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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » atheist/humanist billboard suggestions needed! (Page 3)

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Author Topic: atheist/humanist billboard suggestions needed!
katharina
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You asked for feedback. Did you not want feedback? Was this just posturing?

I'm intrigued the idea of crafting a short, pithy, effective message that includes all the meanings you said you wanted to include. It's difficult, and you have to think about why things will and won't work.

Don't ask for participation and then object when people participate.

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MrSquicky
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kat,
You are obviously out of line.

It seems like you're only participation on Hatrack lately has been to try to pick fights. I don't what has brought you to this, but it's a very bad way to be. It's not good for you.

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katharina
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Oh, baloney. [Roll Eyes]

I'll remember this the next Strider asks for input. He doesn't actually want a discussion. Squick, as always, wants to be nasty to me.

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JanitorBlade
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As has tended to be the case, when discussion shifts from discussing ideas, towards discussing poster's personalities, it never ends well.

Please refrain from doing it. But if you must, take it to email.

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Strider
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Katharina, I did ask for feedback, and I do want feedback.

There were dozens of suggestions in this thread, many of which could probably be criticized more heavily than the one we are discussing now. Again, I was just pointing out the undue attention you were paying to this one suggestion. It seemed to me that the gist and intent of the message would be conveyed whether the day chosen was Wednesday or Thursday, and even though many people go to church on Wednesdays, Sunday morning is still the day associated with church going, and the day I see the most amount of people going. I don't understand how pointing out that you were belaboring the point is posturing.

If you want my view on that particular billboard idea, I wouldn't use it because it doesn't convey anything about the broader message we're trying to get across. Though I find it amusing.

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MightyCow
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I'd put some inspiring pictures: a baby in a doctor's arms, astronauts in the space station or a shuttle launch, an athlete running on artificial legs, and a tagline like, "Science, for the betterment of all humanity."
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TomDavidson
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Except that the essence of secular humanism is not actually the worship of "science."
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kmbboots
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I agree that it isn't all about science but I think pictures of what human beings can accomplish are key to delivering the message. You could throw some great art in there as well. Michaelangelo's David or DaVinci's Vitruvian Man, some bars of music as well as the more scientific accomplishments could round out the picture.
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Strider
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Also again, the billboard is for the three local groups. One of which is, the secular humanists.

The other is this freethought society which seems to more anti religion and concerned with issues of separation of church and state and "protecting the rights of atheists". And the third is this recovering from religion group which is all about a support group for ex-theists.

The only thing that really ties all these groups together is a lack of belief in a deity.

If it was just us, I'd really like MightyCows and MrSquicky's related ideas. But there's a) the issue someone brought up on an earlier page about not just showing impressive achievements but good achievements and b) do we have to worry about great things accomplished by people of faith only to have religious people say, "yeah, look at all the great humanity has accomplished...as a result of their faith.

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Tresopax
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I don't think showing achievements is a very convincing way of making a case - generally Christians believe our achievements are God working through us and, as you pointed out, the religious tend to think religion contributed to those achievements. Science included.

Again, what is the message you want to send with this? The only thing that ties you together may be lack of belief, but if that's the case then I don't think there's any way a billboard can argue "God doesn't exist" that won't be taken in a negative light by most people who see it. There's no real positive way to tell someone their religion is fundamentally wrong using just a billboard.

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kmbboots
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Even as a religious person, I tend to think of the Italian Renaissance as a celebration of man rather than of religion despite the underlying "default" religion. Everyone might not get that, though. Are there achievements you could show that are well known to be accomplished by people that would be recognized at atheists?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There's no real positive way to tell someone their religion is fundamentally wrong using just a billboard.
Perhaps:
"We believe your religions are fundamentally wrong. But we still believe you're good people." [Smile]

Seriously, there is no way to say "atheism is a better choice" that won't be taken as confrontational, simply because it is mildly confrontational -- on a subject that many people choose to find even minor confrontations highly offensive. Instead, you need to say "atheism is a good choice, and this is why."

The problem there is that the single best reason to be an atheist -- and certainly the only reason universal to all atheists -- is that it's true. And this brings with it the implicit assertion that, yeah, all those belief systems out there are a bunch of hokum. So I'd run with the secular humanist route, playing up the inherent goodness of people as social creatures -- with or without God.

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Nathan Yahoo
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

The problem there is that the single best reason to be an atheist -- and certainly the only reason universal to all atheists -- is that it's true.

No it's not.
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MrSquicky
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How about something like "Having problems seeing meaning in your life without a God? We can help with that."
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MattP
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quote:
No it's not.
Then what is the best reason to be an atheist?
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Mucus
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To learn more about God? [Wink]
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kmbboots
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Hmm...looking through a list of famous atheists I wasn't finding much that jumped out. Edison was a biggie so an image of a lightbulb would be a good symbol. Also many of the people who worked on DNA. The double helix would carry all sorts of extra symbolism.
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Xavier
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quote:

The only thing that really ties all these groups together is a lack of belief in a deity.

What seemed appropriate for this is: "We don't believe in God either." followed by the organizations. I'm not sure how close that is to previous suggestions in this thread.

I myself am an atheist who would probably look into your group if it was in my area and I knew about it, so a sign like that would grab my attention to it.

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Mucus
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*rummages around Wikipedia and is irrationally amused that Bruce Lee and Katharine Hepburn are atheists*
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advice for robots
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If I were leaving my faith behind, I would not want people gloating, ďI told you so.Ē In fact, that would be my number one reason for not joining an atheist group. Part of leaving your faith is admitting that you were wrong, and having others remind you of that would only rankle. Rather, I would be looking for affirmations that whatever philosophy had replaced my faith was valid and meaningfulósomething that helped me on the upswing, not amplified the downswing.

I would also be looking for ways to find meaning and purpose in my life post-religion. Whatís a major reason people belong to a church? Because itís a community of people with a common goal. If Iím going to leave my church, Iím giving up a significant source of social interaction, friendship, and support, as well as a source of mutual affirmation in my beliefs. I will be looking to replace that probably faster than anything else. Even while my new thoughts and beliefs coalesce, I will be hungry for a similar positive experience of human friendship and support.

And while scientific accomplishments are great, they are also kind of cold and impersonal. People are people. They want human interaction. They donít leave their church behind to start studying the encyclopedia alone at home. They donít leave a lot of warm mutual affirmation behind for facts about Watson and Crick and the double helix. As much as scientific discovery is a worthy goal, it doesnít give me much in the way of reordering my daily life. After breaking with something that was part of my everyday life, the first place I turn will probably not be The People Who Brought You the Light Bulb.

I have to say itóitís also a little insulting to have humanists or atheists or whatever they call themselves claim all that territory. As if now that youíre post-religion, youíre finally ready to celebrate science! Welcome to the other side! Itís about as far from genuine as you can sound.

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kmbboots
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What about including some images of people (presumably atheists though there isn't any obvious way to indicate that) doing good works? Tutoring, a doctor helping a child, passing out food - something like that in addition to the other images?
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
No it's not.
Then what is the best reason to be an atheist?
I have a very different perspective than many other people, but for me, the TRUTH of a religion or atheism or whatever is very much a secondary concern to the effect of that belief.
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TomDavidson
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See, I find that kind of thing insulting. I know atheists do good works, because I'm an atheist and I know other atheists and all of us do good works. The idea that there are people out there who would learn that from a billboard just pisses me off.
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Xavier
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Another suggestion, something like:

"Just because you don't have a religion, doesn't mean you can't have a community."

As an atheist that often wishes he wasn't due to the social benefits of religion, that would probably appeal to me.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
"Just because you don't have a religion, doesn't mean you can't have a community."
I like it. It's a useful, good message, and it's 100% positive to boot.
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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
No it's not.
Then what is the best reason to be an atheist?
I lol'd.
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Hedwig
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
*rummages around Wikipedia and is irrationally amused that Bruce Lee and Katharine Hepburn are atheists*

*is irrationally amused that Mucus acknowledges the existence of the afterlife*
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
See, I find that kind of thing insulting. I know atheists do good works, because I'm an atheist and I know other atheists and all of us do good works. The idea that there are people out there who would learn that from a billboard just pisses me off.

It wasn't meant to be insulting.
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Xavier
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I wasn't insulted, but it wouldn't interest me in the group. I might agree with the message, but I doubt I'd look into the group(s).
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MightyCow
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How about ,"Our group-where the Secular Humanists go after their MENSA meetings."
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MightyCow
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Or "Coffee, Bacon, Harry Potter, Disneyland, D&D, Cheese Burgers - all OK with us!"
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Or "Coffee, Bacon, Harry Potter, Disneyland, D&D, Cheese Burgers - all OK with us!"

"...although we're generally too enlightened for all of them except coffee."
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Xavier
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quote:
I like it. It's a useful, good message, and it's 100% positive to boot.
Oh and thanks Porter.

This thread reminds me that I was planning on finding a group like this in Omaha. Probably won't though. People are scary.

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Strider
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Xavier, I really like that suggestion, or some variation of it.

My original reasons for wanting to be a part of a humanist group were similar. By the time this one was actually being formed I had filled most of that void with various volunteering activities, political campaigns, and other organizations, and an integration of all these networks with what is actually a pretty lively arts/culture community in my city.

But yeah, our humanist group has a book club, movie night, and monthly speakers usually focused on social/ethical/political issues of interest (though there are a decent bit of issues focused on religion/atheism), as well as community service and social events.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
*rummages around Wikipedia and is irrationally amused that Bruce Lee and Katharine Hepburn are atheists*

Not any more they aren't.

[Taunt]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
"Just because you don't have a religion, doesn't mean you can't have a community."
I like it. It's a useful, good message, and it's 100% positive to boot.
Entirely agree.
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
"Just because you don't have a religion, doesn't mean you can't have a community."
This sums up my speech in comparative religions class. It seems to me that to a great extent, this is what's driving the current atheist movement; the discovery that there are others out there who are having the same experience, but that it the past it was very difficult to share it with them. Until 1997, atheism was very lonely for me.

So yeah, this one gets my vote.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
*rummages around Wikipedia and is irrationally amused that Bruce Lee and Katharine Hepburn are atheists*

Not any more they aren't.

[Taunt]

If one doesn't believe in an afterlife, that comes off as a rather dark taunt. [Smile]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
*rummages around Wikipedia and is irrationally amused that Bruce Lee and Katharine Hepburn are atheists*

Not any more they aren't.

[Taunt]

If one doesn't believe in an afterlife, that comes off as a rather dark taunt. [Smile]
That angle occurred to me within seconds of posting. I don't successfully employ dark humor nearly enough.
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MightyCow
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If one doesn't believe in an afterlife, then they still don't believe in God. If you're a materialist, everyone's an atheist after they die [Wink]
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Xavier
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So this thread has inspired me to go to the next Omaha Atheists meetup: Discussion Group-Raising Children of Atheist Parents. Edit: looks like the URL only works for members, sorry.

Do you guys think it appropriate to bring our new baby?

[ October 01, 2010, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Xavier ]

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TomDavidson
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Your baby will almost certainly be mildly disruptive, causing either you or your wife to have to step out for a bit. But otherwise I don't see a problem with it.
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Strider
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cool, good luck Xavier. I hope the group works out for you.
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advice for robots
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Group-Raising Children of Atheist Parents?!

Sounds...different. [Wink]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Your baby will almost certainly be mildly disruptive, causing either you or your wife to have to step out for a bit. But otherwise I don't see a problem with it.

Tom's got it right. We take our baby to church, but one of us almost always waits in the foyer rather than in the chapel proper. We could probably both wait inside and then if he fusses take him out, but those 10 seconds or so are still disruptive, and if everybody was doing that it'd be hard to get anything done. Work out a system with your wife. [Smile]
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Xavier
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quote:
Group-Raising Children of Atheist Parents?!

Sounds...different. [Wink]

Yeah, I had trouble parsing it myself at first. I copied and pasted the title from their page, should have made the pronunciation less clunky.

Discussion Group: Raising Children of Atheist Parents

They have lots of activities and a very active membership it appears.

As for the bub, so far car rides knock him out pretty effectively. We've been able to eat at restaurants and the like. I don't think one of us popping out with him would be a problem at all though if he does get fussy.

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advice for robots
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You'll be the "case in point" all evening.
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theamazeeaz
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Why not contact the person in charge and ask?
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Xavier
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I actually asked in my meet-up RSVP, and he responded that of course it was okay. I didn't think it would be a problem.
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theamazeeaz
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Neither did I. A group of parents sitting around and talking about raising kids aren't going to have a problem with someone bring a small child if they are good at the get-out-when-it-cries routine. They've all been there.

I webstalked the Omaha group and am amused to see they are using the "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." tagline.

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