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Snowy_One

Atheist Billboards

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t1larg.ireportbillboard.jpg

Now, before I begin, let me say that this is not a question of 'is Atheism true or false', 'is God real', 'What about the Cookie Monster' or anything like that. To each his own and if you opt to not believe in a God but choose to believe Obama is a space alien, that's fine (well... Not really). That's not the point of this topic. The point of this topic is the pro-atheist billboards that have been popping up of late.

Recently, Atheists have discovered the ability to utilize billboards to deliver their message. Too be fair, most of them are not actually bad, like this one: atheist-billboard.jpg

The problem is that there are plenty of pro-atheist billboards that also openly mock or attack religion (Judeo-Christian specifically most of the time) or simply act outright rotten (like the first one linked in this thread). I'm not going to say that they don't have a right to put up these billboards (they do), but do you think putting up attack-ads like this or openly insulting people who simply want to celebrate Christmas and the various stories/myths/legends surrounding it (among other targets) hurt the image of Atheism and should be taken down, or are perfectly fine and acceptable for Atheists wanting to promote Atheism to put up?

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Recently, Atheists have discovered the ability to utilize billboards to deliver their message. Too be fair, most of them are not actually bad, like this one:

organized religion has been far more prolific in its use of public advertisement to proselytize.

The problem is that there are plenty of pro-atheist billboards that also openly mock or attack religion (Judeo-Christian specifically most of the time) or simply act outright rotten (like the first one linked in this thread).

please explain how the first billboard is "rotten" at all.

I'm not going to say that they don't have a right to put up these billboards (they do), but do you think putting up attack-ads like this or openly insulting people who simply want to celebrate Christmas and the various stories/myths/legends surrounding it (among other targets) hurt the image of Atheism and should be taken down, or are perfectly fine and acceptable for Atheists wanting to promote Atheism to put up?

they are not remotely "attack-ads" and they don't get in the way of people celebrating religious holidays in the least.

the issue of atheist billboards or the "war on christmas" is purely a fabrication of the religious right (and funnily enough, it's really only an "issue" in the united states). they are not actually issues.

Edited by dondon151

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"Recently"?

Isn't this billboard thing at least a couple years old now? I'm pretty sure it is.

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Billboard_smaller.jpgAntiatheistBillboard.jpg

I'm afraid it works both ways. The extremes on both sides are just as guilty as each other.

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I'm afraid it works both ways. The extremes on both sides are just as guilty as each other.

oh boy, look at this fallacy of the golden mean

EDIT: i know that it's in vogue to label extremes as wrong and therefore conclude that the middle is right, but you need to get yourself checked if you think this is true. generally, atheist organizations try to avoid labeling specific people whereas religious organizations are not so reserved about that.

Edited by dondon151

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Well, I don't see the problem, since religious billboards also exist (well, I'm talking about the US, I haven't seen either here).

The thing is, many people are too proud about their decisions, and will try to shove their opinions or how they see life down other people's throats. This happens a lot when talking about religion, on every possible side.

I don't really see how those billboards are harmful. kind of obnoxious, relatively cringe worthy, but not harmful at all, just like religious billboards.

Edited by Nobody

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Billboard_smaller.jpgAntiatheistBillboard.jpg

I'm afraid it works both ways. The extremes on both sides are just as guilty as each other.

heh the second one. I really don't know what they were thinking when they put that one up.

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Why are they acting as if all atheists are special intellectual people oppressed by ignorant religious bullies? Not that I'm religious or anything.

I find these billboards fedoralicious. Atheists just gotta butt heads with theists and vice versa.

Edited by Frosty Fire Sage

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oh boy, look at this fallacy of the golden mean

EDIT: i know that it's in vogue to label extremes as wrong and therefore conclude that the middle is right, but you need to get yourself checked if you think this is true. generally, atheist organizations try to avoid labeling specific people whereas religious organizations are not so reserved about that.

Perhaps it would have been better to say vocal fringe groups rather than extremes, although these groups are often rather committed to their cause. Although that's not to say anyone with that dedication is inherently bad, I find the vast majority of people rather reasonable.

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Why are they acting as if all atheists are special intellectual people oppressed by ignorant religious bullies? Not that I'm religious or anything.

because some of them are (ignoring the fluffy adjectives placed to give your sentence sarcastic flair)? there was a law in south carolina that prohibited atheists from holding public office until herb silverman challenged it in court and got it overturned. also consider that the primary goal of these billboards is to reach out to closet atheists who come from religious backgrounds. it is incredibly difficult for people from a religious background to leave their religion because it is tantamount to severing ties with an entire community.

i still challenge anyone to rationalize the claim that either of the billboards in the OP are offensive or insulting in any way, when they say nothing about any specific group of people. they are about as innocuous as a "vote obama" billboard.

Perhaps it would have been better to say vocal fringe groups rather than extremes, although these groups are often rather committed to their cause. Although that's not to say anyone with that dedication is inherently bad, I find the vast majority of people rather reasonable.

if you really want to, keep a tally of vocal fringe groups on either side and a catalogue of their actions, then come back to me and say the same thing.

Edited by dondon151

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if you really want to, keep a tally of vocal fringe groups on either side and a catalogue of their actions, then come back to me and say the same thing.

As entertaining as that sounds, I don't think it's necessary for the point of showing that both atheists and religious groups are capable of producing billboards. Whether or not they're offensive is another issue, I personally don't really take issue with any of said billboards but there will be those who will.

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I personally think religion is completely unnecessary in this day and age, what with relatively recent developments in science and all.

That said, criticizing and demonizing people for their belief systems doesn't make you a hero or anything. Still, it's fun to watch the constant flame wars. ^^

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please explain how the first billboard is "rotten" at all.

Like it or not, even if the Jesus story is a myth, it's a huge part of the Christmas season and Holiday spirit. At best (for atheists) it's like taking an ad out to mock people for allowing the Easter Bunny to continue to exist. All it really shows is that you are being uptight and the equivalent of the smug kid who thinks he's superior to the other kids on the block because he knows Santa isn't real, and thusly he can throw rockballs at other kids because 'the Holidays are a sham'.

they are not remotely "attack-ads" and they don't get in the way of people celebrating religious holidays in the least.

the issue of atheist billboards or the "war on christmas" is purely a fabrication of the religious right (and funnily enough, it's really only an "issue" in the united states). they are not actually issues.

Yes. A billboard that openly calls one of the key parts of a major religion that is integral to one of the major holidays a myth and mocks it isn't an attack ad. Likewise, atheist billboards mocking religious people don't exist even though a quick google search turns up several. Here is another for you. cityroom-billboard-blog480.jpg

I'm afraid it works both ways. The extremes on both sides are just as guilty as each other.

Oh. I don't disagree. My own parents have several T-shirts mocking evolution and I've seen plenty of religious-based attack ads in my day. One issue at a time though. The reason I picked these atheism billboards out is because atheism vs. religion is one of the bigger hot-button issues and I see these billboards as both offensive to religious people, and harmful to atheists as it puts them on the same level as bratty kids. You want to talk about the religious ones, sure. Though unless it directly relates to this topic, can you make it your own topic? I'd rather try to keep this topic focused on the atheist ones with a broader focus on how attack-ads in general make people look stupid/childish.

I don't really see how those billboards are harmful. kind of obnoxious, relatively cringe worthy, but not harmful at all, just like religious billboards.

I'd agree with all that, except that I'd say that these billboards are presenting atheism and atheists as those things (most certainly the AmericanAtheists group).

I find these billboards fedoralicious. Atheists just gotta butt heads with theists and vice versa.

Fedoralicious?

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Like it or not, even if the Jesus story is a myth, it's a huge part of the Christmas season and Holiday spirit. At best (for atheists) it's like taking an ad out to mock people for allowing the Easter Bunny to continue to exist. All it really shows is that you are being uptight and the equivalent of the smug kid who thinks he's superior to the other kids on the block because he knows Santa isn't real, and thusly he can throw rockballs at other kids because 'the Holidays are a sham'.

it appears that you are keen on misrepresenting the billboards. a couple of things:

1. the advertisement doesn't mock anyone. it never mentions a person or a group of people. contrast this to the examples that shin posted, which specifically hurl epithets at a group of people.

2. your smug kid analogy doesn't work because there is no throwing of rockballs. the advertisements are no more harmful than a child saying that santa claus isn't real.

i don't really see where you're coming from with that first sentence. as an atheist, i enjoy the holiday season just as much as any christian. i daresay i enjoy it more because i don't have to attend mass. with the state of the holiday season now, i'd argue that christmas in the united states has been mostly secularized.

Yes. A billboard that openly calls one of the key parts of a major religion that is integral to one of the major holidays a myth and mocks it isn't an attack ad.

no, it's not an attack ad. i'm glad you agree with me.

Likewise, atheist billboards mocking religious people don't exist even though a quick google search turns up several. Here is another for you. cityroom-billboard-blog480.jpg

this advertisement is remarkably innocuous. you'd really have to be stretching it to glean mockery out of it - not unlike how the religious right can fabricate a "war on christmas" out of a secularizing america.

i'm not certain where religious people get the gall to think that when something that they believe in gets challenged, then they are getting attacked. this is nothing but privileged nonsense.

That said, criticizing and demonizing people for their belief systems doesn't make you a hero or anything. Still, it's fun to watch the constant flame wars. ^^

contrary to what you seem to believe, it does actually make a difference.

Edited by dondon151

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Well, I don't see the problem, since religious billboards also exist (well, I'm talking about the US, I haven't seen either here).

I'd say just because both sides do it doesn't mean there's no problem; it just means there are two problems, or one larger problem.

EDIT: Clarification:

What I mean is that when you say it like that it makes it sound like there's only no problem because both sides have billboards. I didn't necessarily mean that there is a problem, only that both sides having billboards shouldn't affect whether or not there's a problem.

Oh. I don't disagree. My own parents have several T-shirts mocking evolution and I've seen plenty of religious-based attack ads in my day. One issue at a time though. The reason I picked these atheism billboards out is because atheism vs. religion is one of the bigger hot-button issues and I see these billboards as both offensive to religious people, and harmful to atheists as it puts them on the same level as bratty kids. You want to talk about the religious ones, sure. Though unless it directly relates to this topic, can you make it your own topic? I'd rather try to keep this topic focused on the atheist ones with a broader focus on how attack-ads in general make people look stupid/childish.

I would say it's unfair at best to limit discussion within this thread to only be about atheist billboards; there are two "sides" to this, and talking about only one of them implies that that side is "the problem". I've seen Christian billboards that are just as insulting/offensive as the ones you posted, and the only difference is that they are more numerous. They really are so similar that it would be pointless to try to limit discussion to criticizing/defending a single side, because the only argument that can't be applied to both sides equally is which side someone agrees with.

That being said, I don't see a huge problem with billboards like these. I would rather not see them, but that's because I find them unsightly and ham-fisted. I would much rather see *actual* discussion, which is something these billboards can't do.

Edited by Euklyd

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I'd say just because both sides do it doesn't mean there's no problem; it just means there are two problems, or one larger problem.

How are those billboards exactly a problem? How do they affect one's life negatively?

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How are those billboards exactly a problem? How do they affect one's life negatively?

I was trying to say that when you say:

Well, I don't see the problem, since religious billboards also exist (well, I'm talking about the US, I haven't seen either here)..

it makes it sound like there's no problem because both religious and atheist billboards exist.

I realize my phrasing was a bit off, I'm fixing that now.

I expressed my opinion about problems/no problems here:

That being said, I don't see a huge problem with billboards like these. I would rather not see them, but that's because I find them unsightly and ham-fisted. I would much rather see *actual* discussion, which is something these billboards can't do.

Edited by Euklyd

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organized religion has been far more prolific in its use of public advertisement to proselytize.

...so athiests should do the exact same thing then? are they no better?

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Next for agnostic billboards: "Don't care if god exists? You're not alone... Or are, we don't care..."

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it appears that you are keen on misrepresenting the billboards. a couple of things:

1. the advertisement doesn't mock anyone. it never mentions a person or a group of people. contrast this to the examples that shin posted, which specifically hurl epithets at a group of people.

2. your smug kid analogy doesn't work because there is no throwing of rockballs. the advertisements are no more harmful than a child saying that santa claus isn't real.

i don't really see where you're coming from with that first sentence. as an atheist, i enjoy the holiday season just as much as any christian. i daresay i enjoy it more because i don't have to attend mass. with the state of the holiday season now, i'd argue that christmas in the united states has been mostly secularized.

I would argue the opposite, but it doesn't matter either way. Christmas is still a holiday focused on Christian ideals and tenants. To claim it as a myth is, indeed, insulting. And yes, there is indeed 'rockball' throwing, especially of the mocking kind by implying that, not only is the Birth of Jesus a myth, but that people know this yet keep pushing it as truth. This is not just a solitary example either as I found at least two other examples which I haven't linked yet of billboards outright implying/stating that faith is a fairytale, myth, stupid and what-have you.

There is no point in arguing that these billboards are offensive to basically anyone who is not an atheist. This isn't even targeted against members of a specific faith but against anyone with a belief in general. Especially since these billboards claim to 'celebrate reason', it is indeed 'rockball throwing' (you can't believe in Jesus being the son of God and be reasonable? Most certainly an insult hidden in the 'fluffy' message of celebrating reason).

contrary to what you seem to believe, it does actually make a difference.

I'm going to ignore this one as my thoughts on the matter will likely deride this from a question of atheist billboards to that of comparisons to a certain movie starring puppets.

Fedoras are pretty much the hat of choice of pseudo-intellectual atheists. Or at least that's how they are stereotyped.

Okay. I get the term now. I never knew of that association personally.

I would say it's unfair at best to limit discussion within this thread to only be about atheist billboards; there are two "sides" to this, and talking about only one of them implies that that side is "the problem". I've seen Christian billboards that are just as insulting/offensive as the ones you posted, and the only difference is that they are more numerous. They really are so similar that it would be pointless to try to limit discussion to criticizing/defending a single side, because the only argument that can't be applied to both sides equally is which side someone agrees with.

That being said, I don't see a huge problem with billboards like these. I would rather not see them, but that's because I find them unsightly and ham-fisted. I would much rather see *actual* discussion, which is something these billboards can't do.

Alright. Fair enough. I definitely agree that the Religious Attack ads are unacceptable as well. Like it or not, barring some mass event which would change world religions overnight, we will probably never know which deity and faith is indeed true. Many people choose to believe in Christianity, but for all we 'really' know Allah could be the true God and Mohammad his prophet, or Ammy is the worlds true deity and the Japanese are right, or it's some deity we never heard of before who has tried to let us know of his existence but just has a lot of trouble learning Earth languages. The big difference (in my eyes at least) is that most religions have both been around long enough and have made it clear enough that they are about saving peoples souls and dealing with a persons spiritual life first and flinging insults is simply not their concern. Atheism, however, has not. It's only focus is on 'there is no God' (so technically, so long as God/s don't exist, we could have vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, and everything and atheism would still be true). While many atheists claim to be about knowledge, neither truth in this claim or untruth justifies this. I'd really like to state again, though, that I don't want this becoming a 'atheism vs. religion' thing though and instead focus on 'should atheists be doing this at all'.

lol you're putting words in my mouth

I honestly can't think of a better way to summarize this. If atheism is, indeed, better than faith, shouldn't atheists be condemning these (remember, I said that not every atheism billboard was bad, even linked one that wasn't, just the attack ones) instead of 'stooping to the same level'? You know, encourage discussion or focus on the benefits of atheism as opposed to going 'Lol! You religious people are so stupid! You believe in Jesus and the Santa bunnyman. What's next? Count Chocula?'

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Honestly, I see no problem with the billboards from both sides. If they want to discuss and promote their positions, do it. It's their right to do so (and it's the other side's right to answer, too. Mind that). However, as a member here said, I also believe they should be discussing formally about it rather than rant out loud that theists believe in myths and/or that atheists will go to Hell etc.

As a side note, atheists seem to forget a lot about Mohammed and Alah. I'm disappointed at their lack of guts to face off angry muslins, save for Dawkins (who uses a lot of fallacies, but fine).

Edited by Rapier

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Next for agnostic billboards: "Don't care if god exists? You're not alone... Or are, we don't care..."

Apatheism, you mean.

Agnosticism is where you don't believe that the existence of God has been/can be proven.

"Weak agnostics" believe that the existence of a deity could be proven, but hasn't been, while "strong agnostics" believe that such an existence could never be proven. I fall into the first category.

Regardless, it has no bearing on whether or not you believe in God, or any god, or whatever.

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Apatheism, you mean.

Agnosticism is where you don't believe that the existence of God has been/can be proven.

"Weak agnostics" believe that the existence of a deity could be proven, but hasn't been, while "strong agnostics" believe that such an existence could never be proven. I fall into the first category.

Regardless, it has no bearing on whether or not you believe in God, or any god, or whatever.

I was joking. But, yeah, I guess agnosticism is just not being sure, as opposed to not caring. I guess I'm an apatheist then, as I don't believe a greater power should change how you live your life, so I just don't really think about it too much...

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