
nickfyoung
LxGoodies wrote:
What about 2 Sam 1:15 ?

SAMUEL 2 1:15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

There is a web page that explains it more clearly than I am able to.

Lx




Like i said, it doesn't matter at all to me what contradictions anyone can find. I am quite happy with it as it is.
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
According to the scripture that believers are supposed to go by, believers can't use faith or generate faith or manufacture faith etc. Because of original sin all believers were once dead in that sin and hated any concept of God. Scripture teaches that because of this condition, man is unable to generate faith nor does he want too.
The only way it can happen is for God to do a work inside that man and prepare him for that faith that God gives as a gift. Once he gets to that stage of course he is now a believer and has all the personal evidence he needs. This evidence of course is unavailable to the non believer and of course sounds like rubbish.

You know... there are other scriptures than your own. It takes a remarkable ego to assume that every time something about religion gets discussed, it's your religion being talked about.

It also takes a remarkable ego - and, frankly, chutzpah - to assume anyone is interested in hearing what your religion has to say about belief... ... ... in a thread specifically about the fact that religions are not interested in hearing about what other people have to say about belief. ^_^; i don't know what to say about that except... wow. That's like walking into a discussion about alcohol abuse and discussing - without being asked - how they mix a martini where you're from. Just... wow. ^_^;

As for what you said specifically...

While that may or may not be true according to your scripture (and, let's face it, your interpretation of your scripture), it's utterly irrelevant. You are using faith to believe. You have to be. You're not using evidence, and you're not using reason (because if you were, you would be able to present the evidence or reasoning), therefore, you're using faith. QED.

Ah, but you say you are using evidence or reason, just not evidence or reason anyone else can see? No, that's still faith. If you have "evidence" or "reasoning" that isn't intersubjective, then all you have is faith. Here's why:

Let's say for argument's sake that God is real, and he really did go inside your head and mess with it to give you the evidence and reason that you need to believe without faith. Alright, fine... but here's the thing. You freely admit that other people can't see the evidence and reasoning you have. You know who else knows stuff that other people can't see evidence or reasoning for? Clinically deluded people, such as people suffering from sensory hallucinations, who can swear what they've seen or heard is real... just no one else sees it. So here's the question i pose to you: How do you know that the "evidence" you have in your mind - that you think was given to you by God - was really given to you by God, and is not just a delusion? And, remember, in this hypothetical situation i'm assuming it was God, and that God really did give you that evidence. So, according to the assumptions here, that evidence is real and your beliefs are right. The question is: how do you know that it's real and your beliefs are right? What evidence do you have... that the "evidence" you were given by God... is real? Answer: none. You believe that God gave you "evidence" of God, but you believe that without evidence... which means: faith.

You can't remove faith from religious belief. It's just impossible. All your attempt did just now was push it back a level, but it will always come back to faith. (And you can keep trying to push it back a level. For example, you could say that the evidence you have that God gave you evidence is in the Bible, but then the question would be: "what evidence do you have that the Bible is right?" There are only two possible resolutions: either you're going to have to admit faith at some point - because there is no rational or evidential evidence - or you're going to have to create a loop (the Bible is true because it confirms what i believe, and what i believe is true because the Bible confirms it).) Because if it didn't come back to faith, it would would come down to evidence or reasoning, which would make it science or philosophy, not religion. So if it's religion, it's faith.

codegeek wrote:
If you don't believe in God, that's fine, but is it really necessary to try and make every theist in the world relinquish their faith. To have a right to believe or not believe in the existence of an all-powerful force is a part of being human.

I tend to be on the agnostic side of things, and believe that it is impossible to absolutely determine whether or not there is a God. I think if you really have true faith, then God exists for you, but this is not necessarily true for anyone else.

So, theists need to stop hating atheists, and atheists also need to stop thinking about theists like ignorant sheep. There are, and always will be, intelligent minds working on both sides of the equation and the reverse is also true.

You know, this kind of attitude always infuriates me because of how dishonest it is. Not only is it dishonest, it's misinformed - there is no "agnostic side of things" because 'theism' and 'atheism' are logically complementary - but it's sheer dishonesty of it that really makes me face palm.

Here's the thing: the big criticism against atheists is that they want theists to give up their gods. Not technically true, but in the mildest sense, it's true enough. But so what? Seriously. So what? Atheists want theists to give up their gods... ooo, atheists are so scaaaary. But, hang on... don't theists want atheists to embrace their gods (and give up their secularism and naturalistic views)? Don't Christians want Muslims to give up Muhammad and embrace Jesus? Don't Hindus want Christians to give up their "one true God" and embrace their gods? Don't vegetarians want non-vegetarians to give up meat? Don't pro-abortion people want anti-abortion people to give up their crusade? Don't fiscally conservative, socially liberal free-market advocates want everyone else to be fiscally conservative, socially liberal free-market advocates?

Basically, every single group... ever would like everyone else in the world to have the same beliefs as them. So what are atheists really doing that's so bad? We'll get back to that in a minute.

Let's look at the other big steaming pile of dishonesty here. You want to make atheists and theists sound just as bad as each other so you can sit on your high horse and judge them both... but in order to do that, you have to make comparisons like this: "... theists need to stop hating atheists, and atheists also need to stop thinking about theists like ignorant sheep..." Read that over again, read it very carefully, and look at what you're actually saying. You're telling atheists to stop making fun of theists (which many certainly do)... but you're telling theists to stop HATING atheists. Wait, whut? Those aren't the same things! Those aren't even on the same scale! You have one group poking fun at the other... and the second group HATING the first! Yet you are trying to paint both sides with the same brush. Hello? You think HATING another group is just as bad as having some fun at their expense? Seriously?

And it's not just you; this is the same kind of intellectual acrobatics that anyone who wants to lord superior over the struggles between atheists and theists have to do. In order to justify standing on the sidelines and doing nothing, while judging both sides, the fence-sitter has to try and make both sides look equally bad. Because if they made one side look really bad while the other side is not-so-bad-at-all, then they would make their hypocrisy obvious; you can justify sitting on the sidelines and criticizing a struggle between two equivalent groups... but you can't justify doing the same when one group is really nasty, and the other isn't. So you have to try and pretend that both groups' sins are equally bad, which means you end up comparing these bad things that theists do:
  • Publicly denouncing atheists as evil, immoral and damned (frequently, in all countries, including Western countries... and just think about what that means: do you think it would be kosher for a public figure to call black people evil, immoral or damned?)
  • Banning atheists from serving in public office (in the US!!!), attending universities, serving on the courts, or receiving official state IDs (which are necessary for a number of things in Indonesia, Jordan and other countries)
  • Forcing the passage of laws that put their religious restrictions on atheists (like blasphemy laws, sodomy laws, decency laws, abortion laws and so on)
  • Meddling in schools and particularly science education to get their religious beliefs taught over actual scientific or historical knowledge
  • Having the death penalty for being atheist (in a number of countries, but none have actually used it recently - we think)
  • Jailing people who write about being atheist
(which, by the way, all but the last two are done in pretty much every country on Earth, including so-called tolerant Western nations), to these bad things that atheists do:
  • Making snarky books, blog posts and image memes
That's the comparison you have to make to paint atheists as "just as bad as theists". Can you seriously sit there and justify such an odious and disgusting comparison?

And as i said, it's not just you. It's everyone who uses the same words and language - like "militant" - to pretend that the things atheists do to theists do are as bad as the things theists do to atheists. Like, seriously, Richard Dawkins is a militant atheist for calling theists deluded, and Zakir Naik is a militant theist for saying atheists should be put to death, derp. Yeah, seems legit. -_-

And because there will always be some theist itching at the bit to jump in and say that atheist discrimination isn't real... well, i'm in luck today. Because just this Sunday, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom specifically came out and said, yes, atheist persecution is real. That's the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, the US being the most religious Western country by far... yet they see it's real. And look at the cases they mention! Saber in Egypt and Aan in Indonesia, both thrown in jail for having atheist Facebook pages. Oh, how evil and dangerous they are! Well, atheists are just as bad, right? i mean, if it were up to Richard Dawkins, people having Christian Facebook pages would be thrown in jail, too, right? Only, no. That's just a paranoid fantasy of some believers. Other than a few fringe loonies who have no standing in the community, there are no atheists who want to jail or eradicate believers. None. Nada. Zip. (And if you want to count the atheist fringe loonies, that's fine... but then i get to count the theist fringe loonies... are you sure you want to go there?) Yet there are entire nations that openly and shamelessly jail and otherwise harass atheists. And in most nations that don't there is massive public anti-atheist sentiment (such as recent studies in the US that show more than half of Americans wouldn't vote for an atheist president, or that Americans trust rapists more than atheists).

But making fun of people is just as bad as discriminating against them, calling them evil and damned, denying them equality and tossing them in jail (and sometimes executing them), so atheists are just as bad as theists. Yeah. That makes a lot of damn sense. -_-

Let's take a more objective look at what's really going on here. Atheists are being discriminated against - that much is clear from, like, every study ever done on the topic (and now the USCIRF has made it explicit, too). What happens when a people are being discriminated against? One of two things: either they sit and take it silently... or they rise up and fight back, demanding equality. Clearly the latter is happening here - that's really the point of your complaint: that atheists are keeping a ruckus. So what are you really asking, when you ask atheists to shut up? You are asking a discriminated people to stop rising up and fighting for equality, and sit and take it silently. Way to go!

That's what you are. You are not some even-handed sage identifying the foolishness of a meaningless fight. Because this is not a meaningless fight - it is a fight against discrimination. What you really are is the guy standing on the sidelines of the Million Man March, critiquing the black people for being "just as bad" as the racists, and telling them to shut up. You are the dude standing on the sidelines of a gay pride parade, whining about the fact that gay people have to be loud and proud to be recognized in society, and calling them "just as bad" as the bigots. Again, what a great job you're doing!

Some fights have to happen. Whenever there is tyranny and discrimination, and those who have the power - in this case, the majority - refuse to help the victims, then the victims must help themselves, and that usually means getting their fight on. It has to happen, because if it doesn't, tyranny and discrimination will continue. And every time it has ever happened in the past, there have always been fence-sitters snobbing their noses at both sides - treating the discriminated and the discriminators alike, and self-righteously lecturing both sides for making a fuss. Atheists have chosen the way they will fight for their equality, and they did not choose violence or any kind of social disruption like parades or protests or sit-ins... they chose wit. They did not choose to burn down churches or drag priests out of their homes and beat them. They chose to use intelligence and humour to deconstruct the lies and joyless pomposity of the religious. And the fact that you hear so much about it means they're doing a damn good job of it.

Comparing the mockery of atheists to the actual discrimination of theists is disgusting and dishonest. Whether the voice of atheists annoys you or not, they have a battle to fight for their equality and rights. If that bothers you, tough cookies. It bothers the guys who the first post in this thread is about, too. Telling the atheists to just shut up is NOT being neutral, because if the atheists stop fighting, they lose. In other words, telling the atheists to shut up is taking the other side - they want the atheists to shut up; they want things like the bus ads above to disappear. So you have to make a choice: either side with the atheists in their struggle for equality and an end to discrimination... or side with the theists who want to keep harassing and discriminating them, which you're currently doing by telling atheists to shut up... or really be neutral and take neither side. And how do you do that? You shut the hell up, that's how. If you really don't want to be part of this fight, then stay the hell out of it. There's a group of people here struggling for equality and to help others like them who have been jailed and otherwise harassed, and you're helping the other guys. Is that really what you want to be?

If you really want the fighting to end, and you don't want to support the wrong side, then the right thing to do would be to put pressure on the lawmakers... not the victims of the discrimination. Write your congressperson or MP or whatever, and tell them to stand up against the discrimination.

Unless you agree with the discrimination, in which case, continue doing what you're doing.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote

Quote:
You know... there are other scriptures than your own. It takes a remarkable ego to assume that every time something about religion gets discussed, it's your religion being talked about.

It also takes a remarkable ego - and, frankly, chutzpah - to assume anyone is interested in hearing what your religion has to say about belief... ... ... in a thread specifically about the fact that religions are not interested in hearing about what other people have to say about belief. ^_^; i don't know what to say about that except... wow. That's like walking into a discussion about alcohol abuse and discussing - without being asked - how they mix a martini where you're from. Just... wow. ^_^;



You used the term 'believers' which is generally meant to be Christian believers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believer

You used the term faith in the context of believers which I was clarifying for you. The atheist does not believe in God. the Atheist does not have the faith to believe in God. The point I was making was that the believer was in the same boat. Whether or not he believed in God doesn't matter because he had no interest in God and disliked him immensely. Is that worse than not believing in God. He had no interest or desire or ability to generate enough faith to believe in God to the point of becoming a believer.

If there is a God as is claimed then the God they are talking about is pretty big, huge even. Not the sort of God you can run away or hide from. When he taps you on the shoulder and says that it's time, you don't have much choice. That's when you get all the evidence you need to believe.
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
You used the term 'believers' which is generally meant to be Christian believers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believer

"Generally meant"? In that link you gave, the word "Christian" appears once, and only because there's a Christian metal band named "Believer". Everywhere else on both that page and the wiktionary definition linked to it just says that a believer is just someone who has beliefs, particularly religious beliefs.

So apparently everywhere else in the world, "believer" just means "religious person", not specifically "Christian". In fact, the only place where "believer" means "Christian" is among Christians - just as "believer" means "Scientologist" among Scientologists and "Raëlian" among Raëlians - but that's just an abuse of the word.

(And on a lark, turns out the top Google result for "believer" - once spurious results are removed (like The Believer literary magazine, the aforementioned Christian metal band and a link to The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" on YouTube) - gives the first example as a movie about a Jewish person who becomes a skinhead. Similarly, the top result for "believers" is a movie about a fictional apocalyptic cult that seems based on Heaven's Gate.)

nickfyoung wrote:
You used the term faith in the context of believers which I was clarifying for you. The atheist does not believe in God. the Atheist does not have the faith to believe in God. The point I was making was that the believer was in the same boat. Whether or not he believed in God doesn't matter because he had no interest in God and disliked him immensely. Is that worse than not believing in God. He had no interest or desire or ability to generate enough faith to believe in God to the point of becoming a believer.

If there is a God as is claimed then the God they are talking about is pretty big, huge even. Not the sort of God you can run away or hide from. When he taps you on the shoulder and says that it's time, you don't have much choice. That's when you get all the evidence you need to believe.

If there was a point in that, it was lost in the incoherence and preaching. i could try to parse it line by line, but very little in there makes sense, or follows coherently from one sentence to the next.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
You used the term 'believers' which is generally meant to be Christian believers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believer

"Generally meant"? In that link you gave, the word "Christian" appears once, and only because there's a Christian metal band named "Believer". Everywhere else on both that page and the wiktionary definition linked to it just says that a believer is just someone who has beliefs, particularly religious beliefs.

So apparently everywhere else in the world, "believer" just means "religious person", not specifically "Christian". In fact, the only place where "believer" means "Christian" is among Christians - just as "believer" means "Scientologist" among Scientologists and "Raëlian" among Raëlians - but that's just an abuse of the word.

(And on a lark, turns out the top Google result for "believer" - once spurious results are removed (like The Believer literary magazine, the aforementioned Christian metal band and a link to The Monkees' "I'm a Believer" on YouTube) - gives the first example as a movie about a Jewish person who becomes a skinhead. Similarly, the top result for "believers" is a movie about a fictional apocalyptic cult that seems based on Heaven's Gate.)

nickfyoung wrote:
You used the term faith in the context of believers which I was clarifying for you. The atheist does not believe in God. the Atheist does not have the faith to believe in God. The point I was making was that the believer was in the same boat. Whether or not he believed in God doesn't matter because he had no interest in God and disliked him immensely. Is that worse than not believing in God. He had no interest or desire or ability to generate enough faith to believe in God to the point of becoming a believer.

If there is a God as is claimed then the God they are talking about is pretty big, huge even. Not the sort of God you can run away or hide from. When he taps you on the shoulder and says that it's time, you don't have much choice. That's when you get all the evidence you need to believe.

If there was a point in that, it was lost in the incoherence and preaching. i could try to parse it line by line, but very little in there makes sense, or follows coherently from one sentence to the next.




You are right there. I assumed believer came from Bible believing but apparently it can mean lots of other things too although I suspect you were using in the Bible believing context.

As for faith, sure one can't believe in God without faith, or not necessarily. Because non religious people still believe in God. It is only the atheist who does not have that belief. So you can still believe in God without a faith in God.
Bikerman
Quote:
Because non religious people still believe in God. It is only the atheist who does not have that belief. So you can still believe in God without a faith in God.

Ermm, I think not.
If you believe in a supernatural deity/deities then you have faith that it/they exist.
The only general difference between the word 'belief' and the word 'faith' is that you can believe something based on good evidence, whereas we tend to use the word faith when there is no good evidence, or even evidence to the contrary.
Since there is no good evidence for the existence of a particular God, then believing in God is essentially the same as having faith in a God.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
Because non religious people still believe in God. It is only the atheist who does not have that belief. So you can still believe in God without a faith in God.

Ermm, I think not.
If you believe in a supernatural deity/deities then you have faith that it/they exist.
The only general difference between the word 'belief' and the word 'faith' is that you can believe something based on good evidence, whereas we tend to use the word faith when there is no good evidence, or even evidence to the contrary.
Since there is no good evidence for the existence of a particular God, then believing in God is essentially the same as having faith in a God.



Welcome back.

I suppose I am referring to Biblical faith as in just affirming a knowledge. Even the devil believes in God. One can have a faith that God exists and one can also have a faith to have an intimate relationship with that God.
Bikerman
Knowledge is only knowledge when it is correct - by definition it means being aware of facts, principles, truths. Faith can never 'affirm knowledge'.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Knowledge is only knowledge when it is correct - by definition it means being aware of facts, principles, truths. Faith can never 'affirm knowledge'.



Now we are getting into different classes of faith. If one believes in God it must be by faith. However, one can have the faith to believe in God without having the faith to be a 'believer'.
Bikerman
That makes no sense at all. A believer is one who believes in God.
One either believes in God or one does not. If one does then one is a believer.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
That makes no sense at all. A believer is one who believes in God.
One either believes in God or one does not. If one does then one is a believer.



It is generally assumed that a believer is one who has been born again and has a personal relationship with God as compared to one who just believes in God and hasn't taken it any further.
Bikerman
No it isn't, you just made that up. It is generally assumed that a believer is one who believes in God.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
No it isn't, you just made that up. It is generally assumed that a believer is one who believes in God.



"◄ Acts 2:44 ►
New International Version (©1984)
All the believers were together and had everything in common.

New Living Translation (©2007)
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.

English Standard Version (©2001)
And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Now all the believers were together and held all things in common.

International Standard Version (©2012)
All the believers were united and shared everything with one another."
http://bible.cc/acts/2-44.htm



"Next, let's consider WHO should be baptized. The Bible makes it clear that scriptural baptism is BELIEVER'S baptism.

In Acts 2:41 we observe that they received the word, THEN they were baptized.
In Acts 8:12,36,37 we find that they believed, THEN they were baptized.
In Acts 10:43,44,47, it is plain to see that those who believed received the Holy Ghost, and THEN they were baptized. (Lost people do not receive the Holy Ghost). " http://www.biblebelievers.com/DeMichele1.html

"Believer's baptism.
a person is baptized on the basis of his or her profession of faith in Jesus Christ " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believer%27s_baptism


Within Christian circles a believer is one who has made a profession of faith in Jesus and is therefore born again.
Outside of Christian circles it can and probably means anything you want.
Bikerman
ROFLMAO
Using the bible to prove something is both silly and wrong.
Firstly it is silly because I can use exactly the same source to prove just about anything, and use the SAME source to disprove the proof. The bible is FULL of contradictions and it is EASY to cherry-pick verses which supposedly back a particular point.
It is wrong because 'believer' does not mean 'christian' - it may have escaped your notice, but Christianity is one of the religions available - there are others.
When you say 'it is generally understood that believer = born again', not only is that just silly, since most people in the world are not christians, it is doubly silly because most CHRISTIANS do not believe it either. The majority of Christians are Catholic and they do not have a concept of 'born again' since they generally go for infant baptism. Nor do most Anglicans believe exclusively in 'born again'.
We have been here before and it was established that a tiny minority of Christians share your belief.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
ROFLMAO
Using the bible to prove something is both silly and wrong.
Firstly it is silly because I can use exactly the same source to prove just about anything, and use the SAME source to disprove the proof. The bible is FULL of contradictions and it is EASY to cherry-pick verses which supposedly back a particular point.
It is wrong because 'believer' does not mean 'christian' - it may have escaped your notice, but Christianity is one of the religions available - there are others.
When you say 'it is generally understood that believer = born again, not only is that just silly, since most people in the world are not christians, it is doubly silly because most CHRISTIANS do not believe it either.



You are confused again about Christians. Born again Christians believe the Bible. The Bible calls them believers.
You can call believers whatever you want but born again Bible believing Christians call themselves believers.

For the, hopefully, last time, there are Christians and there are born again Christians. They are like chalk and cheese. When I am talking about Christians I am referring to the born again kind. When you are talking about Christians you are referring to the Catholic kind. Two different animals.
Bikerman
Christians includes ALL sects of Christianity. It isn't me that is confused. You keep trying the 'no true scotsman' fallacy, despite it being pointed out that it IS a fallacy many times.
You would like to believe that your particular brand of fundamentalism is the only true Christianity - but there is nothing new in that. Every zealot probably believes that their particular form of zealotry is the one true faith. The problem is that you have no special authority to say that your brand of Christianity is the only true one and we are talking about what is 'generally understood' not what 'nickfyoung understands'.
The bible is quite clear that one does not need to acknowledge Jesus in order to be saved.
Acts : And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house..

So all you need is some relative who believes and you will automatically be saved.

See, that's why it is silly to use the bible.......I can do it just as well, probably better.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Christians includes ALL sects of Christianity. It isn't me that is confused. You keep trying the 'no true scotsman' fallacy, despite it being pointed out that it IS a fallacy many times.
You would like to believe that your particular brand of fundamentalism is the only true Christianity - but there is nothing new in that. Every zealot probably believes that their particular form of zealotry is the one true faith. The problem is that you have no special authority to say that your brand of Christianity is the only true one and we are talking about what is 'generally understood' not what 'nickfyoung understands'.
The bible is quite clear that one does not need to acknowledge Jesus in order to be saved.
Acts : And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house..

So all you need is some relative who believes and you will automatically be saved.

See, that's why it is silly to use the bible.......I can do it just as well, probably better.



Yeah, Ok, can't argue with logic like that.
Bikerman
Oh I could go much further. I can easily use the bible to chow that you :
1. Need to do good acts.
For we must all appear before the jugment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. -- 2 Corinthians 5:10

2. Do what is lawful.
When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness ... and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul. -- Ezekiel 18:27

3. Say God's name.
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13

4. Look at God.
Look unto me, and be ye saved. -- Isaiah 45:22

5. Get tortured
"Others were tortured ... that they might obtain a better resurrection." -- Hebrews 11:35

6. Repent
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. -- Luke 13:3, 5

7. Avoid crawling
Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved. -- Proverbs 28:18

8. Believe Paul's Gospels
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

9. Believe AND be baptised
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. -- Mark 16:16

10. Do nothing since it is already decided.
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13

11. Be perfect
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. -- Matthew 5:48


I could go on....it is, as I said, a nonsense.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Oh I could go much further. I can easily use the bible to chow that you :
1. Need to do good acts.
For we must all appear before the jugment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. -- 2 Corinthians 5:10

2. Do what is lawful.
When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness ... and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul. -- Ezekiel 18:27

3. Say God's name.
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13

4. Look at God.
Look unto me, and be ye saved. -- Isaiah 45:22

5. Get tortured
"Others were tortured ... that they might obtain a better resurrection." -- Hebrews 11:35

6. Repent
Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. -- Luke 13:3, 5

7. Avoid crawling
Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved. -- Proverbs 28:18

8. Believe Paul's Gospels
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

9. Believe AND be baptised
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. -- Mark 16:16

10. Do nothing since it is already decided.
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13

11. Be perfect
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. -- Matthew 5:48


I could go on....it is, as I said, a nonsense.



And the poor believer spends the rest of his life trying to sort it all out.
Bikerman
Not really. Most people, and that includes most Christians, haven't got a clue what the bible says and don't worry much about it.
I am pretty sure that most people who say they believe, actually believe in believing, rather than believing in God. When you ask them about specific beliefs they quickly start to back off, aside from the fundamentalists who cherry pick one interpretation and stick to it - which is just as bad.
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Not really. Most people, and that includes most Christians, haven't got a clue what the bible says and don't worry much about it.
I am pretty sure that most people who say they believe, actually believe in believing, rather than believing in God. When you ask them about specific beliefs they quickly start to back off, aside from the fundamentalists who cherry pick one interpretation and stick to it - which is just as bad.



Barna research has done some extensive polling on various issues relating to the church. There are some figures quoted here which clearly explain the difference between Christians and nominal Christians.

http://www.seekfind.net/Barna_Research_Born_Notional_Other.html
Bikerman
Barna research are not a source of any use in this context since that particular 'research' organisation exists for the express purpose of promulgating the whole idea of nominal christians vs 'real' christians.

The only thing I would take seriously on their site is the 7% figure (7% of US citizens can be called 'evangelicals' using the Barna criteria).
nickfyoung
Bikerman wrote:
Barna research are not a source of any use in this context since that particular 'research' organisation exists for the express purpose of promulgating the whole idea of nominal christians vs 'real' christians.

The only thing I would take seriously on their site is the 7% figure (7% of US citizens can be called 'evangelicals' using the Barna criteria).




They did one too over 10 years in the US comparing those who call themselves Calvinists to those who call themselves Arminians. They both come out fairly even in most categories.
spinout
This is to me like 'there are only 2 cars; Volvo and Saab, and Saab is no more , probably...' - methaphoricly writing!
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
You are right there. I assumed believer came from Bible believing but apparently it can mean lots of other things too although I suspect you were using in the Bible believing context.

English existed before the Bible was written in English. Words like "believer" did not come from the Bible, they existed before the English Bible existed, and were used in the translation. Ironically, the original assumed use for "believer" in English was probably for believers in Woden... the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Odin. English was around before Jesus, but English speakers didn't hear about Christianity until the 6th century.

And no, i wasn't using it in a Bible-believing context. If i meant Christian, i would have said Christian.

nickfyoung wrote:
As for faith, sure one can't believe in God without faith, or not necessarily. Because non religious people still believe in God. It is only the atheist who does not have that belief. So you can still believe in God without a faith in God.

You're playing games with words, and quietly switching between multiple definitions of the word "faith".

"Faith" in English may mean "belief without evidence or reason" (where "i have faith in God" means "i believe God exists though i have no evidence or reason"), but it may also mean "trust" (where "i have faith in John" means "i trust John will do what he said he would"), and it has other meanings still. It is a common trick to swap the meaning of "faith" midstream without being clear that that's what you're doing, but that's dishonest.

What you just did was start with the definition of faith as "belief without reason or evidence", then quietly swap it with the definition of "trust". You basically said: "One can't believe in God without faith{belief without reason or evidence}, but you can still believe in God without faith{trust} in God." Well that's true: you can't believe in God without belief without reason or evidence, but you can believe in God without trusting God. But that's two different things. i've never talked about trusting God, only about believing whether he exists or not (in fact, it seems silly to talk about trusting someone before you even figure out whether he exists).

All i said was that you can't believe in God without faith - belief without reason or evidence - because there is no empirical evidence or rational argument that supports God's existence. Which is certainly true, almost without any debate (though, of course, there are always wingnuts who claim they've used science to prove God exists (see the other thread about Tipler going on right now for an example, but my personal favourite has always been the bananaman), or who have used philosophy to prove God exists (Bikerman's favourite, William Lane Craig, recently came out with a new one called the "Argument for God from Intentionality")). And for most religious people, that's fine: science and philosophy can't prove that God does/doesn't exist - there is no evidence or reason - so they can keep their faith - belief without evidence or reason - that he does.

As for atheists, some of them may not believe in God because of the lack of evidence or reason, and they don't have faith. But some may not believe in God because they believe in the cosmic cycle of karma. "Atheist" does not mean "not religious". All non-religious people are atheists, but not all atheists are non-religious people. There are numerous atheist religions. And there are numerous atheists who believe in wacky things, from karma and the cosmic cycle of life and rebirth right through to the power of pyramid-shaped crystals. Atheists can't have faith about God, but atheists can have faith about other things.

Bikerman wrote:
7. Avoid crawling
Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved. -- Proverbs 28:18

Smartass. ^_^;

"Get thee behind me, Satan! It's thy turn tonight."
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
You are right there. I assumed believer came from Bible believing but apparently it can mean lots of other things too although I suspect you were using in the Bible believing context.

English existed before the Bible was written in English. Words like "believer" did not come from the Bible, they existed before the English Bible existed, and were used in the translation. Ironically, the original assumed use for "believer" in English was probably for believers in Woden... the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Odin. English was around before Jesus, but English speakers didn't hear about Christianity until the 6th century.

And no, i wasn't using it in a Bible-believing context. If i meant Christian, i would have said Christian.

nickfyoung wrote:
As for faith, sure one can't believe in God without faith, or not necessarily. Because non religious people still believe in God. It is only the atheist who does not have that belief. So you can still believe in God without a faith in God.

You're playing games with words, and quietly switching between multiple definitions of the word "faith".

"Faith" in English may mean "belief without evidence or reason" (where "i have faith in God" means "i believe God exists though i have no evidence or reason"), but it may also mean "trust" (where "i have faith in John" means "i trust John will do what he said he would"), and it has other meanings still. It is a common trick to swap the meaning of "faith" midstream without being clear that that's what you're doing, but that's dishonest.

What you just did was start with the definition of faith as "belief without reason or evidence", then quietly swap it with the definition of "trust". You basically said: "One can't believe in God without faith{belief without reason or evidence}, but you can still believe in God without faith{trust} in God." Well that's true: you can't believe in God without belief without reason or evidence, but you can believe in God without trusting God. But that's two different things. i've never talked about trusting God, only about believing whether he exists or not (in fact, it seems silly to talk about trusting someone before you even figure out whether he exists).

All i said was that you can't believe in God without faith - belief without reason or evidence - because there is no empirical evidence or rational argument that supports God's existence. Which is certainly true, almost without any debate (though, of course, there are always wingnuts who claim they've used science to prove God exists (see the other thread about Tipler going on right now for an example, but my personal favourite has always been the bananaman), or who have used philosophy to prove God exists (Bikerman's favourite, William Lane Craig, recently came out with a new one called the "Argument for God from Intentionality")). And for most religious people, that's fine: science and philosophy can't prove that God does/doesn't exist - there is no evidence or reason - so they can keep their faith - belief without evidence or reason - that he does.

As for atheists, some of them may not believe in God because of the lack of evidence or reason, and they don't have faith. But some may not believe in God because they believe in the cosmic cycle of karma. "Atheist" does not mean "not religious". All non-religious people are atheists, but not all atheists are non-religious people. There are numerous atheist religions. And there are numerous atheists who believe in wacky things, from karma and the cosmic cycle of life and rebirth right through to the power of pyramid-shaped crystals. Atheists can't have faith about God, but atheists can have faith about other things.

Bikerman wrote:
7. Avoid crawling
Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved. -- Proverbs 28:18

Smartass. ^_^;

"Get thee behind me, Satan! It's thy turn tonight."



Quote:
Words like "believer" did not come from the Bible



That is true. It is a word that has been adopted by born again Christians to call themselves.

And in Romans 1:

1:16 For not ashamed am I of the evangel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who is believing -- to the Jew first, and to the Greek as well. http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/TheEvangel/WhatIsABeliever.html


It is from scriptures like the one above that Christians take the term.

So within born again Christian circles you are known as a believer.
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
That is true. It is a word that has been adopted by born again Christians to call themselves.

And in Romans 1:

1:16 For not ashamed am I of the evangel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who is believing -- to the Jew first, and to the Greek as well. http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/TheEvangel/WhatIsABeliever.html


It is from scriptures like the one above that Christians take the term.

So within born again Christian circles you are known as a believer.

As i already explained, it is a word that has been "borrowed" by every religious group to describe themselves.

Evangelicals call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Muslims call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Hindus call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Scientologists call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".

And they all use the word "believers" to describe themselves in the English translations of their holy texts.

But these are all chauvinistic abuses of the word. It's the same as calling themselves "the faithful" and everyone else "the unconverted"; it's not a technically correct use of the word unless you make the context clear. When an Evangelical says "believer", they don't mean "believer"; they mean "believer in the Evangelical creed of Christianity". There's nothing weird about that, though - when a Canadian government official talks about "residents" they really mean "residents of Canada", and when an Ontario government official talks about "residents" they really mean "residents of Ontario". Just realize that when you step outside of your little domain - whether that's Ontario or Christianity - the rest of the world is not going to assume that your context for the word has any standing.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
That is true. It is a word that has been adopted by born again Christians to call themselves.

And in Romans 1:

1:16 For not ashamed am I of the evangel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who is believing -- to the Jew first, and to the Greek as well. http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/TheEvangel/WhatIsABeliever.html


It is from scriptures like the one above that Christians take the term.

So within born again Christian circles you are known as a believer.

As i already explained, it is a word that has been "borrowed" by every religious group to describe themselves.

Evangelicals call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Muslims call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Hindus call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".
Scientologists call themselves "believers" and everyone else "non-believers".

And they all use the word "believers" to describe themselves in the English translations of their holy texts.

But these are all chauvinistic abuses of the word. It's the same as calling themselves "the faithful" and everyone else "the unconverted"; it's not a technically correct use of the word unless you make the context clear. When an Evangelical says "believer", they don't mean "believer"; they mean "believer in the Evangelical creed of Christianity". There's nothing weird about that, though - when a Canadian government official talks about "residents" they really mean "residents of Canada", and when an Ontario government official talks about "residents" they really mean "residents of Ontario". Just realize that when you step outside of your little domain - whether that's Ontario or Christianity - the rest of the world is not going to assume that your context for the word has any standing.



Yes, there is a language known as Christionese which is spoken amongst Believing Christians which sounds pretty strange to any one else. You will find some wildly enthusiastic Christians forget and find them selves using this language outside their own circles and wonder why they get ridiculed.
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
Yes, there is a language known as Christionese which is spoken amongst Believing Christians which sounds pretty strange to any one else. You will find some wildly enthusiastic Christians forget and find them selves using this language outside their own circles and wonder why they get ridiculed.

Yes, i have come across examples of that. Like the word "love" in Christionese apparently means "threaten teenagers with rape and murder", among other things.

You're not paying attention to what i'm saying. The Christians you're talking about are not speaking "another language" or even using the same words in different ways. They are simply packing context into the words without being aware that that's what they're doing. When they say "believer", they default to assuming you're talking about Christianity, so "believer" means "believer in Christianity" - same way that Muslims normally default to "believer in Islam", Scientologists normally default to "believer in Scientology" and so on. That would be fine if you made the context clear, but if you don't - if you assume everyone is using your context without checking first - you're being chauvinistic, and you're going to cause confusion.

If someone makes it clear the context of the discussion is Christianity, then you can use "believer" to mean "Christian" without any problems - same way as if it's clear that the context is Islam, then "believer" would mean "Muslim", and so on. With no context specified at all, "believer" just means "religious believer" by default, just as it says in the dictionary. There's nothing weird or wacky about that; it's how all words work. If someone makes it clear the context of a discussion is Norway then "citizen" would mean "Norwegian", but if the context was Japan then "citizen" would mean Japanese, and with no context specified "citizen" would just mean any citizen of any country.

The mistake you made was assuming the context of the discussion was Christianity. It wasn't. Go back and look at what i wrote - was there anything in what i said that singled out Christianity, in any way? You can't assume that they context of every discussion is Christianity, because it isn't.

You're also confusing "wildly enthusiastic" with "closed-minded and chauvinistic". i've travelled with wildly enthusiastic Canadians abroad, and they didn't "forget" that they were no longer among only other Canadians and assume everytime someone said "home" it meant "Canada". If your "wildly enthusiastic" Christians expect to go out and mix with people with other beliefs - or no beliefs - they'd better realize that no one's going to appreciate them thinking every conversation revolves around Christianity.
nickfyoung
Indi wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
Yes, there is a language known as Christionese which is spoken amongst Believing Christians which sounds pretty strange to any one else. You will find some wildly enthusiastic Christians forget and find them selves using this language outside their own circles and wonder why they get ridiculed.

Yes, i have come across examples of that. Like the word "love" in Christionese apparently means "threaten teenagers with rape and murder", among other things.

You're not paying attention to what i'm saying. The Christians you're talking about are not speaking "another language" or even using the same words in different ways. They are simply packing context into the words without being aware that that's what they're doing. When they say "believer", they default to assuming you're talking about Christianity, so "believer" means "believer in Christianity" - same way that Muslims normally default to "believer in Islam", Scientologists normally default to "believer in Scientology" and so on. That would be fine if you made the context clear, but if you don't - if you assume everyone is using your context without checking first - you're being chauvinistic, and you're going to cause confusion.

If someone makes it clear the context of the discussion is Christianity, then you can use "believer" to mean "Christian" without any problems - same way as if it's clear that the context is Islam, then "believer" would mean "Muslim", and so on. With no context specified at all, "believer" just means "religious believer" by default, just as it says in the dictionary. There's nothing weird or wacky about that; it's how all words work. If someone makes it clear the context of a discussion is Norway then "citizen" would mean "Norwegian", but if the context was Japan then "citizen" would mean Japanese, and with no context specified "citizen" would just mean any citizen of any country.

The mistake you made was assuming the context of the discussion was Christianity. It wasn't. Go back and look at what i wrote - was there anything in what i said that singled out Christianity, in any way? You can't assume that they context of every discussion is Christianity, because it isn't.

You're also confusing "wildly enthusiastic" with "closed-minded and chauvinistic". i've travelled with wildly enthusiastic Canadians abroad, and they didn't "forget" that they were no longer among only other Canadians and assume everytime someone said "home" it meant "Canada". If your "wildly enthusiastic" Christians expect to go out and mix with people with other beliefs - or no beliefs - they'd better realize that no one's going to appreciate them thinking every conversation revolves around Christianity.



Take your point there. I didn't realize I was doing that, sorry.
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