American Atheists place sign in Times Square
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14-12-2012, 12:03 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
(13-12-2012 05:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Impulse.

That wouldn't be a dick move because it's a positive statement. "X is important to me/us." That's cool. The Atheist sign was taking a shot at other people. That's the dick move. Take all the stands you want, tell me all about what's important to you. Put up a big sign that says, "Enjoy the celebration of Constans' ascension to the rank of Caesar," if that's important to you. "Happy Confederate soldier clemency day!" "Have a wonderful Apollo 8 Trans Earth Injection remembrance feast." But a billboard that says, "Yeah, fuck those guys," is a dick move.

I gotta say though, I think this goes to the heart of why I think most of the Atheists advertising/media stunts I've seen are dick moves. The notion that Atheism is the default position is all fine and dandy, y'know, for an idea that's wrong, but for all intents and purposes, Atheism is really a rejection of something. Atheism, it is always pointed out, doesn't make any positive statements. So Atheist adds don't really have anything to say. There's no Science Day. No messiahs to worship. No celebration of the birth of Newton (maybe there is, but it's boring as fuck because I don't get no new ugly sweater!). So there's nothing to advertise. But there is a desire among many Atheists (as this bilboard illustrates) to reach out to people, either to show them they're not alone (which is a fine idea) or to get people to sign up. Whenever they try to put something together, the only thing they can talk about is rejecting religion and it's so easy for a plea to reject something to swing into the realm of dick move.

I feel obliged to point out the obvious (which rankles me, but it saves time) that the religious billboards posted earlier are big time dick moves for the very same reason. I'd like to think that goes without saying, but I never can be too sure Drinking Beverage

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I think this billboard IS an atheist way of saying "atheism is important to me" and not a "dick move". How else could it be done? As you pointed out, the expression of atheism necessarily takes the form of rejecting gods. This organization is likely trying to get Christianity out of politics and other places where it causes real harms. How can that be done without referencing the non-existence of Christ whether on a billboard, in a petition, verbally, or otherwise?

So the alternatives for atheists amount to either allowing religion to continue to harm No or speaking out against it in whatever form; whether that be public speaking, debates, billboards, other ads, or whatever. The speaking out is not a "dick move", but a necessity. You don't have to agree with atheism to understand that this is the position atheists are in.

I don't personally find the billboard to be a very effective approach to the cause, but I see it as a legitimate expression of the atheist cause and not a mere jab at Christians.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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14-12-2012, 02:43 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
Hey, Impulse.

The problem I have with your position is that you seem to agree with me about the nature of the issue facing Atheists who want to take out billboards, but instead of recognising the problem, your position seems to be that it's OK to do because it's a problem. That seems backwards to me.

If you need to reject God, that's one thing. But one doesn't have to be a dick about it.

And of course the answer isn't sit down and shut the fuck up. The answer, in my humble opinion, is find something positive to talk about.

What they posted is an attack add. Just like Vosur's Theist ones. They're all dick moves. Neither are expressing something important, they're shitting all over someone else. Wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day is a positive statement; "I remember the sacrifice of the long-since-gone Canadian soldiers." If you're against war or against the romanticisation of WWII or against current Canadian military deployments, wearing a black poppy covered in shit while wearing a "Baby Killers" tshirt is a dick move.

Quote:This organization is likely trying to get Christianity out of politics and other places where it causes real harms. How can that be done without referencing the non-existence of Christ whether on a billboard, in a petition, verbally, or otherwise?

Well that's a no-brainer. Run an add that says, "We at Atheist group X believe that it's best if (insert cause here) is secular." That's a positive statement.

It's like political adds. You don't actually have to slag the other person to say something about yourself. But, as it is pointed out in Thank You For Smoking, slagging the other can bring people over to your side without forcing you to actually have something to say. It's weak sauce, my good man. Weak sauce indeed.





I mean, under the blazing onslaught of political attack adds that we're inundated with, it's easy to assume that that is the right way to go about things. But it's something to be offended by.

As far as the Atheist problem itself, the protest thing, it's ultimately counter productive. Being against something is transient. Being for something is eternal.

Quote:Now protesting is partially constructive, since it preserves some semblance of will by asserting it negatively – I know what I am against even if I cannot specifically know what I am for...

We have tacitly given the power of decision over to our adversary. Blaming the enemy implies that the enemy has the freedom to choose and act, not ourselves, and we can only react to him. This assumption, in turn, destroys our own security. For in the long run, we have, against our intention, given him all the cards...

This gradually empties the will of content; you always are the shadow of your adversary, waiting for him to move so that you can move yourself. Sooner or later, your will becomes hollow…
(May, Love and Will, p 192-193)

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-12-2012, 02:47 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
(14-12-2012 02:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Impulse.

The problem I have with your position is that you seem to agree with me about the nature of the issue facing Atheists who want to take out billboards, but instead of recognising the problem, your position seems to be that it's OK to do because it's a problem. That seems backwards to me.

If you need to reject God, that's one thing. But one doesn't have to be a dick about it.

And of course the answer isn't sit down and shut the fuck up. The answer, in my humble opinion, is find something positive to talk about.

What they posted is an attack add. Just like Vosur's Theist ones. They're all dick moves. Neither are expressing something important, they're shitting all over someone else. Wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day is a positive statement; "I remember the sacrifice of the long-since-gone Canadian soldiers." If you're against war or against the romanticisation of WWII or against current Canadian military deployments, wearing a black poppy covered in shit while wearing a "Baby Killers" tshirt is a dick move.

Quote:This organization is likely trying to get Christianity out of politics and other places where it causes real harms. How can that be done without referencing the non-existence of Christ whether on a billboard, in a petition, verbally, or otherwise?

Well that's a no-brainer. Run an add that says, "We at Atheist group X believe that it's best if (insert cause here) is secular." That's a positive statement.

It's like political adds. You don't actually have to slag the other person to say something about yourself. But, as it is pointed out in Thank You For Smoking, slagging the other can bring people over to your side without forcing you to actually have something to say. It's weak sauce, my good man. Weak sauce indeed.





I mean, under the blazing onslaught of political attack adds that we're inundated with, it's easy to assume that that is the right way to go about things. But it's something to be offended by.

As far as the Atheist problem itself, the protest thing, it's ultimately counter productive. Being against something is transient. Being for something is eternal.

Quote:Now protesting is partially constructive, since it preserves some semblance of will by asserting it negatively – I know what I am against even if I cannot specifically know what I am for...

We have tacitly given the power of decision over to our adversary. Blaming the enemy implies that the enemy has the freedom to choose and act, not ourselves, and we can only react to him. This assumption, in turn, destroys our own security. For in the long run, we have, against our intention, given him all the cards...

This gradually empties the will of content; you always are the shadow of your adversary, waiting for him to move so that you can move yourself. Sooner or later, your will becomes hollow…
(May, Love and Will, p 192-193)

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
If you need to believe in a god reject God, that's one thing. But one doesn't have to be a dick about it.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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14-12-2012, 03:14 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
Ghost,

You still aren't making your case that atheists are being a dick with this ad. I still see only that atheists are doing what needs to be done to make their important case.

First, why do you claim this is an attack ad? It's simply piggy-backing on the holiday in order to grab more people's attention and point out that what Christianity believes is a myth. The job of an ad is to reach as many people as possible and say or display something that makes them think about it. The statement you suggested atheists post instead would be read and instantly forgotten. It would accomplish nothing and so why bother? This billboard attracts attention with the picture of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns. Why Jesus? Because it's aimed at getting Christians to think, not atheists. Then the message is very short and to the point so even people driving by won't miss any part of it. It accomplishes exactly what a good ad needs to do. Just because some people disagree with the message, doesn't mean it's an attack or that anyone is being a dick.

Ghost Wrote:"We at Atheist group X believe that it's best if (insert cause here) is secular."
This message fails on another level too. No one who needs to really get this (i.e., those involved in creating policies and laws) will be the least bit swayed by that ad. Their very next question would have to be "why do you believe it's best" before they would even consider taking action based upon it. Sooner or later the conversation must get around to "because no god exists". It can't be avoided if anything worthwhile is to be accomplished so then why not just say so right up front to begin with?

Believe me, here in the US, slave masters in the 1800's were not happy with the negative assertion that slavery is wrong and needed to be abolished either, but it was absolutely the right thing to make that assertion boldly. The cause of atheism is different only in the specific horrors that need to be ended.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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14-12-2012, 03:39 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
Hey, Impulse.

I've made my case handily. You just reject it. Such is life. I mean, if you don't want to engage with the things I'm saying, that's your prerogative. I don't begrudge you for that. But don't pretend that I didn't take the time to say anything.

When people see the adds Vosur posted, no one bats an eye when I call them dick moves. But for some reason, the Atheist one isn't. That's some pretty hard core bias right there.

Quote:The statement you suggested atheists post instead would be read and instantly forgotten.

Remember that quote the next time you're revolted by a political attack add.

People do shitty things BECAUSE they're effective. Doesn't make them less shitty.

Quote:Believe me, here in the US, slave masters in the 1800's were not happy
with the negative assertion that slavery is wrong and needed to be
abolished either, but it was absolutely the right thing to make that
assertion boldly.

Aaaaaaaand I'm done. That's a pretty big leap and a pretty offensive one.

Like I tried in futility to specify before, this isn't a case of do whatever the hell one wants or do nothing. That Atheist add isn't the only way of going about things. If I call it a dick move, I'm not saying that religion (and somehow slavery) should continue uncontested. That's ridiculous.

We disagree. I'm content to leave it at that.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-12-2012, 08:49 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
(14-12-2012 03:39 PM)Ghost Wrote:  When people see the adds Vosur posted, no one bats an eye when I call them dick moves. But for some reason, the Atheist one isn't. That's some pretty hard core bias right there.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that. Granted, the ads of both sides are offensive, but they are nowhere near on the same level. Surely you see the difference between suggesting that Jesus is an unnecessary myth, which is actually an insult to the Christian religion, not to Christians themselves, and explicitly insulting a group of people. The atheist equivalent of the signs that say "Atheists are anti-American", "Atheists hate America" and "Atheists are traitors" would be something along the lines of "Christians are delusional fools." Clearly there is no comparison between the current atheist-sponsored sign and the Christian-sponsored ones.

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15-12-2012, 10:04 AM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
Hey, Vosur.

"They did it first" and "they did it worse" are neither justifications nor get out of jail free cards. You said it yourself, the sign is offensive. Simple as that.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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15-12-2012, 05:09 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
(14-12-2012 03:39 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Impulse.

I've made my case handily. You just reject it. Such is life. I mean, if you don't want to engage with the things I'm saying, that's your prerogative. I don't begrudge you for that. But don't pretend that I didn't take the time to say anything.

Where did I say you didn't make an effort or take the time to say anything? What I said is you haven't made your case. You're claiming that this billboard is an attack and atheists are just being a dick by posting it, but I haven't seen the arguments that support that and, moreover, only that. I'm not just merely rejecting your arguments because I don't agree with you, but because I see the real possible alternative that this ad was posted simply because it is necessary for the cause of atheism and I haven't heard from you why that alternative couldn't be the true motive.

Ghost Wrote:When people see the adds Vosur posted, no one bats an eye when I call them dick moves. But for some reason, the Atheist one isn't. That's some pretty hard core bias right there.

Not with me. I ignored that because it's a tangent and I'm trying to stay focused on the subject which is this atheist billboard.

Ghost Wrote:
Impulse Wrote:The statement you suggested atheists post instead would be read and instantly forgotten.
Remember that quote the next time you're revolted by a political attack add.
That's another tangent, but there is negative for the sake of trashing someone (the political ads) and there is negative because it's absolutely necessary to point out something about someone or a group of people in order to stand up for what's right. Sometimes negative political ads are the latter too.

Ghost Wrote:People do shitty things BECAUSE they're effective. Doesn't make them less shitty.
True, but that isn't the ONLY reason people do shitty things. Sometimes they do them because the are necessary. And you still haven't established that this billboard was even a shitty thing.

Ghost Wrote:
Impulse Wrote:Believe me, here in the US, slave masters in the 1800's were not happy with the negative assertion that slavery is wrong and needed to be abolished either, but it was absolutely the right thing to make that assertion boldly.

Aaaaaaaand I'm done. That's a pretty big leap and a pretty offensive one.
Offensive? Why? I honestly have no clue why you would find that offensive. You were saying that these ads shouldn't make negative assertions, but should make positive ones and, when they are negative, they are "dick moves". I brought up an obvious example of when a negative assertion would be the right thing to do to show that isn't always true. I think the cause of atheism is similar, though on a smaller scale. Still, atheists are oppressed by Christians both directly and indirectly and speaking out against them is not only appropriate but necessary. What the hell are you offended about?

Quote:Like I tried in futility to specify before, this isn't a case of do whatever the hell one wants or do nothing. That Atheist add isn't the only way of going about things. If I call it a dick move, I'm not saying that religion (and somehow slavery) should continue uncontested. That's ridiculous.
How does this billboard amount to doing whatever the hell one wants? It's not like atheists are burning down churches. It's simply an ad that says very little. I really don't get your viewpoint on this. I'm glad you see that religion should not go uncontested. How do you propose to contest it without pointing out it's faults and it's falsity?

Quote:We disagree. I'm content to leave it at that.
Whatever. If you don't want to discuss this further, it's no big deal to me. Drinking Beverage

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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15-12-2012, 06:53 PM
RE: American Atheists place sign in Times Square
A couple days ago, I found the billboard mildly offensive. Today, I'm feeling different because if i see, on Facebook, one more fucking person say that the shooting in that grammar school in CT happened because "we've shut god out of schoo and let the devil in" I'll just scream. I'm understanding why we need to be more outspoken against that kind of talk.

Someone actually posted that 20 kids got to be with jeebus for Christmas! My heart just breaks for the families, staff and first responders that might not feel so happy or consider those children lucky.

Yea I'm starting to call out dumbass remarks and if people want to label me militant. Fuck 'em. I'm sick of being nice, polite and taking high road.


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Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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