In my area, in a city called Salisbury, MD, there are couple of billboards that are pro-religion, such as "Wise Men Follow Jesus" and my favorite, "Real Men Follow Jesus."

So here is my "retaliation". I hope you like. :)

Tags: atheist, don't, follow, friends, have, imaginary, jesus, men, real, think, More…wise

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For some reason It wouldn't let me respond to your last comment So i'll do it on this board.

"I'm not under any such impression about who the target audience is. The target audience does include Christians. It let's them know that they are being mocked. Will that make them defensive and dig their heels in more? I am sure for many it will. But mockery and ridicule are powerful tools that are very effective. We would never coddle other silly beliefs with such respect if they weren't so widely held. So why does religion get the pass?"

I'm not intending to offend you but your attitude is (at best) that of a teenager. Your ideas are such a "Jerry Springer Show" approach to getting anything done and I'm not sure you even realize it. I only listed the quote from your last message above because it is the epitome of your thought process. That and I could write a chapter of a book on the rest of the post that quote lies in...

"The target audience does include Christians. It lets them know they are being mocked." And that's a good thing because...?

"Will it make them defensive and dig their heels in more? I'm sure for many it will."
And THAT'S a good thing because...?

"But mockery and ridicule are powerful tools that are very effective."
Yeah like a hammer is for pounding in screws? Yes they're powerful tools but only if they're used in the right way and (to put it mildly) this ain't it.

"We would never coddle other silly beliefs with such respect if they weren't so widely held. So why does religion get the pass?"
Religion doesn't get a pass and I never suggested it should/would however IF you stoop to an even lower level (which is what you're proposing to do) you loose any intellectual high-ground you could have obtained.

This type of use of mockery only serves to reinforce barriers that oppose understanding in the minds of the faithful. Using mockery in a place that it doesn't belong only serves to shoot one's self in the foot and you want to herald that as a battle cry?

***NEXT POST***

Your rant in response to my rebuke of your analogy of clothing is just as bad. We ARE going to the same "débutante ball." We're activists. We all want the removal of religious influence from public life where it doesn't belong. When one of us (or in this case potentially an entire group) shoots itself in the foot everyone outside looking in (i.e. religious people and non-religious bloomers) who see it expects the same from everyone else going for the same goal. And so they turn away.

Your rant about what atheism is, what truth requires, and science was preaching to the quire to say the least. How many books have you read that have to do with the subject of religion and how many are on your reading list? My list's longer that I care to recount here, I'm only 15 books into it and that doesn't include the rereads I intend to do. I suggest you read more than The God Delusion and atheist blogs. You've glimpsed the hill that the rabbit hole sits under.

"But you want to enable the petulant child with candy and fond words?"
When that "child" is an adult, equal to me in political, economic, physical, and mental power & the one(s) calling him/her "a petulant child" would obviously and quickly stoop the same level and below as those who he claims to oppose?

Go back to church and talk to religious people again. Try to grow some respect for the full grown, mentally capable, charitable, and flawed just as much as you or I, people you're calling petulant children.

I'm done with this thread for now.
I'm not intending to offend you but your attitude is (at best) that of a teenager.

I'm not offended that you don't seem to understand me.

Your ideas are such a "Jerry Springer Show" approach to getting anything done and I'm not sure you even realize it

Again, you don't seem to understand. Further, instead of explaining what is so "Jerry Springer" about the above picture, you resort to using that term Jerry Springer as a way to express your disapproval.

"Will it make them defensive and dig their heels in more? I'm sure for many it will."
And THAT'S a good thing because...?


Because you won't change their mind anyway! You don't seem to get it. You must be naive to think that your way is the only way and will be an effective way. Hell, you didn't even really say what your strategy really was. You just said we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings. Uh, ok. Is that some BS about respecting all beliefs?

This type of use of mockery only serves to reinforce barriers that oppose understanding in the minds of the faithful. Using mockery in a place that it doesn't belong only serves to shoot one's self in the foot and you want to herald that as a battle cry?

Again, you display your ignorance over the social functions of mockery and over my stance in general. A battle cry? You think that there is a particular way to do things. I am telling you that there are many. You seem to have a problem with that and want to believe that I am advocating mockery as the sole tactic of some movement. You are misrepresenting my position.

Better yet is your own use of mockery. You use terms like "rant" several times to refer to my replies. You use "Jerry Springer" as a pejorative against a tactic you don't approve of. You are trying to shape other people's behavior with ridicule and mockery even as you try to convince us that neither have value and should not be used to influence people. Well done! You prove my point better than I could have!


We ARE going to the same "débutante ball." We're activists.

WRONG! And that actually proves out my analogy. You think everyone is going to the ball. But guess what? Some of us are going to the hoe down. Totally different dress code, my friend. Not all atheist are activists and not all share your goals.

We all want the removal of religious influence from public life where it doesn't belong. When one of us (or in this case potentially an entire group) shoots itself in the foot everyone outside looking in (i.e. religious people and non-religious bloomers) who see it expects the same from everyone else going for the same goal. And so they turn away.

Or they don't turn away. Maybe they are not all carbon copies of each other and may respond to different things in different ways? No, no, that couldn't be, could it? It must all play out as you said. Exactly the same, each time, with each person. That is why one tactic of being nice to silly ideas will work....somehow...maybe with prayer?

How many books have you read that have to do with the subject of religion and how many are on your reading list? My list's longer that I care to recount here, I'm only 15 books into it and that doesn't include the rereads I intend to do. I suggest you read more than The God Delusion and atheist blogs. You've glimpsed the hill that the rabbit hole sits under.

Oh my! Hahaha! Wow. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. You want to have a pissing contest about how many books we've read? Then you brag about reading fifteen? On religion? If I read 15 books on elves, would that make me some kind of expert on something? Are you kidding?

I see what I am dealing with here. You are not used to the type of debate and discussion that can be found here on T|A.

How many books have you read on biology? On cosmology? On physics? On evolution? On psychology? How many biographies have you read? Well? Did you read any? I hope so, but even if you did read some or all, it doesn't matter because you haven't read enough H.P. Lovecraft. You'll never understand life without Lovecraft!

And because you won't understand that dig, let me spell it out for you. I wasn't bragging about the amount and types of books I have read, I was making a larger point about your puerile, yet amusing, argument.

Go back to church and talk to religious people again. Try to grow some respect for the full grown, mentally capable, charitable, and flawed just as much as you or I, people you're calling petulant children.

Again, you don't seem to understand where I am coming from. And you have trouble understanding the analogies and the metaphors. Maybe that is my fault, but you do seem quick to take offense to them and assume the meaning to be more literal than it is.

I do not have to go to church or read a million books about religion to understand anything about religion or how to interact with theists. And your plaintive plea of just leave them alone has the melodramatic air of Chris Crocker. This misunderstanding is not forgivable as I explicitly pointed out the difference between treatment of ideas and treatment of people. You don't seem to grasp the difference or you are being too lazy to consider my words more thoughtfully. I live in the middle of the Bible Belt. Do you know what that means? It means I am surrounded by religious people in all walks of life. In my work, in my family, in my circle of friends. I don't have to go to a church to talk to them. I talk to them all day long everyday of the week. And I don't walk around looking down on them because they are not atheists. That is just silly.

You don't understand the petulant child remark anymore than you understand the thrust of my entire argument. My advice would be to put down the religious books and pick up something better. The former seem to have addled your brain.

I'm done with this thread for now.

Okay, Chris Mooney.
All sniping aside, the gist of my point is that there are many ways to battle delusion and there is no single, correct way.
"Some of us are going to the hoe down."
My point exactly Jersy shore boy.

How many books have you read on biology? On cosmology? On physics? On evolution? On psychology? How many biographies have you read?
I'm a biologist so quite a few on biology and evolution both. 3 on cosmology. 1 on physics. 2 biographies. 8 on philosophy. And THEN I can go into religion directly and that doesn't include the "religious" books.
The reason I asked is because you seem to have a complete lack of understanding of why I'm getting at what I'm trying to get at. Religion is a naturally occurring phenomena and as such we should try to understand it as best we can from every angle that we can. Simply going, "it's stupid and illogical" is at best childish and at worst willfully ignorant.

Point of fact: "You just said we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings."
I NEVER said that. I did say that mockery and ridicule were powerful tools but ONLY if they're used in the correct way/situation and that's not very often. If you're attempting to change something as far as people's mindsets and you measure your success based on the number of people you effect not whether or not you change the mind of the person you're debating...

Whatever. No hard feelings man.
How many books have you read on biology? On cosmology? On physics? On evolution? On psychology? How many biographies have you read?
I'm a biologist so quite a few on biology and evolution both. 3 on cosmology. 1 on physics. 2 biographies. 8 on philosophy. And THEN I can go into religion directly and that doesn't include the "religious" books.


You really want me to list the books I have read? I can't even bring myself to do that. I have, I don't know, maybe hundreds of books in my office here. Do you really want me to tally them for you? If I turn out to be more well read than you, will that matter? Do I win? Or, should an argument stand on its own merits rather than how many books the arguer has read? I'm certainly less interested in how many books you have read than I am in your argument.

And really, you are a biologist? Why do I find that hard to believe? And why does it matter? Again, you missed the point about the meaning of credentials. Newton invented Calculus. That doesn't mean alchemy works.

Religion is a naturally occurring phenomena and as such we should try to understand it as best we can from every angle that we can. Simply going, "it's stupid and illogical" is at best childish and at worst willfully ignorant

It is a naturally occurring phenomenon? What kind of biologist are you again? What does that even mean? It is natural because humans are "natural" and created it? Or, are you saying you have observed religion in the petri dish? Not sure what the "natural" argument is here that you are making. Where else in nature do you find religion? Please, do tell. That is a very odd thing for a biologist to say.

And for the record, your straw man simplification of my position seems below that of a person with scientific training. "Simply going it's stupid and illogical" is not anything I have argued for as a comprehensive plan to tackle delusion in society. But, for the record, religion is stupid and illogical. Why do I need to sugar coat that?

Point of fact: "You just said we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings."
I NEVER said that. I did say that mockery and ridicule were powerful tools but ONLY if they're used in the correct way/situation and that's not very often.


Fair enough, you never explicitly stated that. But you should acknowledge that I never said ridicule and mockery should be used all the time without care, as you are implying. I am simply arguing that they are tools that work, can be used, and should be used and you seem to agree! If you want me to be more specific, just ask. Don't try to generalize my position based on your assumptions.

I find it hard to believe that you have any scientific training. You don't seem familiar with distilling ideas and concepts down to their component parts. I specifically talk about one thing, and you use that to make sweeping generalizations about positions I have not even discussed in this thread.

If you're attempting to change something as far as people's mindsets and you measure your success based on the number of people you effect not whether or not you change the mind of the person you're debating...

Well, where is your evidence that your way is more effective? Have you performed this experiment? Did you control for confirmation bias? Do you have some studies you could point me to? or is this something the religious books tell you? Do the religious books admonish you for mocking their religion?

No hard feelings, but I am a bit befuddled by some of your arguments and reactions. Especially from someone claiming to be a biologist.
In fact, the only way to battle delusion is to attack it from every possible angle. Something the legendary built-in "differences" between atheists will be very good at.

The audience of such propaganda is not really the hard-core believers but the soft ones, the fed-up ones, the closet-unbelievers, the tired new-agers... Nonsense is all-pervasive so I think all kinds of flags are necessary.


Exactly! That succinctly sums it up.
Real men don't suppress real women!
Ergo, no Moslem woman is real?
My, my, everyone, I had no idea such a graphic would cause such a stir. Then again, it can be expected from such a group of bright minds, eh? :)

I agree with both sides, oddly. I've always been a "taste of your own medicine" type of person, but I also agree that it might not be the best way to make the religious see the "error of their ways", so to speak. The religious are so deep-seated in their own beliefs that simply calling them out for having an "imaginary friend" really wouldn't do much more than confirm exactly what they think of us as atheists: that we take pride in mocking and degrading them, which is not an effective tool in the end.

We want to, I believe, portray the image of being understanding, polite and knowledgeable, while still making a statement. That being said, it's okay to ruffle a few feathers. :)
What I also mean is that we don't want them to think we have a "superiority complex", because nobody likes anybody with a big head. Directly calling the religious "insane" or "ridiculous" would have little or no effect. Name calling is never effective.

This all being said, it was just a fun mock up. Thanks for the feature, though, I appreciate the discussion it has caused.
we don't want them to think we have a "superiority complex"

I consider reality to be superior. ;-)
It's not complex, I simply am superior!

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